Today (May 13) is World Cocktail Day and with that in mind, there’s no better time to start learning how to make some of the most iconic drinks to ever fill a glass.
The truth of the matter is, the absolute classic cocktails are about simplicity, good ingredients and practice. You don’t need speciality liquors, fancy techniques or rare additives. All you really need is an interest and some time.
The Whiskey Sour is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. There are two ways of doing a Whiskey Sour: one with egg whites, and one without. The egg white helps mellow out the sourness of the cocktail, but some prefer not to have it, and some are even allergic so always ask first.
- 1.5 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 0.75 oz simple syrup
- 1 egg white (optional)
Method: Mix all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. If using egg whites, add now and shake, really shake hard, for a good 30 seconds, this is critical to the froth from the egg. Add ice and shake (shake again with ice, if egg white version). Strain into a chilled glass. Add a garnish maraschino cherry as an option.
Everyone should know how to make a decent margarita. And we’re not talking about the awful ice slush versions. The key in making a good margarita is the quality of the tequila, a cheaper variety will make your drink harsh, so don’t skimp on the brand.
- 2oz blanco tequila
- 1oz triple sec
- 0.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Method: Combine tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake for around 15-20 seconds. Rim half of the glass with salt (giving the option of salt or no salt while sipping) and strain mixture into glass. Garnish with lime wheel for additional lime notes.
Negroni’s are perfectly simple, and yet complex in the taste. It’s a balance of sweet, sour and bitter. Fortunately, a basic negroni is easy to remember as well, as it is the sum of all it’s equal parts.
- 1oz campari
- 1oz sweet vermouth
- 1oz gin
Method: Mix all ingredients together in a rocks glass, add ice and stir. Simple, yet effective. For some variation, play with the balance of spirits to suit your particular taste, or pre-mix and toss into a cocktail barrel for some extra wood/smoke notes to the drink.
A sign of a good bartender is when they can make a great daiquiri. It’s easy on the surface, but it all comes down to preparation and understanding the balance of flavours involved. If a bartender can make you a good daiquiri, you can trust them with anything.
- 2 oz of white rum (a true daiquiri uses white rum and nothing else)
- 0.75 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tsp of organic cane sugar
Method: Add lime juice and sugar to a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve. Add rum and ice, shake vigorously and pour into a chilled coupe glass, you want the daiquiri to be cold.