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For traditionalists who like to keep things simple, these tried-and-true recipes will guarantee your
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the drink is made perfectly.
Some things are classic for a reason. Don’t get us wrong, we love an inventive, over-the-top cocktail as much as anyone, but the timeless flavors of cocktails like the margarita, the Manhattan, and the martini are the cocktail version of comfort food, and we can’t imagine imbibing without them. Whether you’re brushing up on your home mixology menu or looking for a go-to order for your next cocktail hour, these classics will never steer you wrong.
There may be no better test of a bartender’s mettle than ordering an Old Fashioned. The recipe is simple:
– 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey- 2 dashes Angostura bitters- 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar- Orange twist garnish
Put sugar in a glass. Cover it with dashes of bitters. Add whiskey and stir until sugar dissolves. Add ice, stir again, and serve. If the barman starts shaking the ingredients or muddling fruit, have your next round at another bar.
More: New Takes on the Old Fashioned Drink
Cloyingly sweet margarita mixes have given this drink a bad name. A well-made version is a fresh mix of lime juice and tequila, with a hint of sweetener:
– 2 oz silver tequila- 1 oz Cointreau- 1 oz lime juice- Salt for the rim
Since this recipe includes fresh juice, it should be shaken. Serve over ice in a glass with a salted rim.
More: Tequila Drinks You Should Know About
The cosmo became almost ubiquitous in the ’90s thanks to the TV show Sex and the City, but this spin on the martini remains just as tasty today as when Carrie Bradshaw made it famous.
– 1.5 oz citrus vodka- 1 oz Cointreau- .5 oz lime juice- .25 oz cranberry juice
Build all ingredients in a shaker tine with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel or zest.
A favorite of bartenders all over the world, the Negroni is a simple three-ingredient cocktail:
– 1 oz gin- 1 oz Campari- 1 oz sweet vermouth
Stir ingredients with ice.
More: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Negronis
Popular for good reason, the Moscow Mule is one of the most refreshing things to sip on a hot summer day. Its suggested vessel, a copper mug, also just looks sharp.
– 2 oz vodka – 4 to 6 oz ginger beer- .5 oz lime juice
Squeeze lime juice into a Moscow Mule mug. Add two or three ice cubes, pour in the vodka, and fill with cold ginger beer. Stir and serve.
More: Essential Vodka Cocktails
James Bond was wrong—whether you drink it with gin or vodka, stirred is the way to go when ordering a martini.
– 3 oz gin or vodka- .5 oz dry vermouth- Lemon peel or olive
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel into the glass or garnish with olive.
More: The Most Delicious Martinis Made With Gin & Vodka
Originating in Cuba, this refreshing rum-based sip is filled with mint and lime—a perfect combination for sipping by the pool or beach. If you’re craving a little literary cred, the mojito was also said to be a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway.
– 3 mint leaves- 2 oz white rum- .75 oz lime juice- .5 oz simple syrup
Muddle mint into a shaker tin, then add ice and all other ingredients. Shake to chill and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with club soda if desired and garnish with mint.
More: Delicious Rum Cocktail Recipes
Perhaps the most refreshing whiskey cocktail, this is an old reliable favorite.
– 2 oz whiskey- 1 oz lemon juice- 1 tsp sugar- 1 egg white (optional)
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake (bartenders use this “dry shake” to incorporate the egg white). Add ice and shake again. Strain over ice in a rock’s glass.
Created during World War I, the name of this drink was supposedly inspired by the fact that taking a sip of it feels like getting shelled with a French 75mm field gun, a powerful piece of artillery.
– 2 oz gin- 2 dashes simple syrup- .5 oz lemon juice- Champagne
Shake gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a champagne glass. Top with champagne.
More: Champagne Cocktails to Serve at Your Next Party
Created sometime in the mid-1800s, the Manhattan is one of the booziest classic drink recipes.
– 2 oz rye whiskey- 1 oz sweet vermouth- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass or cocktail coupe.
More: Whiskey Cocktails to Shake Up Your Bar Cart
Low on alcohol and high on refreshment, the spritz has been a crowd-pleasing favorite aperitivo for more than two centuries. Though it can be made with any amaro or liqueur as a base, by far the best-known version is the classic Aperol Spritz:
-Equal parts Aperol-Equal parts Cinzano Prosecco-Splash of Soda
Mix all ingredients in a wine glass with ice and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.
The classic recipe calls for gin, but this drink is just as tasty if you substitute vodka instead.
– 2 oz gin or vodka- .75 oz simple syrup- .75 oz lime juice
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
If you like a drink with some bite, give this classic New Orleans concoction a try.
– 2 oz rye whiskey- .5 oz simple syrup- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters- Absinthe
Rinse a chilled glass with absinthe and discard the absinthe. Stir the other ingredients in a mixing glass, strain into the chilled glass, and garnish.
The first official Pimm’s bar popped up at the 1971 Wimbledon tournament, and now more than 80,000 pints of the quintessential British summer cocktail are served to spectators every year. Here’s the official recipe courtesy of Pimm’s:
– 50 ml (about 1.75 oz) Pimm’s No.1- 150 ml (about 5 oz) lemonade- Mint, orange, strawberries- Cucumber to garnish
Pile all the ingredients in a tall glass, mix, and sip.
You might think of a martini when you think of James Bond, but this drink is the true tipple of the iconic spy—the recipe first appeared in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale in homage to the Bond girl Vesper Lynd. While Bond takes his “shaken, not stirred”, most stick to the rule that spirits-only cocktails should be stirred instead.
– 3 oz gin- 1 oz vodka- .5 oz Lillet blanc
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Garnish with a lemon twist.
– 2.5 oz champagne- 2.5 oz orange juice
Combine equal parts of the ingredients in a champagne flute.
More: The Best Champagnes for Your Mimosas
Essentially a sour topped with club soda, the Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that’s as easy and delicious to whip up at home as it is at your favorite bar. For a truly traditional version, opt for an Old Tom style gin.
– 2 oz Old Tom gin- 1 oz lemon juice- .5 oz simple syrup- Club soda to top
Build all ingredients in a glass with ice and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.
In Mexico, the Paloma is just as popular as the classic margarita, and with a thirst-quenching combination of tequila, lime, and grapefruit soda it’s bound to become a summer favorite of yours too.
– 2 oz tequila- .5 oz lime juice- Grapefruit soda to top
Add tequila and lime to a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit soda.
This simple mix of brandy, lemon juice, and orange liqueur dates to the 1920s. Once you try one you’ll understand why the recipe has survived so long.
– 2 oz VS or VSOP Cognac- 1 oz Cointreau- .75 oz lemon juice
Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into a rocks glass or a cocktail class with a sugar-coated rim.
More: Cognac Cocktails to Make at Home
The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is worth ordering even when you’re not at Churchill Downs.
– 2 oz bourbon- 8-10 mint leaves- .25 oz simple syrup
Muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup in a mint julep cup. Add bourbon and fill with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted. Fill with more crushed ice. Serve with a straw and a mint sprig garnish.
More: Mint Julep Cocktails We Love to Drink on Derby Day
Forget the sweet frozen version made with a blender. A classic daiquiri is one of the most well-balanced cocktails around.
– 2 oz light rum- 1 oz simple syrup- 1 oz lime juice
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
More: The Best Sweet and Fruity Cocktails Ever
The Dark ‘n Stormy was created in Bermuda in the late 1800s when British sailors, already rum fans, took to brewing ginger beer and combined their two favorites into one tasty concoction. Traditionally the cocktail is made exclusively with Bermuda-native Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.
– 1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum- Ginger beer to top
Fill a highball glass with ice and add rum and ginger beer. Garnish with lime.
Not quite a Manhattan and not quite a Martini, the Martinez uses “Old Tom,” a slightly sweeter style of gin that debuted in the mid-1800s. For the authentic taste, ask for it by name.
– 1.5 oz Old Tom gin- 1.5 oz sweet vermouth- .25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur- 2 dashes Angostura or orange bitters
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass or cocktail coupe.
What are the Best Cocktail Recipes for Traditionalists?
Don’t get us wrong, we love an inventive, over-the-top cocktail as much as anyone, but the timeless flavors of cocktails like the margarita, the Manhattan, and the martini are the cocktail version of comfort food, and we can’t imagine imbibing without them.
What is the recipe for a bourbon whiskey cocktail?
The recipe is simple: – 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey- 2 dashes Angostura bitters- 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar- Orange twist garnish Put sugar in a glass.
What’s the best way to make a cocktail?
For traditionalists who like to keep things simple, these tried-and-true recipes will guarantee your drink is made perfectly.
What is the Negroni?
A favorite of bartenders all over the world, the Negroni is a simple three-ingredient cocktail: – 1 oz gin- 1 oz Campari- 1 oz sweet vermouth Stir ingredients with
The first time I tried to make my own beer was when I was about 15 years old. It was a disaster. My dad had given me some homebrewing kits as a gift one Christmas, but I didn’t really understand what I was doing. I ended up with a very bitter-tasting beer that tasted more like medicine than anything else. I remember thinking, “I’m never going to drink this stuff again.”