Freshly-minted specialty cocktail recipes now dot menus nationwide, and today's cocktail connoisseur expects greater thought and creativity. The Savory Pantry stands ready with a wide selection of cocktail preparations that will make your bar the one to watch and cocktail gifts that will help your recipient's spirits soar. We'll help you incorporate shrubs, bitters, syrups, and other cocktail ingredients into your bartending routine without fuss, and share original recipes through our blog that are tested to impress. So belly up for delicious cocktails and be a trend-starter among friends, colleagues, or whomever you are entertaining!
Origins of "Cocktail"
There is much debate about the origins of the now-common term "cocktail," which the Oxford American Dictionary of Current English reminds us can reference even non-alcoholic mixtures (e.g. fruit cocktail). But as to the alcoholic sort . . . Was it something naughty first referenced in a satirical newspaper in 1798 to describe a rollicking party the night before? Was it an 1803 article from The Farmer's Cabinet in Vermont, claiming such drinks to be "excellent for the head"? Perhaps it will never be pinpointed, but most agree that by 1806, there was a common understanding of cocktail as an alcoholic drink composed of mixed spirits—which at that time included cocktail bitters. Read more about bitters and how they are used on our blog.
What is the best cocktail mixer or syrup for my preferred alcohol? What are aromatic bitters and how do I use them? What is a shrub drink? Of course these questions have winding and objective answers, but let's delve in. Best cocktail mixer or syrup? Follow your tastebuds by looking through our Mixers & Ingredients. Click on the item that sounds appealing to you, and you'll usually find a description of the taste profile along with suggested uses. Curious about bitters? Bitters come from infusing high octane spirits with an array of barks, roots, herbs, botanicals, fruits, and spices. The result is a concentrated and pleasantly pungent rush to the tongue, intended for use in splashes and dashes, and they can be used in cocktails or mocktails. What is a shrub drink? Making shrub syrup was originally a means of preserving fruit long after it was picked prior to the widespread availability and use of refrigeration. The technique survives today using a combination of vinegar or fruit juice, sugar, and other ingredients. The result is a tasty concoction that can help you add flavor without sweetness.
Top 5 Cocktail Mixers & Ingredients
Overwhelmed? Start with a set like our Bittermilk Bar Set and let the experiments begin! Or, make it easy by following the crowd and trying one of our "Top 5" Mixers:
- Walker's Southern Bloody Mary Mix
- Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
- 1888 Dirtiest Martini Mix
- Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour Mixer
- Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned Mixer
Unexpected additions like pickled asparagus or citrus-stuffed olives can make drinks double as snacks and help you reach your daily veggie quota, or coat your rim with a kick that's good enough to lick.
Whether you are de-mystifying the cocktail ingredients that have you the most baffled or adding new products to your already nuanced cocktail repertoire, we hope you'll have fun exploring all the options in our pantry!