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May, the 13th

World cocktail day

The anniversary originated in the United States when the first definition of a cocktail was given on that date in 1806.

May, the 13th

World cocktail day

History

The birth of the cocktail

It was therefore on 13 May 1806 that a chapter in Western history and culture was marked when Harry Croswell editor of the New York tabloid "" The Balance and Columbian Repository"", in response to a reader's question, defined the cocktail as ""a stimulating liquor, composed of flavours of any kind, sugar water and bitters"". The now common understanding of a cocktail refers to a drink consisting of at least 2 ingredients, at least one of which is alcoholic (the so-called 'base' of the cocktail). Over the last few decades, partly due to the events that have changed the world, many variations on the classic cocktail known for almost two centuries have sprung up, ranging from non-alcoholic versions to ready-made cocktails mixed in a packet, to which one simply adds ice to the glass.

The must-have equipment

Three steps can sum up the preparation oThere are about ten basic utensils for preparing most mixed drinks, so let's try to summarise them below and grasp their main features.

Three popular drinks

Discover three popular drinks internationally well-known, some with italian origins

Drink #1

Negroni - history and preparation

It originated in Italy, more precisely in Florence, by Count Camillo Negroni who, on returning from a trip to London, asked bartender Fosco Sarselli to add a splash of gin instead of the usual soda in his Americano. Thus, over time, that drink was identified with the name Negroni and became increasingly popular until it became one of the mainstays of Italian aperitif drinks. The preparation is very simple and is done directly from the low tumbler, filled up to 3/4 full with ice. Then the gin (30ml) is dosed with the help of the jigger and poured into the glass, followed by the red Vermouth (30ml) and finally the Campari (30ml). Everything has to be stirred with the stirrer and the original recipe also calls for a slice of orange placed inside the tumbler.

Drink #2

Martini - history and preparation

A great classic whose origins are still uncertain, ideal as a pre-dinner drink, but absolutely savourable at any time you prefer, thanks also to the different variants that have arisen over the decades by modifying the dose of gin. The ingredients are few and simple, namely gin and dry vermouth, to which an olive is added before sipping. It is prepared using the 'stir & strain' technique: 3/4 gin and 1/4 vermouth dry mixed in the mixing glass and then strained into the chilled glass. Usually the Martini glass is used, i.e. in the shape of an inverted cone.

Drink #3

Spritz - history and preparation

The story has Italian origins, of course, but with Austrian influences. In fact, it is said that in the 19th century, when north-eastern Italy was occupied by Austrian troops, before the Unification of Italy, the latter were not so used to the alcoholic content of Veneto wines and so they used to 'spritz' them with sparkling water (the German verb 'spritzen' means 'to spray'), hence the original Spritz recipe and its name. From the 1940s and 1950s, the recipe as we know it began to spread with Aperol, the latter an invention of the Barbieri brothers from Bassano del Grappa. Its preparation is simple: fill the glass or goblet with ice and start pouring the prosecco (3 parts), then add the Aperol (2 parts) and then the soda or sparkling water (1 part). Using a mixing spoon, make a movement from the bottom to the top, but without stirring so as not to deflate the drink. Add a slice of orange and the cocktail is ready.

Latest trends

A trend that started a few years ago, but has been strongly accentuated by the pandemic, is that of mixology that is increasingly domestic and also oriented towards ready-made mixes. Many companies have moved in this direction by proposing mixes to which one only has to add ice in the glass; this certainly helps the more inexperienced in the matter or those who have no interest in mixology but prefer to emphasise the social moment that the aperitif or, in general, the cocktail brings. Tools such as the ice bucket and its tongs remain fundamental, rather than the whole world of glasses and straws for the consumption of drinks. Finally, a smaller, but equally common and current trend is that of non-alcoholic cocktails, not necessarily less good or flashy, but certainly far removed from the definition of cocktails around which a worldwide economic and social sector, rich in tradition and culture, has developed.

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