The Origin of The Word Cocktail

Posted on: May 13 2011

There are unfortunately countless stories that report to detail exactly how the term “cocktail” was first coined. None of which are verifiable, and so we will most likely never know the true story.


We do however know one important aspect about this term, and that it’s earliest known definition. On 13th May, 1806 in an edition of “Balance and Columbian Repository” (sounds mad!) published by Hudson, New York the word cocktail appeared in print for the first time. “Cock tail, then is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.“ – The editor was having a go at an election candidate.

For many, this day was the start of the great era of cocktails and to celebrate this historical date in SABA, we have a competition. Log onto our facebook page and let us know your favourite cocktail and be in with a chance to win dinner for two with cocktails in SABA.

Good luck!