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Discovering cocktails: A journey through the ages

 The authority on understated luxury, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts takes you on a decadent journey of cocktail discovery throughout the ages.

Over the past century, cocktails have evolved through a manifestation of creativity and heightened understanding of varying palates. While the origins of the cocktail remain elusive, its classic recipes and refreshingly modern twists are widely enjoyed around the world, serving as the perfect choice of beverage to start and end an evening of celebration.

 

A Brief History

In America, the first published definition of the cocktail appeared in the Balance and Columbian Repository, a political paper from the Hudson, New York, defining the cocktail as we know today, as “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.” Some also view the cocktail as an American concoction through the work of Connecticut native, Jerry Thomas. Although Thomas – renowned for being the father of modern bartending – wrote the first book to contain a section of cocktail recipes in 1862, his prior experience was shaped by a time spent working in London.

The late 19th century saw an influx of American tourists visiting London, resulting in the rise of “American Bars” that sparked a trend in cocktail joints, where young British barkeepers introduced new mixes, which later made their way to the States and subsequently, were introduced to Europe as ‘American’ drinks.

Despite its strong American history, the cocktail’s roots stretch back to 18th century London, where its formula, containing a defining ingredient – the bitters – surfaced in the capital’s newspapers since the 1690s as the “Elixir Magnum Stomachicum”, which later became known as “Stoughton’s Bitters”, comprising a concentrated extract of roots, barks, peels and such that bars are mixing and serving today. Also in London, the earliest reference to the cocktail on record was made in 1798, in a satirical article ran by a now-defunct London newspaper, The Morning Post and Gazetteer.

The Roaring 1920s


Following the passing of the 18th Amendment in 1920, which banned the production and sale of alcohol throughout the United States, the time of Prohibition saw a stronger desire for illegal, yet fashionable consumption of alcohol, and the rise of illegal bootlegging businesses and speakeasies. Accompanying a dramatic wave of political and social change post World War I, the demand for illegal alcohol coincided with an exciting, “modern” way of life filled with opulent indulgence in big American cities.

Spotlight on Classic Coctails


Modern mixology draws on traditional cocktails for inspiration, while utilising novel ingredients to create complex flavours and unique concoctions. A champion of timeless luxury, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts explores past eras that saw a rise in popularity of the classic cocktails that have remained the beverage of choice and inspiration for discerning palates throughout history.

Global luxury pioneer, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts understands a specially crafted cocktail is the ideal accompaniment to any greeting or conversation, whether you are travelling for business or leisure. Complete a lavish dining experience with a selection of the seven Worldly Classics cocktails when you stay at InterContinental hotels and resorts around the world, or choose to delight in canape flavours that pair perfectly with the AMEA bespoke Worldly Classics collection of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages featured at all InterContinental properties across the region.

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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