The Only Classic Cocktail Recipes You'll Ever Need

Learn the specs for these seven timeless serves and you're sorted

We love a high-tech, 15-ingredient cocktail as much as the next boozehound, but at the end of the day it’s the classics that reign supreme. In honour of World Cocktail Day (13 May), here are our seven go-to classic cocktail recipes - use ‘em when you wanna go back to basics, like Christina Aguileira circa 2006. 

Martini

There are many ways to Martini (we should know, we’ve tried them all) but this one will always be our go-to. 

  • 60ml gin (pro tip: keep your gin in the freezer for a glacially good Martini)
  • 15ml dry vermouth
  • Olive or lemon peel, for garnish

Add the gin and vermouth to an ice-filled mixing glass and stir. Strain into a Martini glass and garnish.

Daiquiri

This classic has long been a favourite of bartenders around the world, with good reason. It’s tangy, it’s versatile and it’s the perfect way to showcase a beaut bottle of rum. 

  • 50ml light rum 
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup

Add all the ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and give that baby a shake until the tin is nice and frosty. Strain into a coupe glass and serve.

Old Fashioned

Whisk(e)y lovers, you know the drill: aside from drinking the spirit straight, there’s no better way to show off a great Scotch or bourbon than to mix it in an Old Fashioned. Grab your favourite bottle and make it happen.

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters 
  • 60ml bourbon or Scotch
  • Orange peel, to garnish

Add the sugar and bitters to a rocks glass and muddle together. Add the whiskey and ice and stir. Garnish with the orange peel. 

Tom Collins

Looking for a classic cocktail on the fresher side? Meet Tom. We think you’re gonna get along just fine.

  • 50ml gin
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • Soda water
  • Lemon wheel, to garnish

Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup to an ice-filled highball glass. Top up with soda water and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Negroni

Spritzes are great, but this ruby-red Italian masterpiece is the real king of the aperitivo scene. Bitter, boozy and bold, it’s beyond simple to make thanks to its equal-parts measurements.

  • 25ml gin
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel, to garnish

We don’t even bother with a separate mixing glass for this one: just add all the ingredients to an ice-filled rocks glass and give it a stir. Garnish with the orange peel and get your aperitivo on.

Manhattan

This one’s pure sophistication in a glass. Spring for Luxardo cocktail cherries - you won’t regret it. Fancy some Scotch instead? Swap it for the bourbon and you’ve got yourself a Rob Roy. 

  • 50ml bourbon whiskey
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • A few good dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Maraschino cherries, to garnish

Add all the ingredients except the garnish to an ice-filled mixing glass and stir. Strain into a coupe glass, garnish with the cherries (we won’t judge if you snack on a few).  

Margarita 

In need of a surefire way to take your night from zero to 100, ASAP? Get some Margs involved. This is the drink that always brings the party - which is why it’s one of our all-time faves (plus it tastes incredible, obvs). 

  • Salt, for the rim (optional)
  • 50ml blanco tequila
  • 25ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 20ml triple sec

Dip the rim of a rocks glass in salt, if that’s the way ya like it. Add the tequila, lime juice and triple sec to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake it up. Strain into the glass.