How To: Classic Cocktails You Should Know How to Make
How To: Classic Cocktails You Should Know How to Make

Brianna Kozlarek / Thursday January 31, 2019

I grew up watching old fashioned, black and white movies. There’s something about the charm, style and class of these old (albeit highly idealized) films that instantly transport me to a calm, relaxed place. The fashion is incredible and in nearly every scene the cocktails are flowing. Think the party scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s: colorful, loud and just a bit over the top, AKA my idea of a perfect night. This is probably where my pride in being a good host comes in. I always make sure to have a few good cheeses, olives and cornichon pickles on hand so that I can whip up a cheese board at a moment’s notice (this literally happened last Thursday when my girlfriends came over and we realized two glasses in that we hadn’t eaten dinner yet – WHOOPS). As a good host, there’s a few cocktails that you should absolutely know how to make without question. I’m not talking about a Sex on the Beach or Long Island Ice Tea or whatever trash drink you ordered in college to look cool (guilty over here too, no judgement). I’m talking classic, chic and most importantly. high alcohol content. Scroll, practice and achieve your hostess goals:

Old Fashioned

My dream guy is Don Draper, bad temperament and all. This is his go-to order, and you’re damn straight that I learned to make it during a Mad Men marathon. My favorite part of this drink is the boozy cherries:

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 Sugar cube, Few dashes plain water

Preparation: Place sugar cube in old fashioned glass and saturate with bitters, add a dash of plain water. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange slice, and a cocktail cherry.

Served: On the rocks; poured over ice

Standard garnish: Orange slice, Cocktail cherry

Insert James Bond pun here. I used to order these dirty (this means add a splash of olive juice straight from the jar) but as ya girl has entered her 30’s that sodium’s making me puffy as hell, so these days I just take em straight:

Main alcohol: Gin, traditionally. But Vodka is also allowed, and more commonly ordered.

Ingredients: 1/2 oz (1 part) Dry vermouth, 3 oz (6 parts) Gin

Preparation: Straight: Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain in chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with olive.

Standard garnish: Olive, Lemon twist


A Manhattan is a classic cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. This was my beautiful cousin Liz’s favorite drink. Cheers to her, always <3

Ingredients: Maraschino cherry (Garnish), Dash Angostura bitters, 2 oz Rye or Canadian whisky, 3/4 oz Sweet red vermouth

Preparation: Stirred over ice, strained into a chilled glass, garnished, and served straight up.

Served: Straight up; without ice


This is on the list because of my mother. She calls it her fancy lady drink. If you want to impress a snobby hipster bartender, order this.

Main alcohol: Campari, Vermouth, Gin

Ingredients: 1 oz (1 part) Gin, 1 oz (1 part) Campari, 1 oz (1 part) Sweet red Vermouth

Preparation: Stir into glass over ice, garnish and serve.

Standard garnish: Orange peel


This is definitely a summer drink, and leans southern. I’m still calling it a classic and including it here. Ready your muddlers:

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz White rum, 6 leaves of Mint, Soda Water, 1 oz Fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons Sugar

Preparation: Mint sprigs muddled with sugar and lime juice. Rum added and topped with soda water. Garnished with sprig of mint leaves. Served with a straw.

Served: On the rocks; poured over ice

Standard garnish: Sprig of mint, Yerba buena

Moscow Mule

This is NOT a classic drink but Kunbi told me to include it cause we’re basic. And honestly we should use all those copper mugs we bought in 2016 right?

Ingredients: 4 oz Ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz Vodka, 1/6 oz Lime juice

Preparation: Combine vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug or highball glass filled with ice. Add lime juice. Stir gently and garnish with a lime slice.

Served: On the rocks; poured over ice.

Standard garnish: Lime slice


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