And Then There Were Spirits!

May 13, 1806. The first definition of a cocktail as an alcoholic beverage appears in The Balance and Columbian Repository. Originally, the definition only included spirits, water, sugar, and bitters, but the cocktail evolves to include citrus and liqueurs. The word “cocktail” becomes more widely used, and by the twentieth century, it is used as a generic reference to any mixed drink. The first “cocktail party” is credited to Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr. in St. Louis, Missouri in 1917. Commercial sales of alcoholic beverages boom and bars become widespread.