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15 classic cocktails every home bartender must know how to make

While there is no dearth of experimental cocktails today in the bars of some of the finest restaurants and hotels, classic cocktails are still the go-to option for many. Whether it’s a martini or a cosmopolitan, you can never go wrong with these cocktails — good times guaranteed! And that’s why every cocktail lover should know how to prepare and serve these classic cocktails.

Classic cocktails home bartenders should have in their arsenal

Old Fashioned

Easy cocktails

Old Fashioned is one of those classic and easy cocktails that never gets old. You need to place the sugar cube in the old fashioned glass and saturate it with bitters and add a dash of plain water. Next, you have to muddle it until dissolved. Then fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange slices and a cocktail cherry. And you have your perfect glass of Old Fashioned ready.

Get the recipe here

Martini

Easy cocktails

Made with gin and vermouth, you can’t go wrong with a Martini. Over the years, Martini has become quite the classic, and it’s quite easy to make as well. You need to pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass along with ice cubes and stir well. Next, strain it in a chilled martini cocktail glass. To garnish it, squeeze the oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with an olive.

Get the recipe here

Manhattan

Easy cocktails

All you need for this classic cocktail are whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. And you have your Manhattan ready. The thing about this easy cocktail is that even though it is stirred over ice and then strained into a chilled glass, it is served straight up without any ice. Ideally, you would need rye whiskey for a classic Manhattan, but Canadian whisky, bourbon, blended whiskey, and Tennessee whiskey are good substitutes, too.

Get the recipe here

Margarita

Easy cocktails

This cocktail is made from tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice and is often served with salt on the rim of the glass. For this, you will need to rub the rim of the glass with lime and salt, shake all the other ingredients with ice, and then carefully pour it into the glass. Margarita is an easy cocktail recipe that should make its place in any home bartender’s collection.

Get the recipe here

Whiskey Sour

Easy cocktails

Who thought egg whites could do such wonders to a glass of whiskey? That is the magic of Whiskey Sour. It is a mix of whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and a dash of egg white on the top. It is shaken and served on the rocks and tastes divine.

Get the recipe here

Irish Coffee

Easy cocktails

Speaking of tasting divine, we have Irish Coffee next on the list. It blends the best of both worlds — caffeine and alcohol. For this, you need Irish whiskey, hot coffee and sugar, and top it off with cream. It tastes and smells heavenly and is easy to make.

Get the recipe here

Espresso Martini

Easy cocktails

We are not done with our coffee cocktails yet! Next, we have the Espresso Martini, which is a vodka drink. Unlike Irish Coffee, this is a cold caffeinated alcoholic drink and is made with espresso, coffee liqueur, and vodka. It is not a true martini, in the sense that it does not contain gin or vermouth. But the taste will make you forget the minor semantics.

Get the recipe here

Negroni

Easy cocktails

A classic Italian cocktail and a classic gin drink. Negroni is traditionally made of one part gin, one part vermouth Rosso and one part Campari and garnished with orange peel. Also, traditionally Negroni is stirred, not shaken and is built over ice in an old-fashioned or rocks glass.

Get the recipe here

Mai Tai

Easy cocktails

A rum-based cocktail, Mai Tai is one of the traditional cocktails in Tiki culture. It is also one of the easy cocktails that every home bartender and amateur bartender should know how to make. It is made of rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice. To make this, you need to shake all ingredients except the dark rum together in a mixer with ice. Then strain it in a glass and float the dark rum onto the top. Garnish and serve with a straw.

Get the recipe here

Daiquiri

Easy cocktails

This pretty-looking cocktail is made of rum, citrus juice, sugar or some other sweetener. Daiquiri is one of the six basic drinks that is listed in David A. Embury’s classic, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. To make this, you just need to pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain in a chilled cocktail glass.

Get the recipe here

Black Russian

Easy cocktails

The Black Russian is a cocktail of vodka and coffee liqueur and ideally contains the ingredients in the ratio of 50 ml vodka to 20 ml coffee liqueur. It is made by pouring the vodka and coffee liqueur over ice cubes or cracked ice in an old-fashioned glass and then stirring it to get the perfect glass of this easy cocktail.

Get the recipe here

Moscow Mule

Easy cocktails

The unique thing about a Moscow Mule is that it is served in a copper mug, as it takes on the cold temperature of the liquid. Moscow mule is a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. It is served cold on the rocks and is a classic cocktail that needs to find its place in every home bartender’s bar.

Get the recipe here

Bloody Mary

One of the vintage cocktails, Bloody Mary finds a place in almost all bars across the world, it is that popular. It is made of vodka, tomato juice, and other spices and flavourings including Worcestershire sauce, hot sauces, garlic, herbs, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, lime juice and celery salt. It is served on the rocks and makes a great summer drink.

Get the recipe here

Cosmopolitan

This drink tastes as swanky as it sounds. A Cosmopolitan, or a cosmo, is made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or sweetened lime juice. To make this, you need to add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and double strain it into a large cocktail glass. Finally, you garnish with a lime wheel.

Get the recipe here

Mojito

Easy cocktails

One of the oldest and most easy cocktails to make, Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball. Even though it has tons of variations, the traditional Mojito is made from white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint. The sweetness, citrusy flavours and herbaceous mint flavours blend together to make it the perfect refreshing summer cocktail.

Get the recipe here

All Images: Courtesy Instagram

Sreetama Basu
A self-proclaimed plant mom, Sreetama finds joy wherever she sees greenery. The list of other things that bring her joy is pretty long, but writing about them is her way of celebrating them. In love with little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.
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