Stuck on naming your next cocktail? Find inspiration in our essential guide on how to name a cocktail in 12 creative ways.
Several years ago, when a bartender created a bespoke cocktail for us, I asked for the name of the drink. He quickly made something up on the spot, part descriptive of the key ingredient and part whimsical. When I asked him to explain the whimsical part, he said because he didn’t like coming up with names and it was the first thing that came to mind.
For some bartenders including home bartenders, naming a newly-created cocktail can be a challenge. The name needs to be catchy, memorable and provoke interest as well as convey some information about the cocktail be it its cocktail family, key ingredient or a feeling.
Below are a few suggestions to spark creativity when it comes to how to name cocktails.
How to Name a Cocktail
1. Apply a Historical Reference
Cocktail names can evoke a sense of time and a place in history such as the French 75 cocktail, named after the French-made 75-millimetre guns used during World War I. Other examples include The Journalist Cocktail from the 1930s and in more recent times, The Quarantini.
2. Call it a Namesake
Staying with the classics, cocktails can be named after a famous person, eg Charlie Chaplin Cocktail, Rob Roy, Mary Pickford Cocktail and The Costa Spritzer, created for Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis.
3. Keep It in the Cocktail Family
4. Riff on a Classic
5. Refer to a Location
Cocktail names can conjure up a location and give a sense of locale such as the Clover Club where the cocktail was created, the Hotel Nacional Special which invented in Cuba or a more generic location such as The Seaside Nori Whisky Highball.
6. Be Literal
One of the easiest ways to name a cocktail is to be literal and base it on the ingredients. Watermelon and Coriander Margarita tells is as it is: a Margarita with watermelon juice and coriander. Other examples include Prickly Pear Margarita Slushie with Coriander Leaf and Just Peachy Whisky Cocktail.