Know Your Classic Cocktails: Part II

Now that you’ve learned how to stock your home bar, you need to know what to do with all of the ingredients. Many people are intimidated by the idea of mixing a classic cocktail because they are under the impression that they are more complicated than they really are. Next time you’re entertaining people at your home, impress them not only with your culinary academy talent, but also with your mixology skills. First up: get the proper materials:

What you need:

  • Cocktail shaker.
  • Strainer.
  • Jigger.
  • Shot glass.
  • Corkscrew.
  • Swizzle sticks or bar spoon.

All stocked up? Now it’s time to prepare your friends – and yourself – some classic cocktails.


  • Mai Tai
    Commercial mai tais tend to be excessively fruity and sweet, but that’s not the case when it comes to a traditional mai tai. One of the original tiki drinks, this rum cocktail is meant to channel Polynesian beaches without being overly sweet. They’re typically prepared with light and dark rum, orange curacao and lime juice.

Serve in: Highball glass.
Garnish with: Pineapple spear, mint leaves, cherry.

  • Daiquiri
    Like mai tais, daiquiris have been compromised into a frozen, fruity drink served at chain restaurants.  However, a proper daiquiri is only made up of three ingredients: white rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Don’t skimp on your rum, though, as the flavor of the liquor will really stand out.

Serve in: Cocktail glass.
Garnish with: A lime wedge.


  • Martini
    There are many variations of the martini, made with either gin or vodka. A classic martini, however, consists of gin and vermouth. It was originally made with sweet vermouth, but dry vermouth is an option as well.

Serve in: Cocktail glass.
Garnish with: A lemon twist or olive.

  • French 75
    French 75s are the perfect cocktail for a party. Elegant and classy, but simple to make, a French 75 is made up of gin, lemon juice, sugar and champagne.


Serve in: Champagne flute.
Garnish with: A lemon twist and a cherry.


  • Old Fashioned
    Whether you prefer bourbon or rye whiskey, you can enjoy a good old fashioned. Simply muddle a sugar cube, some bitters and a bit of club soda and stir in your favorite whiskey.

Serve in: Rocks glass.
Garnish with: A lemon or orange twist and a cherry.

  • Manhattan
    Originated in – you guessed it – Manhattan in the late 1800s, this cocktail was fashionable enough to lead to the creation of many different varieties. A classic Manhattan, however, is made of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.

Serve in: Cocktail glass.
Garnish with: Cherry.


  • Moscow Mule
    The Moscow Mule was created in the 1940s in an effort to get more people to drink vodka. The classic cocktail, made up of vodka, lime and ginger beer, has stuck around for decades as a summer favorite.

Serve in: Copper mug.
Garnish with: Mint and lime.

  • Vesper
    We all know James Bond’s signature drink is a shaken (not stirred) martini, but 007 indulges in a Vesper as well. It’s a sort of hybrid between a gin and a vodka martini as it uses both liquors.


Serve in: Champagne coupe.
Garnish with: Lemon twist.

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