Whether it’s at clubs, bars, or rooftops, the pillar of today’s nightlife lays on drinks. The party scene of our generation features many mixed drinks, some very well known for generations, while others are just making it into the spotlight for the first time.
Starting in the 1910s, cocktails began to appear around the party scenes. People commonly made them by mixing liquor with sweet and bitter flavors. The Daiquiri, a cocktail made with white rum, syrup, and lime juice, is a typical popular drink of the time. The trend of mixed drinks became much more popular in the ’20s, because of the prohibition of liquor in the United States. People began to drink bootlegged liquor, which made them want to mask the taste of alcohol with different flavors.
However, in the ’30s and ’40s, people’s tastes shifted towards more elaborate cocktails, including a bigger variety of ingredients and flavors than before. The Bloody Mary, for instance, is made with vodka, tomato juice, salt, pepper, hot sauce and spices, and became popular after the era of prohibition ended in the United States. It was created in Paris, then taken to the US, as a result of people’s experimentation with various ingredients.
The ’50s and ’60s saw the return of more simplistic classic cocktails, such as the martini, a simple mix of gin and vermouth that became known for being James Bond’s signature drink.
The popularity of the more creative cocktails rose again in the ’80s. The general fashion trends of the decade included bright, neon, colors, which was reflected in people’s choice of cocktails. Drinkers started to become more interested in fruity, colorful cocktails, such as the Long Island Iced Tea and the Pina Colada.
During the 1990s and 2000s, the trend was mixing more than one liquor in the same cocktail. The Cosmopolitan became one of the most popular cocktails of the era, made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice, after being featured in the TV show Sex and the City as the main character’s favorite drink. Also, well-known celebrities at the time liked to drink Cosmopolitans, making it a big part of pop culture for a while.
After 2010, some of the more classic cocktails returned to the scene, featuring the Old Fashioned as one of the trendiest again, made with Bourbon, Angostura Bitters, sugar, and club soda.
So far, 2019 has seen a variety of interesting trends. The classics continue to be some of the most beloved drinks, including the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan, and the Dry Martini. These drinks are symbols of sophistication, elegance, and a reminder of the trends of past decades, making them appear stylish even today.
Trends surrounding our generation are shaped by our taste for the aesthetics of cocktails. Social media has become part of most of our daily lives, making the appearance of a cocktail more appealing to us than ever. We like to post our drinks on social media, which explains the rise in popularity of cocktails aesthetically pleasing to the eye, such as the Aperol Spritz.
We see creative adaptations of cocktails all around us. For instance, the Moscow Mule is sometimes served on copper glasses, decorated with grapefruit slices or rosemary. The Lust Gin and Tonic, an adaptation of the classic Gin and Tonic, is mixed with strawberries to make it tastier and more colorful.
Whether we choose classic or more innovative cocktails, these drinks make up a big part of our social lives. While some trends never seem to go out of fashion, we adopt others to fit our new tastes and styles. What are some of your favorite drinks?