What is the difference between a mixed drink and a cocktail?

What is the difference between a mixed drink and a cocktail?

If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re drinking a mixed drink or a cocktail, henny, you're not alone. There's plenty of confusion to go around about what distinguishes the two. Is there any difference, or can “mixed drink” and “cocktail” be used interchangeably?

The debate between mixed drink vs. cocktail has been going on for years. But it’s time to set the record straight…offically!

There’s an oh-so-subtle but definite difference between the two. It’s in the mix and proportion of the ingredients. That’s the tipping point when the humble mixed drink transforms into something with a little more spunk: a cocktail.

What makes a mixed drink a cocktail?

While it’s tempting to toss around the terms “mixed drink” and “cocktail” without a care when you’re ordering a Strawberry Daiquiri, you can impress your squirrel friends (and the sexy bartender) by knowing the difference between the two.

It can be argued that a cocktail falls under the category of a mixed drink but not vice versa.

A mixed drink generally refers to any drink that contains two or more ingredients, typically alcohols. On the other hand, a cocktail contains specific proportions of alcohol, sweetener, and mixer. It’s often served over ice with a fun, fruity, decorative garnish.

The Anatomy of a Cocktail

To truly appreciate what means to call the masterful concoction you’re about to drink a “cocktail,” you have to understand its anatomy. Now that we’ve piqued your interest, a cocktail is composed of three parts: the base, the modifier (or body), and the perfume.

The base spirit provides the drink's flavor and alcohol content, such as one or two of the following: vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey, or brandy. The modifier, or the body-ody-ody of the cocktail, contains juice, cream, champagne, or vermouth, enhancing the base spirit's flavor.

Finally, the perfume completes the cocktail with a small dash of a liqueur, bitters, syrup, or perhaps coffee. While a garnish is optional, you can’t go wrong with lemon wedges, olives, cherries, or whatever your heart desires.

What about canned cocktails?

There’s no doubt that cocktails are having a moment, especially with the new popular convenience of canned cocktails. These portable drinks are a great way to enjoy a tasty cocktail without having to lug around a bunch of ingredients.

You can't go wrong with a canned cocktail, especially when they come in sexy flavor choices like Pomegranate Lime Vodka, Watermelon Vodka, and Tangerine Margarita.

What’s the difference between a cocktail and a mocktail?

A cocktail contains alcohol, while a mocktail is made with non-alcoholic mixers, such as juice or soda. Just between us squirrel friends, a mocktail like a Ginger Mule or a Coloda allows you to enjoy all the flavor of a cocktail without the kick. And best of all, canned mocktails are having a moment too!

Category is … Ready to Drink Cocktails

The global phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race, is extending its message of love, light and laughter with HOUSEOFLOVE, a new collection of delicious ready-to-drink canned cocktails and mouthwatering canned mocktails. As the iconic RuPaul would say, “Can I get an ‘Amen’ up in here?” 

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