City cocktail week ends tomorrow

Ugandans love to drink and it has been a good week for cocktail lovers, the weeklong Kampala Cocktail Week, which was launched last Wednesday at Big Mike’s Bar and Lounge comes to a climax tomorrow.

As part of the activities, different cocktail bars in Kampala have been selling cocktails at discounted prices to their regular customers. The prices were Shs5,000 for shooters, Shs10,000 for casual cocktails and Shs15,000 for a signature cocktail.

During the launch at Big Mikes, excited cocktail lovers stormed the bar to have a taste of various cocktails that were being served on the house.

The event, which was organised by Pearl Guide is sponsored by Uganda Waragi, a brand which was used by different mixologists to make the different types of cocktails on offer throughout the week.


“When alcohol is mixed with a soft drink and other ingredients like fruits, it is called a cocktail, when drinks or different fruit juices are mixed, it is a mocktail,” explained Andrew Mwesige , a mixologist at Lions Bar.

Ronnie, a mixologist at Mythos Greek Bar and Lounge, says that cocktails started in US where someone decided to add a bit of lime juice to vodka, it caught on as they kept drinking vodka that way, and there was a cocktail.

In Uganda, several cocktails are mixed with gin, honey, lime juice and fresh juice among other ingredients. These cocktails have also been given local names.

At the launch, the revellers were treated to cocktail drinks with exciting names such as the Kololo Sunset, Muyenga Sunrise and the Mosquito Mojito, among others.

Although the organisers had suggested different names for the night’s mixes, revellers were also given a chance to come up with a name that they would ‘baptise’ the nights cocktail.


The names presented by the organisers included the Lord Mayor, Liquid Rolex and Luzinda’s Desire. The Liquid Rolex won the contest and was be one of the cocktails on offer during the Cocktail Week.

During the week, a boat cruise was also organised by the sponsors to Pineapple Bay Island, Bulago.

The experience was dubbed the “So UG Luxury Charter”. It was also part of the Kampala Cocktail Week activities.

The 15 bars that participated include Que Pasa and Iguana, The Fez Brasserie, Prunes Bar, Zone 7, Nimaro Bar, Piato, Tamarai Bar and Restaurant, Mythos Greek Bar, The Mist Bar at Serena Hotel, Equator Bar at Sheraton Hotel, Big Mikes, Sky Lounge, Rider Lounge, Liquid Silk, among others.

origin of the word “COCKTAIL”

Where did the word cocktail originate? There are as many stories behind the origin of the name cocktail. As always, some are preposterous, some believable and who knows, one may be the truth. None the less, the stories are interesting.

A popular story behind the cocktail name refers to a rooster’s tail (or cock tail) being used as a drink garnish. There are no formal references in written recipes to such a garnish.

In The Spy by James Fenimore, the character “Betty Flanagan” invented the cocktail. She was likely not a real woman, but the story says she was a tavern keeper who served French soldiers a drink garnished with tail feathers of her neighbour’s rooster. Whether or not she was responsible for the cocktail is a mystery.

The rooster theory is also said to have been influenced by the colours of the mixed ingredients, which may resemble the colours of the cock’s tail.

The British publication, Bartender, published a story in 1936 of English sailors, of decades before, being served mixed drinks in Mexico. The drinks were stirred with a Cola de Gallo (cock’s tail), a long root of similar shape to the bird’s tail.

Another cocktail story refers to the leftovers of a cask of ale, called cock tailings. The cock tailings from various spirits would be mixed together and sold as a lower priced mixed beverage of (understandably) questionable integrity.

Yet another unappetising origin tells of a cock ale, a mash of ale mixed with whatever was available to be fed to fighting cocks.

Cocktail may have derived from the French term for egg cup, coquetel. One story is of a one Antoine Amedie Peychaud of New Orleans who mixed his Peychaud bitters into a stomach remedy served in a coquetel. Not all of Peychaud’s customers could pronounce the word and it became known as cocktail. This story doesn’t add up, however, because of conflicting dates.

The word cocktail may be a distant derivation of the name for the Aztec goddess, Xochitl (meaning ‘flower’). Xochitl was also the name of a Mexican princess who served drinks to American soldiers.




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