Perfect your bartending skills by making these 20 classic cocktails!

A Gin Classic - Singapore Sling

A classic cocktail called the Singapore Sling
A classic cocktail called the Singapore Sling | Source

20 classic cocktails

Are you looking to build your cocktail skills up? Maybe you are trying to increase your palate up for other drinks besides the typical bar spot full of tap beer. Start out with the most commonly sipped spirit in the U.S., Vodka.


Vodka


Bloody Mary - This cocktail originated in the mid 1920s at a bar called Harry's New York Bar in Paris by a guy named Fernand Petiot. It became increasingly popular in the U.S. at King Cole Bar in St. Regis Hotel.


Recipe

2 oz Vodka

4 oz Tomato Juice

1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

2 to 3 dashes Tabasco Sauce

2 to 3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Tsp Horseradish

Lemon Wedges

Celery Stick

White Russian - a classic recipe that you can actually omit milk or cream and make it a Black Russian.


Recipe

2 oz Vodka

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz Cream or Milk

Cosmopolitan

You can't talk about Vodka without associating this sophisticated drink for the ladies! Take away the ethanol burn with and bring some smoothness to your lady. It became popular in the 1980s at Odeon Bar in New York Cikty.

Recipe

1 1/2 Citron Vodka

1 1/2 oz Cointreau

1 oz Lime Juice

1 oz Cranberry Juice

Lemon Peel with a Twist



Goldfinger

You know you always got to have a cool James Bond cocktail in the mix! This one came out in the 1970s and introduced a new Italian liqueur called Galliano.

Recipe

1 1/2 oz Vodka

3/4 oz Galliano

1 oz Pineapple Juice


Gin

Singapore Sling

Yes, this bad boy is what started the crazy tropical, exotic, tiki based drinks. A bartender by the name of Ngiam Tong Boon created this recipe at a bar in Singapore in 1915. This recipe is a grocery list so brace yourselves!

Recipe

1 1/2 oz Gin

3/4 oz Cherry Brandy

3/4 oz Benedictine

3/4 oz Cointreau

1 oz Orange Juice

3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice

2 oz Club

Garnish with Pineapple Wedge, Orange Slice, and a Maraschino Cherry

Gin and Tonic

It was discovered that the quinine in Tonic water was perfect in creating a mixed drink during the 1800s. As easy as this is to make, it's very easy to screw up with improper measurements.

Recipe

2 oz Gin (Quality stuff)

4 oz Tonic

Lime or Lemon Wedge is optional.


Tom Collins

This is another pure classic. It was actually created by John Collins who was a bartender at Limmer's Hotel in London. It caught on heavy in the U.S. in 1950s suburbia.

Recipe

2 oz Gin

1 oz Lemon Juice

1/2 oz Simple Syrup

3 oz Club Soda

Garnish with a Lemon Slice and Maraschino Cherries

Ramos Gin Fizz

This particular drink was created in 1890s at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon. It was a specially made drink by the Ramos Bros that required a full 5 min shake due to the content of sugar, cream, and egg whites.

Recipe

2 oz Gin

1 oz Lemon Juice

1/2 oz Lime Juice

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 to 3 oz Orange Flavor Water

Egg White

1 1/2 oz cream

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

1 oz club soda

Lemon Slice as a garnish

Rum

Mai Tai


A true Trader Vic original from 1944 in good ol' San Francisco!

Recipe

1 1/2 Myers's Jamaican Dark Rum

1 oz Martinique Rhum (Aged Rum)

1/2 oz Orange Curacao

1/4 Simple Syrup

1 1/2 oz Orgeat (Almond Flavored) Syrup

1 1/4 Lime Juice

Orange Blossom

Orange Peel Spiral

Mojito

Do you want to make your breath smell pleasant after a nice sip? Well, this is your cocktail! This particular comes from Havana, Cuba. It's a delicious spin off of a Mint Julep. Apparently, Rum is considered the milk of Cuba. Honestly, it's the milk of the whole Caribbean.

Recipe

First and foremost, muddle your limes, mint, and sugar together in the bottom of the glass. Gently! Don't beat it half to death! Just let some of the juices mesh with the leaves and sugar.

1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

1 tablespoon of sugar

6 to 8 mint leaves

2 oz Rum

Top with 3 to 4 oz of Club Soda

Garnish Mint Sprig


Hurricane

The story goes like this. Quality whiskey and scotch were hard to come by in the 1940s. Pat O'Brien was a bar owner in New Orleans. The thing was for every case of whiskey and scotch he bought, he had to buy 3 cases of Rum. Pretty much he had a surplus of Rum and wanted to get rid of it. He ended up creating a cocktail that uses Torani's Passion Fruit Syrup. It was a hit and today you can still go to Pat O' Brien's and get yourself an original Hurricane!

Recipe

1 1/2 oz Dark Rum (Myers's preferably)

1 oz Light Rum

1/2 oz Torani Passion Fruit Syrup (if you can't find it, just get another Passion Fruit)

1 1/2 oz Orange Juice

1 oz Lime Juice

1 oz Pineapple Juice

Dash Angostura Bitters

Lime Wedge

Pineapple Wedge

P.S. This cocktail first had up to 4 1/2 ounces of RUM!!! NEARLY DOUBLE THE AMOUNT! It would put you flat on your you know what!


Daiquiri


Now, here is improvisation at its finest. A guy by the name of Jennings Cox was having a get together in Cuba. Unfortunately (for him), he ran out of Gin. Of course, Cuba is a hot bed for Rum. He chose that instead and came up with the perfect cocktail.

Recipe

2 oz Light Rum

1 oz Fresh Lime

1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Lime Slice


Now, a bartender named Constantino Ribaliagua made this absolutely perfect ESPECIALLY for the summer time. He found that by using crushed ice, he could keep the drink cold without a crazy dilution effect. The only difference he used Maraschino Liqueur to add more flavor.

Nowadays, you see a lot of strawberry muddled and mixed into the Daiquiri for added flavor especially catered to the ladies.


Tequila


Tequila is a very unique type of liquor that actually comes from Agave plants. You ever wonder why Tequila had a distinctive taste? Well, look up Agave.

El Diablo


Recipe

1 1/2 oz Tequila

1/2 oz Lime Juice

1/2 oz Creme de Cassis

3 to 4 oz Ginger Ale

Stir

Tequila Sunrise


One of my favorites that actually comes from the 1970s.

Recipe

1 1/2 oz Silver Tequila

6 oz Orange Juice

1/2 oz float of Grenadine

To add a bit more punch, you can use the Chambord (Raspberry Liqueur) in place of the Grenadine.

Margarita

This beautiful lady has a NUMBER of variations including Mango, Strawberry, Blackberry, Pineapple, etc. Here is the history of the most basic one: this actual drink came from a London bartending book in the 1930s. However, it gained popularity in the 1940s after Tequila was introduced to the United States.

With the margarita, you first juice the glass up with lime juice then rim it with salt.

Recipe

1 1/2 oz Premium Tequila (100% de Agave ALL THE WAY!!!)

1 1/2 oz of Fresh Lime Juice

1 oz Cointreau

You can take it step further and put Grand Marnier in place of Cointreau to make the Cadillac Margarita.

The Blue Margarita uses Blue Curacao.


Tequila Shot


Of course, we cannot forget the infamous Tequila Shot! This bad boy will put hair on your chest!

Take a pinch of salt around your thumb. Lick it then take a shot glass of Tequila; down it! Then bite into a Lime Wedge! SIMPLE!


Whiskey


Rob Roy

This was actually made in honor of 17th century Scottish hero Sir Walter Scotts from a novel in the 1800s. Robert MacGregor was the originator of this cocktail.

Recipe

2 1/2 oz Scotch

1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth

Angostura Bitters

Maraschino Cherries


Manhattan


This is what you call pure Americana right here. It exudes sexy, elegance, and even opulence depending on the type of liquor used.

The original cocktail called for Rye, but it is a bit too bitter by today's standards

Recipe

2 oz Bourbon (makes it sweeter) or 2 oz Canadian Whisky (mellows it and is a good counterpart to Rye)

3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth

2 to 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Maraschino Cherry (even a little of the juice fro thre)

and a nice Lemon Twist (get the oils in the cocktail)


Old Fashioned


This is really unique and forward thinking especially in a time where there weren't very many cocktails with an emphasis on fruit. However, the original drink has gone through a number of changes! The origins come from Louisville, Kentucky at Pendennis Club. Pretty much you muddle sugar, cherry, Angostura bitters, and orange together then pour bourbon and top with club soda. Let's get into the recipe!

1 oz Sugar

3 dashes of Angostura bitters

1 strip of Lemon Zest

Orange Slice

Maraschino Cherry

2 1/2 oz Bourbon/Whiskey

2 oz Club Soda

Garnish with Orange Slice and Maraschino Cherry


Mint Julep

A great blend of mint and Kentucky Bourbon.

Recipe

4 oz Kentucky Bourbon

1/2 oz Simple Syrup

4 to 6 mint sprigs

You can muddle mint, simple syrup before the bourbon

Add a Lemon Twist for flavor!

For some cool visual presentations and bartending books, check below!



Bartending Books

Daiquiri

Manhattan

Comments 6 comments

midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Keeping these recipes and sharing!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Wow, these are neat. I have made Bloody Marys with V-8 juice and Vodka, but I haven't used those other ingredients. Sounds great. Pinning this for future reference!


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

Great cocktails! I've never had a bloodymary, thanks for the recipe. Definitely bookmarking. voted up!


shin_rocka04 profile image

shin_rocka04 3 years ago from Maryland Author

Thanks for the share, Midget38! Greatly appreciated. @Victoria yup, there are so many crazy variations on the Bloody Mary I've seen! If you go to Tipsy Bartender on YouTube, there is an epic Bloody Mary where he uses a burger as a garnish with the celery! LOL. Glad you pinned and enjoyed it! @lovedoctor926, apparently this is a great hangover cocktail :P. Glad you enjoyed the hub! Thanks for the love and shares, everyone!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Great cocktail recipes, and I enjoyed reading the little history stories that accompany them! Voted useful!


shin_rocka04 profile image

shin_rocka04 3 years ago from Maryland Author

Thanks, Rebecca! Greatly appreciated.

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