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Reproduction of a later emblem used by heirs of Stoughton for marketing his Elixir, courtesy of David Wondrich

Richard Stoughton

c. 1660–????

The de-facto inventor of the cocktail (but not by that name) in London, 1690s

Stoughton was a purveyor of his namesake stomach bitters (hangover cure) from Borough High Street, London, beginning in the 1690s. Staughton’s product—he called it Elixir Magnum Stomachicum and eventually got it patented—was a medicinal additive for sweetened wine. The idea was that with his product and some wine, you could make instant purl—a medicinal beverage. Alcohol and sugar plus bitters: a cocktail in all but name.

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