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Manhattan cocktail sitting on counter | traditional cocktail recipes

3 Traditional Cocktail Recipes Everyone Should Know By Heart

3 Traditional Cocktail Recipes Everyone Should Know By Heart

There are thousands of cocktail recipes tucked away in various printed bartending books and digital recipe blogs. But a mere 77 cocktails are officially recognized by the [International Bartending Association](https://iba-world.com/). Today, we want to step away from the ingredient-drenched cocktails of the moment.

Instead, let’s look at how to make the time-honored classic cocktails that every person should know. These tried and tested traditional cocktail recipes have earned their spot in history for a reason — they’re downright delicious.

Old Fashioned

What you need:

  • 3 dashes of bitters (typically Angostura or Free Brothers)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • A little water
  • 2 ounces (a little over a shot) of bourbon
  • Orange twist for garnish (optional)

What could be simpler than Whiskey, slightly sweetened? Honestly, the old fashioned is not a terrifically challenging cocktail. Sure! People like to argue about whether they should put in muddled sugar or sugar syrup (we prefer the former), but that’s mostly noise. The real trick is picking the right whisky. There are plenty of cocktails to use cheap alcohol in; this isn’t one of them. Choose a solid bourbon that you would drink straight. The rest is easy:

  1. Add the sugar to the bottom of the glass, add a little water, and stir aggressively until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
  2. Fill your glass to the top with ice cubes (the thicker the cube, the better)
  3. Add bourbon to the glass and stir
  4. Garnish with orange twist (optional)


  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • Olives for garnish (optional)

It’s nearly impossible to give an absolute recipe for this world-famous cocktail. The truth is, Martinis are flexible. Some people use Gin; others use Vodka. Thousand of martini variations exist (many of which are officially recognized by the IPA). So, we’re including the absolute traditional martini. But feel free to mix things up and have some fun. This is one of the “traditional cocktail recipes,” but it’s also incredibly versatile to fit your tastes.

  1. Chill your martini glass overnight in the freezer (optional)
  2. Pour 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, and 1 ounce of dry vermouth into a mixing glass or mixer (shaken or stirred, your choice)
  3. Pour drink into chilled glass
  4. Garnish with olives on a toothpick (optional)


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes bitters (typically Angostura)
  • Lemon twist for garnish (optional) or brandied cherries if you can find them.

This cocktail was once the most famous cocktail in America, overtaking some of its also-delicious counterparts. And we can see why. It has a sweetness lent by vermouth, a bite from bitters, and a wonderful spiciness from the rye. It’s pretty much perfect.

  1. Add the rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters into a glass and stir.
  2. Add lemon twist garnish (optional)
  3. Enjoy!

We love fun and funky cocktails, but sometimes, it’s good to get back to the basics. To see more cocktail recipes like this, follow our blog. To learn more about our apartment complexes, contact us.


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