Origin of the word "Cocktail"

There are several versions of the origin of the word "cocktail", some of them are:

  1. The English term “cocktail”, from which our cocktail derives, means “cock tail” in that language. Hence, the emblem of the cocktail bar is the tail of a rooster that shows all the colors of the rainbow.
  2. In many English taverns they mixed the rest of the liquor barrels (“cock-tailing”)  and they mixed them in a container selling them at a low price.

Definition of Cocktail

There are many definitions of "cocktail"; Among all of them, we prefer the one that Luigi Veronelli gives us: “A cocktail is a modified and frozen brandy”. This means that it is a brandy or distillate to which at least one product has been added to "modify" it. Two or three products are generally added to modify the base brandy. This combination or mixture is frozen or chilled during its preparation.
Another definition: "The cocktail is a balanced mixture of two or more drinks, which harmoniously dosed produce a different taste - new - and in which none stands out especially".
"A good cocktail, to deserve the name of such, must not only constitute a well-made combination of drinks, but also by its presentation, flavor and perfume, satisfy the palate and the spirit for which it was created."
Strictly it is necessary to differentiate what is a mixed drink (Mixed Drink) from a cocktail. A mixed drink is a strong liquor (such as rum, gin, or vodka) combined with fruit juice. By this definition, the Screwdriver (Vodka with orange juice) is not a cocktail but a mixed drink. The cocktail is more elaborate, contains more ingredients and requires a greater degree of complexity in terms of preparation and presentation.


Although drinks similar to what we know today as cocktails date from the 16th century, these became popular from the 1920s in the United States. Its popularity was due to the so-called dry law, when the production of alcohol was prohibited, and the drinks that were obtained illegally were of doubtful quality and taste. Because of this, bartenders began mixing alcohol with juices and other beverages to improve (or mask) its flavor. Later, the cocktail lost its popularity, especially outside the United States, and, a few years ago, it re-emerged and became more popular than ever in all the countries of the world.
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