Cocktail is the most widely used mixed drink. Historically, it is considered that cocktails were invented about 200 years ago by the Spanish and Portuguese who got to America. They taught their new fellow countrymen a new entertainment - cock fights, which soon became very popular in America. Whenever the competitions were finished, convivial festivals were arranged where the participants mixed all kinds of drinks that were at hand. For mixed drinks the ingredients of different colors and weight were used, and all these liquids poured in one glass created many-colored layers, resembling an ornament of a cock's tail. Hence, probably, the name of cocktail came into being. Nowadays many various combinations of ingredients and new trends in cocktails decorating appeared.
A real help in preparing cocktails is a shaker. It includes a container, a vented lid and a cap. Made of stainless steel or glass or acrylic, shakers can be of different colors, various capacities and styles. Shakers are designed to mix and chill the drinks. In a shaker you can mix the cocktail ingredients, for example, a liqueur, a fruit liqueur, a syrup, cream, and eggs, the components that can hardly go together well in other circumstances. To prepare a cocktail, put several cubes of ice into the shaker for it to be chilled, meanwhile prepare drink ingredients. Then pour the water that was created as a result of ice melting out of the shaker; pour in all the ingredients of the drink, tightly shut the cap and, with rapid sharp motions, mix the drink horizontally. The mixing process takes 10-15 minutes.
You should remember that when mixing takes longer, the ice turns into water and, therefore, spoils the flavor of the drink. However, when a recipe includes champagne, cider or aerated drinks, the latter must not be poured into the shaker, but mixed with the ready-made drink in glasses or cups directly.
So, when all the ingredients are ready, you can start. Making the minimal efforts, you can make all kinds of mixed drinks using the shaker. There are aperitif-cocktails and digestive ones. The former provoke the appetite and are served before the meal. They are strong drinks with a significant alcohol content; therefore, it is not advisable to drink them through the straw. Aperitif-cocktails are based on vodka and bitter liqueur, cognac and brandy, gin, whisky, rum and wine. To make one, for example, "Sunny", you need one part of lemon vodka and white dry vermouth and half part of sugar syrup. This cocktail is prepared in the shaker and served in a beaker without ice.
Digestive cocktails help digestion, and therefore, they are served after meals. This is the largest group of cocktails with different flavors. For their preparation various products are used, including fruit juices, eggs, honey, cream and liqueur, vodka and wine. The tastiest are the cocktails with cream. They are also prepared in the shaker, with all the ingredients taken in equal proportions, and served without ice in a goblet with a straw. For example, to make a cocktail called "Toreador", take coffee liqueur, white rum and cream in equal proportions. You do not need to be a professional to prepare cocktails - the shaker will do it for you.