The history of drinking culture has been around since we first discovered the ability to ferment fruits.
Once the first beverage was made, social groups gathered around these drinks equating religious, festiveness, or high society connotations to their wines and spirits.
Today, we want to explore where some of our favorite drinks came from as well as how they might be different from their original design.
Before we get started, we want to give a warm welcome to the readers of beerbloggersconference.org. We have recently acquired the website and cannot wait to add more beer-related information to our growing website.
The General History Of Social Drinking
To understand the interconnected world of alcoholic beverages, you first need to ponder the history of this type of social group.
First, let’s explain the term “social drinking”. This terminology refers to a person or group of people that drink their alcoholic beverages responsibly. They drink in social settings without trying to become intoxicated.
A great example of this is the use of alcohol in Christain, Hebrew, and Qur’an religious texts. For example, drinking wine represents Jesus’ blood, and accepting him into your body and mind.
Drinking the beverage is symbolic and during these events, you are expected to continue your social meeting in a hospitable manner.
Social drinking isn’t a new concept by any means, however, over the world more and more people are stepping away from binge drinking and towards social drinking.
This allows them to continue enjoying the delicious beverages without partying into the night only to wake up with a dreadful hangover the next day.
Drinks From Around The World And The History That Comes With Them
Now onto the reason why you’re here. As we said before, each drink that you have come to love has a rich history for you to explore. We will give you as much information as we can find on these beverages, to give you a real insight into their past – it might surprise you.
Want to know how to make them yourself? Click on the links in each subheading for the corresponding recipe.
Aviation is another word for flying and with this cocktail you’ll do just that. It was first created in 1916 by a German bartender. His name was Hugo Ensslin and was well-established in his time – he even books on how to create a perfect cocktail.
The main ingredient in an Aviation Cocktail is the Creme de Violette. This mixer is violet and tastes both sweet and floral. It is this ingredient that makes the drink so beautiful to look at.
The bluish tones can easily remind you of the sky, hence its name. But the Creme de Violette was so expensive that at one point only the wealthy could drink this cocktail.
Because aircraft were a recent invention at the time, Ensslin wanted to create something that matched the exciting world of the skies. He wanted it to be magical, elite, and almost untouchable.
It wasn’t long until this cocktail was considered a wealthy person’s essential choice.
We will talk about the more well-known version of a Bloody Caesar later, but right now we want to focus on this 1900s classic. This cocktail made of vodka and tomato sauce, tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, was created in 1969, Canada.
A chef named Walter Chell worked in Calgary and wanted a signature cocktail to make his restaurant stand out from the crowd.
Chell originally used crushed clams in his beverage which he would prepare himself. Nowadays, we normally use a clamato, which is a fishy tomato sauce drink to make the preparation process easier for everyone to perfect.
It’s this fishy flavor that makes the Bloody Ceasar cocktail stand out as different from the Bloody Mary.
As you’ll soon see, a lot of these cocktails were originally made as a marketing technique.
But instead of promoting the location, bar, or restaurant as intended, they mostly gained a life of their own as we appreciate these cocktails with little to no knowledge of their history.
The Bloody Mary is an iconic drink, which you either love or hate. It is made using vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and olives. Don’t be surprised to see a celery stick in the drink too.
The cocktail is named after Queen Mary I of England who was nicknamed Bloody Mary by her people.
She was given the name after she died due to her decision to prosecute those of the protestant faith in an attempt to secure a catholic following during her reign.
Despite this nickname’s 1558 origin date, the cocktail wasn’t created until the 1920s. It was a spur-of-the-moment creation by French bartender Fernand Petriot’s daughter (a name never disclosed).
It was originally called a Bucket of Blood and was often drunk by Ernest Hemmingway and other famous American migrants.
Now it is considered a Halloween classic and can be ordered at almost every bar.
The difference between a “regular” martini and a dirty martini is one particular ingredient. Instead of using olives as a simple garnish to your beverage, olive brine is added to the mixture too.
Bartender John O’Connor loved the idea of olives in his martini and was excited to add in additional olive flavors where he could. So in 1901, he created the cocktail in his hotel.
From the first couple of years of promotion, O’Connor found it hard to shift this new version of a classic, and many martini enthusiasts didn’t think it was any good.
It wasn’t until President F.D.R was noted drinking this version of a Martini that it really started to gain traction. Around 30 years after its first creation, everyone knew what a Dirty Martini was, even if it still wasn’t their preferred choice.
Once the 70s came around, vodka became the spirit of choice as gin was dying out in popularity. But because most people wanted their martini to remain earthy rather than sweet, vermouth became a more popular spirit to use in this drink.
Nowadays we wouldn’t expect our martini to appear without at least one olive, and without at least a dash of vermouth.
East India Cocktail
The East India Cocktail gets its name due to the location of its origin. The first mention of this dark drink was found in the late 1800s.
A guide entitled, “Bartender’s Manual” written by Harry Johnson in 1882 said to mix a sweet syrup (such as raspberry) with an orange liqueur, cherry liqueur, brandy, and bitters.
You end up with a rich, sweet, and deep flavor that matches the sweet smells and constant heat of the Indian lands.
During this time, East India was part of the British colonies. This beverage was used to promote the “exotic” flavors of the Indian community.
Since then the recipe has changed slightly, as some creators use specific brands in their bartending or substitute liqueur with brandy-soaked fruit instead.
Electric Lemonade is a relatively new cocktail in the world of bartending. It gets its name from its light blue color and lemonade mixture. Because this drink is so new and so loved, we don’t really know where it came from.
Everyone is claiming to have created this drink first, which means we cannot believe anyone. At least not yet. Everyone could be lying, or everyone could have come up with the mixture at the same time.
To be fair, the recipe list is extremely easy, so we cannot rule that last suggestion out. You just need vodka, blue curacao, lemonade, and lemon soda. Simple.
Mix them all together and you have an Electric Lemonade.
Green Tea Shot
A Green Tea Shot sounds like a mellow drink, right? Maybe one of those sneaky beverages where you don’t even taste alcohol.
Well, we have to correct you there. This drink bears no resemblance to the hot green tea you could buy at a tea room. Instead, it is made up of peach schnapps, Jameson Irish Whiskey, sour mix, and sprite.
It gets the name “green tea” from its mellow green coloration, but the taste is nothing to its namesake.
The reason why we say that Green Tea Shots are made from Jameson Irish Whiskey and not any old Irish whiskey is because this is the first known origin point that we can gather.
We aren’t sure if the recipe goes back any further than this distillery’s knowledge, but the Jameson company is the only one to promote the cocktail with such determination.
This makes us believe that the company made the shot themselves and want to share it with the world.
Don’t let their campaigning method confuse you into only using this whiskey brand, as any Irish whiskey can take its place.
If you didn’t already know, Manhattan is a borough found in New York City, USA. The city has 5 boroughs in total including Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, but Manhattan is known as the most wealthy borough of the 5.
In this area of the city, you can find the wealthy elite, directors of blockbuster movies, and the wolves of wall street.
With such a flashy location, it’s no surprise that a cocktail (the flashiest of beverages) is named after it.
There are two stories of its creation. The first has been debunked but is the most interesting while the second is likely to be true but wouldn’t be turned into a Hollywood movie.
In the first story, Dr. Ian Marshall was at a party in the city. The party was within the New York City Manhattan Club. Attending at the same time was the mother of Winston Churchill – Lady Randolph Churchill.
Marshall wanted to impress this woman and so made her a beverage. The earthy drink with a hint of sweetness was meant to be so impressive that the club made it their signature drink.
However, documents and diary accounts show that Lady Churchill was in London at the time this story was meant to take place.
Instead, the more likely tale starts with an unknown bartender who went by the name Black. In the 1880s he wanted to prove himself to the owner of the bar so created the Manhattan Cocktail.
The owner liked it so much that he made it the Manhattan Club house drink.
A typical margarita has a sour flavor from the classic lime topping, a floral or citrusy flavor from a citrusy-based liqueur, and smoothness from a sweet-based tequila.
The Mezcal version, however, has an earthy flavor and a smokey touch for a twist on the classic. This is because mezcal is a type of alcoholic beverage created using agave – a plant from a hot country.
This means the flavor comes from this earthy main ingredient.
Although the flavor of mezcal may seem new to those in the US or UK, this flavor has been around for over 400 years.
There haven’t been any official documents around this beverage to help secure the exact date or creation, however, Mexico and the countries that surround it have made use of this liquor for generations.
Creating a Mezcal Margarita instead of a traditional one can allow you and your friends to all drink the same type of beverage without having to stick to the same flavors. Help someone join in the margarita night by adding some variety.
Around 2011, the Mezcal craze really took hold of the US. It was considered tequila’s cheaper cousin, however, you would have expected this low-alcohol content drink to be drunk by nobility and important religious people in indigenous cultures across Mexico.
The agave flavors we mentioned before, give an earthy flavor that can easily taste smokey with the right combinations.
Because Mexican food, Mexican drinks, and Mexican cultures were becoming fashionable across North America, Mezcal was also having a second wind across a new country.
This meant that many companies were trying to mix it with well-known classics, in an attempt to include the new “In Thing” with their brand.
One of the clear winners in this race was Mezcal Manhattan.
It was an instant hit in a place of wealth, “show off” mentalities, and the need to show others that you’re more well-traveled than someone else. Manhattan was the perfect beverage to try the new flavors with, and it fits well with the original recipe too.
The term Miami Vice has had a lot of meanings over the years. Some are scandalous, others are cheeky, and one is even related to an 80s TV show.
The drink itself was taken directly from the show in question, although some people believe it existed before its big debut.
The Miami Vice’s cousin is of course the Pina Colada. Both are made with rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and a fruit or two. However Miami Vice has a pink twist created from the main strawberry flavor.
If you like one, you’re sure to enjoy the other. You could even mix and match without a fear of a hangover, knowing that the ingredients are so similar.
The Mojito is a Cuban drink that was originally used to cure diseases.
This might seem like a form of hocus pocus to some, but in reality, the ingredient used in the cocktail would easily cure scurvy and other malnutrition-related illnesses which may have affected the locals and travelers alike.
In the 1800s the company Bacardi became aware of this medical remedy and saw its potential for Western appetites. A delicious beverage with exotic origins and stories about healing properties? They barely had to do anything to sell the recipe.
The cocktail became even more popular in this part of the world when Ernest Hemmingway said it was one of his favorite drinks. Soon Bacardi was teaching everyone how to make it at home.
All you need is white rum, club soda, mint or leaves, and lemon juice.
However as the years go on, people have adapted this recipe to add different flavors. For example, you can create a strawberry and basil version by adding strawberry syrup and switching mint leaves for basil leaves.
The Moscow Mule was invented in 1948. Guess where it was first put together? Moscow? You’ve fallen for our trap. It was actually first created in New York. The “Moscow” part of the name refers to the use of vodka in the ingredient lists.
It was actually created by three friends named John Morgan, John Martin, and Rudolph Kunett. Each of them owned or ran a vodka company and wanted to find a new way to sell their product.
They ended up mixing ginger and lemon together with a shot of vodka and hey presto a new cocktail was born.
To help push more products, the Moscow Mule was also decorated in a rustic copper mug, adding to the aesthetic of a well-traveled person.
This drink has been recreated many times, removing the vodka and adding in a new spirit in its place. As soon as the vodka is removed, it changes from Moscow Mule to something else. For example, if you add tequila it becomes a Mexican Mule.
Negroni was first created in 1919. The gambling cowboy this drink was named after was also a Count. His full name was Count Camillo Negroni and lived in the wild west for a brief period of time.
During that time he greatly enjoyed an Americano cocktail, which was a simple mixture of Campari, vermouth, and soda. He tried to make the same drink again back in Florence Italy but removed the soda water for something stronger – gin.
And that is how we received the velvety, botanical, and strong cocktail known as Negroni.
The Old Fashioned got its name from the fact that many drinkers no longer liked the idea of sipping on something over the top or fanciful. They wanted to go back to the good old days when drinks were simple, and a good spirit could do all of the work.
They were first seen in the early 1800s and were created by mixing a liquor such as brandy, rum, or gin with a teaspoon of sugar and a simple bitter. Nothing more. No fruits, no juices, no fancy designs, nothing.
The idea was to keep the cocktail as simple as possible.
Some people equate the resurgence of popularity for this drink, with the hit TV show “Made Men”.
However, as you can expect with any fashionable drink, the Old Fashioned can be seen with the additional flare it tried so desperately to avoid.
This means you can see Old Fashioneds being presented in bars with additional fruity toppings, sprinkles of cinnamon here and there, and even an additional syrupy flavor.
Although these creations are probably delicious, it’s funny how people created a drink to be devoid of frills and fancy just for us to forget about it generations later.
The Orange Screwdriver is a simple drink designed to wake you up in the morning. It’s a shot of vodka mixed with orange juice and normally served with ice.
It was first created in the mid-1900s by blue-collar workers. A blue-collar worker is someone who in the manual labor indursity, as back in this era, these workers would often wear blue jumpsuits.
The Orange Screwdriver was seemingly invented by those in the oil industry specifically, and was seen as a liquid breakfast to help give the workers the “pick me up” they needed to continue on their hard day’s work.
Because the oil workers didn’t have a lot of space and would easily lose their cutlery to the ocean, it made more sense to drink their breakfast on the go rather than sit down for a morning snack.
With no spoons in site, the laborers would often mix their cocktail with the screwdrivers and other tools they had around – hence the drink’s name.
Peach Whiskey Sour
With a name as simple as the Peach Whiskey Sour, you might be mistaken that the history of this drink is completely lost. However, we are happy to say that this is incorrect.
The first ever mention of a whiskey sour cocktail in written documents was recorded back in 1862. It came from The Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas. However, in this book, Thomas says that the recipe noted was originally created in the 1700s.
Through his guide, he explained that sailors and naval ships often had to deal with malnutrition and scurvy. This is because the days out at sea may have taken longer than expected, leaving the crewmates with less food than they needed.
And because fruits and vegetables would quickly deteriorate, their vitamin intake was never up to scratch.
To solve this issue sailors tried to use citrus fruits as their main source of vitamins. This worked for a time, as they did last for longer than traditional vegetables however they still couldn’t handle the long journeys on a ship.
To extend their lives, chefs should add citrus to spirits, making a daily drink of citrus-infused whiskey part of a healthy diet.
And at this point, beverages such as Peach Whiskey Sours were invented. Of course, a lot has changed since these times. And instead of mixing peaches with whatever spirits were around, we have now perfected the recipe for this cocktail.
We still suggest using real peaches but you can buy peach syrup instead of creating your own, especially if you want to whip up the creation quickly. Either way, mixx it with a bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, and a peach slice as a garnish.
Pearl Harbor Cocktail
The Pearl Harbor cocktail is named after the Hawaii naval base of the same name. This base is specifically in Oahu, Hawaii and although it was made famous by the Japanese attack in WW2, no one knows when the cocktail was created.
Many people attribute the creation to the 1980s, not the 1940s, but either way the drink has become a staple in the local community due to easy drinkability.
As you can expect from any Hawaii beverage, this cocktail is ripe with citrus fruits – mainly pineapple juice and melon. If you make it correctly, you should end up with a yellow bottom later and a thin turquoise top layer for a sandy beach aesthetic.
The Royal Flush is only officially created when it has been made with Crown Royal Whiskey. Anything else is a knockoff, and cannot be called an authentic Royal Flush cocktail.
As you can expect from the name, the beverage has a connection to the card game Poker. A Royal flush is the highest value win you can achieve in the game, which might be one of the reasons why the royal family seems to enjoy it so much.
In the late 1930s, a Canadian distillery company wanted to create something so impressive that the royal family would put their crest on their bottles. Eventually, he created the Royal FLush which the family enjoyed immensely.
They loved it so much that they took over the Crown Royal Whiskey company as their own.
Because of the name, many people forget about this beverage’s royal connection, as you are more likely to find this cocktail in a casino than in a high-class restaurant.
Sex On The Beach
There are many crudely named drinks in the cocktail industry, but the most well-known has to be Sex on the Beach.
It was first created in 1986 in a Florida bar. The bartender, Ted, was told to promote peach schnapps. If he did it well enough he could get a promotion. Ted got his thinking cap on and the rest is history.
He made a delicious cocktail with a memorable name. Not much is known about Ted, but we hope he got more than just a promotion for his service to the cocktail industry!
The Vegas bomb can be presented as a shot or a full-sized drink. Seeing as it’s named after an iconic and flashy city in the US, you may not think that this beverage has a lot of history behind it. But this is where you’re wrong.
The Las Vegas strip was created in 1941, which means it hasn’t been around for more than 100 years and yet in that 100 years society has changed dramatically.
Where we once relied on dealers to hand us our cards, mechanic bets (such as slots) took their place. Once mechanical betting took over, digital betting started to rise.
And through all of this Vegas managed to adapt and change to continue to be the awe-inspiring city it has always been.
The same can be said for the Vegas Bomb. It was originally created by bored bartenders who wanted to mix drinks to create something ridiculous and enticing.
They landed on throwing a shot of energy drink into a glass that already contained rum, juice, and liquor.
It’s a powerful drink that adds excitement to a classic flavor combination, as the energy drink picks up the gambler, ready to push them through to the next bet.
The Vegas Bomb was designed to be exciting, enticing, and a marketing gimmick to get more people to talk about this wondrous gambling strip. And of course, it worked!
We’ve already mentioned how Peach Whiskey Sours were created by naval troops in an attempt to avoid scurvy and malnutrition. Vodka Sourds have the same history, however, because vodka is a smoother spirit to drink, it has its own addition to the story.
Vodka is considered a neutral spirit. It doesn’t have a strong flavor, can be paired with anything, and has a fresh taste if frozen. This makes it the most versatile spirit to choose from.
This versatility allowed people with little to no knowledge of cocktail making to still get involved with the practice.
In turn, a rhyme was created to help those making their own Vodka Sour cocktails at home – One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak.
This rhyme represented how much of each ingredient you should mix together – all things even.
One sour ingredient such as lemon, two sweet ingredients such as honey, three strong ingredients such as vodka, and 4 weak ingredients meaning egg whites.
As long as all ingredients are measured with equal amounts in mind, you can make the perfect vodka sour. Of course, as the centuries have passed we have made tastier versions of Vodka Sours.
But remember that not everyone knew how to read back when the rhyme was created. Now, reading is an almost universal ability and we can write down more exact recipes to balance the flavors.
Every cocktail has a history to it. Almost all of these histories have the same underlying tone to them – a company or bar trying to do well through a promotional offer. But when it comes down to it, this capitalized idea worked out in our favor.
Almost many of us don’t know where these cocktails came from, but we still enjoy them nonetheless.
From Sex On The Beach to the Orange Screwdriver, these drinks are iconic. If for some reason you are unaware of the legendary drinks we have named above, make it your mission to change that.
Make these cocktails yourself and learn about the tastes as well as the history behind the most well-known cocktails in the world.