The great authority, probably the greatest authority, on this interesting subject is a gentleman who, with the true modesty of genius, allows himself to be known only by the pseudonym of jerry Thomas. Formerly a bar-tender at the Metropolitan Hotel, New York, and the Planter's House, St. Louis, he is said to have travelled over Europe and America in "search of all that is recondite in this branch of the spirit art." His very name, says one of his admirers, is synonymous in the lexicon of mixed drinks with all that is rare and original.
Among, the chief American drinks are, being alphabetically arranged, cobblers, cocktails, cups, flips, juleps, mulls, nectars, neguses, noggs, punches - of which there are at least three score - sangarees, shrubs, slings, smashes, and toddies.1
1 The dictionary explanations of these terms are commonly unsatisfactory. The experience of the bar-tender is more than the teaming of the lexicographer. Cobbler, indeed, is well explained as compounded of wine, sugar, lemon, and sucked up through.
The cobbler is an American invention, though now common in other countries. It requires small skill in its composition, but should be arranged to please the eye. Of this drink the straw is the leading characteristic.
The cocktail is a comparatively modern discovery. In this drink Bogart' s Bitters occupies invariably a prominent place. The Crusta is an improvement on the cocktail, and is said to have been invented by Santina, a celebrated Spanish caterer. Its differentia is a small quantity of lemon juice and a little lump of ice. The paring of a lemon must also line the glass, from which feature it probably derives its name.
Flip has been immortalised by Dibdin as the favourite beverage of sailors, though it has been asserted that they seldom drink it; a somewhat hazardous statement, unless limited to the times in which there is none to be had. The essential feature in a flip is repeated pouring between two vessels, supposed to straw; but of cocktail we only learn that it is a compounded drink much used in America. The etymologies given are generally satisfactory. Julep is from
rose water. Mull from mulled, erroneously taken as a past participle. According to Wedgwood, mulled is a form of mould, and mulled ale is funeral ale, potatio funerosa. Nogg is from noggin, signifying a pot, and then the strong beer which it contains. Negus is commonly known to have been the invention of Col. Francis Negus in the reign of Anne. Punch is of course from the
signifying 5, from its five original ingredients, to wit, aqua vitae, rose water, sugar, arrack, and citron juice. A very unsatisfactory derivation of Sangaree is from the Spanish sangria, the incision of a vein. Shrub is clearly the Arabic
Smash, explained curtly as iced brandy and water. Slang. is probably from the smashing of the ice; while sling seems evidently to be from the German schlingen, to swallow.
produce smoothness in the drink. The Slang Dictionary holds flip to be synonymous with Flannel, the old term for gin and beer drunk hot with nutmeg, sugar, etc., a play on the old name lamb's wool. The anecdote of Goldsmith drinking flannel in a night-house with George Parker, Ned Shuter, and the demure, grave-looking gentleman, is well known.