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Discover the history of cocktails and their origin


There are a great many cocktails to choose from and while we may know how we like them or which is our favourite, do we really know what a cocktail is or how they originated?

In this post, we will tell you all about what lies behind this marvellous beverage that is so popular with so many people. Indeed, the cocktail has become a must-have in bars and is often featured in iconic scenes in films and used for toasts on many special occasions, and it’s no wonder!

What is a cocktail?

A cocktail is a combination of alcoholic beverages and ice. However, for the true aficionado, a cocktail is so much more: it is the harmonious blending of beverages cooled with ice and shaken in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass.

If we were to stick to the simplistic definition of a combination of alcoholic beverages, we could say that the origin of cocktails dates back to Ancient Greece, where Hippocrates prepared a drink with wine, resin and bitter almonds, but the truth is that there are many versions of the origin and history of cocktails.

The various theories on the origin of the cocktail

Here are some of the more famous theories surrounding the history of cocktails depending on their origin.

The “cola de gallo”, from Mexico

In the port of San Francisco in Mexico, taverns offered drinks with alcohol and fruit. They mixed the ingredients with low-quality metal spoons, which resulted in an unpleasant taste. To remedy this, they used the thin, smooth roots of a local plant which had a similar colour to a rooster’s tail. This is how “cock’s tail” gave way to the term “cocktail”.

From a chemist’s shop in New Orleans

In the 19th century, a chemist in New Orleans used to serve his friends a drink made with bitters, cognac, sugar and spices. This mixture was served in a type of cup called a coquetier. This is how this drink acquired the name “coquetier”, eventually evolving into cocktail.

An escape route during Prohibition, originating in the USA

Much of the bootleg liquor from the Prohibition era was rough stuff and turned the stomachs of those brave enough to try it. To make the strong liquor more palatable, various ingredients, which tended to be sweet, were added. The base of these mixtures was gin, one of the most famous and abundant spirits.

We will never know which is the correct version of this story, but what we do know for sure is how our gin originated: the Nordés Gin had an unexpected beginning in the heart of Galicia.

The components of a cocktail

The history of the cocktail may have many variations, but the components are and always will be the same:

The base
This is the ingredient with the greatest volume, density or alcohol content.

If the previous ingredient gives the cocktail its structure, then the modifier is what gives the cocktail its character. It can consist of liqueurs, sugars, fruits, etc.

Flavouring agent
Also known as the accent. If we have the base and the character, now it is time to include ingredients that will define its personality: enhancing the aroma, flavour, appearance…

Straight from the source to your table

Now that you know all the components that give a cocktail its flavour and style, it’s time to make the most important decision: which cocktail to drink or perhaps even prepare at home. In spite of having a very different origin, depending on the area where the term comes from, the passing of time has led us to have a great variety of cocktails within our reach.

At Nordés we want you to be able to savour cocktails made with premium gin and become a master cocktail maker. Thus, we present you with the most popular recipes among our customers so that you can try them out at home.

As you can see, a cocktail is not simply a mix of ingredients and has undergone a truly magical evolution. All the past experimentation and combinations have given way to modern cocktails designed to be enjoyed on special occasions.

There is an ideal cocktail for every person and every occasion. Are you ready to find and/or prepare your own perfect cocktail?

How gin is made

How gin is made


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