Special Sub-Topic: Cocktail History and Culture
|In Australian author's Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" (1957), Dwight Towers--the American submarine captain--drinks a cocktail (on multiple occasions) called a Pink Gin. What ingredients are in a pink gin?|
gin and Angostura bitters. The Pink Gin was a popular cocktail in the UK beginning in the late nineteenth century. Members of the Royal Navy evidently were responsible for the concoction, which they created to make Angostura bitters, a treatment for seasickness, more pleasurable. It was served without ice.
|Which two owners of Polynesian-style or tiki restaurants in the United States claim to have invented the Mai Tai, a complex rum-based drink?|
Victor J. "Trader Vic" Bergeron and "Don the Beachcomber" (Ernest Gantt ). Beach or "Don the Beachcomber" says he first created it in 1933 at his eponymous restaurant in Hollywood, California, while Bergeron aka "Trader Vic" says he invented it in 1944 at his restaurant "Trader Vic's" in Oakland, California. Martin Denny and Les Baxter were well known jazz artists who incorporated "tiki" sounds into their music during the 1950s and 1960s. Jeff Berry is the author of Beachbum Berry's Grog Log (1998), while Sven Kirsten is known for writing The Book of Tiki (2000). Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian explorer who sailed from Peru to the Polynesian islands in 1947 on a raft named Kon-Tiki. He did this to prove that South Americans could have settled Polynesia. Yma Sumac was a Peruvian singer who worked with people like Les Baxter.
|The earliest definition of the word cocktail appeared in print in ______ .|
1806. The word cocktail first appeared in a letter to the editor of an American newspaper (local to New York state) called "The Balance, and Columbian Repository." The week after it was printed, the editor responded to a reader who inquired as to what the word cocktail meant. See the virtual exhibit of The Museum of the American Cocktail at www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org/Exhibit/TheBalance.html for the text of the letter mentioning the word cocktail and the editor's definition.
|In the American film "The Days of Wine and Roses" (1962), what cocktail does Joe (Jack Lemmon) order for Kirsten (Lee Remick) that sets her on the path to alcoholism ?|
Brandy Alexander. When Kirsten says that she does not like alcohol but does like chocolate, Joe orders a Brandy Alexander for her; the cocktail consists of Brandy, cream, nutmeg, and creme de cacao.
|What is the origin of the word "cocktail"?|
All of these are possible explanations (Cocktails originally were served in the morning and were thus named after the tail of the rooster, signifying this., There was a custom of putting a feather from the tail of a rooster in a drink for decoration and to warn non-drinkers that it had alcohol in it., Roosters participating in cock-fighting were given a drink with spirits before their battles; this drink was known as a "cocks-ale."). There are other potential explanations as well. Among them are
(1) In U.S. taverns, spirits were kept in casks, the taps of which were called cocks. The leftovers were combined into one cask, sold at a lowered price. Patrons would ask for the tailings (or leftovers) from the cock of the cask.
(2) It was named after a mixed breed horse termed "cocktail" (as analogous to the mixed nature of the beverage).
(3) The term came from a French word coquetier, meaning a container to serve hard-boiled eggs. Coquetiers were used to serve cocktails in Louisiana at the beginning of the 19th century.
|A traditional martini should be shaken, not stirred.|
False. This phrase comes from the "James Bond" series of films. James Bond actually drank vodka martinis and preferred them shaken (no doubt because shaking vodka with ice makes it colder than just stirring it). However, traditional martinis are made with gin and are stirred so as not to disturb the flavor of gin. The "British Medical Journal" has suggested that shaking a martini actually enhances the antioxidant effects of alcohol.
|Which U.S. president during his presidential campaign attacked the "three-martini lunch," a term that refers to a leisurely lunch during a business day in which alcohol is usually enjoyed?|
Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter ran a populist campaign in 1976 and used the example of the "three-martini lunch" to highlight the class differences between wealthy businessmen (who presumably had the time and money to enjoy such lunches and could deduct them from their taxes as a business expense) and working men and women who ate cheaply for lunch (and could not deduct lunch costs as a business expense).
|In what country did the Mojito originate?|
Cuba. The mojito was invented in Cuba. The competing tales of its origin all have to do with the history of Cuba. One story is that the English privateer Richard Drake invented the cocktail that is made up of rum, sugar, lime, and mint. He named the cocktail "El Draque," after his boss Francis Drake, who used Cuba as a base. Another possible explanation is that slaves working in the sugar fields of Cuba invented the drink.
|What is the main ingredient in a caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil?|
cachaša. Cachaša is the main ingredient of a caipirinha, which is composed of cachaša, lime and sugar. Cachaša is the most popular spirit in Brazil. It is distilled from sugar cane juice (whereas rum is distilled from molasses).
|Which fashion designer coined the term "cocktail dress" for a dress meant to be worn in the early evening?|
Christian Dior. French fashion designer Christian Dior created the term "cocktail dress" during the late 1940s, capitalizing on the American vogue for cocktails during this period.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction