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The cocktail is an iconic yet simple mix of spirits, sweetener, bitters, and ice. It benefits from an expeditious hand and carefully selected ingredients. Classic for a reason, these drinks prove that the simplest things can be the best. The Negroni, the Sazerac, the Old Fashioned, and the Mint Julep are all true cocktails.
The word for punch originally comes from the Sanskrit word for the number five because it was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, citrus, sugar, water, and spices. Now it's come to mean a wide variety of flavorings and fruit juices sweetened and fortified with spirits. Because of their traditional consumption in self-serve social settings, responsibly made punches are mixed to a lower percentage of alcohol than a cocktail.
The origins of the posset go all the way back to Britain in the middle ages, when ale or wine was mixed with spiced milk and consumed as a folk remedy for winter illnesses. The original posset was more like a drink of curds and whey with nutmeg or cinnamon. A couple centuries later, people were making edible possets of cream thickened in a much more refined fashion, with eggs, sugar, and citrus. The posset's next phasing, from mousse to thick beverage, happened when it evolved from a soft beverage to hard one. Eggnog, The Ramos Gin Fizz, The White Russian, and the Pina Colada are all possets.
Grog originally referred to a drink made from "small beer", citrus juice, and rum mixed together for everyday thirst-slaking. In modern times, grog is used synonymously with long drink or highball to define a beverage that has a greater portion of mixer than spirit and thus a larger volume per serving. The Gin and Tonic, the Tom Collins, the Cuba Libre and the Dark and Stormy are all classic examples of grogs.