Mixed Drinks and Their History

There's only one thing better than a good drink, and that's a mixed drink. A mixed drink is simply any kind of adult beverage (that is, any alcoholic liquid, including beer, liquor, and fruit liquors) mixed with another, usually commonly drunk, liquid such as another alcoholic beverage, milk, soda, fruit juice, and so forth. The mixing of drinks has led to some seventeen thousand different drink combinations and recipes.

A whole industry has been sprung dedicated to discovering and publishing different mixed-drink recipes and rating each recipe.

There are several different types of mixed drinks. Coolers generally include some type of carbonated beverages. Many categories of mixed drinks, including cobbler and crusta, include some type of citrus and sugar. It is important to distinguish the different types of mixed drinks so as to get a drink that suits your tastes.

Well-known mixed drinks -- drink recipes you can order at most bars without specifying what the ingredients are -- include well-known drinkers' staples such as the daiquiri (rum, lime juice, and a sweetener such as sugar), margarita (tequila, triple sec, and lemon or lime juice) and on to more exotic-sounding drinks such as the screwdriver (rum and orange juice), white Russian (vodka, coffee liqueur, and milk or cream), flaming volcano (rum, brandy, pineapple juice, orange juice, and almond syrup), and tequila slammer (equal parts tequila and soda) just to name a few.

The total number of mixed-drink recipes are endless, however, being that any unique concoction any person anywhere puts together is a whole new recipe. But even the most common drinks that you can order at most bars number in the several dozen.

There are also several different types of drinks that are mixed simply to be scorched. These flaming beverages are usually mixed at the bar, and the high proof alcohol is then lit on fire prior to serving. The flames are purely for decoration and are not know to significantly change the flavor of a drink. The flames are usually extinguished by the customer at the table.

The practice of mixing alcoholic beverages has been around for centuries, but it was not until the 17th and 18th centuries that the prelude to the mixed drink became popular enough to be recorded into history. The first publication that defined a mixed drink, or cocktail, appeared in The Balance and Columbian Repository of 1806 as an editorial response. The response read: "Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters." This is the definition of ingredients that still refers to the "ideal cocktail."

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About The Author, Art Gib
Drink Niche (drink-recipe.us) offers mixed drink recipes for every taste. Art Gib is a freelance writer.