Ever watch a slick bartender mix, shake, and pour drinks in front of a crowd of bedazzled onlookers? Ever wish that could be you behind the counter?
It’s not as hard as it looks.
And with a little practice – and a few good ingredients – you can be the center of attention at your next home gathering. A few signature cocktails are all you need to be the next Tom Cruise in Cocktail.
This spring, consider staying at home, enjoying your residence, and mixing up your own drinks.
Keep reading to learn the classics everybody should master.
Classic Signature Cocktails
Kicking off our list of feisty spring cocktails are some of the greats. These are strong, signature cocktail recipes that pack a fair punch – so remember to never drink and drive.
The poster child of Sex and the City, the Cosmopolitan is a delightful mix of vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime. It’s a sweet and simple combination that’s always a winner – yes, even for the men.
To make a Cosmo, mix two parts vodka to one part Cointreau and lime, and add around the same amount of cranberry juice again. Shake hard over ice and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
If tequila is more up your street, you can’t go wrong with the classic tequila cocktail. The drink combines the zest of lemon with the earthy tequila flavor and the surprising tang of salt.
Shake one part Cointreau to two parts tequila and one part lemon juice or sour mix. It’s best to use mid or top-shelf tequila. You’ll really notice the difference.
Before pouring, take a slice of lemon and swirl it around the mouth of a martini glass. Then flip the glass over and twist it over a small mound of salt to rim it.
Garnish with lemon peel if you’re feeling adventurous.
For the whisky drinkers, a manhattan is a drink that you can make with minimal cocktail supplies. The flavor is as strong and dark as the whisky you choose.
Typically, a Manhattan is made with bourbon, though opt for an Irish whisky if you’d prefer something milder.
And yes, this one is stirred and not shaken. Combine two parts whisky with one part sweet (red) vermouth. Stir over ice until cold and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with maraschino cherries if you’re feeling classically inclined, or orange peel if you’re in a more modern mood.
For something out of left field you can enjoy in your backyard, try a Hemingway. It’s a combination of rum with prosecco – or champagne – that makes for a surprisingly sweet, head rush-inducing combination.
Shake two parts of brown rum with one part lemon juice and one part Cointreau. Strain into a white wine glass and add a finger’s worth of sparkling wine.
Garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.
And remember: Don’t shake with carbonates (here, your sparkling wine), or your shaker will explode and you’ll shower yourself in your own drink.
Sex on the Beach
For a juicy alternative to the recipes above, go for a Sex on the Beach while you’re eyeing Solana Beach.
Shake one part peach schnapps to two parts vodka, one part lemon, and a mix of orange and cranberry juice. The more juice you add, the sweeter and taller – and less hangover-inducing – the drink will be.
Don’t strain this one; serve it with ice to keep it chilled for longer. Garnish with a slice of orange.
Break Out the Boston Shaker
With these signature cocktails, you’ve got enough to keep yourself busy throughout the spring.
And once you’ve mastered these drinks you’ll have a stocked cabinet and a well-practiced shake that’s the envy of any professional bartender out there.
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