The Definitive List of the 30 Most Popular Classic Cocktails in the World


Discover 30 time-honored cocktails that have never gone out of style. Whether you like something sweet, sour, bitter, spicy or salty, there's a drink for you on this list. 

We also share an intriguing snippet of each cocktail's history, origin, and rise to fame. Some have been around for more than a century!

Every recipe equals one serving. To make more, multiply the quantity of each respective ingredient as per the specified ratios.

One more thing, you’ll notice that a lot of these recipes use ice. This is because ice chills, dilute and aerates a drink, ensuring it’s at the optimum temperature and drinkability when it's poured into the glass. That said, we have left it out from the ingredients list since it’s often readily available. 

Enjoy!

Whiskey Sour

whiskey sour recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce egg white 
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange wheel and/or Maraschino cherry.
  • Angostura bitters garnish

Preparation 

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker and dry-shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with drops of Angostura bitters and an orange wheel and/or maraschino cherry.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Description

It’s unknown exactly when this classic cocktail was conceived. That said, it’s widely believed that the original versions of the sours were created in the 1700s as a means to fight off scurvy among British sailors during their long sea voyages.

The first printed recipe of whiskey sours appeared in the famed Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide, circa 1862. 

The egg white in the recipe tames the tart flavor from the lemon juice to create a richer, smoother texture. This leads to a cocktail with a balanced sour taste complemented by the sweetness of the simple syrup and the vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon.

Martini (Dry) 

Martini recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin or vodka
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • Ice cubes (optional) 
  • Lemon peel twist, cocktail olives, cocktail onions

Preparation

  1. Combine gin or vodka and dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker. 
  2. Add ice cubes and shake until outside of shaker is frosty (25-30 seconds). 
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass (Ice optional).  
  4. Garnish with lemon twist, speared cocktail olives or cocktail onions.

Martini (Dirty) 

Martini recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin or vodka
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce olive brine
  • Ice cubes (optional) 
  • Lemon peel twist, cocktail olives, cocktail onions

Preparation

  1. Combine gin or vodka, dry vermouth and olive brine in a cocktail shaker. 
  2. Add ice cubes and shake until outside of shaker is frosty (25-30 seconds). 
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass (Ice optional).  
  4. Garnish with lemon twist, speared cocktail olives or cocktail onions.

Description

So, where did the Martini come from? Some insist that it was invented in Martinez, California, during the mid-1800s Gold Rush. The story goes that a gold miner walked into a bar and requested champagne. Since the bartender had no champagne in stock, he concocted a drink from the ingredients on hand: gin, vermouth, bitters, maraschino liqueur, and a slice of lemon.  

The miner loved the drink so much that he went on to share the recipe with other bartenders. Still, this is only one of the origin stories.

Despite having a murky history, one thing is clear; martinis have gained iconic status over the decades. The gin’s botanical flavors is enhanced by the herbal qualities of dry vermouth. 

Old Fashioned

 

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces bourbon or rye
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube)
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel 
  • Large ice cube

Preparation

  1. Add simple syrup, bitters and whiskey in a mixing glass. 
  2. Fill mixing glass with ice and stir until ideally chilled and proper dilution is achieved (approx. 30 seconds).
  3. Strain cocktail into old fashioned glass over a large ice cube. 
  4. Zest orange peel and rub surface of the glass for aroma.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Description

Going back more than 2 centuries, the old-fashioned is one of the oldest whiskey cocktails on record. As a result, it’s not possible to definitively say who invented the old-fashioned cocktail. 

Throughout the 1800s, drinkers across the US would walk into their favorite bar and order their preferred spirits together with sugar, water, and bitters.

The bartender would take a whiskey glass, add a lump of sugar inside and dissolve it with a small amount of water. He would then add a few dashes of bitters and a chunk of ice. 

They would hand it to the customer, along with a bottle of bourbon, and leave them to pour their own drink.

It wasn’t until 1880 that The Chicago Tribune defined it as an old-fashioned cocktail. Interestingly, this was in response to most drinkers’ unwillingness to adapt to the changing cocktail scene and try new cocktails.

Caesar

Caesar recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • Clamato juice to fill
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dash hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Celery salt
  • Celery stick
  • Pickled asparagus or bean
  • Lime wedge

Preparation

  1. Rub the edge of a glass with lime wedge and rim glass in celery salt.
  2. Fill the rimmed glass with ice. 
  3. Add a shake of salt and pepper. 
  4. Add vodka, followed by Clamato juice to fill.
  5. Add dashes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and stir thoroughly. 
  6. For garnish, spear a pickled asparagus or bean to a celery stick, and add a lime wedge on the rim. 

Description

While many cocktails recipes on this list have disputed origins or were stumbled upon by accident, the Caesar is the result of the intentional efforts of one man. 

In 1969, a famed bartender called Walter Chell invented the Caesar, an extremely popular cocktail in Canada.

This was in response to a request by the owners of the Calgary Inn in Calgary, Alberta (where Chell worked) for a cocktail to celebrate the opening of their new Italian restaurant. Chell spent about three months crafting the new drink. 

Chell originally named the drink the Caesar. Then one day, an Englishman tried the beverage and said, “Walter, that’s a damn good bloody Caesar.” After this encounter, Chell decided to call the cocktail the Bloody Caesar.

Sidecar

Sidecar recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces cognac
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Triple Sec)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Orange or lemon twist 
  • Sugar

Preparation

  1. Chill a martini or coupe glass until needed.
  2. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a martini or coupe glass, then dip the rim in a saucer of superfine sugar to create a thin crust. 
  3. Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled (approx. 25-30 seconds). 
  4. Strain into the chilled glass; garnish with a twist of orange or lemon peel and serve.

Description

There are a few conflicting stories about who mixed up the first sidecar. 

In his 1948 guide: Fine Arts of Mixing Drinks, the author David Embury states that his friend invented the Sidecar cocktail in a Parisian bar during World War 1.

However, Harry McElhone’s 1919 ABC of Cocktails and Robert Vermeire’s 1922 Cocktails: How to Mix Them credit the drink to Pat MacGarry, a renowned bartender who worked at the Buck’ club in London, England at the time.

Nevertheless, the original recipe used either cognac or Armagnac, while some new modern-day variations of the cocktail call for bourbon instead (a bourbon sidecar). 

No matter the base liquor you choose to use, it’s crucial to find the balance between sweet and sour, as too much lemon or liqueur can quickly skew the flavor.

Negroni

Negroni recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 1 ounce Gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • Orange peel
  • Large ice cube

Preparation

  1. Add the gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir until well-chilled (approx. 25-30 seconds) .
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube.
  3. Rub orange peel on rim to add aroma. 
  4. Garnish with an orange peel.

Description

The Negroni is a bit of “an acquired taste” due to its bitter palette and demands exact ingredient proportions to achieve the perfect balance in its complex flavors.

The century-old cocktail is said to have been invented in Florence by Italian Count Camillo Negroni in the early 20th century. While at the bar Cafe Casoni in Florence, he demanded that the bartender strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin. 

This widely accepted tale is disputed by claims that the cocktail was instead invented by Colonel Pascal Oliver Negroni, a Frenchman who fought in the Franc-Prussian war of 1870.

This alternative version of events states that the colonel introduced a “vermouth-based cocktail” to his friends during his many evening parties. This drink is believed to be the original Negroni cocktail.

However, there’s no indisputable evidence to support either claim. 

Cosmopolitan

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces Vodka
  • ¾ ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 ounce Cranberry juice 
  • ¾ ounce fresh Lime juice
  • Garnish: Orange twist 

Preparation

  1. Combine vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and triple sec in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty and cold (approx. 25-30 seconds).
  3. Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer and a Fine Mesh strainer into a martini glass. 
  4. Garnish with an orange twist.

Description

The Cosmopolitan is believed to have been created in the 1970s by Miami bartender Cheryl Cook while working at a South Beach bar called the Strand Restaurant

Eager to invent a new cocktail that was sweeter and easier on the palate than a traditional martini, Cook added a twist to the classic Kamikaze by using a newly introduced citrus-flavored vodka, plus a splash of cranberry juice.

Around the same time Cook was inventing the Cosmo in Miami, a bartender named John Caine was also experimenting with a similar ingredient combination in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Now, both bartenders split the credit for the invention of the Cosmopolitan.

However, this new pink-hued, Martini-style cocktail wasn’t embraced by the mainstream drinking community until the 1990s when it was featured in the HBO show “Sex and the City.”

Gimlet

 Gimlet cocktail recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup 
  • Cucumber wheel or lime wheel.

Preparation

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the gin, lime juice and simple syrup.
  2. Shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty and cold (approx. 25-30 seconds).
  3. Double strain with a Hawthorne and Fine Mess strainer into a coupe or martini glass. 
  4. Garnish with a cucumber or lime wheel.

Description

After the British Navy discovered that consuming citrus juices would prevent scurvy, lime juice became a mandatory ration for British sailors during the second half of the 19th century.

Around the same time, Lauchlin Rose, a shipbuilder, took out a British patent for lime juice preservation and created the Rose's Lime Cordial (the world's first commercially produced fruit concentrate).

The Rose's Lime Cordial was the best way to carry lime juice on long sea voyages. Before long, the lime cordial sailors started mixing it with gin, and the Gimlet was born.

This quickly became a more enjoyable way to consume the acidic lime juice that was prescribed as a daily anti-scurvy medicine. A little gin with their daily dose of vitamin C? How could the sailors say NO!?

There are several theories about how the cocktail got its name. One idea is that it was named after the gimlet, a small tool used for drilling holes. According to Difford's Guide, this name might have evolved because the tools were used to open liquor barrels on the ships.

Another story claims that a doctor by the name of Thomas Gimlette was the inventor of the drink. 

Sazerac

Sazerac recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • ¼ ounce Absinthe or Anise Liqueur like Ricard or Pernod
  • 2 ounces Rye whiskey 
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube) 
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Lemon peel

Preparation

  1. Pour absinthe into a rocks glass. Swirl to coat interior, then discard excess liquor.
  2. In mixing glass filled with ice, combine whiskey, simple syrup (sugar cube) and bitters. Stir until well chilled (approx. 30-40 seconds). 
  3. Strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass. 
  4. Gently squeeze the lemon twist over the drink to release its essence. You can then discard it or lay it on the rim as a garnish.

Description

One of the very oldest cocktails known to man, the Sazerac was invented around 1830 by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, an apothecary (pharmacist) from Saint-Domingue, or what is now Haiti. 

After Peychaud immigrated to New Orleans, the pharmacist began to market a cure-all concoction for ailing patients that consisted of his namesake bitters mixed with water, brandy and sugar. 

His patients grew so fond of the blend that many started to come by Peychaud’s shop despite being in perfect health.

Over the years, the drink transitioned to a rye whiskey base, first mentioned in print in William T. Boothby’s 1908 cocktail manual, The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them

The absinthe “rinse” of the glass became the cocktail’s trademark, as the pastis enhances the natural anise spicy flavor found in the Peychaud’s Bitters.

This cocktail remained very popular over the decades. So much so that the Louisiana state legislature voted in 2008 to make the Sazerac the official cocktail of New Orleans.

Pimm’s Cup

 Pimm's Cup

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces Pimm's No. 1
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • Ginger Ale to fill
  • Mint Sprig
  • 2 Cucumber slices cut into quarters
  • 1 Orange wheel cut into quarters  

Preparation

  1. In a Collins glass add ice, then followed by oranges and cucumber slices.
  2. Pour Pimm's No. 1 and lemon juice.
  3. Fill with Ginger Ale.
  4. Gently mix with a bar spoon to evenly distribute fruits.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Description

Pimm's No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur that originated in London in the mid-1800s. 

It was created by a fishmonger named James Pimm (hence the name). Mr. Pimm mixed up a bitter orange-and-herb-flavored libation and marketed it as a health tonic—something unique to offer his customers that would help his London oyster bar gain more loyal patrons. 

In the 19th century, alcohol mixed with bitters was considered to be medicine. The original version of Pimm's Cup featured gin and various herbs, and it reportedly aided digestion. So, it's no surprise the concoction became a big hit.

By 1859 it was being sold commercially across Britain. In 1971, Pimm's cup became the signature drink for the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

To date, it remains a refreshing summer citrusy drink that's extremely popular in the UK and US as well. 

Tom Collins

Tom Collins recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1 ounce fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: lemon wheel and maraschino cherry

Preparation

  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. 
  3. Top up with soda water, and stir thoroughly. 
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry.

Description

The cocktail’s origin remains elusive to date. According to cocktails historian David Wondrich, the Tom Collins morphed from the gin punches that were quite popular in London bars during the 19th century.

A bartender, John Collins, who worked at Limmer’s Hotel, London, named the concoction after himself, whether or not he invented it.

Another story attributes the cocktail to a Mr. Collins who made gin drinks in 1873 at a tavern called Whitehouse in New York. These are only two of the multiple reports behind the origin of this classic cocktail.

The first Tom Collins recipe was printed in the 1876 book The Bartenders’ Guide by Jerry Thomas, who is known as the father of American mixology. Another Tom Collins recipe appeared in Harry Johnson’s 1882 book, “New and Improved Bartender’s Manual: How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style.” 

Regardless of its origin being unknown, the Tom Collins remained popular over the decades and is still a prominent drink today.

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1 fresh mint sprig

Preparation

  1. In a Julep cup or double old-fashioned glass, lightly muddle the mint and syrup to release the essential oils.
  2. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice and pour the bourbon over it.
  3. Stir gently until the Julep cup gets a frosty exterior.
  4. Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome and garnish with a mint sprig

Description

The Mint Julep gained prominence in the southern US state of Virginia during the late 18th century. It’s first appeared in print was in an 1803 publication: Travels of Four and a Half Years in the United States of America.

The author wrote that the Mint Julep is a “dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.”

At the time the original Mint Julep cocktails made with brandy or rum were served in silver goblets over breakfast.

Over time, bourbon, which was readily available, became the preferred liquor because it mixes well with the mint and sugar.

The Mint Julep was so popular that it became the official beverage of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. Now, 100,000+ Mint Juleps are served every year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, and fans watching the horse race across the country make countless more at home.

With a balance of sweet, smoky, and herbal flavors, this is a bourbon cocktail everyone should give a try. 

Rusty Nail 

 Rusty nail Cocktail

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 ounces Scotch Whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce Drambuie

Preparation

  1. Pour scotch and Drambuie into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled (approx. 20-25 seconds). 
  2. Strain into a rock’s glass over ice.

Description

This is one of the few classic Scotch cocktails holding prominence today. While the base of Drambuie (a liqueur made from Scotch whisky, honey, herbs and spices) rarely changes, bartenders have experimented with different Scotch whiskies.

So, feel free to switch from blended to single malts and explore various brands. 

Like most cocktails on this list, the genesis of this after-dinner cocktail is highly contested. Many believe it was invented in 1937 for the British Industries Fair trade show.

Others argue that the Rusty Nail was created by bartenders at the 21 Club in Manhattan in the early 1960s.   

As for the name 'Rusty Nail,’ one story cites rusted nails on the wooden cases of Drambuie that were dropped off in the Hudson Bay in NYC during the Prohibition era. Most likely, the name has to do with the golden hue that forms when Drambuie is mixed with Scotch whisky.

Margarita

Margarita recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 ounces Blanco tequila 
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Water to fill
  • Coarse salt 
  • Lime wheel

Preparation

  1. Pour some coarse salt into a wide bowl or small dish. Take a wedge of lime and generously rub it around the rim of your rocks glass. Dip the rim into the salt to create the rim.
  2. Place the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 20-30 seconds until outside of shaker glass is frosted. 
  3. Strain with a Hawthorne strainer into a rimmed cocktail glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Description

Margarita has no less than 5 people who claim to have invented it between 1930 and 1950. For example, wealthy Dallas socialite Margarita Sames insisted that she concocted the drink for a group of her friends while vacationing in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1948. 

Also,  a Jose Cuervo US importer advertised with the tagline, "Margarita: it's more than a girl's name," in 1945, three years before Sames claimed to have invented the cocktail. At the same time, Carlos “Danny” Herrera is thought to have created the margarita at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1948.

Despite a lack of precise documentation on who dreamed up this delicious cocktail, the most likely answer is that it’s a twist to the Daisy cocktail, which predates even Whiskey Sours. In fact, Margarita translates to ‘daisy flower’ in Spanish.

When choosing your tequila, quality is key. Look for bottles with labels that say “100% de agave,” which means the tequila is distilled only from Mexican blue agave plants with no necessary added sugars.

This style of tequila will make the best Margarita, striking a balance between the lime acidity and the orange liqueur sweetness.

To add a dash of authenticity, substitute your simple syrup for agave syrup. You won't be disappointed. 

Moscow Mule

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice 
  • 3-5 ounces ginger beer 
  • Lime wedge

Preparation

  1. Build in cupper mug. Over ice pour in lime juice, vodka and ginger beer to fill. Stir to combine.
  2. Drop a lime wedge into the mug for garnish.

Description

The legend goes that in 1941 vodka importer John Martin was struggling to find a market for his Smirnoff vodka (a generally unknown spirit at the time). It turns out his friend, bar owner Jack Morgan had a problem of his own: his cellar was packed with his own brand of unsold ginger beer.

The two men met at Morgan’s Cock ‘n’ Bull pub to drown their woes. 

After a few drinks,  they decided to come up with their own cocktail to get rid of the "dead stock.". At the exact same moment, a Russian woman named Sophie Berezinski walked into the bar. She had just recently inherited a copper factory from her father.

When she immigrated to America that year, she brought with her a large inventory of copper mugs!  As luck would have it, since copper is a great thermal conductor, it made the new drink feel cooler and kept it chilled for longer, providing an instant market for Berezinski's copper mugs. 

Their new cocktail caught on like wildfire and saved all three businesses.

To date, the Moscow Mule remains popular and has paved the way for other vodka classics. For the best outcome, go for a top-notch ginger beer for a spicy kick that perfectly complements the vodka and lime.

Mojito

Mojito recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • ¾ ounce lime juice 
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 10-12 mint leaves
  • 1 Mint sprig
  • Club soda to fill

Preparation

  1. Place mint leaves, simple syrup and lime juice into a shaker glass. 
  2. Use a muddler to crush and mix the mint and sugar to release the mint oils. 
  3. Pour in the rum, add ice and stir to help dissolve the sugar until outside of the glass gets frosty (approx. 25-30 seconds). 
  4. Pour mixture (including ice) into a Collins glass. 
  5. Top up glass with ice and fill with club soda. Stir to properly mix mint leaves evenly in the glass.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint. 

Description

Originating in Havana, Cuba, the Mojito has become an iconic summertime beverage worldwide. The precursor to the Mojito was a 16th-century cocktail, El Draque, made with cane-spirit, lime, spearmint and sugar. 

Back then, it was mainly used to ward off illness (similar to the original Whiskey Sour and Sazerac). It was around this time the Cuban native inhabitants started using sugarcane juice to produce fermented alcoholic drinks.

The mint and lime gave the El Draque a fantastic, refreshing flavor making it popular among Cubans.

The cane spirit was later replaced with unaged white rum.

For several centuries, the Mojito was confined to Cuban farm fields, but it eventually made its way to the bars of Havana, where club soda soon took the place of sugar. 

The cocktail’s popularity skyrocketed during Prohibition when American drinkers flocked Havana bars. Eventually, the Mojito found its way to the US and has since become one of the most popular cocktails of the 21st century.

French 75 

French 75 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup 
  • 3 ounces chilled Champagne 
  • Lemon twist

Preparation

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake until well chilled (approx. 20 seconds). 
  2. Double strain with Hawthorne and Fine Mesh strainers into Champagne flute and top with Champagne. 
  3. Garnish flute with a curled lemon twist. 

Description

The French 75 is a refreshing and citrusy cocktail that dates back to World War I. Its creation is credited to Scottish bartender Harry MacElhone, author of numerous bartending guides and proprietor of Harry's New York Bar in Paris.  Early forms of the French 75 used cognac, but London dry gin quickly overtook it as the most popular base.

As for its unique name, the inspiration came from the formidable 75mm Howitzer field gun used by the French in World War 1. This innovative French artillery gun garnered a fearsome reputation due to its unprecedented rate of fire.

American soldiers brought the recipe back home with them, and it found its way to American bars. But the French 75 didn’t take off until it started being served at the Stork Club, a Manhattan nightclub that was one of the most prestigious clubs in the world during the mid 20th century. 

Manhattan

Manhattan recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon 
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth 
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Drunken Cherry

Preparation

  1. Pour the whiskey, vermouth and bitters into a cocktail mixing glass. 
  2. Add ice and stir until chilled and proper dilution is achieved (approx. 25-30 seconds). 
  3. Strain into a coupe glass or martini glass. 
  4. Garnish with a skewered drunken cherry

Description

There are many accounts about the origins of the famed Manhattan cocktail. The most plausible one is by William F. Mulhall, who worked at the Hoffman House for over 30 years as a bartender. 

In a story he wrote in the 1880s, he mentions, “The Manhattan cocktail was invented by a man named Black, who kept a place ten doors below Houston Street on Broadway in the 1860s.”

He also claims that it was “probably the most famous drink in the world in its time.” 

Other accounts point towards the cocktail first being mixed at the Manhattan Club in NYC, also in the 1880's. Which story is true, we will leave up to you and your imagination. 

The difference between a classic Manhattan and a perfect Manhattan; the latter uses a combination of sweet and dry vermouth in equal proportions.

Some swear by using rye as the whiskey component for its spicier, edgier flavor profile, while others prefer bourbon for its mellow caramel notes.

Martinez

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Lemon twist

Preparation

  1. Pour gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and bitters over ice in a mixing glass and stir until chilled and proper dilution is achieved (approx. 25-30 seconds)
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass (placed in the freezer for about 10 minutes). 
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Description

The Martinez made its first print appearance in the 1884 book, “The Modern Bartender’s Guide” by O.H. Byron. The history of the Martinez cocktail is often the subject of debate, with many claiming that the legendary bartending author Jerry Thomas may have invented the cocktail. The city of Martinez, California however, insists that a local bartender concocted the drink. 

Many cocktail historians seem to agree that the Martinez evolved from the Manhattan (whisky swapped with gin) and became the predecessor to the classic gin martini (dry vermouth in place of sweet vermouth ).

Also, the Martinez has been made with different liquor bases from the original recipe, which used Dutch Jenever and, over the decades, different styles of gin such as Old Tom Gin and London Dry. If you can, use an Old Tom Gin. for the added sweetness and botanical flavors.

Long Island Iced Tea

long island iced tea recipe and history

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Cola to fill
  • Lemon wedge

Preparation

  1. Build in a Collins glass. Fill with ice then add gin, rum, vodka, tequila, triple sec, lemon juice and simple syrup. 
  2. Fill with cola and stir gently
  3. Garnish with a lemon wedge

Description

Long Island Iced Tea is a bartenders’ favorite, and it’s easy to order at any semi-well equipped bars. 

Charles Bishop, a 1930s moonshiner in Tennessee, claimed he created the concoction during the Prohibition era to disguise the liquor whose consumption was illegal at the time. His son further refined the cocktail in the 1940's which included maple syrup and whiskey. 

Not until the 1970s was there a documented L.I.I.T that resembled the ingredients we have to. It was Robert "Rosebud" Butt, a bartender at Oak Beach Inn, Long Island, NY, who claimed that he made the cocktail for a 1972 contest to create a new mixed drink with triple sec. 

In the 1970s and 80s, the Long Island Iced Tea became popular among cocktail lovers across the country, giving some merit to Butt’s assertions. That said, neither origin story has been confirmed to date.

There’s no denying that the Long Island Iced Tea is a fun, delicious drink, but with nearly twice the alcohol in comparison to mixers, take it slow and watch your intake.

Frisco Sour

 

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce Bénédictine Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice
  • Skewered lemon wheel and cherry 

Preparation

  1. In a cocktail shaker, pour the whiskey, Bénédictine liqueur, and lemon juice and lime juices. Fill with ice and shake well until outside of glass is frosty (approx. 20-25 seconds).
  2. Double strain with Hawthorne and Fine Mesh strainers into a sour cocktail glass
  3. garnish with a skewered lemon wheel and cherry.

Description

The original Frisco was first featured in cocktail guides in the 1930s and was created during US prohibition. The Bénédictine is a sweet liqueur with notes of flowers and herbs that marry well with the spiciness of the rye whiskey.

The lemon juice also takes the sweet edge off the Benedictine, giving the drink the optimum balance of sweet and sour.

One of the first appearances of this cocktail on print was in William Boothby’s 1934 book, World Drinks and How to Mix Them.

While rye whiskey is traditionally the base for this cocktail, bourbon whiskey overshadowed rye as the whiskey of choice after the repeal of Prohibition.

This is because corn, the primary grain used to make Bourbon, was more readily available than rye. A good alternative is a well crafted blended Canadian whiskey.

Bloody Mary 

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • Celery salt
  • Lemon and Lime wedge
  • Lime wedge, green olives and celery stalk

Preparation

  1. Rub the edge of a tall glass with a lime wedge, then roll its outer edge in celery salt until fully coated.
  2. Fill the rimmed glass with ice. 
  3. Combine the vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, black pepper, and horseradish in a cocktail mixer.
  4. Squeeze lemon and lime wedges into shaker glass and shake gently.
  5. Strain into the prepared tall glass filled with ice.
  6. Garnish with celery stick, 2 speared green olives and a lime wedge.

Description

The Bloody Mary is no doubt one of the world’s best-known cocktails.

Bartender Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in the 1920s while working at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. The same famed Parisian bar is linked with the origin of another cocktail on this list: the French 75. 

As people escaped the Russian Revolution, they brought vodka with them to Paris. Petiot found this ‘foreign’ spirit tasteless, so he experimented with it in his cocktail creations.

He later moved to America, where he improved on his recipe by adding ingredients like Tabasco sauce. 

Over the decades he worked at the King Cole Bar in the St Regis Hotel, he served countless Bloody Mary's to the patrons who frequented the famous NYC bar. As time passed, the drink only gained momentum.

As for the name "Bloody Mary," many believe that the cocktail was named after Queen Mary Tudor and her bloody tyranny against English Protestants in the 1500s.

Bloody Mary's are flavorful and make for the perfect cocktail to sip on at brunch, where they are known to include all sorts of crazy garnishes such as bacon, gourmet cheeses, lobster tails and jalapeno poppers, to name a few.

The Godfather

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounce blended scotch
  • ½ ounce amaretto
  • Orange peel (optional) 

Preparation

  1. Add the blended scotch and amaretto to a mixing glass with ice. Stir well until chilled and proper dilution is achieved (approx. 25-30 seconds). 
  2. Strain into an Old fashioned glass over a large ice cube.  
  3. Garnish with a orange peel and serve (optional).

Description

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with a distinctive almond flavor that enhances the spicy finish of Scotch.

While the history around the drink is a little mysterious—no one knows exactly who invented it—the general consensus is that it’s named after the iconic 1972 movie, The Godfather

In the 70s, the Amaretto brand promoted the Godfather cocktail aggressively and claimed that Marlon Brando also drank The Godfather cocktail. 

While this claim was never substantiated, Brando’s character Don Vito Corleone would presumably be one to enjoy a stiff Godfather on ice as he strategized behind his large oak office desk. 

Nevertheless, this cocktail became an instant hit like the movie it was named after and has remained so since then. 

Rob Roy

Rob Roy recipe and history

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces blended Scotch whisky
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Drunken cherry or Maraschino cherry

Preparation

  1. Combine scotch, sweet vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass.
  2. Fill with ice and stir well until chilled and proper dilution is achieved (approx. 25-30 seconds).
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 
  4. Garnish with a speared Drunken or Maraschino cherry.

Description

Joining the other great classics that employ a spirit-vermouth combination, the Rob Roy's preferred whisky is Scotch.

This delicious cocktail came onto the scene at the turn of the 19 century. The Rob Roy can be made with either a single malt or blended Scotch. Though most bartenders prefer using blended scotch.

The Rob Roy cocktail was invented at the Waldorf Astoria New York. Back then, the famous hotel was located at the current site of the Empire State Building.

Legend has it that this cocktail’s name was inspired by the 1894 Broadway operetta, “Rob Roy,” which narrated the story of Robert Roy MacGregor, an 18th-century Scottish outlaw and folk hero. 

B-52

b52 recipe and cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1/2 ounce Irish cream liqueur (Baileys)
  • 1/2 ounce orange-flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)

Preparation

  1. Pour the base of Kahlua into a shot glass.
  2. Carefully layer the Irish cream liqueur on top of the Kahlua. Use a bar spoon to layer gently.  
  3. Top of with the Grand Marnier and serve again using a bar spoon. 

Description

Many attribute the invention of this eye-catching 3-layered shot to Peter Fich, who was a bartender at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta in the 1970s. While Fich named the cocktail after one of his favorite bands, the original B-52 is a long-range, subsonic bomber that’s been used by the United States Air Force since the 1950s.

Over time the layered shot gained popularity and started being served in restaurants across Canada.

A popular variation of the B-52 is the flaming B-52. It follows the same exact recipe but, this time, there’s a little layer of rum on top which is then lit up.

Quickly place a heat-resistant straw to the bottom of the glass and enjoy the delicious drink before the glass heats up too much!

Dark ‘n Stormy

 

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • Lime wheel

Preparation

  1. Build in a rocks glass. Fill with ice and add ginger beer, leaving enough room for dark rum and lime juice. 
  2. Add lime juice then layer 2 ounces black rum. Serve without mixing leaving a layered look.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Description

This cocktail is much easier to track its origin as technically, the only rum that can be used in a Dark ’n Stormy is Gosling’s Black Seal rum. This rum has its roots in the Caribbean island of Bermuda.

In 1806, James Gosling, an Englishman, was sailing to America but got waylaid on Bermuda. Luckily, he found the island suitable and decided to stay. In 1860 the Gosling family started blending and selling rum. Initially, they only sold the rum in barrels.

Then they transitioned to packaging their rum in Champagne bottles collected from the nearby British Navy station. These bottles were then sealed with black wax, and soon, the Gosling rum started being referred to as “black seal”.

Around the same time, the British Royal Navy was bottling their own ginger beer to help sailors with seasickness.

As it is to be expected, someone was bound to experiment with mixing the two drinks, and when that finally happened, the flavorful Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail was born! 

Wondering why such an colorful name? The story goes that upon seeing the cocktail, one sailor exclaimed, “the color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under.”

Blueberry Tea 

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce amaretto liqueur
  • Freshly steeped orange pekoe or black tea to taste (approx. 5 ounces)
  • Orange wheel

Preparation

  1. Add amaretto and orange liquor into a brandy snifter. 
  2. Top up two-thirds with hot orange pekoe or black tea. 
  3. Stir gently. Then garnish with orange wheel.

Description

Despite the name, this cocktail actually contains no blueberry. Instead, what you get is a clever concoction of totally different ingredients that mimics a blueberry-like flavor. 

Blueberry tea is usually served in a brandy snifter to concentrate the alcohol flavors released by the tea's heat. This refreshing cocktail is served hot and is quickly becoming a modern classic.

Instead of orange pekoe tea, you can also substitute it with another black tea or a blend like Earl Grey.

Paloma 

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Grapefruit soda to fill
  • Salt
  • Grapefruit wedge

Preparation

  1. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of a highball glass, and dip the glasses edge in coarse salt to rim.
  2. Build in glass over ice. Pour in the tequila and lime juice into the glass.
  3. Top with grapefruit soda, and stir gently.
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge. 

Description

"Paloma" which is the Spanish word for "dove" is a great name for this easy to make and delightful tequila drink. A favorite on any Mexico beach side resort, this cocktail is traditionally made with grapefruit soda. But you can also use grape juice and unflavored sparkling water as a substitute.

Make sure to use the good stuff, true tequila made from 100% blue agave for best results.

Difford’s Guide pegs the creation of the Paloma to the legendary Don Javier Delgado Corona, who ran his La Capilla, in Tequila, Mexico for over 6 decades. In Mexico, the Paloma remains to be undoubtedly one of the most popular tequila cocktails, right up there with the Margarita!

Hot Toddy

 Hot Toddy recipe and history

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice)
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • Hot water to fill 
  • Lemon wheel and cinnamon stick

Preparation

  1. Pour the honey, hot water, and whiskey into a mug.
  2. Stir until the honey has dissolved.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick

Description

Ensure the water is hot to truly bring out the vanilla, caramel notes and other aromatics in the base liquor.

As for its origin, the consensus is that it was invented in Scotland sometime in the 18th century. But, there’s also a likelihood that Hot Toddy originated from India in the 17th century.

This cocktail is easily modified for preference. Try mixing it up with brandy or dark rum instead of whiskey. Also, instead of plain hot water, tea of your preference can further customize this beverage to your liking. 

As you might have already noticed, some cocktails on this list were used for medicinal purposes. By the 19th century, the hot toddy had secured its place as the go-to cure for the common cold.

In an article called “How to Take Cold” in the Burlington Free Press in 1837, the author is quoted saying, “If your child begins to snuffle occasionally...if his skin feels dry and hot, and his breath is feverish...ply him well with hot stimulating drinks, of which hot toddy is the best.”

While things have now changed, there’s no denying that it is a widely favored cocktail during the cold months and especially around Christmas.

Pina Colada 

Pina colada recipe and history

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 3 ounces fresh pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, 
  • Pineapple wedge and leaf

Preparation

  1. Add the rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and lime juice to a shaker glass with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds (if you prefer, you can blend instead).
  3. Pour into a chilled Hurricane or margarita glass over crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.

Description

The Pina Colada is believed to have debuted in 1952 as a tropical concoction of Ramon Marrero Perez, the head barman at the Caribe Hilton in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Along the way, it picked up a bad wrap due to the blending aspect and its overly sweet flavor.

Yet, that’s the exact reason this drink’s popularity has endured for so long; it’s simply so delicious! The flavors of the coconut and pineapple blend perfectly with the hint of the rum in the background.

Pina Colada has now long become synonymous with poolside vacations and summer parties. 

White Russian 

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Maraschino cherry

Preparation

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice to fill. 
  2. Add in vodka and Kahlua. 
  3. Layer heavy cream on top and stir slightly (1-2 turns) to create a "swirl" affect
  4. Garnish with a skewered Maraschino cherry

Description

The Big Labowski.

Monte Cristo Coffee 

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur) 
  • Hot coffee to fill
  • Sugar 
  • Whipped Cream

Preparation

  1. Rub a glass mug with a lime wedge and rub the edge in sugar to rim.
  2. Pour Kahlua, Grand Marnier and hot coffee into the mug. Stir to mix.
  3. Gently top off cocktail with whipped cream.

Description

Serve warm. 

B-52 Coffee 

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1 ounce orange flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec) 
  • 1 ounce Irish Cream (Baileys)
  • Hot coffee to fill
  • Whipped cream 
  • Chocolate shavings

Preparation

  1. Rub a glass mug with a lime wedge and rub the edge in sugar to rim.
  2. Mix Kahlua, Grand Marnier and Baileys in the rimmed mug.
  3. Add hot coffee and stir to mix.
  4. Gently top off cocktail with whipped cream.
  5. Garnish with a pinch of chocolate shavings. 

Description

 

Serve warm. 

 

Irish Coffee 

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey 
  • 2 bar spoons maple syrup (or 1/2 simple syrup) 
  • Hot coffee to fill
  • Sugar 
  • Whipped Cream

Preparation

  1. Rub a glass mug with a lime wedge and rub the edge in sugar to rim.
  2. Pour Irish whiskey, maple syrup and hot coffee into the rimmed mug. Stir to mix.
  3. Gently top off cocktail with whipped cream.
  4. Garnish with shaved chocolate. 

Description

Serve warm. 


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published