I found a charming NH history site while looking for something else. Cow Hampshire. Like many other insulting *nicknames, "Cow Hampshire" has been embraced by natives as a badge of honor instead - perhaps because it is mostly Marsschoositts folk who call us that, and we like being unperturbed by them gen'rally. Why, after all, would Maine or Vermont call us "Cow Hampshire," except perhaps as a Hail, fellow! Well met! greeting? But there are subtleties within, as there often are in ongoing PR battles. Cow Hampshire purports to embrace the rural, unsophisticated nature we are supposed to have (and believe me, there are places where it is absolutely true. There are entire towns which seem to survive on an economy of sharpening each others' saws.), but there is a bit of further mahketin' going on as well. The SE section of NH is essentially Manchester, Nashua, and suburbs of Boston. It kills us to admit that, but it's just true.
So we dig in our heels a bit to insist that we are not suburban Boston, but a pristine rural state with lots of wildlife,
So that tourists will come.
We've been doing this for a long time, actually.
Ambivalent reality: the Lakes Region (blue gray)
has a lot of Massachusetts people in the summer - other states too, but MA predominates. All of them think they are practically natives. It is in our interest to let them keep thinking that, but in reality, only a few do.
At any rate, Cow Hampshire, the blog. The first recorded use of the word cocktail was in NH. The speculation is that it comes from horse-racing, referring to a horse that is not a thoroughbred, and thus "mixed." Could be.