America Like a Cocktail


These days a lot of people enjoy cocktail. Especially it is loved in America. We can find it almost everywhere in America, without exception. It is one of the light refreshments, and almost everyone drinks it when they need some beverage that is light enough or not too heavy. So a large number of cocktail is consumed at parties. Cocktail is a beverage that over two different beverages are mixed together. When a beverage is not a mixture of two beverages or over, we don’t call it as a cocktail. Then, we can tell the ‘mix’ expresses the major identity of the cocktail.

Well, actually this is not an essay about cocktail. Now, let’s go to our main, the most important question. What is America? Who is American? They are very complicated questions. Yes, it is, because America is very complicated. I would like to say America is like a huge cocktail. America is very diverse; many different cultures are mixed together. And ‘diversity’ makes a great portion of the identity of America.

Similar to a cocktail, there are a lot of different people with different cultures. As the originally different beverages make one totally new cocktail, many different cultures made America. Defining America is very hard. I think because America is a great mixture of a lot of things. Even if America has all features of the cultures that are mixed, it cannot be defined as ‘this culture’, but it is not ‘that culture’ too. America is nothing but it is all things. It’s like cocktail.

As a stranger, I always learned America as a land of diversity. To young me, America was very interesting country. Korea was usually told like a single-race nation. Of course now it has changed very much, but in the past it made Korea seems really different from other countries. I was very curious about America and it made me read some books about America. And I got to know some about America. At first, there were Native Americans, so called Indians. However, Europeans came into America, and America began to be diverse. Europeans first settled in the East coast of America, and went to the West coast. In the process, there were a lot of events. In the time of Gold Rush, and because of the American Dream, many Asians went to America, too. And now, we can tell that America is the most diverse region in the world. As the beverage which is not mixed is not a cocktail, if America doesn’t have diversity, it is not America.

Therefore, I think a cocktail can function as a symbol of America. There is wine and baguette in France, beer and sausage in Germany, sake and sushi in Japan, and almost all countries have their own representatives. How about America? I couldn’t think of anything special like the examples above. Some might think of hamburgers, but it doesn’t look enough as a representative. Coca-Cola? It might be, but I think it is a result of successful marketing, not a cultural one. So cocktail might work as a representative of America. It connects well with the image of America, and many people enjoy cocktail. A country first made cocktail as popular refreshment is also America (Encyclopedia), so it seems it make a sense to look cocktail as a symbol of America.

This entry was posted in Manifestos. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to America Like a Cocktail

  1. Lydia says:

    It was the hottest night I remember in April 2013. I and my friend went to Miami to enjoy our summer in United States. We were walking along the street near the beach. It was hot enough, and we wanted to shoo the heat away. We wanted to drink something cool. Soon we found a bar with an outside terrace. There were so many people. We went in, and ordered a cocktail. There were all different people. Some had yellow hair, some had brown hair, and some had black hair. Some were Europeans, some were Americans, and some were Asians. After a moment, we got the cocktail we ordered. I took a picture of the cocktail.
    I came to think that America is like a cocktail. Cocktail is a beloved beverage all over the world. Cocktail is one of the most loved beverages in the United States, too. United States is one of the biggest countries of cocktail industry. It is well known that cocktail first came into existence in America (Encyclopedia). The origin of the word ‘cocktail’ is very interesting. Yes, as you can guess, it is ‘cock tail’, a tail of a cock. Actually, there are so many stories that explain the history of cocktail, but the one thing penetrates all stories are ‘mixing’. According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘cocktail’ means an alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or cream. If one is not mixed, we do not call it cocktail.
    In America, a lot of people live together. A number of kinds of people are mixed, like a cocktail. As the beverage which is not mixed is not a cocktail, if America doesn’t have diversity, it is not America. Diversity is one of the biggest characteristics of America. There are so many different people like alcohol, juice, syrup, fruit, and ice. Sweet, sour or bitter tastes. They all have different culture, but they are mixed together in the glass named ‘America’. Historically and culturally, many different kinds of people have involved in America.
    So, cocktail works like a symbol of America. Of course, it is very arbitrary. Someone sees America with Coca-Cola, hamburger, artist, and so on. However, we can agree with those things because we ‘share the code’ with the writer. Stuart Hall said “it is the result of a set of social conventions”. (1997, p. 22) We know the cocktail and America resemble in the characteristic of ‘diversity’. So people could understand why I chose cocktail as a representative of America.

  2. rmkwakazono says:

    Your image of America” Cocktail” interested me because until I heard your interpretation of cocktail, I had never thought it in the way that cocktail is showing the image of America. However, I agree with your opinion that cocktail shows the diversity of people in the U.S because even in the campus, I see many people who have different skin color and background. Moreover, not only the people but also the food in the U.S,too. I did not expect that we could have different kinds of food here, such as Mexican food, Indian food, Chinese food, Korean food, and Japanese food exra… On the other hand, I learned from one of my classes that there used to have fierce racial discrimination in the past but these days but now the difference has been accepted and people have equal right to live. To me, at that time, it was the confusion of varieties of people living together, which is the process of stirring of cocktail. However, now our society is like the well mixed cocktail, which means combining the diversity of people.
    My country Japan is also a single race, so to me as well, the U.S is different from my home country, and the U.S is very interesting to me compared to Japan. I think the U.S is one of the model countries where many different people from other countries are living together well.

  3. kekoh2013 says:

    Lydia’s manifesto was interesting to me because I was impressed that she expressed America as a huge cocktail. I was surprised at her creative metaphor. Because even though America is very complicated country and defining America is very hard, she said cocktail symbolizes America. According to her manifesto, similar to a cocktail, there are a lot of different people with different cultures in America. I was convinced of what she said while I was reading her manifesto. America is very diverse and many different cultures are mixed together. That is, ‘diversity’ makes a great portion of the identity of America. And I agree that as the originally different beverages make one totally new cocktail, many different cultures are made America. Therefore I think cocktail works as a good representative of America very well because America is a great mixture of a lot of things.
    In my home country South Korea, we also enjoy drinking cocktail at night like America. But South Korea is mostly made up of a single race. Unlike my home country, everywhere I go, I could see many different races in America. So I thought it was a good opportunity for me to experience a great variety of culture in the most diverse region in the world.

Comments are closed.