Cocktails are classically defined as a beverage derived from a combination of distilled alcohol, such as vodka or whiskey, with a mixer. The mixer can be a very broad spectrum of fruit juices, sodas, liqueurs, vegetable juices, and just about everything else under the sun.
Amaretto – Honey-nut flavored crunch-with a punch.
Amaretto is a nut-flavored liqueur that has a taste resembling almonds, even though it is made from the kernels of apricot pits. Although the first Amaretto liqueur originated in Italy, many other distillers are now making their own versions. There are also a variety of recipes for Amaretto using other liquors such as vodka and brandy combined with extracts and sugar.
Bahama Mama – ‘Yo Mama.
Although there seems to some controversy over whether or not there is coffee liqueur in a Bahama Mama, we will give you the recipe for the drink as mixed at our local Applebee's: 1 ounce of dark rum, 1 ounce of light rum, 1 ounce of coconut rum, 1 ounce of Nassau Royale, filled in a highball glass with orange and pineapple juices and a splash of Grenadine. The drink is garnished with a slice of coconut and a cherry.
The term alcohol derives from the ancient Arabic word Al-koh’l for a cosmetic, the metallic element antimony that was used in the form of a fine powder to stain eyelids. The word came to refer to any highly refined substance and is now used as a catchall phrase for the large class of organic hydroxyl compounds that we call alcohols. The alcohol that is widely consumed and is known for its intoxicating effects on the human body is ethanol. Although clinically considered a depressant due to its action in suppressing anxiety, this drink has also been documented as having a stimulating effect. It is used as a recreational drink and in some religious rituals throughout the world. Ethanol can be produced in a variety of forms, and wines and beers have been known since before man was literate. Indeed, alcohol was presumably discovered accidentally since any sugar-containing food, such as fruit or honey, may ferment in warm air resulting in alcohol. Upon discovering the unusual effects of the substance, man presumably began a concerted effort in reproducing it, beginning the long history of alcohol manufacture.
Black Russian – Drink of the Czars.
The most common recipe for a Black Russian that we have found consists of 1 1/2 ounces of vodka and 3/4 ounce of Kahlua, served over ice in a lowball glass.
Sometime after fermentation was discovered to create alcohol, humans found a way to make this alcohol even more potent. Through a process known as distillation, a fermented drink, such as wine or beer, can be utilized to make a substance that has a much higher alcohol content than the original beverage. This process is based on the fact that alcohol (78.5 degrees Celsius) has a lower boiling temperature than water (100 degrees Celsius). If a liquid containing alcohol is heated to a temperature between these two points, therefore, the vapor generated is condensed, and by collecting the condensate, a substance with increased alcohol content may be obtained. Distilled liquors or spirits, as they are often called, were known from at least 800 BC in China, but are not mentioned in Roman documents until about 100 AD. Also, the use of starchy grains instead of grapes, honey, and other sugary substances to create distilled liquors is not believed to have taken place until the Middle Ages.
Bloody Mary – The sure cure for what ails you.
The recipes for a Bloody Mary vary from simply vodka and tomato juice to concoctions that are thick enough to eat. Commonly known as a quick cure for a hangover, the most common Bloody Mary recipe that we have found is: 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 3 ounces of tomato juice, 1 ounce of lemon juice, 1 barspoon of Worchestershire sauce, 2 drops of Tabasco, salt and pepper, garnished with celery or a slice of lemon.
Distilled alcohol is the backbone of the group of mixed drinks known as cocktails. Gin, whiskey, rum, and vodka are the most widely used spirits to create these popular beverages, which are also characterized by the inclusion of a mixer, such as tonic water, fruit juice, or soda pop. References to cocktails have been found that date back to the early 1800s, and the early use of the term to describe a drink often implied the inclusion of bitters, an ingredient not as popular in modern cocktails. A number of different cocktails were known during the nineteenth century, including the toddy, the highball, the mint julep, and even the Manhattan, a drink reportedly invented per the request of Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Sir Winston Churchill. However, the true rise of the cocktail did not occur until the 1920s when Prohibition, which made it illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell alcohol, was instated in the United States. Instead of effectively ridding the country of alcohol, Prohibition actually only decreased the quality of the alcohol that was available, making it wise to disguise the flavor of the bootlegged beverage with juices or other mixers, a practice that became common at speakeasies.
Cape Codder – Back to the basics with a twister.
Commonly known as a "vodka and cranberry", the Cape Codder is one of the simplest and most refreshing drinks around. Sometimes variations on the recipe call for light rum or applejack as the base, and some people add a touch of soda. The basic recipe is: 2 ounces of vodka and 4 ounces of cranberry juice served on the rocks in a Tom Collins glass with a twist of lime.
Though many theories exist regarding the first application of the term cocktail to a mixed drink, no one can be sure which, if any, are true. The conjectures are, nevertheless, quite amusing, since the word seems wholly unsuited to its definition. According to some reports, this seeming incongruity can be explained by the practice of some bartenders placing a feather from a cock’s tail in a mixed drink to signal that it contained alcohol, while others contend that the unusual term stemmed from an earlier beverage called “cock’s ale” that was consumed during cock fights held in the colonial period. Several more detailed stories regarding the etymology of the word cocktail have also been circulated, many of which are associated with particular taverns, inns, or other establishments that claim to have first used the term. One of the more plausible accounts involves Antoine Amedee Peychaud, the French-born producer of Peychaud Bitters. According to the story, when Peychaud moved to New Orleans and opened up a pharmacy, many of his acquaintances visited the location, where they were served his alcoholic concoctions in a coquetier, the French term for an egg cup. Americans, who would have likely found the French word difficult to pronounce, may have corrupted it into the modern word, cocktail.
Coffee Cooler – Coffee milkshake that soothes and satisfies.
This milkshake-with a punch-has the following recipe: 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of heavy cream, 1 ounce Kahlua, 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar syrup, 4 ounces iced coffee, and 1 scoop of coffee ice cream. The ingredients are combined and shaken, strained, then placed on the rocks in a Tom Collins glass before adding the ice cream as a topper.
In the United States, cocktails have become increasingly viewed as a kind of appetizer to be enjoyed at the end of the workday before dinner is eaten. Many bars and restaurants even offer specials and discounts on cocktails late in the afternoon when most people are on their way home from work, a timeframe that has come to be known affectionately as “happy hour.” This practice is also widespread in a number of other countries, many people of varying cultures finding the consumption of a cocktail a pleasant transition from the stress of the workday to a presumably more relaxing evening. Though enjoyable in moderation, alcohol in the form of cocktails (as well as beer and wine) can often be abused, sometimes leading to alcoholism. It is important, therefore, to be aware of the many effects and attributes of alcohol, in order that it may be consumed in a responsible manner. One should note, for instance, that alcohol remains in the bloodstream for some 18 hours after drinking and is eliminated slowly according to each individual’s metabolic characteristics. Also, the rate that an individual absorbs alcohol depends heavily upon the particular drink that is consumed, and those that contain carbonation are usually absorbed more rapidly than those that do not. Thus, cocktails, which often contain carbonated water or some other carbonated beverage, may make one feel intoxicated before he or she would if consuming a different kind of alcoholic drink.
Cosmopolitan Martini – Joe Cool’s preferred beverage.
This one is difficult to find, and we have been told of about a dozen different recipes for the Cosmopolitan Martini. The one most frequently noted is: 1 ounce of Vodka (Absolut), 3/4 ounce Triple Sec, filled with cranberry juice. The drink is served in a chilled martini glass straight up.
Crown Royal – The very best in rye whiskey from Canada.
This is a Canadian rye whiskey made by the House of Seagram, and is the basis for a number of cocktails. Probably the most popular drinks with Crown, however, are Crown and Coke or Crown and water.
Eggnog Nashville – A Christmas special that will light your fire.
This pleasant seasonal drink has a rather complicated recipe: Use 1 quart of bourbon, 1 pint of Jamaica rum, 1 pint of brandy, 3 quarts of heavy cream, 2 cups of sugar and 18 separated eggs. Combine the liquors and the egg yokes, stirring the mixture until completely uniform. Dissolve the sugar in the cream and then blend the solution into the liquor/egg mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in very gently. Garnish the drink with cloves and nutmeg.
Fuzzy Navel – A cool shooter for hairy navels.
Sometimes called Sex on the Beach, the Fuzzy Navel is a result of the popularity of peach schnapps. There are numerous recipes but the one we like best is: 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of peach schnapps, and 2 ounces of orange juice. The drink is often shaken and served as a shooter.
Gin – Heart of the famous martini.
Gin is said to have originated in England, being adapted from the Dutch drink Jenever sometime in the 1500s. The best gins are made by redistilling spirits from grain alcohol through a bed of juniper berries, while the cheaper varities are flavored after distillation.
Gin Sidecar – Too many of these and you won’t know what side of the car you’re on….
Another pretty basic gin drink: 1 and 1/2 ounce gin, 1 ounce of Triple Sec, and 1 ounce of lemon juice. Combine the ingredients with ice, shake and strain for a powerful shooter.
Gin and Tonic – The English way of serving Gin.
One of the classical ways to mix gin, this is one of the most popular gin drinks. The recipe is pretty simple: Pour about 2 shots of gin in a highball glass full of ice and fill with tonic water.
Grand Marnier – A fine French brandy that’s good for you.
Grand Marnier is a cognac-based orange liqueur that is widely thought of as being one of the finest brandies around. This liqueur is frequently found as an ingredient in shooters, but some like it neat.
Grasshopper – This dessert drink will definitely give you a cavity.
The Grasshopper is a very sweet after dinner drink made with creme liqueurs: 1 ounce green creme de menthe, 1 ounce white creme de caco, and 1 ounce of heavy cream. The ingredients are combined with ice, shaken and served straight up.
Greyhound – The basic grapefruit cocktail.
The Greyhound is a very simple cocktail: Combine 1 1/2 ounces of either gin or vodka with grapefruit juice and serve in a highball glass over ice.
Kahlua Java – Our personal favorite subsitute for McDonald’s scalding java.
To make enough for the whole tribe, combine 2 pints of hot coffee with 2 pints of hot cocoa and three tablespoons of Kahlua Marshmallows. Serve hot in coffee mugs garnished with a marshmallow.
Kahlua Sour – One of the weirdest drinks that we’ve ever tasted but it sure looks good.
Trying to make a sour drink from a coffee liqueur seems like an oxymoron but here it is: combine 1 1/2 ounces of Kahlua with an ounce of lemon juice and a half tablespoon of sugar. The ingredients are combined, shaken with ice, and strained into a sour glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry.
Kahlua – Good just by itself.
Over 150 cocktail recipes are available for this coffee liqueur, but probably the most famous is the White Russian. Kahlua is a product of Mexico.
Kahlua Toreador – Don’t get shot with this mighty Kahlua-brandy shooter.
Another of the fine Kahlua shooters, the Kahlua Toreador combines brandy with Kahlua: Add 2 ounces of brandy to 1 ounce of Kahlua and an egg white. Combine with ice and shake. Strain and add ice.
Kamikaze – A favorite of Japanese pilots during the big one.
Another deadly concoction: combine 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of Triple Sec, and 1 ounce of lime juice. Combine the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a lowball glass.
Lime Daiquiri – Frozen lime juice that will mellow you right out.
This pleasant frozen punch is easy to make: use 1 1/2 ounces of white rum, 2 tablespoons of lime liqueur, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Combine the ingredients in a blender with ice on low, and serve in a cocktail glass garnished with a twist of lime and its peel.
Long Island Iced Tea – Hold onto your hat and buy plenty of Alka-Seltzer.
This stuff usually gets us commode-hugging drunk: Combine 1/2 ounce of tequila, white rum, vodka, gin, and Triple Sec with 1 ounce of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sugar. Fill with cola and ice in a highball glass.
Madras – Another fruit juice cocktail with good old vodka.
This fruity cocktail is a cross between a Cape Codder and a Screwdriver: 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of cranberry juice, and 1 ounce of orange juice. Combine the ingredients in a highball glass over ice and garnish with a slice of lime.
Margarita – Jimmy Buffett’s still looking for his salt.
This South-of-the-Border special is pretty simple: 2 ounces tequila, 2 teaspoons Cointreau, and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. The ingredients are combined with ice in a sour or lowball glass with a salted rim. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Martini – The drink of champions.
The gin-vermouth martini is probably the most tweakable drink around. The general formula is two ounces of gin and 1 tablespoon of vermouth combined straight up with an olive or two. Combinations derive around the amount of vermouth added to increase the strength and dryness of the drink.
Mint Julep – Enjoy this one while you watch the alligators slide into the river.
This Southern specialty combines mint sprigs with 1 teaspoon of sugar, crushed ice, and 2 to 3 ounces of bourbon. Serve in a chilled glass of your choice.
Piña Colada – A tropical delight with rum, coconut, and pineapple.
One of the most popular cocktails around: Mix 2 to 3 ounces of golden rum, 3 to 4 ounces of crushed pineapple and/or pineapple juice, 2 ounces of cream of coconut. Stir in a blender and pour into a highball glass with or without ice. Garnish with pineapple pieces.
Pink Lemonade – This is what the kids are trying to sell the neighbors.
This refreshing drink is made with 5 ounces of rosé wine, 2 ounces of lemon juice, 2 ounces of orange juice, 3 tablespoons of sugar syrup and 2 tablespoons of kirschwasser. The ingredients are mixed well and served over ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
Rum – One of the most popular ingredients for cocktails.
Native to the Caribbean, rum is a liquor of choice in over 500 different cocktails.
Rum and Cola – The old standby.
This simple cocktail is composed of an ounce of your favorite rum (or two ounces if it's happy hour) on ice with your favorite cola.
Rum Toddy – Rum sure is a lot sweeter with the sugar.
This drink can be served either hot or cold. Dissolve 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of sugar in 2 ounces of rum. Add ice and garnish with a twist of lemon, or fill the glass with hot water and garnish with nutmeg.
Rumrunner – One of our favorite lowballs.
This popular drink is made as follows: 1 1/2 ounces of white rum, 1 tablespoon of orange juice, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar syrup, and 1 to 2 dashes of orange bitters. Combine the ingredients with ice and shake well before straining. Garnish with a twist of orange.
Rye Whiskey – King of the hill until bourbon came along.
Rye whiskey was introduced in the United States by Irish and Scottish settlers in the 1600s. This whiskey is made with at least 51% of rye grain, and usually contains corn and/or barley. Rye is aged in charred oak barrels for at least a year.
Sake (Saki) – Not a Spirit, not a wine, this stuff is made like beer.
This unusual Japanese beverage is not really a spirit (it is not distilled) and not really a wine (it is not made from grapes), but most closely related to beer because it is fermented from rice. Sake is normally served very warm, because the heat releases the wide spectrum of flavors in the brew.
Salty Dog – Enough of these and you’ll feel like a dog.
The Salty Dog is essentially a greyhound with a salted rim: Salt the rim of an old-fashioned glass and add 2 ounces of vodka, ice, and grapefruit juice until full.
Schnapps – The European shooter that put some holes in your game plan.
Schnapps is a sweet hard liquor from Northern Europe that is usually served very cold in a shot glass. There are many names associated with this spirit including Bols (Dutch) and Korn (German). Takeoffs on this liquor involve different flavorings such as peach, apple, and strawberry.
Scotch – A whiskey that is made exclusively in Scotland.
Scotch is a whiskey made only in Scotland, where there are numerous distillation companies that produce the different flavors of scotch. There are single malt scotches, vatted malt scotches, and blended scotches that contain a variety of flavors. We are aware of about 60 different cocktails that contain scotch.
Scotch on the Rocks – Scotch with a little ice.
This is about as simple a cocktail as there is: add 1 or 2 ounces of scotch to ice in a lowball glass. See. It's simple.
Screwdriver – The only driver that your’re gonna screw is you.
The Screwdriver is a simple vodka drink that combines 1 or 2 ounces (depending on if it's happy hour or not) of vodka with orange juice and ice. The drink is served in a highball glass and can be garnished with a few dashes of angostura bitters.
Seabreeze – The usual vodka, cranberry, and grapefruit with yet another name.
The recipe for a Seabreeze is similar to that of the Madras: 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 4 ounces of cranberry juice, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice served over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Sex on the Beach – Not unless you like a lot of sand in your you-know-what.
Sometimes called a Fuzzy Navel, the Sex on the Beach shooter has at least 7 recipes that we know of. The one we used to get this photomicrograph is: 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of peach schnapps, 1 ounce of cranberry juice, and 1 ounce of grapefruit juice. The ingredients are mixed and shaken with ice, then strained into shooters.
Shirley Temple – You can drink these guys all night and still drive.
This non-alcoholic beverage is made as follows: fill a highball glass with ice and fill with a lemon-lime beverage. Add a splash of Grenadine and you're good to go.
Sloe Gin Fizz – This will sloely get you pasted.
This drink is made with 1 ounce of sloe gin, 1 ounce of gin, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. The ingredients are mixed and shaken, then added to a fizz glass with ice and filled with club soda. The drink is garnished with a slice of lemon.
Spanish Moss – One of the deadliest combinations we’ve seen.
This deadly cocktail shooter is made with 1 1/2 ounces of Tequila, 1 ounce of Kahlua, and several drops of creme de menthe. Mix the ingredients with ice, strain, and serve in a shooter glass.
Strawberry Daiquiri – Summer fruits to get you blitzed.
Strawberry daiquiri is a frozen cocktail made with one-half ounce of strawberry schnapps, an ounce of light rum, lime juice, and strawberries, and a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Shake all ingredients with ice (or mix in a blender), strain into a cocktail glass, and slam it down slowly.
Tequila – The spirit that will definitely give you religion.
Tequila has a long and distinguished history dating back to the early days of the US-Mexico territorial debates. The spirit started its way to fame as a cult drink in California during the late 1960s and today is widely used both in cocktails and straight up.
Tequila Sunrise – This drink is so popular they named a movie after it.
Pretty simple with 1 1/2 ounces of tequila, 3/4 ounce of Grenadine, and 4 ounces of orange juice. The Tequila Sunrise is usually served on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass.
Tom Collins – So popular they’ve named a glass after it.
This long standing favorite has the following recipe: start with 3 ounces of gin and add the juice of 1 lemon and a tablespoon of sugar/syrup and fill with soda in a Tom Collins glass.
Vodka – The most popular spirit on planet Earth.
Very popular in Poland, Russia, and the rest of Eastern Europe, vodka is one of the most ubitiquous spirits ever invented. It can be distilled from grapes, grain, potatoes, or just about anything you can think of. We have seen well over 500 different recipes for cocktails using vodka.
Vodka and Tonic – Let’s see….what can we do with vodka?
About the most simple application for vodka (with the exception of straight up), the Vodka and Tonic combines 1 or 2 ounces of vodka over ice in a highball glass filled with tonic water.
Whiskey – Bourbon, Irish, Rye, and Scotch say it all.
Whiskey is a spirit drink distilled from grain containing a portion of barley malt. There are many variations of whiskey including bourbon, Irish, rye, and scotch. The one we choose to photograph is Jack Daniels single grain sour mash whiskey.
Whiskey Sour – This stuff will make your face pucker up.
A Whiskey Sour contains 2 ounces of whiskey, 1 ounce of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup. The mixture is shaken with ice, strained and served straight up in a shot glass.
White Russian – I can’t believe it really tastes like chocolate milk.
The White Russian is one of the most popular drinks containing Kahlua: 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce of Kahlua, mixed with ice and filled with milk, shaken, and served in a highball glass.