Shaken, not stirred

I’ve been noticing a trend lately, people are drinking cocktails again. I started noticing in the summer, with my friends ordering negronis, aperol spritzes or a tequila and soda. Restaurants are expanding their drink menus to include a lot more cocktails. Tonight I was dining out and the cocktail shaker behind the bar was going continuously. Is this a result of the popularity of Mad Men? Are people catching on to a trend from our parent’s generation that seems to have gone out of voque until lately? I’ll admit to enjoying a late night brandy or scotch after a great meal but I think I’ve been missing out on something, so I thought I’d do a little research.

The cocktail dates back to the late 1700s but gained popularity in the US during the prohibition era, when “speakeasy” club owners would mix alcohol with fruit or cream mixtures to disguise the taste and alcohol smell from the police. Technically, a cocktail is a combination of two or more beverages, at least one of which being alcoholic. An alcoholic beverage containing only one addtional mixer, such as a soda or fruit juice, is considered a highball.

Cocktails became almost non existant duing the second world war but post war they rose in popularity and were very popular in the fifties and sixties.

Lately,  mixed drinks have been having a renaissance and the term mixology has been coined for the art of creating mixed drinks with unique ingredients, along with the tried and true favourites.

“The apéritif is another term for a pre-dinner cocktail and comes from the Latin word aperire or to open.”

The apéritif’s intent is to stimulate the appetite, so why not consider having a cocktail or apéritif before your next special dinner.

Here’s a list of popular, classic cocktails you might like to try:

  • Martini (gin or vodka and vermouth)
  • Cosmopolitan (vodka, triple sec, lime juice, cranberry juice)
  • Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, campari bitters)
  • Mojito (spiced rum, mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, soda)
  • Stawberry Daiquiri (strawberry schnapps, light rum, lime juice, sugar, strawberries)
  • Old Fashioned (bourbon, angostura bitters, water, sugar, marachino cherry and orange wedge)
  • Manhattan (whiskey, vermouth, bitters, cherry)
  • Tom Collins (gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, soda)

20 most popular cocktails | The Daily Mail

Illustration from: It’s happy hour again: The 20 most popular cocktails | The Daily Mail

Do you drink cocktails? Did I miss one of your favourite mixed drinks? I’d be curious to know.

Feature photo credit http://www.societeperrier.com

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