Actually, This is More About Intelligent Design...

Actually, This is More About Intelligent Design….

Via Reese, I discovered, and just ordered, a very cool poster entitled The Evolution of the Cocktail. It’s a computer-generated phylogenic tree of common cocktails. Phylogeny groups species by the genes they have in common, and this chart shows the relationships between drinks based on ingredients. Some listings are grand classics and some are God-awful spring break concoctions guaranteed to make guys like Darcy cry. What may raise your eyebrows is how closely related a Gibson is to an Adios Motherf***er….
Evolution of the Cocktail
The chart uses color as well as structure to represent relationships, and each line is a single drink recipe, but alas no mixing instructions. A version 2.0 of this chart would be even cooler if Jim included ice, glass, garnish, and assembly to the data. While I don’t have my copy yet, I looked at an up close text version at the site (, and examined a lot of the recipes. I was for the most part impressed by the cocktailian nature of them. The simple inclusion of such drinks as the Negroni and the Bronx shows some knowledge, and the ingredient lists for such potentially debased classics as the Mai Tai and Daiquiri are also encouraging. There is at least one cuckoo in the nest, however. I’m pretty sure a real John Collins ain’t made with bourbon….
Finally, I’ll simply mention that the title of this post goes back to a discussion I got mired in on Facebook (The SIte Where Free Time Goes to Die!).

  1. Reese

    14 October

    Glad you liked the post(er) Doug. Also, two points for the excellent subtitle for FB!


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  2. Merlin Griffiths

    31 October

    Nice post. Reminds me of years back when first learning the “disco” drinks – we used to play a game to see how far you could go by starting with one generic simple drink, then adding or subtracting one ingredient to make another. eg: Cape Cod + Peach Schnapps = Woo Woo, Woo Woo – Peach + Grapefruit = Sea Breeze, etc etc.
    I did say “disco” drinks and this was around ’95/’96 when I last did it, but pretty sure you could do it with more contemporary cocktails today – a bit like a the kevin bacon game but with drinks. 🙂

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  3. Doug

    31 October

    I like that idea. Of course, you can absolutely do it with the old classics as well.

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