Classic Cocktails Everyone Should Know

Start practicing these essential cocktails and you'll be a pro when it comes to making drinks for family and friends.
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Classic Martini

This classic and classy cocktail never goes out of style. Traditionally it's made with gin and vermouth, but you can also swap in your favorite brand of vodka.

Get the Recipe: Classic Martini

Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos gin fizz, one of the many variations in the fizz family of cocktails, was invented in 1888 by Henrico C. Ramos in New Orleans. Its signatures are cream and orange-blossom water.

Get the Recipe: Ramos Gin Fizz

Rob Roy

This cocktail was created in 1894 by a bartender at The Waldorf Hotel in New York City for the opening night of an opera entitled Rob Roy. It can be made sweet, dry or perfect, but is always exclusively made with Scotch whiskey.

Get the Recipe: Rob Roy

Hemingway Daiquiri

This daiquiri, also known as the Papa Doble, was named in honor of the writer Ernest Hemingway, who was said to have had more than his fair share while living in Havana. This is not the frozen variety you might find coming out of a Slurpee machine. In fact, the lightly sweet drink is most definitely strong and should be imbibed with caution.

Get the Recipe: Hemingway Daiquiri

Chipotle Margarita

You can garnish Guy Fieri's margarita with salt or just a slice of orange. Chipotle juice (from canned chipotles) gives the citrus base a nice kick.

Get the Recipe: Chipotle Margarita

The Little Italy (Manhattan with Aperol)

Rye whiskey and vermouth are the signatures of a classic Manhattan. This version adds a touch of Aperol, an aperitif containing bitter orange, gentian and rhubarb.

Get the Recipe: The Little Italy (Manhattan with Aperol)


This rye whiskey creation is often called the world's first cocktail. In 1838, the owner of a New Orleans apothecary, Antoine Amedie Peychaud, started making toddies for friends. He used as a measuring cup a double-ended eggcup, then known as a "coquetier," from which the word "cocktail" was derived. And today, Peychaud's bitters are still used in this cocktail.

Get the Recipe: Sazerac

Italian Manhattan

This take on the classic Manhattan gets a touch of Italian bitters like Campari before being topped with a maraschino cherry.

Get the Recipe: Michael's Italian Manhattan

Spicy Citrus Bloody Mary

Muddle lemon and lime wedges to give a citrus tang to Bobby Flay's Bloody Mary recipe.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Citrus Bloody Mary

Rum Lemonade

Save time by using store-bought lemonade for Bobby's dark-rum drink.

Get the Recipe: Rum Lemonade

Hot Ginger Toddy

Make a ginger syrup from fresh ginger for this whiskey cocktail. The syrup can be made ahead of time and will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Get the Recipe: Hot Ginger Toddy

Ruby Smash

Top off this classic bourbon cocktail with a splash of ginger beer for a fizzy finish.

Get the Recipe: Ruby Smash

Southern Driver

Sandra Lee serves her Southern Driver the traditional way — in an old-fashioned glass, with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice for garnish.

Get the Recipe: Southern Driver

Mint Julep

Alton Brown muddles fresh mint leaves and sugar to create a refreshing base for your favorite bourbon.

Get the Recipe: Mint Julep

Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade

Bobby makes a from-scratch lemonade of simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and fresh orange juice plus club soda before adding bourbon. 

Get the Recipe: Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade

Southside Cocktail

Made with only a handful of ingredients, Geoffrey Zakarian's impressive-looking gin-lime cocktail comes together quickly in a cocktail shaker. Top with fresh mint for a fragrant garnish.

Get the Recipe: Southside Cocktail

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