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Classic Cocktail Recipes That Are Great for All Occasions

Part of the Bartending For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The cocktail recipes listed here are classics for a reason: They taste good. Whether you’re a professional bartender or just someone who likes to throw cocktail parties at home, you should know how to make these mixed drinks recipes like you know how to make toast.

Bacardi Cocktail

Bacardi cocktail is the only cocktail issued a copyright from the United States government.

  • 2 oz. Bacardi Light Rum

  • 1 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice

  • 1/2 tsp Sugar

  • 1/2 oz. Rose Grenadine

Mix in a shaker with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Brandy Alexander

A sweet and creamy delight. A favorite to all until Baileys came around.

  • 1-1/2 oz. Brandy or Cognac

  • 1/2 oz. Dark Crème de Cacao

  • 1 oz. Sweet Cream or Ice Cream

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a Margarita glass.

Bloody Mary

This cocktail is probably the most famous of the “Hair of the Dog” morning-after concoctions.

  • 1-1/4 oz. Vodka

  • 2-1/2 oz. Tomato Juice

  • dash Worcestershire Sauce

  • dash Tabasco Sauce

  • dash Salt and Pepper

Pour Vodka over ice in a tall glass. Fill with Tomato Juice. Add a dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco Sauce. Stir and garnish with a Celery Stalk. For those who enjoy their Bloody Marys extremely spicy, add more Tabasco or even Horseradish.

Cosmopolitan

The most popular drink of the new millennium.

  • 2 oz. Vodka

  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau

  • Juice of 1/2 Lime

  • 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Manhattan

If you make this cocktail correctly, you’ll never hear your guests utter this classic line from The Simpsons: “What did I do to deserve this flat, flavorless Manhattan?”

  • 2 oz. American or Canadian Whisky

  • splash Sweet or Dry Vermouth

  • dash Angostura Bitters

Stir ingredients in a rocks glass. Garnish with a Cherry.

Margarita

A great drink for a hot summer day.

  • 1 oz. Tequila

  • 1 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec

  • 1 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix or Lime Juice

Shake ingredients with ice or blend ingredients with crushed ice. Serve in a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a Lime Wheel.

Martini

A simple and elegant classic.

  • 2 oz. Gin

  • dash Extra Dry Vermouth

Shake or stir Gin and Vermouth with ice. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass straight up or over ice. Garnish with a twist or an Olive.

Tequila Sunrise

You will have a warm summer glow after this one!

  • 2 oz. Patrón Tequila

  • 3 oz. Orange Juice

  • 1/4 oz. Grenadine

Pour Grenadine into a tall glass first. Then add Tequila and fill with ice and Orange Juice. Garnish with an Orange Slice

White Russian

If you’re worried about calories, you can use whole milk or half-and-half rather than cream, but cream tastes better. Skim and 2-percent milk produce unsatisfactory results. The Dude in The Big Lebowski settled for nondairy creamer powder in one scene; that option is for emergencies only.

  • 1-1/2 oz. Vodka

  • 1/2 oz. Kahlúa

  • 1/2 oz. Cream

Shake ingredients and serve over ice in a rocks glass.

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