Every hour is a cocktail hour. It is, after all, 5 pm somewhere in the world right now as you read this. And a part of you is craving your favorite adult beverage. So if you don’t have anything important planned for the next few hours, then by all means, allow yourself to indulge a little bit. 

But you don’t have to head down to your local bar or pub to enjoy a drink. Because what we have for you are some classic cocktail recipes that you can make from the comfort of your own minibar. 

You don’t need mixology experience to make these drinks. With the required liquor base, a jigger, and some ice, you can easily become everyone’s beloved bartender when you have company over. But at the very least, you get to enjoy a delectable cocktail of your choice as you lounge around on your favorite chair on a Netflix night at home. 

4 Classic Cocktail Recipes You Should Know By Heart

A surefire way to impress people is to have a repertoire of go-to cocktails, and you can never go wrong with the classics. And out of that long list, here are four easy ones to go with. 


If you’re a Mad Men fan, you’ve likely seen Don Draper make one of these on occasion. An old-fashioned is, in a nutshell, bittered bourbon on the rocks with some orange zest for an added zing. 

Bartenders will tell you that a cocktail’s flavors will depend on the quality of the liquor you’re using. But the good thing about an old-fashioned is that the taste of cheaper bourbon can be masked by how much bitters and sugar you use. You can play a little game of mad scientist by mixing and matching the ingredient levels to achieve the taste you’re after. 

What you’ll need: 

  • 2 oz of bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Angostura bitters
  • A teaspoon of sugar

What you’ll do: 

  • Place the sugar in a rocks glass. If it is in cube form, drop it in altogether. Add four dashes of Angostura bitters and muddle or mix. Make sure both are well-incorporated with each other. 
  • Pour in the two ounces of bourbon and stir. Make sure that the sugar is well-dissolved into the drink. 
  • Add four small ice cubes, but you’re better off with the larger chunks that melt much slower. 
  • Take out an orange peel and extract the oils onto the rim of the glass. You can drop it into the drink if you want a bit of that flavor. 

Feel free to add a cherry or two if you’re feeling fancy. But this is one cocktail you’d want to have after a long day at work. 


The Negroni. You might want to limit your intake of these to no more than two. As the late great Anthony Bourdain said, “If you drink 3 or more, you’ll be wondering where your pants went”.

The late great Anthony Bourdain describes the negroni as a ‘devil’s broth’ that will make you go looking for your pants after just two glasses. And he’s not exactly wrong. 

Now, the negroni is an acquired taste. Not everyone will appreciate its sweet and bitter tones that can be reminiscent of childhood cough medicine. But once your palate warms up to its rather unique flavor, this can easily be your new favorite day-ender drink. 

This is one of the classic cocktail recipes you ought to try out if you want to feel like you’re out and about even if you’re just in your apartment on a Friday night. And all it requires is three main ingredients.

What you’ll need: 

  • London dry gin
  • Campari
  • Sweet vermouth

If you notice, we didn’t include the measurements here. Some people prefer their negronis to be heavy on the gin side, while others don’t want it too bitter because of the Campari. Tradition dictates having all ingredients in equal parts, but feel free to adjust accordingly. 

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What you’ll do: 

Seasoned bartenders and other similar experts would tell you to pour cocktails by price tag, with the cheaper one going first. That will vary between individuals, but it is usually vermouth-gin-Campari. 

Add four ice cubes (or a single large one) and give it a few stirs for just that right amount of watering down. Finish it off with orange zest. 

Bourdain may have described it in a perfectly encapsulating way. Off-putting for the first two sips but you’ll be hooked by the third. 


You can never go wrong with a classic martini.

Here is a classic cocktail recipe for weekend date nights at home. Kids are away, and the 5th wedding anniversary just happened three days ago. It’s been a minute since you’ve both had your alone adult time. 

You want a drink that can help set the mood to rekindle that fire. A martini would be a good one to start with. 

A classic martini has gin as its liquor base. James Bond does it with vodka. Shaken, not stirred. Go with whatever suits your preference. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Two ounces of gin (or vodka)
  • An ounce of dry vermouth

What you’ll do:

Pour your drink into a mixing glass or shaking tin. Add a handful of ice. Stir or shake for a good ten to 15 seconds or until the glass becomes cold. Pour it straight onto a chilled martini glass. Finish it off with a lemon zest, and a green olive for added flavor. 

This drink makes you look and feel fancy all the way through. It is worth a try. 


There’s nothing wrong with the occasional day drink. It’s a hot summer afternoon, and you could use a refreshing drink with a playful buzz. You can never go wrong with a margarita. 

People blame their bad decisions on tequila, and for good reason. But if you don’t want to relive your inebriated college days, you’d be approaching this sin-inducing spirit with more finesse. Body shots are a thing of the past. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Two ounces of tequila blanco
  • A third of an ounce of triple sec
  • An ounce of lime juice

What you’ll do: 

This is a shaken drink, so pour all ingredients in the smaller tin. Add a handful of ice to the brim, shut it, and stir. Give it a good ten to 15 seconds, or until you find the coldness from the ice sharp to the touch. 

Salting the rim would be an option. Rub a sliced lime for adhesion and rub the glass’ rim on a plate of salt. Serve and enjoy. 

Frozen margaritas are another option. Follow the same formula, but this time, you’ll be using a blender with crushed ice in it. It’s the perfect adult slushie for a hot summer Wednesday afternoon.  

Keep These Classic Cocktail Recipes Handy

You can either have them embedded in your brain or written down on a laminated little sheet of paper. Either way, it’s an enjoyable process to know how to make these classic cocktails which will make you an instant hit at the next house party.

There’s a good number of reliable merchants online where you’ll find whatever it is you need. Get yourself a bottle or two and have some fun. Responsibly, of course.