Everyone knows that lively cocktails add some punch to any great evening out or party. In fact, even though it was thought that cocktails were first invented in the United States, they were also partly inspired by the punches that were enjoyed in the UK around the 18th century, even getting a mention in a British newspaper that was printed in March 1798.
When did cocktails become popular?
In 1806, the Balance and Columbian Repository in New York defined a cocktail as being a stimulating liquor composed of any kind of sugar, water and bitters.
Of course, we can’t forget the major contribution from Jerry ‘Professor’ Thomas. He was an American bartender who wrote the book ‘The Bartender’s Guide’. This became a standard reference for bartenders right around the globe.
Next came the addition of ice to cocktails, thanks to Frederic ‘Ice King’ Tudor who discovered a way to transport ice in ships around both the US and internationally.
For a short time afterward, Prohibition in 1920 put a stop to cocktail consumption in the United States. This prompted bartenders to seek greener pastures to practise their skills, and cocktails made their way to other shores starting with the Polynesian islands where rum was plentiful.
What makes a good cocktail?
In essence, the perfect cocktail has to have balance. This means that all the ingredients have to blend together perfectly to give the final, mind-blowing taste.
So, the basic ingredients of any cocktail are:
- Your chosen spirit
- Ice (water)
For example, if you want to make a basic jug of mojito at home, you’ll need limes, granulated sugar, mint sprigs, ice, white rum and sparkling water. You need to crush the limes with the sugar to release all the lovely lime juice. Then, crush the mint leaves and add them to the limes. Add ice and rum to the mixture and stir to mix. Top up with sparkling water and serve with a slice of lime. Enjoy!
A selection of the top cocktail bars on the Northern Beaches
If you’re looking for a fun night out, here’s a selection of some of our favourite cocktail bars on the Northern Beaches.
932 Pittwater Road, Dee Why
Here you’ll find a selection of signature cocktails as well as gourmet pizzas, share plates and craft beers. Cocktail choices include Garden Margarita, Myrtle in Rouge and Choc-Chipped Espresso Martini.
East Esplanade, Manly
There’s nothing better than sitting back with a cocktail or two overlooking Manly beach. Their signature cocktails include the limoncello-flavoured Amalfi, Saint Maxime and Spiced Pineapple Margarita.
17b Whistler Street, Manly
This is only a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant for 32 guests but makes up for it in atmosphere and exciting and inventive cocktail offerings. Their staff cocktail pick is the Pew Pew Sour that blends Davidson plum pisco with salted cucumber, chamomile, citrus and fresh mint tea.
116 Nareen Parade, North Narrabeen
Fancy a bit of barefoot bowls on the beach followed by a round of cocktails? This is definitely the spot for you. It was recently voted as the ‘best bar on the Northern Beaches’ by Matt Preston and The Daily Telegraph.
2/209-211 Ocean St, Narrabeen
If margaritas are your favourite choice of cocktail, this is definitely the place to go. Not only can you enjoy Pink Margarita, Chocolate Margarita, Jalapeno Margarita and Passionfruit Margarita, but also a deliciously different Mexican menu.
8/1 Moore Road, Freshwater
Enjoy some amazing signature cocktails not found elsewhere. They even have a ‘happy hour’ between 4 pm and 6pm daily. Some of their offerings include Creme my Brulee, Keep it Mellow, Sweet Senorita and Amalfi Spritz.
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