Cocktails Through History

Cocktails Through History

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.

Sazerac Drink Recipe
1 Sugar Cube
3 Dashes Peychaud's Bitters
2 Oz Whiskey 
0.25 Oz Absinth
Garnish: Lemon Twist
soak sugar cube in bitters and muddle

First gracing the history books in the 1600's, President Benjamin Franklin had his own Milk Punch recipe in 1763. 

Milk Punch Recipe

6 Cups Brandy
11 Lemons
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.

Navy Grog

0.5 Oz Lime Juice 
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1.5 Oz Rum
1 Oz Water

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

Gin and Tonic Recipe

2 Oz Gin
4 Oz Tonic 

Early 1900's saw the rise of the Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Recipe

0.16 Oz Simple Syrup 
2 Dashes Angosturo Bitters
 2 Oz Bourbon
Orange Peel

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.

Martini Recipe

 2.5 Oz Gin
0.5 Oz Dry Vermouth 
Garnish: Lemon Twist