A mixed drink typically made by mixing a distilled spirit with one or more other ingredients, the very word cocktail conjures up images of glamour, sophistication, theatre, and delicious drinks.
Highly skilled bartenders (or mixologists or liquid chefs), exotic ingredients, jiggers and muddlers and shakers, gorgeous glassware, citrus twists and sugar rims. A dark and moody bar with a roaring fire, or a lounger beneath a palm tree beside a pool.
Keen to try mixing a cocktail at home? Why not start with a classic straight from the International Bartenders' Association ...
6 cl (6 parts) Gin
1 cl (1 part) Dry Vermouth
Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain in chilled martini glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with olive.
And a tip from George Burns, the great wit and comedian who lived to 100, "I never go jogging, it makes me spill my martini."