1. A beverage that combines an alcohol (such as bourbon, gin, rum, scotch or vodka) with a mixer (such as fruit juice, soda or liqueur). Popular cocktails include martini, old fashioned and tom collins. 2. This term also applies to an appetizer served before a meal such as a "seafood" or "fruit" cocktail, which would be a dish of mixed seafood or mixed fruit respectively.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.