So concludes one of the earliest references to cocktails in written history. Around the same time, cocktail is described as a drink “excellent for the head”. Nevertheless, cocktails have earned a strong position among alcoholic beverages in modern society. There is a strong culture of myth and story-telling around cocktails, in particular concerning the people involved and the circumstances under which particular cocktails were invented.
Humans across cultures and continents love imbibing mind-altering substances, typically in heavily ritualised settings. While these settings and rituals have changed over the years, there are strict socially constructed norms around types of cocktails, who consumes them, at what time, who pays for them, and how they are prepared.
This holds true even when we delve into alternate histories, presents, or the future. Romulan Ale. Pan-galactic Gargle Blasters. Finagle's Folly. Flaming rum monkeys.
What do you reckon? Tradition? Special tools? Arguable histories? Fetishisation?
It is, indeed, geek culture in a glass.
Firstly, the Sazerac. The original, and probably best drink there.
The Sazerac is one of nature's finest inventions. Good for the heart, good for the head. Very similar to the original cock-tail, described in 1798 in the London Morning Post and Gazetteer: a combination of spirits, bitters, and sugar.
The Sazerac comes from New Orleans, and is originally made with cognac, though in the 1870s phylloxera epidemic that destroyed Europe's grape vines made that hard to find, so rye whiskey was substituted.
It's made like this: