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cocktail,short mixed drink originating in the United States and served as an appetizer. It generally has a basis of gin, whisky, rum, or brandy combined with vermouth or fruit juices and often flavored with bitters or grenadine. It is blended by stirring or shaking in a vessel containing cracked ice. The term is also applied to nonalcoholic beverages served as appetizers, e.g., tomato juice cocktail, and also to mixed, cut-up fruits and to shellfish and oysters served with a sharp sauce.
(Russian, kokteil), a drink made of a combination of such ingredients as vodka, bitters, fruit liqueurs, grape wines, cognac, rum, juices, fruits, berries, cream, eggs, honey, ice cream, and ice. Cocktails are usually bright and varicolored. They are prepared as either strong drinks or dessert drinks; they are carefully mixed in a metal shaker. Some cocktails do not need mixing and are prepared directly in goblets or tall wineglasses.