Food - Drink
The Real Difference Between A Cocktail And A Mixed Drink
What do you call that fruity umbrella drink you're sipping by the pool? Some might call it a cocktail, while others might prefer the term "mixed drink." While the two names are often used interchangeably, there is a difference — it just might depend on who you ask to figure out exactly where that line is drawn.
According to Drinxville, one rule of thumb for bartending is "all cocktails are mixed drinks, but not all mixed drinks are cocktails." For instance, bartenders interviewed by Cocktail Novice agreed that part of what makes a cocktail a cocktail is the amount of effort and presentation that goes into fashioning the drink.
On the flip side, Go Puff notes that most people consider a mixed drink to be one that includes one alcoholic beverage and one mixer — such as a fruit juice, soda, or tonic water. These drinks might be topped off with a garnish, but in general include only the two primary ingredients, whereas a cocktail includes three or more ingredients.