The Origin of the Cocktail

The cocktail has the distinction of being an original American drink.

Its origins are murky, but the most common accounts name one Antoine Amedee Peychaud, a young Creole from a distinguished French family, as the originator of the drink.

Peychaud, along with wealthy plantation owners, fled his home in the French controlled portion of the island of Hispaniola during the slave uprisings of 1793.

Peychaud, trained as an apothecary, settled in New Orleans and set up shop in the French Quarter. Along with his education, he had salvaged an old secret family recipe for the compounding of a liquid tonic called bitters.

The bitters were good for whatever ailed you. And they added zest to the cognac brandy he served friends and others who wandered into his pharmacy.

Fame of the concoction spread. Soon the ubiquitous New Orleans coffee houses, as liquor dispensing establishments were then called, were offering their French brandy spiked with a dash of the marvelous bitters compounded by M. Peychaud.

He had a unique way of serving his brandy libation. He poured portions into a double egg cup. The French speaking population called such a device a coquetier (pronounced kah-kuh-tyay). The speculation is that the pronunciation of the French word eventually corrupted into the present day cocktail.

New Orleans based Museum of the American Cocktail displays the first known written reference to the drink on its website, www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org. On the front page of May 6, 1806 issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a Hudson, N.Y., newspaper. In response to a reader's request, an editor defined a cocktail as "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters."

The editor then goes on to say that it is "supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else."

Stanley Clisby Arthur, author of Famous New Orleans Drinks and how to mix 'em, mentions a writer who refers to the older term cocktail, meaning a horse whose tail, being docked, sticks up like the tail of a cock. He adds: 'Since drinkers of cocktails believe them to be exhilarating, a once popular song Horsy, keep your tail up, may perhaps hint at a possible connection between the two senses of cocktail.

The Classic Sazerac Cocktail

1 lump sugar
3 drops Peychaud's bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 jigger rye whiskey
1 dash absinthe substitute
1 slice lemon peel

Start with two heavy-bottomed, 3 ½ ounce bar glasses. Fill one with cracked ice and allow it to chill. In the other, place a lump of sugar with just enough water to moisten it.

The saturated loaf of sugar is then crushed with a barspoon. Add a few drops of Peychaud's bitters, a dash of Angostura, and a jigger of rye whiskey.

Add add several lumps of ice to the glass containing sugar, bitters, and rye and stir. Never use a shaker!

Empty the ice from the first glass, dash in several drops of absinthe, twirl the glass and shake out the absinthe ... enough will cling to the glass to add the needed flavor.

Strain the whiskey mixture into this glass, twist a piece of lemon peel over it for the needed zest of that small drop of oil thus extracted from the peel, but do not commit the sacrilege of dropping the peel into the drink.

Enjoy.

About the Author

Ellen M. Zucker owns http://www.faces-and-fortunes-partytips.com a site where you can find advice on party and event planning from Party Pros. It includes tips, interviews, and advice on putting your event together from professionals who make parties and special events happen.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Knoxville News Sentinel

As Total Wine superstore looms, Turkey Creek Wine and Spirits decides to stop selling wine
Knoxville News Sentinel
As a wine and liquor superstore prepares to come to the Turkey Creek area, Turkey Creek Wine and Spirits has decided to quit selling wine. "After 15 years of serving Knoxville, Farragut, and the surrounding areas, we have made the difficult decision to ...


North Bay Business Journal

Gilliland of Purple Wine + Spirits in Sonoma County wins Forty ...
North Bay Business Journal
Eric Gilliland of Purple Wine + Spirits in west Sonoma County wins a North Bay Business Journal Forty Under 40 award.

and more »

Beer, wine, spirits: Where to grab a drink in Snohomish County
The Daily Herald
Star Leaf release party: Bothell's Decibel Brewing will hold a release party for its Star Leaf Black IPA, a beer brewed in conjunction with the release of the “Star Leaf” movie. There will be a release party and movie screening on April 20 at the ...


The Tennessean

Rutherford County liquor stores moving 'heaven and earth' to open on Sunday
The Daily News Journal
Consumers may be excited at the news that Tennessee liquor stores can now open on Sundays, but store owners are a little more hesitant. More: You can buy wine on Sunday: Governor signs bill, liquor stores can open Sunday. "You don't create new drinkers ...
Sunday wine, liquor sales in Tennessee now official as Haslam ...The Tennessean
List of Knoxville-area liquor stores opening on SundayWBIR.com
Like it or not, Memphis liquor stores ramp up for Sunday wine salesThe Commercial Appeal
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle -Knoxville News Sentinel -Chattanooga Times Free Press
all 27 news articles »

The Courier-Journal

A new wine shop opened near Waterfront Park just in time for Thunder Over Louisville
The Courier-Journal
Downtown Louisville's newest wine shop — with its green-tinted windows and burnt orange furniture — looks like it was transplanted straight from the Miami strip. But instead of beach bums wandering in from the sand to grab a bottle of pinot on their ...


decanter.com

Harrods opens lavish fine wine and spirits rooms
decanter.com
London luxury department store Harrods has opened its fine wine and spirits rooms, which include interactive features such as an 'aroma table' and were reportedly a 'multi-million pound' investment for the retailer. Harrods Fine Wine Spirits rooms. The ...
Harrods reveals new Fine Wine and Spirits Rooms - Off Licence ...Drinks Retailing News (blog)
With bottles from £12 to £28,000, Harrods unveils its new wine roomsTelegraph.co.uk

all 4 news articles »

Premium Sweet Spot Propels Portfolio Gains For Trinchero
Shanken News Daily
Trinchero Family Estates, the fourth-largest wine marketer in the U.S., sells more than 17 million cases annually, with its Sutter Home brand accounting for more than 10 million cases, according to Impact Databank. But while Sutter Home continues to ...


News Briefs for April 19, 2018
Shanken News Daily
•Montelobos Mezcal, imported by William Grant & Sons, is set to launch a new expression, Tobalá, this July. Retailing at $80 a 750-ml., Montelobos Tobalá is billed as having a more prominent green agave profile with milder smoke, wood, and cooked agave ...


Algodon Wines & Luxury Development Group Partners with Wally's Wine and Spirits for California Distribution
Marketwired (press release)
In December of 2017, Algodon Fine Wines began selling at both the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Wally's locations as well as on their website, www.wallywine.com. A formal Algodon launch dinner will be held in Los Angeles in late May for Algodon Fine ...

and more »

AB InBev Dips Its Toe Into Spirits, E-Commerce With Atom Group Purchase
Shanken News Daily
AB InBev's ZX Ventures has acquired the Atom Group, a U.K.-based e-commerce company and spirits producer and distributor, for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives ZX Ventures control of e-commerce site Master of Malt, craft spirits distributor Maverick ...

and more »
Google News

Red Wine Compound May Extend Life

Good news! A recent study suggested that resveratrol, a red... Read More

Gewurztraminer Wine

Gewurztraminer is an excellent and unique grape variety that is... Read More

An Idiots Guide To Wine Tasting

Have you ever seen those stiff upper-lipped types doing a... Read More

Tequila

It was once a ritual usually performed by a man.... Read More

The Truth About Red Wine and Heart Disease

Red Wine, Heart Disease, Hungry Sharks and Knights in Shining... Read More

Buying Wine, How to Read a Wine Label and Select a Great Bottle of Wine

I must admit, that for many of us, walking into... Read More

Enjoy Your Favorite Wine - But With Some Rules

The mere mention of etiquette brings to mind various images,... Read More

Pairing Beer With Food

Pairing beer with the fine cuisine has recently come to... Read More

Guide To Tasting Wine

The basics of tasting wine are relatively simple to learn.... Read More

Explore the U.S. Wine Trails

Follow a Local Wine Trail to Discover the Secrets of... Read More

Hosting A Wine Tasting Party

As your love and knowledge of wine grows, it is... Read More

Champagne

Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in... Read More

Uses of Mirror Tinted Contact Lenses

Mirror tinted contact lenses have become a topic of interest... Read More

If You Plan On Drinking, Do These Critical Things Before You Leave The House

Buy a BreathalyzerA Breathalyzer is a portable hand-held device in... Read More

Barbera Wine

Barbera is a wine grape variety from Monferrato in Piemonte,... Read More

Wine, Wine, Wine

What in the world is up!Was there a full moon... Read More

Wine Etiquette With Ease

Correct wine etiquette makes the tasting experience much more enjoyable.... Read More

The Ten Most Important Wine Label Terms

For the average wine consumer, there is a plethora of... Read More

Merlot Wine

Merlot wine is a rich, soft wine with the flavor... Read More

Alchoholism, A Major Diesease?

Alcoholism can be given a lot of definitions and all... Read More

Wine Tasting -- The Traditional Way

Wine tasting is properly known as 'Wine Degustation'. It is... Read More

Riesling Wine

The most famous cool climates for Riesling wine are in... Read More

The Harmony Between Food and Wine

Wine is a social drink which should be enjoyed in... Read More

Australian Wines

Australia's wine industry has boomed in the past ten years.... Read More

White Zinfandel Wine

White Zinfandel wine is a blush wine made in California... Read More