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
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."
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.