5 Classic Cocktails Every Gentleman Should Know How To Make

There’s no better way to impress your date on a rendezvous than knowing how to confidently order a drink. The best way to do that is to make a list of signature drinks in your head that you can pick on any occasion.


Imagine the following scenario. You take your special someone on a first date and decide to go to the newly opened elegant bar. You receive the drink list and start to feel uncomfortable by the names because you do not know what to order since the list in your head only includes beer or occasionally wine. What is that Old fashioned thing, or Tom Collins on the list? No worries, we are here to dispel the doubts and show you 5 classic cocktails you can confidently order at most bars.

1. Old Fashioned

The first item on the list is a timeless classic. The Old Fashioned was first introduced more than 200 years ago and is still a popular choice. The Bourbon Old Fashioned is more than a slug of whiskey, seasoned and sweetened. It is one of the best-known whiskey cocktails you can order at the bar. Despite its simplicity, the drink is as relevant today as it was when it first grabbed the hearts of drinkers two centuries ago.

5 Classic Cocktails: Whisky Old Fashioned in Rocks Glass
Old Fashioned Cocktail © Adam Jaime

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters and water, adding whiskey or, less commonly, brandy, and finally garnishing with an orange slice or zest and occasionally a cocktail cherry. The drink is traditionally served in an old-fashioned glass (also known as a rocks glass), hence the name of the cocktail.

2. Martini Cocktails

Ah, the Martini. I bet you already heard about this cocktail from somewhere. Shaken, not stirred, right? Although Mr. James Bond’s version is made with vodka and gin, the original recipe calls for gin only. However, there are many other ways to make a glass of Martini Cocktail.

5 Classic Cocktails: Dry Martini with Lemon Twist Garnish
Dry Martini Cocktail with a Lemon Twist © www.liquor.com

The Classic Martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Over the years, the Martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages. Long before the 007 franchise, around 1922, Martini reached its best-known form, where London dry gin and dry vermouth were mixed in a 2:1 ratio. Stirred in a mixing glass with ice cubes and the optional addition of orange or aromatic bitters, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass. 

James Bond Dr. No – Featuring Sean Connery

Over time the generally expected garnish became the drinker’s choice of a green olive or a twist of lemon peel. When you are at the bar, you can ask for the choice of garnish. If you really like to stand out in front of you partner, tell the waiter or waitlress exactly how you would like to receive your drink. Including the choice of alcohol, proportions and the garnish. If the version above is not for you, here are three more variants of the iconic cocktail:

Wet Martini

First, the Wet Martini. In this take on the classic Martini, we combine equal parts gin and dry vermouth and garnish it with a lemon twist. It is a simple and slightly softer version of the Classic Martini, which is enjoyed in many parts of the world.

Dirty Martini

Second, the Dirty Martini. What separates the Dirty Martini from other Martinis? A Dirty Martini features a splash of olive brine or olive juice. The cocktail is typically garnished with an extra olive as well. The additional olive brine makes for a mellower cocktail with a salty-smooth and crisp finish.

5 Classic Cocktails: Dirty Martini with Olive Garnish
Dirty Martini Cocktail captured by Dan Lasner

Perfect Martini

In addition to the commonly used 2:1 ratio, another half part of sweet vermouth is added. A Perfect Martini uses equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth. In cocktail terms, the word “perfect” typically means that the drink will include equal parts of both dry and sweet vermouth. That is exactly what you get in the perfect Martini. We can confirm it is a fabulous drink for anyone who loves gin.

5 Classic Cocktails: Perfect Martini with Multiple Garnishes
Perfect Martini Cocktail by © The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

There is more to the Martini than three versions. We mentioned two different versions of the Martini in 10 Essential Vodka Cocktails You Can Make In Minutes.

3. Tom Collins

The Tom Collins is a Collins cocktail made from gin, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water. First mentioned in writing in 1876 by Jerry Thomas, “the father of American mixology”, this “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink is typically served in a Collins glass over ice.

5 Classic Cocktails: Glass of Tom Colins Cocktail

The Tom Collins is such an easy classic cocktail. Simply add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a Collins glass. Fill the glass with ice, top with club soda, and stir. Finally, garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry (optional).

4. Manhattan

The Manhattan is a cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. The traditional whiskey of choice for this cocktail is Rye. The Manhattan is traditionally stirred, then strained into a cocktail glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry. A Manhattan may also be served on the rocks in a lowball glass. The simplicity of making this drink makes it one of the best cocktails to order at a bar or to make at home. Because it requires few ingredients, we especially recommend using high-quality ingredients.

5 Classic Cocktails: Manhattan Whisky Cocktail
Classic Cocktails: The Manhattan © Jakub Dziubak

5. Mojito

Finally, the Mojito is one of the best cocktails for the summer. It is a traditional Cuban highball. The cocktail often consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, soda water, and mint. Its combination of sweetness, citrus, and herbaceous mint flavors is intended to complement the rum and has made the Mojito a popular summer drink.

5 Classic Cocktails: Mojito with Lemon Garnish
Classic Cocktails: Mojito with Lemon Garnish

At last, I want to thank you for reading my article this far, and I hope you will have luck on your date and will discover a lot of new drinks at new places. Cheers to you Gents!

Keep on reading: 11 Classic Rum Cocktails You Can Make At Home