Cocktail History & Innovations - Cocktail Truths
There’s nothing wrong with simply enjoying your fave cocktail, but sometimes it’s good to go down the rabbit hole and celebrate its origin story. We’ve always felt that great drinks also have great stories and that turns out to be true, so grab your top tipple and settle back, we’ve got a story for you!
How OG cocktails came to be
Your ancestors, and ours, were probably heavy drinkers. People used to down beer at breakfast and sip medicinal elixirs that we now know as liqueurs like Benedictine and Chartreuse - crazy, right?
Cocktails are a specific kind of mixed drink, first described in 1806 as ‘a stimulating liquor composed of any kind of sugar, water and bitters, vulgarly called a bittered sling’. So, let’s unpick - a sling was the same deal but without bitters and the point of cocktails being stimulating is code for being a good hangover cure, or at least a great way of getting the party started - we agree!
Origins of the Word Cocktail
The origins of the term cocktail aren't fully known. Some claim the phrase is from New Orleans in the 18th Century. This is where the creator of well-known bitters by the name of Peychaud was known to serve a mixed brandy drink in a French egg cup called a 'coquetier'. Over the years American bartenders would mispronounce the word as 'Cocktail'.
Jerry Thomas - Professor of Bartending
Jerry, known as Professor Thomas (1830–1885) was a big deal in the drinks world. He worked across America and Europe and created ‘The Bartender’s Guide (or How to Mix Drinks)’ which was the bible for bartenders around the world trying to learn, or create, stand out cocktails. But by 1830, some drinks were already classics, so here’s a history of those most loved cocktails, and our new take on them.
Your Favourite Cocktail's Timeline
The mystery of the Mojito
Buckle up, this one gets lively! Maybe Francis Drake’s pirate crew invented the mojito in 1500s Havana, after they developed both scurvy and dysentery and needed to find a cure. They discovered locals had a treatment, based on aguardiente ( sugarcane liquor) and lime juice and invented the mojito ….nearly 400 years before cocktails themselves were invented. Alternatively,
African slaves in the Cuban sugarcane fields created the drink, adding lime and naming it mojito or ‘little magic’ from the word mojo, meaning magic or power.
Either way, we’ve got a delicious version of the Mojito to share with you.
Double Dutch Mojito
- 60ml white rum
- juice of 1 lime
- 8 mint leaves
- 10ml sugar cane syrup (or sugar syrup)
- Double Dutch Soda Water.
Muddle together the lime juice, sugarcane syrup and mint leaves in a glass or jug, pour into a highball glass and top with a handful of ice, then pour in the rum and stir before finishing with Double Dutch Soda Water and garnishing with more mint.
In 1919 Fosco Scarselli was tending bar at the Cafe Casoni in Florence. His chum, Count Camillo Negroni, asked Scarselli to upgrade his Americano. Scarselli experimented by swapping out soda water and replacing it with gin, changed the lemon slice to orange and created the Negroni.
So the original Negrino was an Americano, and we’ve got a superb remix to share with you …
Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil mixer
A slice of orange
There are competing stories about The Bloody Mary cocktail - but the one we like best is set in 1921. Fernand “Pete” Petiot was working at Harry’s New York Bar - which was somewhat confusingly in Paris, and full of Americans escaping their alcohol-free country, as well as Russians escaping their war-torn land. The Americans brought tinned tomato juice, the Russians came with vodka - and Petiot put them together in the best way possible.
As for the name - some say Bloody Mary served drinks at a Chicago bar called The Bucket Of Blood. Others claim it refers to Mary Tudor. Either way, it’s delicious.
Spiced Rum Bloody Mary - a twist that satisfies
What makes our Bloody Mary so special? Well the move to rum is exciting, but adding the sherry gives a warmth and depth that truly surprises, and then our Double Dutch Bloody Mary is the final touch that piques the taste buds.
- 50ml rum
- 25ml sherry
- Hot sauce
- Salt & pepper
- Double Dutch Bloody Mary
Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in the rum and sherry, before adding as much hot sauce as you can take, and season with salt and pepper. Top off with Double Dutch Bloody Mary and garnish with a cherry tomato and the essential stick of celery.
We’re moving to 1938, when Carlos "Danny" Herrera, owner of a Tijuana restaurant says he invented the cocktail for Marjorie King who said she was allergic to all spirits except tequila, but didn't enjoy it straight. Herrera put a spin on the classic shot to create the original Margarita.
Double or Quits with the Margarita Spritz
- Himalayan pink salt
- Tequila blanco
- Agave syrup
- Double Dutch Margarita Soda
- Fresh pineapple
Wet your glass’s rim and dip in the salt before filling with ice. Pour over 50ml tequila and agave syrup to taste before filling with Double Dutch Margarita Soda and garnishing with a pineapple wedge.
Paloma - the dove that might be a grapefruit
We know that the first written mention of the Paloma is on a menu at a Californian restaurant in 1999, but we have no idea how long Mexicans have been mixing grapefruit juice with tequila - it’s such a perfect pairing that’s probably been going on since tequila was invented. Nobody knows why it’s called paloma, which is Spanish for dove, but there’s a suggestion it might have been confused with pomelo, Spanish for grapefruit.
We’ve got something extra special as our Double Dutch take on this cocktail - it’s the no alcohol Panoma.
- Agave syrup
- Lime juice
- Double Dutch Pink Grapefruit Soda
- Himalayan Pink Salt
Wet the rim of your glass with lime before dipping it in the salt. Then add a dash of agave syrup, and another squeeze of lime and mix well. Add a handful of ice and top with Double Dutch Pink Grapefruit Soda and garnish with a pink grapefruit slice and a sprig of fresh rosemary.