Why is the cocktail called that? In English it means “rooster's tail”

The term “cocktail” is now universally recognized as synonymous with often alcoholic drinkcomposed of various ingredients. But what exactly does that mean? Literally translated fromEnglishthe word means “rooster tail“, a name that at first glance seems to have no connection with the world of drinks.

Despite the apparently clear translation, the origins of the term “cocktail” are shrouded in mystery and several legends try to explain its origin. Apparently, the word was first used with the full meaning we give it today in 1806 in the United States in the book Balance Columbian Repository to indicate “ua stimulating drink, composed of various alcoholic substances, bitters, water and sugar”.

One of the most picturesque and least verified stories tells of amedieval custom according to which the day began with the crowing of the rooster and ended with an alcoholic drink. The drink that marked the end of the day was called “cock-tail”, that is, “rooster's tail”, in reference to the rooster who with his crowing it closed the daily cycle.

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Another popular explanation holds that in the 1400s in the English countryside i farmers they used to drink one colorful drinkwhose colors were inspired by the tails of fighting cocks.

Or again, another legend has it 17th centuryan English ship arrived in the Gulf of Mexicoin Veracruz, where the natives used to drink a mixture of different alcohols and tropical juices, mixed together with a long rooster feather.

rooster cocktail

Again to English sailors between 1600 and 1700 who landed in Mexico in the port of Campeche, a drink with agrass or one root call chello de roosteror “rooster's tail”, from which perhaps “cock-tail”.

A further theory focuses on the etymology and links the word “cocktail” to the ancient use of alcohol mixtures in the pharmacy. Pharmacists, using a stick or a tail (tail) to mix the different substances, may have given rise to the term.

One of hypothesis more accredited is the one that traces “cocktail” back to French word coquetierthat is, the container for eggs which in the 19th century was used by the pharmacist Antoine Amédée Peychaud in New Orleans to administer alcoholic mixtures and liqueurs of your own creation.

Another well-known theory recalls how in the United Kingdom they were called the horses with docked/docked tails (similar to that of a rooster). This feature would have been a sign that the animal was not purebred, but mixed. Since cocktails are a set of different ingredients, the word would have been used to indicate this mixture.

In addition to these theories, there are anecdotes that attribute the birth of the cocktail to specific historical figures or events. For example, it is said that an American bartender created the first cocktail as we know it today to mask the taste of low-quality alcohol during the Prohibition period.

The Cocktail Society BBC thepersonalbartender italianbartender