[:en]Six curiosities that perhaps you don't know about cocktails[:]


The famous drinks, obtained from the proportionate mixing of different alcoholic ingredients and known as cocktails, are now omnipresent in our daily lives. From the aperitif to after the meal, including dinner, they fascinate an ever-increasing number of people thanks to their balance of tastes, aromas and continuous innovative research. Yet, even if today they are drunk, loved and even prepared by everyone, there are still many things we don't know about them.

Here are 6 curiosities that you perhaps don't know about cocktails:

The etymology of the term

There is no exact information on the origin of the word “cocktail”, which first appeared in 1798 in a British newspaper.
However, as often happens when there is uncertainty, several imaginative theories have been formulated on the possible etymology of the term. According to one of these, the word “cocktail” derives from “cocked tail”, or horsetail: the reference to this notoriously very lively animal would probably be due to the fact that the first cocktails had the function of lifting the mood.
A second theory claims, however, that the origin can be found in the French term "coquette", i.e. egg cup.
Finally, there is another, which is the best known, according to which the etymology of the word "cocktail" derives from "cock's tail”, which means “rooster's tail”, as these drinks are usually very colourful, but there are even those who think that this is due to the fact that in Mexico chicken feathers were used to mix mixed drinks!

There is an official cockatil list

The International Bartenders Association (IBA) maintains a list of “official” cocktails. They are divided into three categories: “Unforgettables”, which include, among others, Gin Fizz, Sidecar and Negroni; Contemporary Classics, such as Cosmopolitan, Sex on the Beach and Black Russian; New Era Drinks, including Espresso martini, Vesper and Dark 'N' Stormy.

Cocktails gained popularity during Prohibition
Contrary to what one might think, it is precisely in the context of American Prohibition (1920-1933), in which the sale of alcohol was prohibited, that cocktails became more popular than they were before. In fact, in those years numerous clandestine bars called "speakeasy”, a name probably coined by a legendary bar lady who, to avoid the risk of being discovered, used to silence noisy customers by saying “speak easy”. In these places, mixing soon became fundamental in order to improve the cocktails, often made with contraband alcohol, usually of very poor quality.

The most reinterpreted cocktail in the world is the Piña Colada
The protagonist of the Piña Colada should be pineapple juice, but it is sufficient to change the fruit to create numerous variations of this famous cocktail. An example is the Kiwi Colada, in which kiwi juice replaces pineapple juice, while in the Lava Flow we have a hybrid between strawberry Daiquiri and Piña Colada, but the list is still very long.

Bloody Marys taste better on airplanes
The Bloody Mary, made of vodka and tomato juice plus a combination of spices and other ingredients, is one of the most popular cocktails on airplanes and the reason is quite curious: it tastes better at altitude!
Some scientists originally thought that altitude might somehow affect taste buds, but new research has shown that it's actually noise that affects taste. An experiment has in fact shown that in noisy environments people have greater difficulty in picking up sweet flavours, while they find it easier to recognize salty and umami, flavors present in tomatoes.

The most expensive cocktail in the world is served in Tokyo
Currently the most expensive cocktail in the world is the Diamond Is Forever, which is served at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo at the price of 22,600 dollars. It simply contains Gray Goose vodka and a lime twist, but the reason for that cost is that it's served with a 1-carat diamond.
For now it seems to have only been ordered twice.







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