Food Programme

BBC Radio 4

Arts, Food

Chart Positions

Food 24

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat


The cocktail, old and new

December 30th, 2012

Episode 247 of 621 episodes

Dan Saladino explores the cocktail, a story which begins with 18th century Indian punch and keeps on evolving with new wave flavours being developed in the bars of New York , London, Bristol and Manchester. After years of being out of fashion and misunderstood, the cocktail is making a comeback. Drinks that had been forgotten for decades, like the Sidecar, the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan have returned as a new generation is discovering the pleasures of a cold, expertly mixed drink. Cocktail expert Nick Strangeway explains that the renaissance is largely down to drinks "following on the coat tails" of wider changes in food in Britain. Meanwhile, television programmes like Sex in the City and Mad Men have excited the imagination of a generation less familiar with the Martini and Bloody Mary. Joe Carlin, author of Cocktails: A Global History provides some insights into why the cocktail became so successful in 19th century America and why it still endures to this day.