Cocktail party: A gathering held to enable forty people to talk about themselves at the same time. The man who remains after the liquor is gone is the host. - Fred Allen Origin The origin of the term “cocktail” itself is rife with rumor and speculation, so we’ll leave that to the drink historians. We are far more concerned with putting the cocktail into practice. However, for reference, the term was included in the magazine The Balance in May 1806: "Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters - it is vulgarly called bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion." Description Ah, the cocktail. It is the introduction to “happy hour,” the ice-breaker, the way to finish a long day and start a magnificent evening. Cocktails can be as simple as scotch on the rocks or as complex as one’s imagination will allow, so it is the one type of beverage that allows for utter creativity. Some cocktails have fallen strictly under the umbrella of “girlie,” i.e. the Cosmopolitan, sweet martinis (chocolate et. al.) and fruit-laced concoctions, while others are very “masculine.” Think of the dry martini, gin and tonics or any kind of strong spirit. We tend to stay away from lines of gender demarcation and bring all varieties of cocktails together for our favorite type of gathering: the cocktail party.

Discover sensations that are familiar yet surprising, with flavors of coffee and orange blossom juxtaposed with cucumber. These meld with the legendary Polish Zubrowka (bison grass) vodka as a sensual base, with a touch of partially ripened banana for a light tartness. 1 serving Ingredients 1 ounce of Zubrowka Polish bison grass vodka ½ ounce of Kahlua coffee liqueur ½ ounce of orange blossom water 2 tablespoons seedless sliced cucumber, peeled (recommended: organic) 1 tablespoon of banana (just starting to ripen) Total: about 2 ½ ounces per serving (guide for glassware) Cucumber and orange peel for garnish

To chase away that nip in the air, try warming your insides with this hot, chocolaty treat. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, note that there is a difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate: Hot cocoa is typically just water or milk and cocoa powder, while, made from chocolate bars melted into cream, hot chocolate is a rich and decadent drink. Here is an intoxicating twist on our favorite winter warmer; flavored with two varieties of chestnuts and triple chocolate, this is a creamy, cozy sip -- the kind of food you can cuddle up to (and we suspect that few adults would object to sneaking in a splash of brandy or cognac.)