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World Cocktail Day

A worldwide celebration of cocktails takes place today, commemorating the anniversary of the first time "cocktail" was defined in print. Although the word appeared several years earlier, it was on May 13, 1806, that Harry Croswell, editor of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a New York State tabloid, defined a cocktail as "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters…," in response to an inquiry from one of the publication's readers, who had previously seen the word mentioned in the tabloid. Similar definitions are given to the cocktail today; it can be defined as a drink that contains two or more ingredients with one of them being alcohol.

The Museum of the American Cocktail created World Cocktail Day and World Cocktail Week. In 2006, the 200th anniversary of the cocktail was celebrated at the museum and at locations around the world. Since then, the cocktail celebration has continued to be held on May 13 each year, with events taking place at the museum and around the world. Festivals, cocktail seminars, roundtable discussions, and demonstrations are examples of some such events. Specialist cocktail menus and celebratory toasts are also commonplace.

How to Observe World Cocktail Day

Celebrate by mixing a cocktail at home or having one at a bar or cocktail lounge. If mixing your own, you could use a recipe from the International Bartenders Association or The Museum of the American Cocktail Pocket Recipe Guide. Share your cocktail photos and recipes on social media and tag them with #WCD plus the year. Check for events like festivals, cocktail seminars, roundtable discussions, and demonstrations. The ideal place to be is the Museum of the American Cocktail. Check their website for information about official events they are hosting.

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