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The history of the classic Coffee Cocktail

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1887 | A place unknown to history

The main intrigue of this cocktail's recipe? There's not a gram of coffee in it, nor was there ever. It's purely a game of associations connected with the color – and, partially, the taste – of the drink. The shining combination of cognac and port turns it into an ideal alternative to coffee before and especially after dinner.

Above all else, it's worth noting that the Coffee cocktail is one of the first to appear in bar literature. After appearing in 1887 on the pages of the Jerry Thomas' first edition of "The Bar-Tender's Guide, or How To Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks," to this day, the cocktail remains the most famous drink involving port.

In essence, it is a kind of flip: a hot alcoholic drink with eggs and spices. It is believed that the term owes its origin to the sound made by a hot nail thrown into a mug. In good old England, drinks were warmed up in this very way – in addition, heated pokers or metal rings were also used.

Diving deeper into genealogy, all drinks in the "flip" category are close relatives of the well-known egg nog, just prepared without milk.

Thus, the hot spiced Christmas ale, poured into small glasses called "noggins" gave life to egg-nog. Then the baton was passed to one of the main drinks for gentlemen. Incidentally, George Washington was a big fan of hot eggy drinks. The first President of the United States is even credited with the original recipe for the "coffee cocktail."

See the recipe


Historian: Vladimir Zhuravlev
Illustrations: Mine
Journalists: Sara Davis, Samantha Johnson

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