A TAIL WITH A TWIST
According to ancient stories, the cocktail was first discovered in the 16th century in the Mexican state of Yucatán. The delicious drinks were called 'Coctel' by the Mexicans, a name still used in Latin-American countries. The Spaniards took the concept with them to Europe, and in English the name 'cocktail' was born; a name for the mix of fruit juice and distillates. While reading, you will find out how many different stories and myths are told about this fascinating phenomenon.
Two brothers, a mistake in ordering and a bunch of vodka. This is one of the stories behind the Sgroppino. The cocktail is believed to have been born in the late 1970s because of a excess of vodka. This drink was created while the brothers were experimenting in the kitchen. It must have been a beautiful scene.. After trying to mix lemon juice with vodka, they made a sour face and decided to add prosecco. The birth of the Sgroppino was a fact. The fancy name, written as Sgroppino or Scroppino, is a bastardised version of the Venetian word 'desgropante'. 'Grop' means button because the refreshing drink gives you the feeling of unbuttoning a blouse.
MIRACULOUS MOJITOFor the lover of tropical vibes: the Mojito. This rum-based cocktail is wonderfully refreshing and summery thanks to its overflow of lime, mint and ice. The meaning of the word 'mojito' is still debated to this day. For instance, some people claim it derives from the Spanish word 'mojar', or 'to wet'. Others claim it has its origins in the African language, Fulani, where 'mojo', means enchantment.
The cocktail is certainly enchanting and according to stories, once originated in the bar 'La Bodequita del medio' in Havana - where writer Ernest Hemingway reportedly enjoyed drinking mojitos. Or... is this bar, besides booze, filled with tall tales? Although world-famous singers Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole actually spent time there, Hemingway was mainly used as a marketing gimmick. He never took a single step into the bar, but because of his replicated signature - as a running joke - the bar still attracts thousands of tourists.
Another story tells about how the mojito was once used as a magic cure for scurvy, under the name 'Draque'. Sailors recovered in no time thanks to the high vitamin C content of limes.
This drink is a true work of art, according to seasoned bartenders. It requires very precise proportions of rhye whisky, bitters, and vermouth. Some claim the Manhattan originated around 1870 at the Manhattan Club in New York, while others say Jennie Churchill - mother of Winston - created both the recipe and the name. Either way, the island of Manhattan is birthplace of this similarly named drink and a great source of inspiration. Think of the film 'Manhattan Cocktail', in which Babs Clark and Bob Marky dream of a career on Broadway.
ECCENTRIC ESPRESSO MARTINI
This excentric espresso-martini has made a real comeback. Its popularity died out for a while after the 1990s, but not too long! There is no escaping this mix of coffee and liquor. English bartender, Dick Bradsell, created this phenomenal drink at the request of a top model who walked into London's Soho Bar. In her words: 'To wake me up and mess me up'. The name Martini obviously refers to the fancy glass in which it is served. The beautiful foam layer is often decorated with three coffee beans. These symbolise happiness, health, and wealth. A cocktail with a message!