4 Classic Cocktails and Where They Came From

Just about everyone has their own list of favorite cocktails and mixed drinks that they enjoy on a night out. You may associate your favorite one with an unforgettable birthday party or what you were sipping on when you and your beloved locked eyes for the first time. Whatever personal story you relate to your classic cocktails, they all have a history of their own.

The Sidecar

Is it even possible to think or say the word “sidecar” and not conjure the image of a classic motorcycle driving down a dirt road with the one-wheeled partner at its side? Well, this first drink gets its name from an American Army captain who served in Paris during or after WW1. He was often driven to and from a bistro in Paris and on a particularly chilly night he asked for a pre-dinner drink to warm him up. By mixing a glass of body-warming brandy with the light orange flavor of Cointreau and fresh lemon juice, the bartender created the perfect pre-dinner cocktail, the Sidecar.

The Mojito

With one of the oldest origin tales dating back to Cuba during the 1700s, the mojito was believed to be the key to masking the strong taste of primitive forms of rum like aguardiente or tarifa.  Many say that the name comes from the ever so popular Cuban mojo sauce which combines olive oil, garlic, and lime. The Cuban cocktail with “a little mojo” in it, or as they say in Spanish “mojito,” has become one of the most popular summertime drinks today.

The Tom Collins

Most legends will agree that Tom was a character from a friendly practical joke. Someone would hear that a fellow named Tom Collins was slandering one’s name at the next bar over. By the time the person arrived asking for Tom Collins the individual would be told that he had already gone to the next bar. Naturally, enough people run into bars asking for a certain Tom Collins and the bartenders start serving them up.

The Bloody Mary

One of your favorite brunch superstars gives its origin to a collaborative effort between two men over time. A famous New York bartender was serving up “Red Snappers,” a combination of vodka and tomato juice in the 1940s. Yet ask the comedian, songwriter and movie producer George Jessel who made the Bloody Mary what it is today and he will tell you: It was Jessel’s idea to add salt, pepper, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce to turn the drink into the ultimate hangover cure.

Come visit us at the Tin Lizzie Lounge in Lower Queen Anne, Seattle, to try one of your old favorites or a new classic.;