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9 Incredible Stories Behind Some Iconic Cocktails

9 Incredible Stories Behind Some Iconic Cocktails

What ever happened to cocktails? When did a trip to the bar devolve into listening to loud, dance music and being served small amounts of alcohol in glasses of ice and syrupy mixers? There’s no exact proof when this problem began, but it can likely be tied to the idea that margaritas should be sweet and that slushee machines have a place in a bar.

Good news! All’s not lost. Here are 9 iconic cocktails and the stories behind them.

1. Long Island Iced Tea

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    Vodka, gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, sour mix, and a splash of coke; these are the ingredients that make up the Long Island Iced Tea. In spite of the fact that this combination of spirits seems like was invented as a fraternity party, drinking challenge, it was actually invented by humorously monikered bartender, Rosebud Butt.

    Interestingly enough, the cocktail was actually invented on Long Island, and it’s only been around since 1976. One of the reasons for the drink’s popularity, other than its potency, is the fact that it goes down relatively easily in spite of a serious booze to mixer ratio.

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    2. Cosmopolitan

    cosmopolitan-550px

      When someone orders a Long Island Tea, there’s little doubt what their end goal is. The Cosmo, on the other hand, is a completely different story. This cocktail, frequently featured in Sex and The City, brings something different to the table. It’s fruity, decidedly feminine, but still quite potent. This cocktail involves vodka, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice, and triple sec shaken until chilled and then strained and served with an orange twist.

      It also differs from the Long Island Iced Tea in that nobody is 100 percent sure of its origin. Was the drink born in a gay bar in Massachusetts? Did it originate in South Beach or Manhattan? Nobody really knows.

      3. Tom Collins

      tom-collins

        The Tom Collins is essentially the end result of a 19th century, snipe hunt for the drinking set. Pranksters would inform drinkers out on the town that a certain Tom Collins had been saying awful things about them. This would send folks, who were often drunk and looking for conflict, on a wild goose chase to find Tom Collins and straighten him out. Unfortunately for them, there was no Tom Collins.

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        Eventually, some smart bartender got the idea to create a gin based cocktail with the same name. This gave angry revelers looking for Tom Collins the opportunity to find him. It’s imaginable that for some, the drink served as a means of cooling off. For others, it likely become fueled the kind of behavior that would get someone like Tom Collins spouting off at the mouth.

        4. Kir

        Kir-Royale

          The Kir is a French appertif made of creme de cassis (liqueur made from black currants) that has been capped off with dry, white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir who was the mayor of Dijon, France from the mid forties to the late sixties. Kir did not invent the drink, but he was such a huge fan that when he entertained he would always offer up this cocktail.

          In fact, he became so associated with this cocktail that bartenders soon began referring to the cocktail using his name. It’s not a very potent cocktail, but it is tasty and welcoming. Considering that Kir himself invented the concept of twinning, that really doesn’t come as a surprise.

          5. Moscow Mule

          Cold Moscow Mules - Ginger Beer, lime and Vodka on bar
            Cold Moscow Mules – Ginger Beer, lime, and Vodka on bar

            The Moscow Mule, famously served in a copper cup was not invented in Russia. It was actually developed on the Sunset Strip. Its birthplace was the Cock and Bull pub. A liquor distributor named John Martin had a supply of poorly selling vodka he wanted to get rid of. One night, he spent some time at the Cock and Bull with the owner Jack Morgan.

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            According to legend, the two came up with the idea of combining the vodka with the pub’s ginger beer. The two men tweaked the recipe until they had created the perfect Moscow Mule. The drink is traditionally served in a copper mug, and there is a bit of marketing behind that. However, the mug is also functional as it keeps the drink at an optimal temperature.

            6. Bloody Mary

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              The Bloody Mary is a mixologists favorite. After all, how many drinks give cocktail makers the opportunity to experiment with such a wide variety of flavor profiles? Infusions and additions to this vodka and tomato juice based cocktail include:

              • Horseradish
              • Liquid Smoke
              • Cucumber
              • Worcestershire Sauce
              • Celery and Celery Salt
              • Bacon
              • Smoked Salt
              • Tabasco
              • Citrus
              • Sriracha

              There are also variations that replace the traditional vodka with gin.

              The drink was most likely invented by a restaurant owner in the early 20th century. However, one of the more popular explanations claims that the drink is a dark tribute to Queen Mary and her brutal, violent efforts to re-establish Catholicism as the official religion of England. It might also be a hangover cure.

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              7. Martini

              Holiday martini
                Holiday martini

                For many people, Martini is any combination of spirits and flavorings that has been shaken with ice, then strained into a glass that resembles an inverted pyramid with a round bottom. Those people are wrong, and they should be ashamed of themselves. A martini is a mixture of gin (lots!) and dry vermouth (little). In spite of James Bond’s famous line, it really should be stirred instead of shaken.

                Unfortunately, in spite of the controversy around the best way to make a martini, there’s no exact evidence indicating where the Martini was invented. Some people claim that it was a drink created by Italian Vermouth producers Martini And Rossi.

                8. Mojito

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                  The Mojito is made of rum, sugar, lime juice, and soda. The ingredients are simple, and there is absolutely no doubt that this is a cocktail that was invented in Cuba. In fact, that might explain its popularity in areas such as South Florida. It’s also a drink that was historically popular among sailors. Many suppose that the citrus in the mojito helped to combat scurvy. The other ingredients were probably already on board as ships moved cane sugar and rum from Caribbean islands to the mainland United States.

                  9. Screwdriver

                  SONY DSC

                    Before you could go to the liquor aisle of your local grocery store and pick from sweet, vodka flavorings ranging from bubblegum to whipped cream, one of the most popular drinks for first time drinkers was the Screwdriver. Served in a short glass, it is sweet, citrusy, and a little bit potent. Served tall, it’s a glorified glass of OJ with a little bit of a kick. One of the most popular stories behind this drink’s origin is that blue collar workers would sneak vodka into their thermoses and stir the drinks with their screwdrivers. Others say that it was invented to help popularize Smirnoff vodka.

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                    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                    Why you can’t sleep through the night

                    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                    Stress

                    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                    Eating close to bedtime

                    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                    Medical conditions

                    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                    The vicious sleep cycle

                    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                    You get a bad night’s sleep
                    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                      Here are a few suggestions:

                      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                      Sleep better form now on

                      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                      Reference

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