Some cocktails are classics for a reason. They are so tasty that they never go out of style.
With the help of our friends at Food52, we’ve put together recipes for the 10 best classic cocktails. They range from a sophisticated Old Fashioned to an adventurous mai tai.
Here are the best classic cocktails.
Probably one of the most classic cocktails of all time, the martini is a delicious mix of gin and vermouth. This martini recipe comes Erika Kotite, founder of Toque Magazine.
The Tom Collins is a wonderful drink, especially because its ingredients — lemon, sugar, soda, and gin — are very easy to obtain. Mixologist Erik Lombardo says this classic is delicious even if you switch out gin for a different spirit, like vodka or bourbon. Traditionally, Old Tom gin is used for a Tom Collins, though London dry gin also works well.
A good whiskey sour is typically made with whiskey, sugar, an egg white, and citrus, with a lemon typically being the citrus fruit of choice. The egg white gives the drink a frothy texture, and Lombardo says it actually gives drinkers an often necessary boost of protein at the end of a long night.
A mint julep is made with bourbon, rich mint syrup, a bunch of mint, and crushed ice. Lombardo says even though mint juleps are traditionally made with bourbon, you can use a different spirit instead. He suggests a real peach brandy, which is difficult to find but worth the hunt. He also suggests stuffing as much mint as possible into your glass.
This classic margarita recipe contains tequila, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed lime juice, agave syrup, ice, sea salt, and lime wedges. Kotite prepares the drinking glass by rubbing a spent lime around the rim, turning the glass upside down on a plate of salt, and then filling the glass with ice and pouring in the liquid.
The Negroni is made with a simple 1:1:1 ratio of smooth gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. This drink is great before a meal, as it cleanses your taste buds.
This delicious classic is made with rye whiskey, Angostura bitters, sugar, water, and ice, with an orange peel as a garnish. Kotite notes that it’s important to make sure your sugar is thoroughly crushed.
This New Orleans cocktail is made with a small amount of absinthe, as well as rye whiskey, simple syrup, Peychaud bitters, ice, and lemon twist. Kotite says the lemon twist should be simply rubbed on the rim of the glass and then discarded.
A mai tai is a little more adventurous than the other classic cocktails, and contains a mix of rums, citrus, and flavored syrups. Since the original mai tai called for a Jamaican rum that no longer exists, you can mix rhum agricole with a dark Jamaican rum instead. Lombardo says this drink is meant to be a little crazy, so save limes for garnish, and add lots of umbrellas and edible flowers.
The Southside shows how mint can totally transform the taste of a drink. This cocktail is basically a gin gimlet, with some mint leaves tossed into the mix. This drink can easily be transformed into an Eastside cocktail by adding two wheels of cucumber.
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