Why Is Cocktail Called Cocktail?

Do you ever wonder why foul tasting beverages are always labeled with such fun sounding names? The classic cocktail is no exception. This potent mixture has a name that’s as mysterious as its flavor – and many are left wondering, why is a cocktail called a cocktail?

As it turns out, this word’s origin is as complex as the drink itself. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the mysterious history of the famous cocktail.

Why is Cocktail Called Cocktail?

Cocktails are an essential part of the socializing experience, but have you ever wondered why they are called “cocktails?

” Well, it turns out there is a fascinating origin story behind the name. Here we explore the history of why we call a mixture of intoxicating ingredients a cocktail.

The Origin of the Name

The term “cocktail” is believed to have first been used around 1806 in The Balance and Columbian Repository, a newspaper in Upstate New York.

The description read “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters. ”The exact origin of the term is uncertain, but there are several theories. The most commonly cited story is that the term “cocktail” derived from the large rooster-shaped stirrers that were used to mix drinks.

It was believed that the rooster tail feathers were “cock-tailed” into the cocktail. Other hypotheses suggest that the “cock-tail” referenced cockerel droppings or even cockerels that were kept as pets by bartenders and used to stir drinks.

No matter what the source of the name, “cocktail” is certainly a memorable and appropriate name for this classic drink.

Cocktail Varieties

The term “cocktail” is used to describe a wide variety of drinks, from the classic martinis and margaritas to the festive punch bowls and extreme shooters. Some common types of cocktails include:
  • Mojitos
  • Mai Tais
  • Manhattans
  • Whiskey Sours
  • Gimlets
  • Daiquiris
  • Sangrias
  • Bloody Marys
  • Cosmopolitans


In summary, “cocktail” is a fun and memorable name for a delightful drink.

Its origin is steeped in mystery, with several theories as to its source. Regardless of where the name came from, we can all agree that a “cocktail” is an excellent way to kick back and enjoy a pleasant evening.

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