Tall Tales and Cocktails

Tall Tales and Cocktails
Share With Your Friends:

Lock up your black cats, kick over the ladders, and dust off your lucky rabbit’s foot, because today is Friday 13th. Now I’m not superstitiously inclined, but there’s still something about the day that makes me relieved that I’ve made it to sunset without choking on an olive or accidentally selling my kidneys online. Espresso MartiniOne cocktail story always springs to mind when I think about superstitions, and that’s the myth of the Espresso Martini. Allegedly it was created when a model walked into a bar back in 1984 and demanded she got a drink that would ‘wake me up, and then f**K me up.’ Charming. But luckily for us, the barman obliged with the first ever Espresso Martini, originally called ‘The Stimulant’.

One of the rumours I’ve heard is that three was the model’s lucky number, and, being very superstitious, she demanded that this be the number of coffee beans floating on top. And I bet she didn’t say please. True or not, there are several myths and rumours that surround the origins of certain cocktails. And, in the spirit of the day, I’m going to go over a few of them. So the Espresso Martini can credit a knackered (and rather rude) model, but what other flukes of mixology do we have?

How about the Pina-Colada . Apparently it was invented after a certain Don Ramon Lopez decided he needed to shift a bulk order of the premade cream of coconut drink he sold. Realising that the best way to market this product was to combine it with tons of alcohol and sell it to the boozy masses, then he gave a stock to several bartenders, challenging them to come up with a cocktail. Thus the Pina Colda was born.

Tom Collins cocktailThen there are names. Tom Collins could have been the guy who invented the drink. But there are some who believe that it came from a popular hoax in 1876. The trick was to tell your friend you’d just been in a local bar, where a guy called ‘Tom Collins’ had been badmouthing them. They’d rush to the bar, where the barman would inform them Tom had just moved to the next tavern. This ruse continued, until your hot, sweaty and miffed mate had rushed all over town. The cocktail is thought to have come from a savvy bartender whom, upon having the demand of ‘Tom Collins!” made of him, slammed the sour drink down instead. Well, they might have had a weird idea of fun back in those days, but their cocktail making was bang on.

And that isn’t the only cocktail named from a person. There’s the Harvey Wallbanger, for example. One theory suggests that it was invented by a surfer dude who liked to drink Screwdrivers, but would get whacky by adding a little Galliano float on top. He’d arrive from a day on the waves and neck so many that he’d end up stumbling around, banging into walls. His name? Harvey, naturally.

The last one to mention could be the Manhattan. Popular myth suggests the good old mother of Winston Churchill, while in Manhattan, asked for a take on a martini that was a bit sweeter than the norm. Seems she had a penchant for sugar as much as her son did for the fizz. The result? A martini with whisky and a cherry. But some historians have put the kybosh on this by saying Mrs C wasn’t even in America at the time. Ah well. So, if you manage to get through the day without being fired/loosing your watch/stubbing your toe, then go celebrate in your local bar with a cocktail, and wonder what fluke of history brought this creation to your hand.



Written by Guest Author

Posted: June 13, 2014