Water is one of those ingredients that is essential to any cocktail, but is typically given very little thought. The source of most water in cocktails is melting [ingredient=ice ice] or [ingredient=soda-water soda water].
While I'd love to come up with some witty spiel about water and cocktails, I think the folks at Cooking Issues have done it here. The point is that shaking a cocktail with ice is more than just chilling it. If you were making a cocktail and put all the ingredients in the freezer and got it down to proper drinking temperature, it would taste off compared to those same ingredients shaken with ice. Water's dilution of alcoholic strength makes cocktails more palatable than drinking their component spirits straight.
Some popular cocktails containing Water
- Hulk Smash! — Bourbon, Bitters, Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, Water, Lime, Mint
- Pisco Punch — Pisco, Water, Pineapple Gum Syrup, Lime, Pineapple
- Charles Dickens Lemon Milk Punch — Rum, Brandy, Water, Milk, Pineapple, Sugar, Tea, Lemon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander seeds
- xAll My Favorite Bands Are Straight Edgex — Apple brandy, Allspice Dram, Bitters, Water, Demerara sugar, Orange peel
- Edison's Medicine — Cachaça, Herbal liqueur, Lime juice, Agave syrup, Water, Basil
- The Old Man and the Sea — Islay Scotch, Water, Nori
- 5 Spot — Martinique Rum, Bitters, Lime juice, Maple syrup, Water, Ginger syrup, Basil
- Ligurian Sea — Gin, Cynar, Sweet vermouth, Absinthe, Water
- Hot Toddy — Scotch, Water, Demerara sugar, Lemon peel
- Hot Toddy (Jeffrey Morgenthaler) — Bourbon, Allspice Dram, Water, Ginger syrup, Lemon juice