ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Perfect your bartending skills by making these 20 classic cocktails!

Updated on March 7, 2013

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.


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.


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.


2 oz Vodka

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz Cream or Milk


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.


1 1/2 Citron Vodka

1 1/2 oz Cointreau

1 oz Lime Juice

1 oz Cranberry Juice

Lemon Peel with a Twist


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.


1 1/2 oz Vodka

3/4 oz Galliano

1 oz Pineapple Juice


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


Mai Tai

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


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


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.


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


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!


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!


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.


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 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


1 1/2 oz Tequila

1/2 oz Lime Juice

1/2 oz Creme de Cassis

3 to 4 oz Ginger Ale


Tequila Sunrise

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


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.


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.


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!


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.


2 1/2 oz Scotch

1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth

Angostura Bitters

Maraschino Cherries


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


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.


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




This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)