Did the innkeepers used a coq feather to indicate wich drinks contain alcohol?
Did the daughter of an American farmer felt in love in a Sergeant after he brought back the coq which her father was proud of? Did she celebrated in offering a mixture name after the coq feahters?
Is the Hydromel the first Coquetel?
Was the "Cocktail" named after a specific horse breed, whom the tail is preaking up
....so many legends, tales, stories, without answers.
However the 13 May 1806 will be decisive for the American Cocktail Era. The New Yorker's The Balance and Columbian Repository printed the first exact definition of
"What is a Coktail?"
Cock tail, then is a stimulating liquor composed of spirit of any kind, suggar water and bitter it is vulgary called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellant electioneering potion as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head
How to mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant's Companion offer the following recipes
Brandy Cocktail 3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup, 2 or 4 dashes ob bitter (Bogart's), 1 wine glass of brandy1 or 2 dashes of Curaçoa Squeeze the lemon peel; fill one third full of ice, and stir with a spoon
Whiskey Cocktail3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup, 2 or 4 dashes of bitters (Bogart's), 1 wine glass of whiskey, and piece of lemon peel Fill on-third full of fine ice, shake and strain in a fancy wine glass
Japanese cocktail1 table-spoonful of orgeat syrup, 1/2 teaspoonful of Bogart's bitters, 1 wine-glass of brandy, 1 or 2 pieces of lemon peel . Fill the tumbler one third with ice, and stir well with a spoon
Lemon twist, orange peel, cherry, sugar cube, sugar syrup....The Old Fashioned is the witness of a war over his preparation.This famous simple but require a specific technique, time and patiente, and well selected ingredients. Bornt with whiskey as a main spirit the old-fashionned became so popular among bartenders and customers, that it isn't unusual to discover a Tequila or Cognac Old Fashionned on the comptoir. For many bartenders the Old Fashioned is a consider as a way to drink many spirit not only Bourbon.
But the origin of the Old Fashionned will be the topic
As everybody knows the Kentucky is the patrie of Bourbon, it revealed that a gentleman who didn't enjoy so much the spirit (what a shame), showed up at the Pendennis Club in Louisville in the 1880's. But the bartender wanted to accomodate him to the Whiskey and married the eau-de -vie with a sugar cube few dash of bitter and a lump of ice, in a rocks glass known now as "Old Fashioned glass".
Another tale recount the cocktails would have been invented for a local Bourbon distiller, Colonel James E. Pepper, then spreaded over New York via the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Some old combinations... and some fancies
The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book
One quarter lump sugar, two spoons water, one dash Angostura bitter, on jigger whiskey, one piece lemon peel, one lump ice, serve with small spoon.
This was brought to the Old Waldorf in the days of its "sit-down" bar, and was introduces by, or in honor, of Colonel JAmes E. Pepper, of Kentucky, proprietor of a celebrated whiskey of the period. It was said to have been the invention of a bartender at the famous Pendennis Club in Louisville, of which Col. James E. Pepper was a member.
Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock 1930
1 lump Sugar, 2 dashes Agostura Bitters, 1 glass Rye or Canadian Club Whiskey
Crush sugar and bitter together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium siez glass, and stir well. This Cocktail can be made with brandy, Gin, Rum etc... Instead of Rye whisky
Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion by Crosby Gaige 1941
1lump Sugar, 3 dashes Angostura bitters, 2 ice cubes, 1 jigger Rye or Bourbon, Splash of Seltzer or 1 tablespoon of water
Place the lump of sugar in an "Old Fashioned" and saturate it with Angostura bitters. Add the seltzer or water and muddle. Add the ice, a cherry, and a twist of lemon peel. Then pour in the liquor, stir and serve. Serious-minded persons omit fruit salad from "Old Fashioneds", while the frivolous window-dres the brew with slices of orange, stick of pineapple.
The standard Cocktail Guide by Crosby Gaige 1944
Muddle 1 lump of sugar with 4 dashes Angostura bitters. Add a splash of soda water, 2 ice cubes, a cherry and a twist of Lemon peel. Pour over 1 jigger of Rye and serve. This drink may be garnished with a stick of pineapple and 1/2 an orange slice, or better still, served with no fruit except a slice of lemon peel
Old Fashioned #2 from Diffordsguide #7 by Simon Difford
Muddle orange and cherries in the base of shaker. Add other ingredients, shake with ice nad fine strain in ice-filled glass. 2whole Marasquino cherries, 1 fresh orange slice (cut into eight segments), 2 shots Bourbon, 1/8 shot Marasquino syrup (from cherry jar), 2 dashes Angostura bitter.
The New Orleans saw the birth of many beverages which became timeless classic. One of the best example is without any doubt the Sazerac Cocktail. Lets dig in the Peychaud and Sazerac Coffee house's histories. Unless a easy recipe and a name from the Sazerac Coffee House, where the drink became famous, we all thanks Antoine Amedee Peychaud for his unique role in this dry cocktail.
Forced to flee San Domingo Island where the Peychaud's familly owned a coffee plantation due to the slave rebellion, the creole familly exiled in New Orleans in 1795. In 1834 the son of the familly became a pharmacist and opened his drug and apothecary store in 123 Royal Street, in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter. Then after many experiences he created his own "American Aromatic and Cordial" and marketed his potion as a medicinal Tonic, which the recipe was keep secret by the familly. He used to welcomed and cure his patients' stomach problems and liver's disorder with a toddy containing the home made Medicinal Tonic mixed with brandy (actually French Cognac)and, some tales believes that the potion was already aromatised with Herbsaint. All the toddies are make with water, but the legend didn't specify if it was the case with the Amedee's elixir. Antoine Amedee Peychaud served his toddy in a Coquetier, many people believe the name Cocktail is from this contenant but the 13 may 1806 The Balance and Columbian Repository gave the first definition of the word Cocktail, when Antoine was still a child.
The cocktail became so famous through the city that the Sazerac Coffee House located in 13 Exchange Alley christen it after the name of the company. Jogn B.Schiller who was the owner and involved in the Sazerac de Forge et fils de Limoge company, elaborated the recipe using only the Cognac from his company and the Hersaint instead of the forbidden Absinthe, the coquetier might have disapeared during this period and left the place for the usual old fashioned glass we all know.
Then Thomas H. Handy took over the Sazerac Coffe House in 1870, and swap the Cognac for the Maryland Club Rye. The main reasons for this importante change, except an obviously American patriotic duties, were the Phylloxera and the civil made the Cognac importations expensive and difficult.