Glamorous Cocktails (#1) :: the beginnings...
The notion of a cocktail was first recorded in print in the
Morning Post & Gazetteer in London in 1798,
but I love this early definition,
When asked by a reader "What is a cocktail?",
the New York published Balance & Columbian Registry
editor replied thus...
...which is astonishing.
With or without the politics,
this definition stands as the unofficial beginning of the cocktail.
But let's go back further,
to find the origins...
Taverns had been serving "punches" or "toddies"
of brandy or rum,
eeked out with sugar, water & spices,
for quite a few centuries before this.
And when Johann Schweppe invented
carbonated mineral & tonic water in 1767 & 1771 respectively,
the taverns were quick to add it to their mixed drinks.
But it seems that history was about to evolve,
as the delicious drink moved into the realm
of glamorous private entertaining
& the cocktail party was born.
And this is where it all started.
In 1917. In St Louis.
Where one very stylish Mrs Julius Walsh
invited 50 guests for Sunday luncheon,
but first plied them for an hour with "cocktails",
mixed by a bar-tender,
served in the garden & house.
Well, no wonder that was a hit.