HELLO Professor Cocktail USERS
Whimsy & Spice has acquired the old domain from PROFESSOR COCKTAIL (professorcocktail.com). If you were looking for Simply Taylor, sadly the website no longer exists. However, you can see some of the old content on WayBack here...
- Let’s Talk About Grenadine
- Taste Test: Orgeat (Almond Syrup)
- Liqueur Review: SNAP
- Liqueur Review: Pallini Limoncello
- White Rum and Vodka — Can You Tell the Difference?
While we have you... let us introduce you to Whimsy & Spice...
Hi, my name is Jenna and I have been a professional chef for almost the entirety of my adult life. What started off as a hobby in college quickly turned into a passion that I surrounded my life with.
I remember my mother’s impressive cookbook collection, which my siblings and I would sit and read for hours around the kitchen table. But we were never allowed to actually help with the cooking - that was my mother’s happy place.
So, when I was able to start my own adventure into the world of cooking, my mother took me under her wing. We would spend hours together in the kitchen, cooking up a storm!
Once she had trained me up to her satisfaction, I was awarded the most precious prize of all - her own personal cookbook that she had been jotting down her recipes in for decades.
Now, I won’t share them with the world - they’re a family secret. However, I want to use this website to inspire you all to pick up a recipe and make it for yourself. Most people I talk to think that they can’t cook. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.
Cooking is great for your mental, physical, and emotional health. What’s the worst that could happen? Find a recipe that you like the sound of and cook it along with me. You might even unlock a new passion!
Cocktails: A Brief History (With Tasty Recipes To Try Out)
The history of cocktails is a long and fascinating one, with roots stretching back to ancient civilizations and the evolution of various spirits and mixed drinks over the centuries.
One of the earliest known mixed drinks is the ancient Egyptian beverage known as "kyphi," which was made from a combination of wine, honey, and spices. The ancient Greeks also had a number of mixed drinks, including the "symposium," a combination of water and wine that was consumed during social gatherings.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, mixed drinks began to become more popular in Europe and the United States. The first recorded use of the word "cocktail" to describe a mixed drink appeared in the early 19th century, and cocktails that we know and love today began to take shape.
During this time, a number of classic cocktails were developed, including the martini, the Manhattan, and the Old Fashioned. These cocktails became popular at bars and social gatherings, and their popularity has continued to this day.
Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the cocktail culture has continued to evolve. There has been a particular rise of craft cocktails and the use of high-quality, artisanal ingredients for all kinds of occasions from Valentine’s Day to Easter, as well as refreshing summer cocktails and festive holiday concoctions. Today, there are countless variations on classic cocktails and new creations being developed constantly, making the world of cocktails an ever-evolving and exciting one.
Today, we are going to delve into the history of cocktails and include some top-quality cocktail recipes for you to try at home. Don’t worry if you prefer mocktails, though. Check out these delicious mocktail recipes today!
Before we begin, we’d like to give a warm welcome to all of our readers from professorcocktail.com. We recently acquired the site and are so excited to share our passion for cocktails with you all!
Where and When Did Cocktails Begin?
The mixing of liqueurs and spirits with other ingredients has been done for thousands of years in order to create flavorful beverages. In fact, it is believed that ever since the first hard spirits were introduced, estimated to be around 10,000 years ago during the Neolithic period, people have been making some sorts of cocktails.
Nevertheless, there is still much debate regarding the origin of the word “cocktail,” especially surrounding where it came from and who first used the term.
An article from The Farmer’s Cabinet in Vermont in 1803 stated that drinking a cocktail was “excellent for the head.” Just three years later, the term “cocktail” was widely used in its current meaning. On May 19th, 1806, the newspaper Balance and Columbian Repository defined a cocktail as “a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind – sugar, water, and bitters.” Therefore, historians estimate that the term “cocktail” was introduced in its current form around the late 18th century to early 19th century.
Theories on Where the Term “Cocktail” Came From
As with the fact that it is not known for sure where and when cocktails originated, the origin of where the term originated is still up for debate. However, there are three main theories surrounding the mystery.
The first is the Dregs Theory.
Dregs Theory (Cock Tailings)
When tavern owners mixed the dregs, also known as tailings, of barrels, the term “cock tailing” was used. The resulting mixture of alcohol would then be sold to customers for a lower price. The term “cock” derives from the spigot or tap of a barrel which is sometimes known as a “cock.”
Egg-Cup Theory (Coquetier)
If you were to study the online Etymology Dictionary, you would find that cocktail is a simple mispronunciation of the French word for egg cup coquetier. In English, this is pronounced as “cocktay.” This stems from Antoine Amédée, the inventor of Peychaud's bitters, and a New Orleans Apothecary who served brandy with bitters in egg cups during the late 1800s.
Docked Horse Theory (Cock Tail)
Going a bit further back in time to the 17th century, “cock tail” was a term used to describe an animal that sported a cock-like or rooster-type tail, particularly horses with docked tails. During this time, hunt and coach horses typically had their tails cut shorter for practicality. By the time the 19th century arrived, most thoroughbred horses did not have docked tails, so when entering a race, those with a docked tail were more noticeable and regarded as “cock tails.”
So, how did this connect to alcoholic beverages? Well, some historians believe that racehorses that had cocked tails were more perky and somewhat friskier than those without. So, the term “cock your tail up” started to get used when something was eye-opening. Moreover, having a mix of drinks would help “cock your tail” after a particularly heavy night of drinking.
Bartending and the Art of the Cocktail
Cocktails have been around for centuries, but as we discussed above, the term is relatively recent (in terms of human civilization). It was during Shakespearean times that cocktails (remember, not known as cocktails at the time) became a sort of social badge of honor. People enjoyed their effects on altering their moods so bartenders started to experiment and mix all kinds of spirits and ingredients.
During the 1800s, the art of bartending and making cocktails was big business, this led to Jerry Thomas, an American bartender, writing “The Bartender’s Guide (or How to Mix Drinks).” This was the first book to define the art of bartending and include different types of cocktails.
With recipe upon recipe of tasty cocktails, this book became a must-read for all new and experienced bartenders, and in doing so, also became an important milestone in the golden age of cocktail history.
Of course, those early cocktails were far different from what we can enjoy today. Many were simple with one or two ingredients used. Today, however, we are spoiled for choice. Whether you want a cocktail to celebrate St Patrick’s Day or Thanksgiving, there are hundreds, if not thousands of cocktail recipes to choose from.
However, to get to the heady heights of cocktail making today, we had to go through some dark times first.
You may think that the history of the cocktail has been smooth and colorful, like many cocktails themselves. But, the truth is far from this.
On January 17, 1920, the National Prohibition Act (the Volstead Act) became the 18th Amendment, thus going into effect. This threw the world of cocktails into disarray.
This new law meant that the production of beverages that contained over half a percent of alcohol was prohibited. This led to the majority of breweries, distilleries, and wineries throughout the USA to close their doors for good.
However, the cocktail industry managed to continue. Just. Although against the law, cocktails are still in development, but now underground. But, this was a painful, challenging time which led to many talented and top bartenders to move abroad for better opportunities.
The negative effect prohibition had on the cocktail dirty continued long after the law was repealed. It is only in the last few decades that cocktails have started to thrive once again.
Today, we can enjoy cocktails that contain just about any ingredients we desire. From watermelon cocktails to peanut butter whiskey drinks and frozen cocktails to keto-friendly cocktails, we can make many delicious cocktails at home.
Having a red-themed party? Try making some delicious red cocktails! Maybe you want some dark rum recipes? Easy! Or, maybe you want something more fruity? There are so many cocktail recipes at your disposal these days that cocktail lovers of the past could have never dreamed about!
The question is, though, how did cocktails become so popular once again? Well, this has something to do with the “Tiki” culture.
The Tiki Craze
So, prohibition happened. That was disastrous for the cocktail world. But, once this challenging time had passed, and the effects of World War One were not as present anymore, a new culture started to arise. This was the Tiki culture.
The Tiki culture became a true craze when Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber, opened his first Hollywood restaurant. Regarded as the founding father of the “tiki culture,” Beaumont opened the first prototypical tiki bar in the 1930s. Before long, it was a hotspot for Polynesians and tiki drinks were selling like wildfire.
Around the same time, the first Trader Vic was opened by Victor Bergeron in San Francisco. This helped to boost the popularity of colorful, tropical mixed drinks.
From the 1930s through to the 1970s (barring the Second World War), the tiki trend soared. But, the sluggish economy of the 1970s brought an end to this golden tiki era. Many tiki establishments were required to close down, meaning many of those vibrant, colorful cocktails were no longer made or enjoyed.
But, thankfully, a revival was around the corner.
During the 1960s and 1970s, drug culture started to overtake the “cocktail era.” This, along with a dwindling economy, led to the demise of the cocktail industry. However, the 1990s saw a revival in the classic cocktail culture.
Dale Degroff of Rainbow Room, the famous center of glamor and entertainment in New York, helped bring back the glitz and elegance of the original cocktail eras of the mid 1800s and 1930s.
Degroff was responsible for a new craft cocktail movement which combined historical cocktail values with the quality standards expected of cocktails. This new era saw the introduction of colorful cocktails, such as the Pink Squirrel, and popular tropical cocktails from overseas.
To this day, bartenders have continued to flourish, with mixology becoming extremely popular. Today, we can be mixologists at home and experiment with all types of cocktail recipes. You can try making warm cocktails for fall, smoked cocktails for parties, and even Halloween-themed mixes to get you in a ghoulish mood.
Because of pioneers like Jerry Thomas from the 1800s and cocktail enthusiasts such as Dale Degroff, we are enjoying a golden age of cocktails again. Never before have we been able to make such incredible beverages at home and not have to fork out a month’s wages on a single cocktail at the bar. And, although many of Thomas’ original cocktail recipes have disappeared in time, new ones are always emerging such as frozen strawberry daiquiris, and the Malibu Sunset.
Of course, many of the classics remain just as popular now as they were when they were first made, such as the Tom Collins, the margarita, and the rum lover’s Painkiller cocktail.
Cocktails have evolved and will continue to do so. But right now, we are enjoying a golden age of cocktails once again. So, grab a cocktail making kit, get those ingredients ready, and start mixing! Do this and you can be an important cog in the wheel of helping the cocktail culture continue to thrive.