The term “cocktail” is a word with a speculative origin. Several amusing theories exist about how a combination of alcohol and other flavorings came to be called a cocktail. However, one thing is certain – people love cocktails, and cocktail parties are a staple of the holiday season.
At your next cocktail party, offer these theories about how cocktails came to be. Take a vote among the guests for their favorite story:
- The 16th century beverage known as “cock’s ale” actually included a dead rooster as one of the key ingredients. Cock’s ale was also the 17th century name given to a type of high-alcohol beverage fed to fighting cocks before an event.
- Shortly after the American war for independence against the British, an innkeeper in Yorktown served a meal of roasted chicken to a group of military officers. The birds were stolen from an unpopular British neighbor. After the meal, patrons were moved to the inn’s bar, where they were served drinks with the stolen chicken’s feathers as decoration. The party lasted until the wee hours, with the officers demanding more “cock tails.”
- Horses whose tails were bobbed were commonly described as “cocktailed.” During this era, beverages served in bars were also quite potent. The effect of the mixed alcohol drinks was said to have the ability to “cock the tail,” or surprise unwary customers by getting them tipsy in a hurry.
Planning a Fantastic Cocktail Party
The kids have gone to Grandma’s house, and it is finally time to enjoy that swanky holiday party for adults only. But wait a minute! A fabulous party really starts with an invitation that sets the stage for the event. Show off your creative, fun side by sending red invitations featuring lively ornaments in wild animal patterns.
As a fashionable alternative, try holiday stationery with a turquoise background. Holiday ornaments feature brown and lime green zebra and cheetah motifs. This trendy look boldly says that a fantastic holiday party is in the works.
The cocktail party format works well for either business or personal events. Just be sure to gently remind guests that it’s not a good idea to bring the kids.
A traditional cocktail party is fairly short in duration, no more than a couple of hours. Be sure to serve some light appetizers and have non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers. Have plenty of ice, mixers and the right type of glassware on hand. Including beer or wine as an alternative to hard liquor is a nice touch.
Decorate your cocktails with swizzle sticks that tie into your wild animal stationery theme and use cocktail napkins that share the color scheme.
At the end of the evening, have coffee available and keep an eye out for anyone who has imbibed a bit too much. Good hosts keep things lively and fun without letting guests get too carried away.
Join in the spirit of the season with a holiday cocktail party that everyone will enjoy.