bombed with cannon fire

Some of the cocktails you make in your bar or order on a night out have roots that are something of legend and myth. Here are three cocktails that have saved lives and gave Great Britain its reputation.

The Mojito

british fleet

In 1586 there was a fleet of English ships that were stranded on the coast of the new found Americas. The same said fleet had been raiding villages up and down the coast and the crew had caught many new sickness’ from the land that they had never came into contact with before. After they had been pillaging and taking gold from the new found land, they had done more than simply anger the natives and were being hunted in a race to be able to reach their ships. However, with this new illness their energy was weak and by the time they reached the ships they were neither fit enough to sail nor fight so they were simply aboard slowly dying.

Sir Francis Drake then thought of mixing remedies for similar illness’ back home with rum to be able to give some Dutch courage to the men. He began a cocktail mixing process consisting of Mint, Lime, Bark, Sugar and a more than unhealthy dose of rum. The mixture was then given to then men who were on their feet within 3 hours and at sea within 6 hours. The crew were to soon return home with a haul of American gold and a cocktail recipe that would shape bars around the world for years to come.

The cocktail mixture has changed over time and so has the name from the original El Draque to Mojito. The original ingredients have also changed for legal and flavour reasons but the legend stays the same.

Gin & Tonic


The gin and Tonic was a drink that helped the British Empire conquer India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Jamaica and many other hot low lying countries. These countries had millions of mosquitoes and other insects that would spread malaria throughout the country to both troops and colonists. So the British forces looked to see what natives were using to fight malaria in different places around the world and noticed that some of the moors of Arabia where using cinchona tree bark to be able to fight malaria and insects.

The bark its self tasted disgusting so in 1858 it was put in a concoction of sugar an soda to be able to make tonic water and help fight the illness. However, this water didn’t taste much better so the soldiers used to start cocktail mixing the gin with the tonic water to be able to mask the taste and help them relax from the pain they were feeling.

This in turn made them start to like the taste of the and when they returned home they began to order the drink at bars and pubs throughout the empire and the colonies and it soon became a trend throughout the empire to ask for a Gin and Tonic.

The French 75



This obviously saysthe French 75 but it has actually played a massive roll in the world war one with the British Empire. The name its self comes from the French field guns in world war one as they too had one of the most powerful kicks in the world.

The cocktail was mixed and given to British forces at Armentieres before they would be sent further down the line. The main reason was that the drink is very strong and would give them a kick to wake them up after a small amount. Then they would be given brandy and sent to the line. The cocktail mixing abilities of the French went hand in hand with the British advancement and helped the British stay at ease during this hard time.

This is the rarest yet most effective way they would have them travelling and without this powerful drink it would have been very difficult for them to be able to reach the front line with moral and strength.

It simply shows that throughout time the British people and armies have turned to cocktail mixing to be able to solve problems and keep them on their toes in times of need. If you want to learn more about cocktail mixing then have a look at our many other blogs for recipes and information.