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Mixology is the art of combining various ingredients to make libations. This entry discusses the history of drink mixing, the contributions of Jerry Thomas, the impact of Prohibition, and mixology today.

Etymological Origins and History of the Cocktail

Adding fruits and spices to beer and wine has been in practice for thousands of years. Although some evidence points to these mixtures as methods for masking bad flavors associated with inferior fermentation technology, mixtures also functioned as digestive or medicinal concoctions or as part of celebrations. The medicinal use of cocktails using distilled spirits as a base may have originated in the Middle Ages, when the technology to distill spread widely. Early distillations may have required added flavors and diluting agents to mitigate harsh flavors, and the mellowing ...

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