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The first definition of a cocktail appeared in the May 1806, edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, “What is a cocktail?”. The editor Harry Croswell replied:
“Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, in as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else”.