9th Sep 2022

Liquorama's Guide To Classic Cocktails

  • Cocktail Recipes
  • Cocktails
Liquorama's Guide To Classic Cocktails

Who's ready for classic cocktail recipes that will make all your friends think you have some serious bartender skills? Everyone needs a guide to classic cocktails and here's yours—all you classic cocktail recipe needs in one place!

Let's dive right in!

A Classic Cocktail

Sometimes you just need a classic cocktail—nothing frilly, nothing hip, and nothing new. Sometimes classic is the way to go. After all, the classic cocktails paved the way. Right?

For the following recipes, you'll need different spirits: rye whiskey, gin, vodka, tequila, orange liqueur, absinthe, dry and sweet vermouth, rum, and more! Get prepared with all the spirits you'll need on the Liquorama website. Create the perfect liquor cabinet and get all your essential spirits in one place!

Here are 15 cocktail recipes that everyone should know!


First up, we have the Sazerac. Many claim that the Sazerac is the first cocktail ever to exist. And I'm going to show you how to make it. For the first of its kind, you'll need:

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 5 dashes of bitters
  • 1/4 oz absinthe
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 lemon peel


In a mixing glass, add your rye whiskey, bitters, and sugar cube. Muddle it down thoroughly.You don't want the sugar to dissolve completely. It should be grainy.

Once you're done muddling, add some ice to your glass and stir until your glass is frosty. When your glass is frosty, your cocktail is adequately chilled.

Pour 1/4 of an ounce of absinthe into your serving glass. You want to wash your glass with it. Tilt your glass sideways and rotate. Keep the remaining absinthe in the glass.

Strain your mixture into your serving glass. Make sure the sugar grains make it into your serving glass.

Finally, garnish your glass with a lemon peel. Serve and enjoy

Old Fashioned

Next, we have an Old Fashioned cocktail. An Old Fashioned cocktail is classically made with bourbon; however, many people swap out the bourbon for a rye whiskey. Bourbon tends to be sweeter than rye whiskey and rye whiskey tends to be more spicy and peppery. Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 orange twist


In a rocks glass, add your sugar cube, bitters, and water. Muddle until a paste-like consistency forms. Then, add your ice and bourbon or rye whiskey. Stir for a few seconds until chilled.

Garnish with an orange twist! Serve and enjoy!


Next up, we have a Manhattan. A Manhattan and Old Fashioned are so close, they may as well be cousins. Here's what you'll need for a classic Manhattan cocktail:

  • 2 parts rye whiskey
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • A few luxardo cherries or you can use maraschino cherries


In a mixing glass, add your rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, angostura bitters, and ice. Stir for 30 seconds until mix is well chilled.

Strain into a chilled glass.

Garnish with cherries of your choosing. Serve and enjoy!

Moscow Mule

Grab your copper mugs because this is the classic Moscow Mule cocktail recipe. You'll need:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2-4 oz ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge
  • A few mint leaves


In an aesthetically pleasing copper mug, add your vodka, fresh lemon juice, and ice. Stir. Top off with ginger beer. Use as little or as much as you like!

Garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!


It's martini time! Personally, my favorite cocktail is an extra dirty vodka martini. But that's not how the classic martini is made. For a classic martini, you'll need:

  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters (optional)
  • A few olives
  • 1 lemon peel


Using a mixing glass, add your gin, vermouth, and a handful of ice. The orange bitters are optional if you want some extra zest.

Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass.

Garnish with a few olives or lemon peel. Serve and enjoy!

Some Side notes

This is the classic way to make a martini; however, there are a few changes you may want to consider. Although gin is the classic spirit used to make a martini, the vodka substitute has become quite popular. Many choose vodka instead of gin; however, the choice is yours. Try both and see which option you fancy.

If someone wants their martini "dirty", add some olive brine before stirring. "Extra dirty" means more olive brine.

If someone wants their martini "dry", they want less vermouth. "Extra dry" means no vermouth at all or just a glass-coating of vermouth.


Time for the Negroni, a classic, bitter option that will enlighten your taste buds. And the best part, it's easy because it's equal parts everything. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 Orange peel


In a mixing glass, add your gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and ice. Stir for 30 seconds until mix is nice and chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Using a large ice cube is best.

Garnish with an orange peel. Serve and enjoy!


What kind of person would I be if I didn't include the recipe to a bursting-with-freshness margarita? I couldn't leave you hanging. Get ready for a delicious margarita recipe that will leave you craving one all year round! You'll need:


Run a lime wedge all around the rim of your glass and then dip into coarse salt. In a shaker, add your blanco tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and ice. If your prefer your margaritas sweet, add some simple syrup. Shake well for 10 to 20 seconds until chilled.

Strain into your rimmed glass with ice.

Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve and enjoy!


Time for something bright pink! Here's what you'll need for a Cosmo:

2 oz vodka

3/4 oz orange liqueur

1 oz cranberry juice

3/4 oz lime juice


In a shaker add your vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice, and ice.

Double strain into a martini glass!

Garnish with a slice of lime. Serve and enjoy!

Whiskey Sour

If you're looking for something that's equally sour and sweet, you'll enjoy this Whiskey Sour recipe. You'll need:

2 oz whiskey

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

1 egg white (optional)

1 orange slice

1 maraschino cherry


If you don't want to add the egg white, just ignore it. Start by add your whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white into a shaker.

Dry shake for 10 seconds or so. "Dry shake" means shake without ice.

Once your done with your dry shake, add a good amount of ice to your shaker and shake again, vigorously. Strain into a glass.

Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy!

Bloody Mary

For the Bloody Mary, I could have very well said throw some vodka into a pre-maid Bloody Mary mix and call it a day. But we're going to pull out all the Bloody Mary stops today. It'll take a little bit longer but, trust me, it'll be worth it.

If you'd rather not, check out our post 14 Fun & Festive 4th Of July Drinks and take a look at our fast and easy Bloody Mary recipe.

Before I start, just know that everything is up to your tastebuds. If you don't like something, don't add it. If you love something, add more of it. Make your Bloody Mary whatever you want it to be. For now, this is what you'll need for a full-on make-it-yourself Bloody Mary:

  • 2 oz vodka (chilled)
  • 4 oz tomato juice (chilled)
  • 2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce
  • Splash of fresh lemon juice
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Celery
  • Lemon wedge
  • Olives


In a shaker, add your vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass.

Garnish with celery, lemon wedge, and olives. Serve and enjoy!

Some side notes

Again, everything depends on your taste buds. Feel free to remove or add anything you wish. Many people use celery salt instead of regular salt. If you're a fan of celery, try it out. If you're a particular fan of different spices, throw them in there. You really can't go wrong!

As for the garnishes, you can garnish your Bloody Mary with just about anything. Throw a slider on there! Or even a cooked shrimp! Anything goes!

Have fun with it!

Mint Julep

I couldn't leave out the official Kentucky Derby cocktail! To make this infamous cocktail, you'll need:


In a serving glass, add your bourbon, simple syrup, and mint leaves. If you tend to like your cocktails sweeter, then add a dash more simple syrup. Muddle everything together. Then, top your glass with crushed ice.

Garnish your Mint Julep with mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!


Here's another deliciously minty cocktail that calls for some rum! For a mojito cocktail, you'll need:

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • Some club soda
  • Roughly 5 sprigs of mint


In a shaker, muddle a few sprigs of mint and simple syrup. Once you're done muddling, add your white rum and lime juice into shaker and give it a brief shake. Strain into a glass of ice. Top off with club soda.

Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve and enjoy!


Time for a classic recipe with some cognac. Here's what you'll need for a Sidecar cocktail:

  • 2 parts cognac
  • 1 part orange liqueur
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon twist
  • Lemon wedge
  • Fine sugar (optional)


Using a lemon wedge, slide it across the rim of the glass and dip it in fine sugar. In a shaker, add your cognac, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and ice. Shake well. Strain into your glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist. Serve and enjoy!

Tequila Sunrise

Now, I'm sure tequila is starting to feel a little neglected here. So here's a tequila sunrise recipe for you all. You'll need:

  • 1.5 oz tequila
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • .5 oz grenadine
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 maraschino cherry


In a tall glass, add your tequila and orange juice. Then, fill your glass with crushed ice. Down the side of the glass, drizzle your grenadine so it sinks to the bottom, creating the gradient effect.

Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy!


And finally, we have the Paloma! Let's end this with some bursting grapefruit deliciousness. You'll need:

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • .5 - 1 oz agave syrup
  • .5 oz fresh lime juice
  • Some club soda or sparkling water


In a shaker, add your tequila, grapefruit juice, agave syrup, fresh lime juice, and ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass with crushed ice. Top off with some club soda or sparkling water.

Garnish with a slice of grapefruit! Serve and enjoy!


Are you looking for your favorite spirit at a great price? Get ahead of all your cocktail recipe needs by visiting the Liquorama store or website. Check out our wide selection of beer, wine, and spirits!

Get your favorite spirits shipped right to your door with the convenience of Liquorama's shipping option when you order online! Just add it to your cart, and you're all set! We have all your cocktail needs!