Evolution of the Cocktail

1960 to 2000 – Commercialisation and Innovation

In the second half of the twentieth century, the Cocktail has taken on many guises as its popularity has fluctuated. Literature and film (“Shaken not stirred…”) have contributed to the images now grasped by the marketers and advertisers. We have tropical drinks to remind us of holidays and sunnier climes, while other cocktails achieve cult popularity, for example, as a representation of jazz era cool style.

Mass production of branded mixes and other ingredients has allowed cocktails to become available to all and at better prices. Making authentic cocktails with quality ingredients and timeless flavours will always be popular, while more people than ever have access to great sources of mixers and spirits. This can only encourage the key ingredients to the best cocktails: individual innovation and interpretation!

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» by Madfish Willie on April 25 :: Permalink :: Comments (0) :: Whiskey Stuff

Evolution of the Cocktail

1934 to 1959 – The Margarita is Born

This period saw consolidation of the cocktail scene and some great innovations were made. One of the most popular cocktails, the Margarita, originates in 1948. Some say a Dallas socialite named Margarita Sames hosted a poolside Christmas party at her vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico. The party game for Margarita was to see what concoctions she could develop behind the bar, and let her guests rate the results. When she mixed three parts tequila with one part triple sec and one part lime, it was such a success among her guests that it quickly travelled from Texas society to Hollywood and the rest of the country, bearing her name.

Legend also says the drink originated in the early 1930s at the Caliente Racetrack Bar in Tijuana, Mexico. There is little evidence, though, for the story of showgirl Marjorie King who had an allergy to most alcoholic drinks and could only drink tequila. In 1938, she asked for a tequila cocktail rather than a shot at the Rancho Del Gloria Bar in Rosarita Beach, Mexico. The bartender, Danny Herrera, poured tequila over shaved ice then added lemon and triple sec naming it after Marjorie translated into Spanish.

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» by Madfish Willie on April 24 :: Permalink :: Comments (0) :: Whiskey Stuff

Evolution of the Cocktail

1920 to 1933 - Prohibition in the US

On January 16, 1920, the National Prohibition Act became the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This meant it was illegal to manufacture, sell, transport, import, or export any 'intoxicating liquors.’ Despite this, much of the general public still had ways to gain access to the illegal substance, often through speakeasies and private parties. Gangsters focused on bootlegging and moonshine, and Chicago was a centre of booze, gambling and prostitution. Al Capone was the most notorious crime boss and the power behind the illegal activities in Chicago during Prohibition. As a gangster and racketeer, Capone became one of the biggest bootleggers of all time.

The popularity of cocktails at that time was at least partly due to the need to cover up the bad taste of some of the crudely produced hooch served up by the bootleggers. Some of the cocktail recipes used today were invented in the days of Prohibition as cocktail recipes flourished in the illegal bars, parties and clubs of the major American cities.

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on April 23 :: Permalink :: Comments (1) :: Whiskey Stuff

Evolution of the Cocktail

Over the years, the cocktail has become an institution to drinkers worldwide. However, the cocktail’s evolution is both fragmented and contested.

The true creation of a popular cocktail can be traced to the nineteenth century.

One early written reference to the term "cocktail" as a drink based on spirits with other spirits and additives can be found in an American magazine, The Balance, published in May 1806. It stated that a "Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters…”

1860 to 1920 – California: The Birthplace of the First Cocktails?

The cocktail’s fragmented history begins in the nineteenth century. One of the first of the modern cocktails to be named and recognised is the Martini. It can be traced back to an 1862 recipe for the Martinez. This American recipe consisted of four parts sweet red vermouth to one part gin, garnished with a cherry. "Professor" Jerry Thomas tended the bar of the old Occidental Hotel in San Francisco and reputedly made the drink for a gold miner on his way to the town of Martinez, which lies forty miles to the east. The recipe for the Martinez in Thomas’ 1887 bartender's guide called for Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, a dash of maraschino and bitters, as well as a slice of lemon and two dashes of gum syrup.

A modern day Dry Martini consists of gin and dry white vermouth to taste, garnished with an olive. Obviously, gin has changed a lot since then, when it would have been relatively sweet compared to modern gins. Some even claim the Martini was named after the Martini-Henry rifle used by the British army around 1870, as both the rifle and the drink had a strong kick!

What we do know is that by 1900 in the USA, the Martini had become known nationwide and had spread to the other side of the Atlantic. This is said by some to be the beginning of the golden age of cocktails. During this time a basic list of cocktails emerged and steadily became more and more popular.

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» by Madfish Willie on April 22 :: Permalink :: Comments (0) :: Whiskey Stuff

History of the word "Cocktail"

The origin of the name ‘cocktail’ is not certain, though many explanations have been suggested.

History-Why “Cocktails”?
The history of the cocktail is a contested story whose truth may never fully come to light. All over the western world people have been experimenting with different combinations of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic for centuries. The origin of the name cocktail itself is not certain. Some of the more common (and amusing!) explanations are. . .

An Englishman’s Misfortune
In 1779, after her husband was killed in the American War of Independence, innkeeper Betsy Flanagan opened an inn near Yorktown that was frequented by American and French soldiers. An English chicken farmer lived nearby prompting Betsy to promise her American and French customers that she would serve them a meal of roast chicken. Her guests mocked her boasts saying she would never go through with it. One evening, an unusual number of officers gathered at her inn, so Betsy served a lavish meal of chicken, stolen from her English neighbour. When the meal was over, Betsy moved her guests to the bar, where she served up drinks decorated with a tail-feather from the chickens, amid rowdy calls for more “cock tails.”

A Ceramic Rooster
The owner of an American bar had a large ceramic container in the form of a rooster. The container was filled with the leftovers from drinks. The less affluent could get a drink from this container, served from a tap at the tail. Hence, the name cocktail became associated with a mix of drinks. Some say the quality was always high after English sailors had been in, as there was a good mixture of rum, gin and brandy in the cocktail.

Virginian Dregs
In nineteenth century America, a cock was a tap, while its tail was the last, muddy dregs of the tap. One Colonel Carter, of Culpepper Court House, Virginia, was served the tail at his local tavern. Seeing it as a disgrace, he threw it to the floor and said from then on he would only drink “cock tails” of his own design. His concoction was a mix of gin, lemon peel, bitters and sugar, and is possibly the ancestor of modern cocktails.

Night-mare-ish Strength
A "cocktailed horse" was a term for one whose tail has been bobbed, giving it a flamboyant and jolly appearance. As the mixed drinks served in the bars and inns had a very high alcoholic content, the name "cocktail" possibly came from its ability to "cock the tail", or get an careless customer drunk very quickly!

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» by Madfish Willie on April 21 :: Permalink :: Comments (1) :: Whiskey Stuff

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 71-86

  1. It's acceptable, traditional in fact, to disappear during a night of hard drinking. You will appear mysterious and your friends will understand. If they even notice. [hell, I do this all the time... when it's time to go, I go]

  2. Never argue your tab at the end of the night. Remember, you're hammered and they’re sober. It's akin to a precocious five-year-old arguing the super-string theory with a physicist. 99.9% of the time you're wrong and either way you're going to come off as a jackass. [pay fucking cash as you go next time dickhead]

  3. If you bring booze to a party, you must drink it or leave it. [if you sneak it to the bar, you deserve to have your ass kicked]

  4. If you hesitate more than three seconds after the bartender looks at you, you do not deserve a drink. [heh... you to the back of the fucking line]

  5. Beer makes you mellow, champagne makes you silly, wine makes you dramatic, tequila makes you felonious. [it all makes you stupider than you already are]

  6. The greatest thing a drunkard can do is buy a round of drinks for a packed bar. [fuck the idiot who does this]

  7. Never preface a conversation with a bartender with “I know this is going to be a hassle, but . . .” [so why the fuck are you asking for it?]

  8. When you’re in a bar and drunk, your boss is just another guy begging for a fat lip. Unless he’s buying. [wait till buys all the drinks, then kick his ass]

  9. If you are 86’d, do not return for at least three months. To come back sooner makes it appear no other bar wants you. [don't ficking come back at all, thjat's why you were kicked out]

  10. Anyone with three or more drinks in his hands has the right of way. [why?]

  11. If you’re going to drink on the job, drink vodka. It’s the no-tell liquor. [not true at all, it's just clear]

  12. There’s nothing wrong with drinking before noon. Especially if you’re supposed to be at work. [meh]

  13. The bar clock moves twice as fast from midnight to last call. [you are twice as drunk after midnight, dumbass]

  14. A flask engraved with a personal message is one of the best gifts you can ever give. And make sure there’s something in it. [and it better not be some fucking fruity flavored schnapps]

  15. On the intimacy scale, sharing a quiet drink is between a handshake and a kiss. [depends on who you are sharing it with... abeautiful babe or some big smelly hairy bastard]

  16. You will forget every one of these rules by your fifth drink. [no shit]

Next Time: The Complete List cragerized for your protection!

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 27 :: Permalink :: Comments (2) :: Whiskey Stuff

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 61-70

  1. Never rest your head on a table or bar top. It is the equivalent of voluntarily putting your head on a chopping block. [a good way to get your ass thrown out too]

  2. If you are trading rounds with a friend and he asks if you're ready for another, always say yes. Once you fall out of sync you will end up buying more drinks than him. [always say yes if the other guy is buying]

  3. If you're going to hit on a member of the bar staff, make sure you tip well before and after, regardless of her response. [yeah right, that like trying to pick up a titty dancer, besides you ain't waiting around till 3am]

  4. The people with the most money are rarely the best tippers. [no shit, how do you think they got all that money in the first place]

  5. Before you die, single-handedly make one decent martini. [using Madfish Willie's Ultimate Martini Recipe]

  6. Asking a bartender what beers are on tap when the handles are right in front of you is the equivalent of saying, “I'm an idiot.” [dip-shit]

  7. Never ask a bartender “what's good tonight?” They do not fly in the scotch fresh from the coast every morning. [same fucking thing as last night]

  8. If there is a line for drinks, get your goddamn drink and step the hell away from the bar. [sage advice - stay your ass out of the service well too]

  9. If there is ever any confusion, the fuller beer is yours. [the coldest beer is mine]

  10. The patrons at your local bar are your extended family, your fathers and mothers, your brothers and sisters. Except you get to sleep with these sisters. And if you're really drunk, the mothers. [sounds like hillbilly Harvey is having a party!]

Next Time: Rules 71-86

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 26 :: Permalink :: Comments (3) :: Whiskey Stuff
» Ramblings of SilverBlue links with: More Link-Luv™

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 51-60

  1. Never play more than three songs by the same artist in a row. [You aren't the DJ, but if he does that, he not very good]

  2. Your songs will come on as you're leaving the bar. [or right after you've left]

  3. Never yell out jukebox selections to someone you don't know. [put your own friggin money in if you want to hear something special]

  4. Never lie in a bar. You may, however, grossly exaggerate and lean. [who thought that up.. everyone lies in the bar!]

  5. If you think you might be slurring a little, then you are slurring a lot. If you think you are slurring a lot, then you are not speaking English. [If you think you may be slurring, then you are probably fucking drunk]

  6. Screaming, “Someone buy me a drink!” has never worked. [you were likely to get your ass kicked in places I worked]

  7. For every drink, there is a five percent better chance you will get in a fight. There is also a three percent better chance you will lose the fight. [3 percent?... more like 10 or 20 percent]

  8. Fighting an extremely drunk person when you are sober is hilarious. [no shit]

  9. If you are broke and a friend is “sporting you”, you must laugh at all his jokes and play wingman when he makes his move. [fuck your friend.. don;t laugh if he's not funny, and he'son his own as far as wingmen]

  10. If you are broke and a friend is “making sport of you”, you may steal any drink he leaves unattended. [if you are broke stay the fuck home, otherwise if your friend is "making sport of you" he needs an ass whuppin']

Next Time: Rules 61-70

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 24 :: Permalink :: Comments (0) :: Whiskey Stuff

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 41-50

  1. Anyone on stage or behind a bar is fifty percent better looking. [woohoo... bartender groupies]

  2. You can tell how hard a drinker someone is by how close they keep their drink to their mouth. [you can tell how good a BJ a girl gives by how she lips her longneck]

  3. A bar is a college, not a nursery. If you spill a beer, clean it up. If you break a glass, wait for a staff member to clean it up, then blame it on someone else. [if you puke on the bar, clean it up before you get kicked out]

  4. Being drunk is feeling sophisticated without being able to say it. [being drunk is feeling good]

  5. It's okay to drink alone. [I only drink when I'm by myself or with someone]

  6. After three drinks, you will forget a woman's name two seconds after she tells you. The rest of the night you will call her “baby” or “darling”. [I can't remember anyone's name... you are known by what you drink]

  7. Nothing screams Harvey 'nancy boy' louder than swirling an oversized brandy snifter. [pussy]

  8. Men don't drink from straws. Unless you're doing a Mind or Face Eraser. [what the fuck is a face eraser other than asphalt pavement at 60 mph?]

  9. If you do a shot, finish it. If you don't plan to finish it, don't accept it. [don't waste my money, I could have bought ME another shot]

  10. Never brood in a dance bar. Never dance in a dive bar. [dance on the bar if you think you can get away with it]

Next Time: Rules 51-60

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 23 :: Permalink :: Comments (0) :: Whiskey Stuff

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 31-40

  1. If you have been roommates with someone more than six months, you may drink all their beer, even if it's hidden, as long as you leave them one [If there's not at least one left, someone's gettin an ass-whuppin].

  2. You can have a shot of their hard liquor only if the cap has been cracked and the bottle goes for less than $25 [what does cost have to do with it?].

  3. The only thing that tastes better than free liquor is stolen liquor [theiving bastard shoot be shot].

  4. If you bring Old Milwaukee to a party, you must drink at least two cans before you start drinking the imported beer in the fridge [you better drink all of it you cheap asshole].

  5. Learn to appreciate hangovers [fuck you]. If it was all good times every jackass would be doing it .

  6. If you ever feel depressed, get out a bartender’s guide and browse through all the drinks you’ve never tried [don't be such a pussy... go get drunk].

  7. Try one new drink each week [only if you are a rookie].

  8. If you are the bar's sole customer, you are obliged to make small talk with the bartender until he stops acknowledging you [or tells you to shut the fuck up]. Then you're off the hook. The same goes for him [just don't let him tell you any dumbass jokes].

  9. Never tip with coins that have touched you. If your change is $1.50, you can tell the barmaid to keep the change [always], but once she has handed it to you, you cannot give it back [bullshit] . To a bartender or cocktail waitress, small change has no value [another fucking lie].

  10. If you have ever told a bartender, “Hey, it all spends the same,” then you are Harvey a cheap ass.

Next Time: Rules 41-50

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 22 :: Permalink :: Comments (1) :: Whiskey Stuff

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 21-30

  1. Our parents were better drinkers than we are.

  2. Never talk to someone in the restroom unless you're doing the same thing—urinating, waiting in line or washing your hands.

  3. Girls hang out, apply make-up, and have long talks in the bathroom. Men do not.

  4. After your sixth drink, do not look at yourself in the mirror. It will shake your confidence.

  5. It is only permissible to shout 'woo-hoo!' if you are doing a shot with four or more people.

  6. If there is a DJ you can request a song only once per night. If he doesn't play it within half an hour, do not approach him again. If he does play it, do not approach him again.

  7. Learn how to make a rose out of a bar napkin. You'll be surprised how well it works.

  8. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink in a bar. Go to the liquor store. [This means you, Harvey!]

  9. If you owe someone twenty dollars or less, you may pay them back in beer.

  10. Never complain about the quality or brand of a free drink.

Tomorrow: Rules 31-40

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 13 :: Permalink :: Comments (1) :: Whiskey Stuff
» www [dot] margilowry [dot] com links with: Mood music
» Publius & Co. links with: Stealing the Bartender's thunder...

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 11-20

  1. Unacceptable things to say after doing a shot: Great, now I’m going to get drunk. I hate shots. It’s coming back up.

  2. Never, ever tell a bartender he made your drink too strong.

  3. If he makes it too weak, order a double next time. He'll get the message.

  4. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.

  5. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still might not like you.

  6. If she buys you a drink, she likes you.

  7. If someone offers to buy you a drink, do not upgrade your liquor preference.

  8. Always have a corkscrew in your house.

  9. If you don't have a corkscrew, push the cork down into the bottle with a pen.

  10. Drink one girly drink in public and you will forever be known as Harvey the guy who drinks girly drinks.

Tomorrow: Rules 21-30

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 12 :: Permalink :: Comments (1) :: Whiskey Stuff

86 Rules of Boozing


Today: Rules 1-10

  1. If you owe someone money, always pay them back in a bar. Preferably during happy hour.

  2. Always toast before doing a shot.

  3. Whoever buys the shot gets the first chance to offer a toast.

  4. Change your toast at least once a month.

  5. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.

  6. Buying a strange woman a drink is still cool. Buying all her drinks is dumb.

  7. Never borrow more than one cigarette from the same person in one night.

  8. When the bartender is slammed, resist the powerful urge to order a slightly-dirty, very-dry, in-and-out, super-chilled half-and-half martini with a lemon twist. Limit orders to beer, straight shots and two-part cocktails.

  9. Get the bartender's attention with eye contact and a smile.

  10. Do not make eye contact with the bartender if you do not want a drink.

Tomorrow: Rules 11-20

Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on December 11 :: Permalink :: Comments (5) :: Whiskey Stuff
» Blackfive - The Paratrooper of Love links with: Thursday Blogs to Visit

Washington's Whiskey Recipe

I'm gonna owe Linda at Civilization Calls a few cold ones at Madfish Willie's for the heads up on this article about George Washington's whiskey recipe:

Washington's Whiskey Recipe

The recipe, or "mash bill," calls for 65 percent rye, 30 percent corn and 5 percent malted barley.

First, grind the grains into a coarse meal. Then, mix the rye and corn in a wood vessel called a "hog's head." Add hot and cold water. Stick your hand in the mash to make sure it isn't too hot. If it doesn't burn, the temperature is just right. Add barley and stir.

Cool the mixture down a bit more, and add yeast. Let the mixture ferment for a few days.

Pour the mixture into a copper still, and let it boil. The alcohol will vaporize and condense, flowing out of a tube, also known as a worm.

Collect the liquid and run it through the copper still one more time. Now you have finished whiskey.

Washington barreled his whiskey and sold it immediately. These days, distillers age it for a few years to improve its taste.

Source: Jim Beam master distiller Jerry Dalton / The Associated Press

Go read the rest of this article. It makes for an interesting read!

Thanks again, Linda, and bring Finn, the Viking along on the next Adventure of Madfish Willie!


Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on October 23 :: Permalink :: Comments (5) :: Whiskey Stuff

The Blogfather

Yeah, I know, real original title. I just noticed that Harvey at Bad Money has blogrolled me. Woohooo! I made my first blogroll.

Now, if I can get that damn Lord Spatula I to pull his head out of his butt, as he said he would blogroll me when he got the time. [Hmmm...What to do?]

Maybe I should have gone and checked his site before I started cussing him like a dog over here, but I'm blogrolled over at Spatula City BBS now, too. D'oh - sorry bro'.


Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on October 8 :: Permalink :: Comments (1) :: Whiskey Stuff

Hangover - Part I

So you wanna cure a hangover? I found this article a few months ago, and want to share it with you, while giving the appropriate credit the anonymous author(s) at soyouwanna.com

This article has five different sections:

Part of being young is being stupid, and anyone who tells you that he or she has never gotten drunk is either lying, boring, a Mormon, or some combination thereof. But just because so many people get drunk doesn't make it OK. A recent survey found that 3 out of every 5 college students have engaged in binge drinking. Binge drinking completely thrashes your liver and kidneys, not to mention puts you at risk of death via alcohol overdose. But you don't need us lecturing at you... you know that massive drinking is bad. How do you know? Because your mother tells you - no, not Mother Goose... Mother Nature.

A nasty hangover is Mother Nature's way of telling you, "Fool, I thought I told you not to drink so much. Now you gonna pay." (Don't ask us why Mother Nature sounds like Mr. T.) Hangovers can completely incapacitate you, giving you an upset stomach, a huge headache, a gross-tasting mouth, and a guilty conscience. So what we've constructed for you are some tips for easing the pain and curing that hangover. We only expect you to use this article once. If you find that you need our help to cure your hangovers every weekend (no matter how happy all those page views will make us), we insist that you contact Alcoholics Anonymous right away. People (especially those in their 20s) usually revel in binge drinking, but it really can be life-threatening.

Understand What Alcohol Does To Your Body

They don't call it intoxication for nothing. Happy juice is poisonous. Put enough of it into your body and you die. What concerns us here, however, is not so much alcohol itself (which we'll take as a given) but the by-products of alcohol, and especially one particularly nasty chemical critter by the name of acetaldehyde. It's got a lot more of the bad kind of kapow, and the latest research suggests that it may be responsible for the worst of your hangover.


After you ingest alcohol, your body breaks it down into (among other things) acetaldehyde, before converting it into less harmful substances. The acetaldehyde messes with your brain at the same time as a host of depleted minerals are short-circuiting your nervous system, and that's in addition to low blood sugar and the classic headache-and-dry-mouth symptoms caused by dehydration. The result: nausea, twitchy nerves, unpleasantness, pessimism, terrible brain pain, and a temporary suspension of the laws of gravity.

The severity of a hangover varies according to . . .

    The amount you've guzzled in a given period of time Your own innate enzymatic capacity to deal with the poisons Your age

Translation: the more you drink in a short amount of time, the more you'll feel the alcohol. One's weight is also a factor (the less you weigh, the more you'll feel it), as is a genetic predisposition. Finally, the older you get, the more you'll feel the alcohol the next morning. (I was wondering about about. I used to drink like a fish during my college days and never have half the hangover I do now-a-days...The Bartender.)

Prepare for the night out: Coming tomorrow night.


Bullshit so far »

» by Madfish Willie on October 7 :: Permalink :: Comments (0) :: Whiskey Stuff