Cocktail Classics with History

Cocktail classics 

© Lukas Ilgner

Cocktail classics

Cocktail classics 

© Lukas Ilgner

Negroni Sbagliato (pictured above)

Glorious misconception.  Famous cocktails have come about in all sorts of ways throughout history. Sometimes it was pure chance that directed them. The Negroni Sbagliato, for example, owes its existence not to a brilliant idea but simply to a mistake ("sbagliato" means "wrong"). The drink was created in the 1950s in the Basso Bar in Milan. There, it is said, the bartender Mirko Stocchetti invented it - purely by chance, when he mistakenly reached for the Prosecco instead of the gin bottle. For the classic Negroni was conceived in Florence in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni - and with gin. In any case, the result is one of the most famous cocktails in the world, created by a mistake. 

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Gimlet

© Lukas Ilgner

Terry Lennox's favourite drink. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Gimlet was mainly drunk in Royal Navy circles. They liked to enjoy it there in the evening in the tavern. However, the cocktail only became widely known when it appeared in books by the writer Raymond Chandler. The novelist Terry Lennox, known as the client of the private detective Philip Marlowe in various novels and short stories by Chandler, made the cocktail famous beyond the borders of England. In the meantime, the Gimlet has become a popular drink worldwide. 

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Mojito

© Lukas Ilgner

A drink for stomach aches. As a bar and party drink, the Mojito has made a fabulous triumphant advance around the world. Like hardly any other cocktail, it symbolises a Caribbean attitude to life.  It is said to have originated as a kind of medicine, invented by the legendary Sir Francis Drake in the 16th century. The feared privateer mixed sugar, real limes, aguardiente de caña (a simple sugar cane spirit) and mint to make a drink that he is said to have consumed daily in large quantities to treat his stomach ailments. This mixture only became known as the mojito at the beginning of the 20th century and was very popular in Havana from 1910 onwards. However, the mojito only became a legend through Ernest Hemingway, who did, however, make some drinks famous. 

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Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour
 

Simply ingenious. As far as the origins of the Whisk(e)y Sour are concerned, there are hardly any more precise details. The inventor of the drink is a certain Elliot Stubb, an English steward on a ship called the Sunshine, who is said to have mixed lime juice, syrup and ice cubes to make a cocktail in 1872. The oldest historical mention of a sour whisk(e)y, however, dates back to an 1870 publication in American Wisconsin. In the course of time, various sours have been created, for example, the New Orleans Sour is made with orange liqueur, while an egg white is added to the Boston Sour before shaking. 

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Manhattan

© Lukas Ilgner

Democrats' cocktail. The origin of this cocktail is closely linked to the history of the Manhattan Club in 19th century New York. The club originally served as a refuge for the Democrats and as a counter-model to the Republicans' Union Club. According to legend, the drink was created on 29 December 1874 on the occasion of a banquet in honour of the then Democratic presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. Jennie Churchill - Winston Churchill's mother - is said to have commissioned the drink. The story is disputed, however, because Jennie was in France at the time. Presumably, the drink had already been served at the Manhattan Club - hence the name. 

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French 75

© Lukas Ilgner

A drink like a 75 mm gun. The name French 75 goes back to a French gun from the First World War - a 75-mm calibre. Harry MacElhone, the founder of Harry's New York Bar in Paris, is considered the inventor of this cocktail, which is intentionally somewhat alcoholic. In the Golden Twenties, the drink enjoyed great popularity, with mixtures of spirits and champagne already being appreciated by American and French pilots in the First World War air force. The cocktail was first mentioned in writing in 1922 in the book ABC of Mixing Cocktails, where it was initially referred to as 75. It was not until 1930 that the drink was first known as the French 75. 

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Martini

© Lukas Ilgner

The king of cocktails. The mixture of gin and vermouth is simple - and simply ingenious. So ingenious, in fact, that the Martini Dry in the conical Martini glass in particular has become the symbol of the entire cocktail world. Incidentally, the cocktail has nothing to do with the Italian vermouth brand of the same name from the Martini & Rossi company. A drink was first mentioned under the term Martini in 1888, although the name Dry Martini Cocktail only appeared in a French bar book in 1904. In 1922, a bar book widely used at the time recommended mixing gin and vermouth in a 2:1 ratio. Hemingway wanted it even drier and always added when ordering, "Please keep your hands off the vermouth." 

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Sazerac

© Lukas Ilgner

The New Orleans cocktail. In 2008, an initiative of some American politicians wanted to have the Sazerac cocktail declared the official state drink of Louisiana by law. For some, this seemed too daring. After lengthy discussions, the Louisiana House of Representatives finally passed a law declaring Sazerac the "official cocktail of the city of New Orleans". Not without reason, because Sazerac has been served there since 1859. First mixed with cognac, later with rye whisk(e)y. One of the most famous Sazerac drinkers was the American writer O. Henry alias William Sydney Porter, who is said to have drunk this cocktail in the last years of his life in a bar in Manhattan "from ten in the morning until midnight". 

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