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What Are Your Favourite Types of Cocktail?

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published February 23rd 2013
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

A traditional cocktail has three main ingredients, sugar, water, and of course some kind of spirit; extra flavours such as fruit can then be added to the mix. These days, however, the term cocktail has taken on a wider term to mean any alcoholic mixed drink, or in some case a mixed drink without any alcohol at all.

Technically non-alcoholic cocktails are not really cocktails at all; I just think restaurants use the name to draw in non-drinkers. Well, you know what? It works. I don't drink - or at least not very much. The only alcoholic I've dried and liked is Bailey's - but I if I'm out with the family, I like to feel like I am joining in, so pretending that I'm having cocktail makes me feel more inclusive. My favourite restaurant, Mae Ping does three non-alchohlic cocktails: a Cinderella, a Virgin Pina Colada, and a Mango Fruit Cocktail. My favourite is the mango, which as you can probably guess contains the juices of a mango, as well as oranges, cranberries, and pineapple.

Of course, there are hundreds of 'proper' cocktails around for those who like their spirits, a lot of which come with fancy names attached to make them sound more exotic.

singapore sling
A Singapore Sling. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Gin based cocktails include the Singapore Sling, which contains pineapple juice, and is served with a foamy topping. There is also a rather suggestive Pink Lady, which is coloured using a pomegranate syrup known as grenadine.

A Mojito. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Although I'm not a drinker, I do like chocolate rum liqueurs, which is why I think a traditional Pina Colada with Rum, pineapple, and coconut sounds quite nice, and makes me think of relaxing on a tropical island. Another famous rum based drink is the Mojito, a clear drink that is probably very refreshing with its hints of mint and lime. Around Christmas you might like a Tom and Jerry (no, not the cat and mouse), but an eggnog cocktail with rum and brandy, served hot.

When covering cocktails, I can't leave out the most famous one of all. James Bond's drink of choice, is a dry vodka Martini, 'shaken, not stirred', while a Bloody Mary is a vodka-based drink for those who like things spicy; it is flavoured with tomato juice and tabasco sauce.

What is you cocktail of choice?
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