10 Classic Cocktails
Meet the timeless standards of the cocktail playbook. Mix up these classic adult beverages for your next party or home happy hour.
The gin martini is the king of cocktails. A clear, classic, very strong cocktail. For such a simple cocktail (gin, vermouth), the martini isn't afraid to court a little controversy. What's the right amount of vermouth in a martini? Should you stir it or shake it? Can you make a martini with vodka? There's room for debate. But where does this 5-star martini recipe come down? The vermouth gets a relatively light touch and the cocktail a vigorous shaking. Serve chilled in (you guessed it) a martini glass.
Like a whiskey martini but with a touch of sweetness, this bracing, 100-year-old cocktail can be made with bourbon or rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. As home cook Big Steel says, "This one straddles the fence between sweet and smoky." Serve in a martini glass or a short tumbler — always chilled.
Often served at breakfast or brunch or in an airplane, the vodka Bloody Mary is easy to customize depending on how strong you like your drinks — and how much spice you can handle. Serve over ice in a tall glass with the vegetable garnish of your choice.
Old Fashioned Cocktail
The original. A sophisticated cocktail that's simple to make and goes down smooth. The original version of this cocktail was simply water, sugar, bitters, and whatever booze was within reach, often brandy. With time, the water became ice, the booze became whiskey, and the drink became an old fashioned. Serve over ice in a short tumbler (also known as an Old Fashioned glass), garnished with maraschino cherries.
A refreshing Cuban classic made with white rum and muddled fresh mint. Sweet and fruity on hot summer days. Serve over ice in a tall glass.
This recipe is the original daiquiri. An easy rum and lime-juice cocktail shaken over lots of ice, like an island margarita. These days, the daiquiri is often combined with strawberries and spun into a delicious blender drink. Serve in a chilled martini or margarita glass.
Gin and Tonic
Certainly the greatest toolbox-related tipple of all time, the screwdriver is also commonly called "vodka and orange juice," for reasons that will not confound. Typically served at breakfast or brunch in a tall glass over ice.