Then and Now
True, the "cocktail" predates Prohibition. But cocktail culture really caught fire during Prohibition, when, of course, booze was ostensibly outlawed. As the saying went: "Prohibition is better than no liquor at all."
Back in the day, speakeasies became the illegal laboratories for developing new cocktails. Over the years, modern mixologists, working with superior ingredients, perfected the art, bringing the cocktail up from the basement and into the spotlight.
"Prohibition has made nothing but trouble."
-- Al Capone
Warning: martini purists might want to skip over this section. For the rest of us, here are some funky, spunky "martinis" that give gin and vermouth the slip.
For when one, two, even three different kinds of booze just aren't enough. But be careful! Our advice? Jot down the phone number for the local taxi service and stuff it in your pocket before unscrewing the first bottle cap. Better yet, just stay put for the night.
Top 5 Brunch Cocktails
Here are the cocktails that go down easy when you're drinking before noon.
A cocktail party isn't really a party until something's engulfed in flames. Here are a couple drinks that call for a touch of fire.
Feeling international? May we recommend a few "national cocktails" from around the world?
Don't Forget the Ice!
The best tasting cocktails use fresh ice made from pure, filtered water. "Fresh" means the cubes haven't been sitting around for weeks in the freezer soaking up the stale, flavor essences of long-lingering foods. Bring the water to a quick boil for best results. Make it the morning of the day you plan to mix your cocktails, and you’ll enjoy the freshest, most delicious cocktails.
The Non-Alcoholic Alternative
You can always mix up a bunch of Mocktails for your designated drivers. We're also big fans of Dry Soda. These delicious sodas from a Seattle-based company are on the dry end of the flavor scale, so they taste more grown-up than the typical soda. They come in such adult flavors as lemongrass, rhubarb, kumquat, and lavender. Dry Sodas are a tremendous and tasty alternative for teetotalers. But their clean unobtrusive flavors also make them excellent cocktail mixers. They're available at specialty markets throughout most of the U.S.
The Spot for Food and Drink
See Sips Central, our friendly guide for pairing food with beer, wine, and cocktails.