Why Is A Drink Called A Cocktail?

Drinking cocktails can be one of the most enjoyable experiences, but have you ever stopped to wonder why a drink is called a cocktail? From its French beginnings, the cocktail has endured for centuries, setting the standard for sophisticated enjoyment with friends. But the story behind the name of a cocktail is just as fascinating and inviting as the drink itself.

Follow along to learn why cocktails are named as they are, and how they’ve evolved over the years!

Why is a Drink Called a Cocktail?

Cocktails are among the hundreds of drinks that have been popular around the world for centuries, offering an exciting and interesting flavor for those who are willing to try. But until recently, most people were unaware of the origin of the word “cocktail” and why drinks are referred to this way.

In this article, we’ll delve into the history of the word “cocktail”, explaining where it comes from and how it came to be used to describe drinks.

The Most Popular Origin Story of the Word “Cocktail”

The most popular origin story for the word “cocktail” dates back to pre-revolutionary America.

According to this story, the word “cocktail” was created by a group of rebels who frequented a tavern located in the small town of Cobleskill, New York. As patrons of the tavern, they made a habit of stirring their drinks with small feathers they found in a nearby rooster’s tail, which they used to give their drinks flavor and color. Eventually, the group began referring to their concoctions as “cock-tails”, a word used to describe the rooster-tail feathers they used to stir their drinks.

Alternate Origin Stories for the Word “Cocktail”

Though the story of the rooster-tail feathers is the most popular origin for the term “cocktail”, it is by no means the only account in circulation. Some say the term “cocktail” became popular in the United Kingdom in the 18th century, when it was used to refer to a type of bitters brewed from cucumber and other herbs said to be a cure-all for a variety of ailments.

Others believe the term arose in Virginia in the late 1700s, when it was used to describe alcoholic mixed drinks spiked with a wide variety of ingredients. Still others suggest the word “cocktail” may have its roots in the French word “coquetier”, which was used to describe a cup used to serve mixed drinks.


At the end of the day, no one can say for certain where the term “cocktail” originated, as the word has been used to describe drinks for centuries, and different stories and explanations have been put forth over the years. However, the most popular and enduring story is that of the rebels from New York who used rooster-tail feathers to stir their drinks. Whatever the truth may be, it’s clear that the term “cocktail” is here to stay, and that these tasty drinks are sure to delight for centuries to come.

Citation URLs: https://www. uncorkedventures. com/blog/the-origin-of-the-term-cocktail/https://www. thespruceeats. com/what-is-a-cocktail-761225https://vinepair. com/articles/history-of-cocktails/

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