Drink cocktail

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Context and Background:

In China, there’s an alcohol beverage called “Rio” and on its bottom it says “cocktail”. It has many flavors like blueberry, strawberry, mint, etc., and my cousin likes it very much. One day I bought some and asked her:

Do you want to drink cocktail?

Questions:

I wonder if it sounds natural. To mean that I wonder if she’s in the mood of drinking that kind of beverage.

Thoughts:

I looked up the word “cocktail” and I found it should be modified with words; it doesn’t seem to stand alone. And our dictionary says “had, ate” cocktail. I guess there must be something in this wine, since in China, wine is wine, without anything in it. I don’t know how to ask her. Perhaps “Do you want a bottle of Rio”? What if we are not talking about this situation? If I go to a cocktail party with her, how should I raise the question?

More context:

Inside the Rio bottle, it has only alcohol, the so-called cocktail.

Thanks a lot
 
  • Blurgle

    Member
    English - Canada
    In this case I would say, "Would you like a Rio?"

    The word "cocktail" describes a large class of spirit-based mixed drinks, not just the item you bought. (In fact, where I live that bottled drink would not called a "cocktail" at all, no matter what the label says.) In this case I would use the brand name and not the description.

    "Do you want" is not as polite as "would you like"; it sounds harsh and impatient.

    Either way, the noun requires an article ("a cocktail", not just "cocktail") because it comes as a single unit.
     
    Last edited:

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Agreed, Blurgle, as to the distinction between a (the name of a product) and a drink which is mixed from ingredients before being poured, in which case we'd mention the ingredients (a fruit juice cocktail). We can say 'a Martini, a mojito' for well-known drinks, too. But a shrimp cocktail can be eaten, and we're still mentioning the main ingredient.
     
    Last edited:

    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    (But a shrimp cocktail can be eaten; the difference is in the context, which you explained clearly, Silverobama.)
    Yes, another definition of cocktail besides "a drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients" is "an appetizer served as a first course at a meal" such as a shrimp or a fruit cocktail, which can be eaten.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    In this case I would say, "Would you like a Rio?".......

    Agreed, Blurgle, as to the distinction between a (the name of a product) and a drink which is mixed from ingredients before being poured, in which case we'd mention the ingredients (a fruit juice cocktail). We can say 'a Martini, a mojito' for well-known drinks, too. But a shrimp cocktail can be eaten, and we're still mentioning the main ingredient.

    Yes, another definition of cocktail besides "a drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients" is "an appetizer served as a first course at a meal" such as a shrimp or a fruit cocktail, which can be eaten.
    In sum, in my situation with my cousin, I'd better say "Would you like a Rio?" And in a formal cocktail party, also along with my cousin, I'd better say "Would you like a cocktail?"

    I hope someone can confirm for me. Thanks a lot
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    You say the dictionary also suggests "ate" - are you talking about this from Webster's

    "He ate shrimp cocktail every chance he had"?

    Check up what a shrimp cocktail is - especially what it looks like, when served. It is not something that you drink, like mentioned further upthread.
     
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