Today we consider anything with a mixer and a spirit a cocktail. This can be a simple as a vodka soda or as complex as a bloody Mary. When the first Bartender's Guide came out in 1862, however, cocktails specifically included bitters. Cocktails as we know them did exist, but were referred to as punch.
While the first cocktail likely predates the Sazerac, it is still widely believed to be the first cocktail in history.
First gracing the history books in the 1600's, President Benjamin Franklin had his own Milk Punch recipe in 1763.
6 Cups Brandy
2 Cups Lemon Juice
4 Cups Water
1 Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 1/8 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Whole Milk
Grog was touted as a cure for scurvy in the 1700's and was enjoyed by the British Royal Navy.
The British Royal Navy also brought us the Gin and Tonic. In the 1800's they began mixing gin into their tonic rations to create this iconic drink
Early 1900's saw the rise of the Old Fashioned
1920's get its own honorable mention for making liquor illegal. The act seemed to only making partying more fun and stopped no one from imbibing. Gin distillers perfected the art of underground manufacturing leading to a rise in popularity of the Martini.