Food

18 Surprising Origin Stories of Your Favorite Cocktails 

Michael Darling
Updated June 14, 2019 572 votes 155 voters 33.7k views 18 items

List Rules Vote up the most interesting and fascinating origin stories of cocktails, not just your favorite cocktails that leave you with a massive hangover each Saturday morning.

Have you ever wondered how your favorite cocktails and alcoholic drinks were first conceived and how they got their names? Cocktail mixology goes back to the 1860s when alcohol was originally being mixed with water, sugar, and bitters. Today, your favorite libations may have any number of things mixed into them, from fruit purees to syrups to sodas. Whether you're a cocktail connoisseur or a casual bar patron, it's always nice to know where your favorite alcoholic drink originally came from.

What's your favorite cocktail? From Irish coffees to simple gin and tonics, we've got you covered. Read on to learn about the history of these great drinks, and vote up the most interesting origin stories that go with each one. From James Bond to rowdy teenagers on Spring Break, each of these popular cocktails had to start somewhere.

Whether you like vodka, rum, gin, or just about anything mixed with orange juice, this list is full of great drinks that all have unique origins you might not have known. Impress that hottie at the bar with the story behind what he or she is drinking, and bottoms up!
Margarita is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 18 Surprising Origin Stories of Your Favorite Cocktails
Photo:  PublicDomainImages/Pixabay/Public Domain

There's an old drink called the Daisy, which is a mix of brandy, triple sec, and lemon juice. According to legend, one day, a bartender in Tijuana was making a Daisy and accidentally grabbed a bottle of tequila instead of brandy. The accident became a hit at the bar, and it was quickly dubbed a Margarita (the Spanish word for daisy).

Source: TravelStart
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Screwdriver is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 18 Surprising Origin Stories of Your Favorite Cocktails
Photo: stevepb/Pixnio/Public Domain

The Screwdriver is a classic gateway drink for people just getting into cocktails. Surprisingly, its origins go back to Turkey in the late 1940s where American engineers working in Turkish oil fields would secretly add vodka to their orange juice. The engineers would then use a screwdriver to mix this easy to prepare drink.

Source: The Pub 
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Irish coffee is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 18 Surprising Origin Stories of Your Favorite Cocktails
Photo:  Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
On one particular cold night at Foynes Airport in the early 1940s, a group of Americans disembarked from their Pan-Am flying boat feeling absolutely frigid. In order to help them warm up quicker, the airport's head chef gave them all coffee with a few drops of whiskey in it. One passenger asked him if the robust drink was Brazilian coffee. The chef replied, "No, that's Irish coffee!"
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Tom Collins is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 18 Surprising Origin Stories of Your Favorite Cocktails
Photo:  Edsel Little/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

For some reason, in 1874, if you wanted to pull a great prank, you'd tell your friend that a man named Tom Collins had been spreading nasty rumors about him or her in a nearby bar. People would then run into the local pub and demand to see Tom Collins, much to the laughter (or confusion) of the bar's patrons. It seems some pioneering bartender heard that joke one too many times and decided to make this refreshing gin cocktail. That way the next time somebody ran into the bar demanding to see Tom Collins, the bartender could give him a drink.

Source: Mental Floss
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