12 Oldest Cocktails in the World


Hey there, cocktail explorers! 🍹 Have you ever wondered about the stories behind your favorite drinks? Well, today, we’re diving into the fascinating world of cocktails, starting with some of the oldest ones around. These special concoctions have been enjoyed for generations, each with its own tale to tell. So, grab a seat, and let’s journey back in time to uncover the secrets of these timeless beverages!

12. Sazerac

The Sazerac cocktail, believed to be one of the oldest cocktails in the world, has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Its story begins with a pharmacist named Antoine Amedie Peychaud, who crafted aromatic bitters in the 1830s. These bitters became a crucial ingredient in what would eventually become the Sazerac cocktail.

Legend has it that the Sazerac cocktail was first concocted in the 1850s at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans, where it gained immense popularity. Originally made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils brandy (hence the name), the cocktail later transitioned to using rye whiskey due to the phylloxera epidemic, which devastated European vineyards and led to a shortage of brandy.

The modern Sazerac recipe typically includes rye whiskey, absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a sugar cube. The glass is often rinsed with absinthe to impart its distinctive flavor, creating a delightful sensory experience with every sip.

11.Blue Blazer

The Blue Blazer cocktail first blazed onto the scene (pun intended!) in the mid-19th century, created by a legendary bartender named Jerry Thomas. Thomas was known for his showmanship behind the bar, and the Blue Blazer became one of his signature creations, dazzling patrons with its fiery display.

What sets the Blue Blazer apart is its preparation method, which involves literally setting the drink on fire! The cocktail consists of whiskey (usually Scotch), hot water, and sugar, all ignited and skillfully poured back and forth between two vessels to create a blazing arc of blue flame.

Jerry Thomas’s original recipe for the Blue Blazer appeared in his seminal cocktail book, “How to Mix Drinks: Or, The Bon-Vivant’s Companion,” published in 1862. This groundbreaking book not only popularized the art of cocktail-making but also cemented Thomas’s legacy as one of the pioneers of modern mixology.

While the Blue Blazer may not be as commonly found in bars today, its legacy lives on as a testament to the creativity and showmanship of bartenders throughout history.

10.Manhattan

The Manhattan cocktail is said to have originated in the late 19th century, with its exact origins somewhat shrouded in mystery. One popular legend attributes its creation to a bartender named Black of the Manhattan Club in New York City, who purportedly invented the drink for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill. The banquet was held in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden in the 1870s.

The original Manhattan cocktail was made with rye whiskey, which was prevalent at the time. However, over the years, bourbon became a common substitute due to its smoother and sweeter profile. Sweet vermouth and aromatic bitters round out the ingredients, giving the Manhattan its distinctively rich and complex flavor.

The cocktail’s name, “Manhattan,” is believed to pay homage to the borough of New York City, where it was allegedly first concocted. From its humble beginnings, the Manhattan cocktail quickly gained popularity and became a staple in bars around the world.

Today, the Manhattan remains a timeless classic, cherished by cocktail enthusiasts for its elegance and sophistication. Whether enjoyed in a sleek lounge or mixed up at home, the Manhattan continues to captivate drinkers with its timeless allure.

9.Gin Rickey

The Gin Rickey is a classic highball cocktail that dates back to the late 19th century, originating in the bustling city of Washington, D.C. Its creation is credited to Colonel Joe Rickey, a prominent Democratic lobbyist known for his love of gin.

Legend has it that Colonel Rickey first concocted the drink at Shoomaker’s, a popular D.C. bar, in the 1880s. The original recipe was simple yet refreshing, consisting of gin, lime juice, and soda water, served over ice in a tall glass.

What set the Gin Rickey apart from other cocktails of its time was its light and zesty flavor profile, perfect for quenching thirst on hot summer days. The use of lime juice added a tartness that complemented the botanical notes of the gin, while the soda water provided a bubbly effervescence.

The Gin Rickey quickly gained popularity in Washington, D.C., becoming the preferred drink of politicians, lobbyists, and socialites alike. Its refreshing nature made it especially popular during the sweltering summer months, earning it a reputation as the “official cocktail” of the nation’s capital.

Today, the Gin Rickey remains a beloved classic, enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world. Its timeless appeal and refreshing taste continue to make it a go-to choice for those seeking a light and satisfying libation.

8.Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is considered one of the oldest known cocktails, dating back to the early 19th century. Its origins can be traced to the bustling cocktail scene of Louisville, Kentucky, where it was first crafted by bartenders at the Pendennis Club.

Originally known simply as the “whiskey cocktail,” the Old Fashioned was a straightforward concoction made with whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters. This no-frills recipe harkened back to the early days of cocktail culture when drinks were often simple and uncomplicated.

Legend has it that the name “Old Fashioned” was coined in the late 19th century when bartenders began to experiment with more elaborate cocktail recipes. Purists who preferred the traditional whiskey cocktail began ordering it by asking for an “old-fashioned whiskey cocktail,” eventually leading to the shortened moniker we know today.

Throughout the years, the Old Fashioned has undergone various iterations and adaptations, but its timeless appeal has endured. Today, it remains a classic cocktail enjoyed by aficionados and casual drinkers alike, cherished for its rich history and sophisticated flavor profile.

Whether sipped in a dimly lit speakeasy or mixed up at home, the Old Fashioned continues to captivate drinkers with its timeless charm and unwavering simplicity.

7. Gin Fizz

The Gin Fizz is a refreshing and effervescent cocktail that originated in the United States in the late 19th century. Its precise origins are a bit murky, but it gained widespread popularity in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the late 1800s.

One story attributes the creation of the Gin Fizz to Henry C. Ramos, a bartender at the renowned Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans. Ramos supposedly concocted the drink in the 1880s and perfected its recipe, creating a frothy and light libation that quickly became a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The classic Gin Fizz recipe typically includes gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. What sets the Gin Fizz apart is its unique preparation method, which involves vigorously shaking the ingredients with ice to create a frothy texture before straining the mixture into a glass and topping it off with soda water.

The addition of soda water gives the Gin Fizz its signature effervescence, making it a refreshing and thirst-quenching cocktail, particularly well-suited for warm weather or leisurely brunches.

Over the years, the Gin Fizz has evolved, with variations incorporating additional ingredients such as egg white for extra frothiness or flavored syrups for a twist on the classic recipe. However, its timeless appeal as a light and refreshing cocktail has remained unchanged.

Today, the Gin Fizz continues to be enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world, cherished for its delightful effervescence and bright citrus flavors.

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6.Whiskey Highball

The Whiskey Highball has humble origins, dating back to the late 19th century. Its creation is attributed to bartenders in the United States and Scotland, with each region putting its own spin on the drink.

In the United States, the Whiskey Highball gained popularity as a simple and refreshing way to enjoy whiskey, particularly during the hot summer months. Its preparation method was straightforward: whiskey was poured over ice in a tall glass, and soda water was added to dilute the spirit and create a bubbly, thirst-quenching beverage.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, a similar drink known as the “Scotch and Soda” emerged around the same time. This version of the Highball featured Scotch whisky instead of American whiskey, but the basic concept remained the same: a mixture of spirit and soda water served over ice.

The Whiskey Highball’s appeal lies in its simplicity and versatility. It’s easy to make, requiring just a couple of ingredients, and it can be customized to suit individual tastes by adjusting the ratio of whiskey to soda water.

Over the years, the Whiskey Highball has remained a popular choice among cocktail enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. Its refreshing nature and straightforward preparation make it a go-to option for those seeking a no-fuss libation with a classic whiskey flavor.

5. Daiquiri

The Daiquiri cocktail has its roots in Cuba, where it was purportedly invented around the turn of the 20th century. Its creation is credited to an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was working in the iron mines near the town of Daiquiri in eastern Cuba.

Legend has it that Cox concocted the first Daiquiri in 1898 during a shortage of gin, the preferred spirit of the time. With rum being plentiful in Cuba, Cox combined it with lime juice and sugar to create a refreshing libation that quickly gained popularity among his fellow miners.

The original Daiquiri recipe was simple yet elegant, consisting of just three ingredients: white rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup. The cocktail was typically shaken with ice and strained into a chilled glass, resulting in a crisp and citrusy drink with a hint of sweetness.

Word of the Daiquiri’s delightful taste spread beyond the mining community, and it soon became a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Its popularity received a significant boost when American writer Ernest Hemingway became a fan of the cocktail during his time in Cuba, further cementing its status as a classic cocktail.

Over the years, the Daiquiri has undergone numerous variations and adaptations, with flavored syrups, fruit juices, and even frozen versions becoming popular in different parts of the world. However, the classic Daiquiri remains a beloved favorite, cherished for its simplicity, balance, and refreshing flavor.

4.Sidecar

The Sidecar cocktail is believed to have originated during the early 20th century, with its exact origins somewhat shrouded in mystery. While there are several theories about its creation, one popular story attributes the invention of the Sidecar to an American Army captain stationed in Paris during World War I.

Legend has it that the Sidecar was first concocted at a bar in Paris frequented by American expatriates and military personnel. The cocktail gained popularity among officers who arrived at the bar on motorcycles, often accompanied by a sidecar attached to their bikes. The drink allegedly took its name from this distinctive feature of motorcycle culture.

The classic Sidecar recipe typically calls for equal parts brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, shaken with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. The combination of rich brandy, citrusy lemon juice, and sweet orange liqueur creates a balanced and sophisticated cocktail with a refreshing tang.

Over the years, the Sidecar has evolved, with variations incorporating different types of brandy, adjustments to the ratio of ingredients, and creative garnishes. However, its timeless appeal as a classic cocktail with a touch of Parisian flair has remained unchanged.

3. Aviation

The Aviation cocktail has its origins in the early 20th century, with its exact creation often attributed to a bartender named Hugo Ensslin, who worked at the Hotel Wallick in New York City. Ensslin first documented the recipe for the Aviation in his 1916 cocktail book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.”

The original recipe for the Aviation called for gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, and crème de violette, which imparted a pale purple hue to the cocktail. The combination of floral notes from the crème de violette, the tartness of the lemon juice, and the botanicals of the gin created a well-balanced and refreshing libation.

Despite its initial popularity, the use of crème de violette eventually fell out of favor, and the ingredient became difficult to find. As a result, many bartenders omitted it from the recipe, leading to variations of the Aviation that omitted the floral liqueur.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in classic cocktails, leading to a revival of the Aviation and a renewed appreciation for its original recipe. Bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts have sought out crème de violette to recreate the cocktail’s signature hue and flavor profile.

2.Pisco Sour

The Pisco Sour cocktail has its origins in Peru, where it is considered the national drink and a source of cultural pride. Its creation is often credited to Victor Morris, an American bartender who owned the Morris’ Bar in Lima, Peru, during the early 20th century.

Legend has it that Morris created the Pisco Sour cocktail in the 1920s, drawing inspiration from traditional Peruvian ingredients and techniques. He combined Pisco, a grape brandy produced in the wine regions of Peru and Chile, with freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and a touch of egg white for texture and frothiness.

The addition of egg white gives the Pisco Sour its signature creamy texture and foamy head, while the lime juice provides a refreshing tartness that balances the sweetness of the simple syrup and the subtle floral notes of the Pisco.

The Pisco Sour quickly gained popularity in Peru and became a symbol of the country’s rich culinary heritage. It later spread to other parts of South America and beyond, earning acclaim as a classic cocktail with a unique and irresistible flavor profile.

1.Margarita

The Margarita cocktail’s origins are surrounded by folklore and speculation, with multiple stories claiming to be the true origin. One popular legend attributes the creation of the Margarita to a socialite named Margarita Sames in the late 1930s. As the story goes, Sames concocted the cocktail for her guests at a party in Acapulco, Mexico, using tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.

Another tale suggests that the Margarita was created by Carlos “Danny” Herrera, a bartender at Rancho La Gloria in Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1930s. Supposedly, Herrera invented the cocktail for a customer who was allergic to many spirits but could tolerate tequila, lime, and salt.

Regardless of its exact origin, the Margarita quickly gained popularity, becoming a staple in bars and restaurants across Mexico and the United States. Its refreshing blend of citrusy lime, tangy orange liqueur, and the distinct kick of tequila made it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.

Over the years, the Margarita has evolved, with variations incorporating different flavors and ingredients. From fruity twists to spicy infusions, the Margarita remains a versatile and beloved cocktail enjoyed in various forms around the world.