World Cocktail Day Date in the current year: May 13, 2024

World Cocktail Day Treat yourself to your favorite cocktail on May 13 because it is World Cocktail Day. This amazing holiday commemorates the day when the first definition of a cocktail as an alcoholic beverage was published.

The term cocktail typically refers to an alcoholic mixed drink that consists of a hard liquor or a combination of several spirits, wine or beer mixed with other ingredients called drink mixers. Common drink mixers include bitters, carbonated water, tonic water, sodas, fruit juices, coffee, iced tea, energy drinks, cream, flavored syrups, sugar, honey, ice cream, herbs, sauces, egg whites, and more. Mixed drinks that resemble cocktails but don’t contain any alcohol are usually called “virgin cocktails” or “mocktails”.

The origin of the word “cocktail” (originally spelled “cock-tail”) is unclear. The first definition that explicitly states that cocktail is an alcoholic beverage was published in The Balance and Columbian Repository on May 13, 1806. Answering a reader’s question, the newspaper’s editor Harry Croswell defined cocktail as a “stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters”.

The cocktail culture began to evolve in the second half of the 19th century and has had its ups and downs over the course of its history. Today, both classic cocktails and newly invented mixed drinks are extremely popular among bar-goers. Some of them, such as the Manhattan, Martini, and Mojito, have become pop culture phenomena and staples and bars and restaurants around the globe.

There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of cocktails out there, but only 90 of them (as of 2021) are recognized as “official cocktails” by the International Bartender Association (IBA). The IBA official cocktails are the most requested recipes that bartenders around the globe are expected to know; they are split into three large groups: The Unforgettables, Contemporary Classics, and New Era Drinks.

World Cocktail Day was launched by Drinkaware, a UK-based charity that helps people make better choices about their drinking by providing impartial, evidence-based information about alcohol and its dangers, as well as advice and practical resources to help people change their relationship with alcohol and reduce the harm that drinking can have on people and their families.

The main goal of World Cocktail Day is to celebrate all the different cocktails that allow people to have fun while drinking responsibly. There are many ways to observe this amazing holiday. You can go out to you favorite bar and have a couple of cocktails (just don’t drink and drive), throw a cocktail party for your friends, learn new cocktail recipes or make your favorite cocktail with a new twist, read about the history of your favorite cocktails, start a home bar, enroll in a mixology class, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #WorldCocktailDay and #CocktailDay.

World Cocktail Day should not be confused with National Cocktail Day. The latter is celebrated annually on March 24; it was created by freelance author, editor, and cocktail enthusiast Jace Shoemaker-Galloway in 2013.

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