Virgin drinks are not new. Mocktails have been around for a while. According to oxforddictionaries.com the word originated in the 1930’s. According to a blog written by FASD prevention the term is more recent starting in the 1970’s. Ok, so Mocktails in concept may be almost 90 years old but more likely originated about 40 years back.
Shooters on the other hand are a bit harder to pin down. One story says that the first shot glass may have been as old as the 1930’s with the possible origin of a “shot” of alcohol being from a story of a man who shot a barrel of whiskey with his riffle to prevent a bar from opening in his area. After that the coin “a shot of redeye” became popular according to wikipedia. Looking further a shot may refer to the equivalent in alcohol to one bullet, or have to do with the prohibition, and similar to a jigger of rum or whiskey. Most sources agree that the shot glass is about 90 years old. Wikipedia and the net seems to have no mention though of the origin of the shooter drink – only a list of recipes and the general idea behind the drink. Heh? Can’t seem to find anything on the internet to tell me… but I am guessing it was in the last 30 years, as my parents are not familiar with the concept.
Teens today are though, and early adults especially. Each generation the age kids/youth start to try alcohol decreases, even if drinking law age limit remains steady. The availability of alternatives to common drinking practices, like cocktails and shooters, is one way that people can enjoy social activities and the idea of mixed drinks without the consequences, and younger individuals who wish to be like their parents (or older friends) can have fun without breaking the law, getting drunk or worst.
Mocktails follow the invention of the Cocktail, with a lag of a few hundred years. Cocktails were first coined sometime between the 17-19 century according to wikipedia and the oxford dictionary. Mocktails came out in the 20th century with the gaining concern for alcohol awareness and drinking and driving, and as an alternative to cocktails for those who wish to refrain from alcoholic beverages but wish to enjoy the experience of being social, and like mixed drinks. The popularity of Mocktails depends a lot on the region and culture of the area. Bigger cities with more diverse populations and more bars/restaurants are more likely to consider alternative beverages, while smaller communities like my own often only have pop or coffee offered to designated drivers.
Ok but I digress. This article is about the next step. Just as Mocktails offer an alternative to sipper drinks like cocktails, what about the alternative to the newer Shooter? And what do you call a virgin shooter so that it is not associated as closely with the shooter who’s sole purpose seems to get the individual drunk in the shortest time possible?
So I have to think. Why else have a shooter? In previous posts I mention a shooter also gives a big hit of flavour quickly. Recently in chatting with young adult who liked making and mixing drinks, shooters are also an art form and fun to make. A friend an teen centre employee compared virgin shooters to water pong. Both are a safe alternative to the “real deal” and hopefully teach youth that there are fun and safe choices out there.
My two girls joke that they “shock” teachers by telling them that their mom serves them shooters – they are 7 and 11 – and then explain “virgin shooters”. Fortunately the teachers here know me and what I do well and aren’t really shocked, but imagine a parent hearing that a teen had shooters at a youth event? And if the teen didn’t explain… well, time to rename the virgin shooter.
So I introduce to you the Skeeter. (No not the mosquito!) Which won out in my circle over the Vooter (lame), the Mooter (lamer) and the Mockter (which seems to have some other uses). Will it catch on? Probably not. But it took a few hundred years between the first cocktail and the first Mocktail, so give it time… and to my knowledge virgin shooters, or Skeeters, are a new concept first introduced here!