Cocktails first came to popularity in the roaring ‘20s, when Prohibition was in full swing, and speakeasy proprietors would try to disguise the appearance and taste of the boozy beverages they were serving. The fact that alcohol was contraband in this era did much to add to the glamour and notoriety of the drink. We’ve rounded up some of the most glamorous drinks from throughout history for you to try.
1. The Vesper Martini
The martini is inarguably the most famous cocktail in the world. A typical dry martini includes gin, dry vermouth and a green olive over ice, but every barman has their own twist on the recipe. It was none other than the world’s most famous spy who really launched the martini into the spotlight. Who doesn’t know James Bond’s famous line: “shaken, not stirred.” Bond’s variation of the martini includes gin, vodka and Kina Lillet shaken with ice, and served with a thin slice of lemon peel.
2. An Old Fashioned
Despite being a classic cocktail, the Old Fashioned had all but disappeared from popular culture until period drama Mad Men aired in the mid-2000s. As Don Draper, the suave central character of the show’s drink of choice, the Old Fashioned slowly made its way back onto menus across the globe, even becoming one of the most popular alcoholic drinks of the decade. The cocktail is made of rye or bourbon, Angostura bitters, sugar and club soda.
3. Golden Glamour
When this simply sparkling concoction was served at an official Academy Awards party it completely wowed guests – who were none other than Hollywood’s biggest celebs and bigwigs. The delectable libation includes passion fruit juice, vanilla liqueur, and champagne – all the better for toasting with!
4. Danny Ocean
George Clooney fans will delight in this stiff drink inspired by one of his slickest roles – the eponymous Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven. The drink, which puts a current twist on the popular Paloma cocktail and is perfect for sipping on when you enjoy Blackjack games for real money, includes lemon juice, fresh pink grapefruit juice, agave nectar and maraschino liqueur. The magic ingredient is Casamigos Resposado Tequila – Clooney’s very own celebrity-back brand of booze.
5. Gregorio’s Rx
It is popular belief that Ernest Hemingway’s favourite drink was the mojito. However, in, ‘To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion,’ author Philip Greene delves into the famous author’s drinking habits, and reveals that Hemingway’s favourite drink was a little-known concoction made by the skipper of his boat, Gregorio Fuentes (who is believed to have served as a basis for the fisherman in ‘The Old Man and the Sea.’) Gregorio’s Rx has much in common with a mojito, and includes blonde rum, honey syrup, lime juice and mint leaves. It is shaken, strained over ice, and served with sparkling water and mint.
6. Diamond is Forever Martini
Costing almost $18 000, this cocktail is reportedly the most expensive in the world, so it must have the magic touch. It can be ordered from the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, and consists of Grey Goose vodka, and a hint of fresh lime. Oh yes, and of course a one-carat diamond resting at the bottom of the glass.
Sex and the City fans will be only too familiar with this classic cocktail, which has, in fact, actually been around since the ‘30s. Carrie Bradshaw and friends brought the drink new fame in the ‘90s, however, when it was featured on the show as their drink of choice. A cosmo a-la Sex and the City includes cranberry juice, lime juice, Cointreau and vodka, strained and served over ice in a martini glass.
8. French 75
Yet another classic cocktail popularized by a cult film. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s characters sipped on this cocktail, which is named after a powerful 75mm field gun, in the movie Casablanca. The drink is usually made with gin or cognac, lemon, sugar, ice and champagne.
One need not only go out to drink cocktails. With a good recipe, and a few key ingredients, most of these delicious libations are simple enough to make from home yourself. If you’re feeling bold, why not make an event of it, and include cocktails as part of your next glamorous party? Get each of your gal pals to bring an ingredient, and you’ll easily be able to stock up your bar without breaking the bank.