Classic Cocktails

In order to be a truly great bartender you have to know how to make a great classic cocktail off of the top of your head.

You’ve heard the names of these cocktails your whole life, but do you really know how to make them?Each one of these classic cocktails uses a liquor that you should have stocked in a home bar and they are deceptively simple. Try making all of these delicious recipes for classic cocktails and you will perfect your home bartending skills in no time.


The Martini is the drink that signifies nightlife and cocktails in general. This iconic cocktail is what people think of when they picture a classy fun party. There are numerous variations to this drink, but first you must know how to make the classic.
4 parts Gin (Vodka is also acceptable)
1 part Dry Vermouth
Lemon Peel
Green Olive
Pour all ingredients into mixing glass over ice and stir well.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Squeeze lemon peel over the drink, discard.
Garnish with one green olive.


The Manhattan is the quintessential Rye cocktail. It is a sweet, smoky, and delicious cocktail. Your guests will be impressed by its complex flavors, and you will love how easy it is to make.
4 ounces rye whiskey
2 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
2 cherries (maraschino or brandied)
Fill a cocktail shaker about three-quarters full of ice
Add the rye, vermouth and bitters. Stir with a bar spoon until the contents are ice cold.
Fill two cocktail glasses and garnish each with a cherry.


When you first think of a Daiquiri, the first thing that comes to mind is a frozen drink from a soft serve machine. The original Daiquiri originated in Cuba and is very different from the frozen drink we think of. It is fresh, citrusy, and the perfect vehicle for delicious rum.
2 1/2 ounces white rum
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 lime wheel, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, stir the rum, lime juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the ice and shake until chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with the lime wheel and serve.

Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is an American classic. It is one of the oldest cocktails and is definitely timeless. This delightful drink even has glassware created solely for its enjoyment.
2 ounces bourbon (or rye)
1 Sugar Cube
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters, to taste
1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry, with stem
Combine the bourbon, sugar cube, and bitters in a glass, muddle to create a paste.
Add ice, then add the orange slice and maraschino cherry.
Let the drink sit for a few minutes, or give it a little shake to let the flavors of the orange and cherry seep into the bourbon.
Drink and enjoy.

Once you have perfected these classics, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great bartender. There are so many variations and these cocktails can be endlessly customized. Don’t be afraid to experiment and riff on these classics, but, know you can always come back to these original for a perfect drink to entertain your friends. Come visit us at Bill’s Package Store for more ideas and suggestions on brands to try, we’ll help you make the perfect cocktails from your home bar!

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