Okazaki A reason to drink alcohol is never far from reach. Especially since the onset of the COVID pandemic, we’ve all had plenty of excuses to reach for a cocktail…yes, even before 5 o’clock anywhere. Cocktails actually have a very interesting history related to pandemics and other health concerns; so interesting, in fact, it might just inspire your next cocktail party.
The classic Gin & Tonic was invented in the 19th century and was actually a health tonic used by the Brits. It was popular especially among those who were traveling to India and other hot climates. Gin was seen as a medieval cure-all, tonic was thought to prevent malaria, and the citrus of lemon or lime was thought to prevent scurvy.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 also inspired cocktail creations such as the Corpse Reviver, the Penicillin Cocktail, and the Medicina Latina.
Naturally our own COVID pandemic also birthed several new cocktails, particularly as the world took to staying at home the majority of the time. With closed bars and restaurants, home bartending became the name of the game and our at-home drunk goggles took cocktail creativity to new heights with the Kumquarantini (with kumquat syrup), the Kombucha Quarantini, and the Charmin Quarantini.
Of course, many of us don’t really want to do our own bartending, but we still want our favorite cocktails, which is what makes ready-to-drink cocktails so perfect. Twenty-twenty saw an overall increase in online alcohol purchases of 243%, and ready-to-drink popularity grew by 43%. By 2024, ready-to-drink is expected to make up 20% of all alcohol e-commerce.