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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 December 2, 2018

                    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                    Review Your Past Flow

                    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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