For cocktail enthusiasts who prefer the classics, these tried and tested popular drink recipes will satisfy even the most discerning drink lovers.
If you’d like to learn how to make all the top cocktails, we’ve nailed down the 6 most famous cocktails in the world today. These drinks have stood the test of time and for a good reason.
By making them yourself, you’ll be experiencing a drinking history and cocktail culture from the early days. You’ll travel through the prohibition and the speakeasy era, all the way to today’s more modern take on these well-known and well-loved liquors.
A collection of cocktail classics
There is nothing wrong with inventing new and exciting cocktails! However, the drinks in this list are considered classics, and although we love modern drinks that are inventive and unique, the classics’ timeless nature is hard to beat.
The formulas for the marvelous Martini, or the fabulous Old Fashioned, are still relevant and popular with casual drinkers worldwide. So let’s pull up a barstool and sip on some of the greats.
#1. The Daiquiri
Let’s get away from the frozen blender version and dive into the real version of the delicious Daiquiri, one of the most popular drink recipes around. An authentic, handmade Daiquiri is not just well-balanced, but it is arguably the most famous rum cocktail around.
The Daiquiri’s balance comes from the two ingredients that complement the rum; lime juice and simple syrup. The classic version of this drink was invented in Cuba in the 1800s and is actually not frozen at all. A Daiquiri is served in a cocktail glass straight up.
- 2 oz light rum
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
In a cocktail shaker, shake the ingredients with ice. Then strain the cocktail into a cocktail glass. To finish the drink off, garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!
#2. The Manhattan
One cannot get more classic than The Manhattan. The combination of a spicy flavored whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth, and two dashes of Angostura bitters make The Manhattan one of the most popular bar drinks to have existed.
It is stirred, strained, and then garnished with a brandied cherry, giving this drink its signature look and taste. This drink has also stood the test of time as a drink of choice for over 150 years.
- 2 oz rye whiskey or bourbon
- 1 oz vermouth (sweet)
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients into an ice-filled glass for mixing. Stir, then strain the contents into a martini glass or a chilled cocktail coupe, and enjoy!
Whether you prefer your Martini with gin or vodka, shaken or stirred, it is a sophisticated drink. James Bond loves it, for a good reason. The simplicity of this drink and its ingredients makes it so popular. All it takes is gin or vodka, a little vermouth, and one to three dirty olives.
This surprisingly simple drink has been a popular choice for around a century. Nobody can deny its iconic look and taste. An excellent drink for sipping, the Martini has many variations, but the original will always be one of the most fashionable and popular cocktails around.
- 3 oz gin or vodka
- 0.5 oz dry vermouth
- 1 to 3 olives and a splash of olive juice for a dirtier version
In a mixing glass with ice, stir in the ingredients. Strain the mixed contents into a chilled martini glass. Add the splash of olive juice and garnish with an olive on a cocktail skewer and enjoy!
#4. The Sidecar
With its sugared rim and lemon slice garnish, The Sidecar is inviting and delicious. A combination of brandy, triple sec, and lemon, brandy goes from being alone in a glass to blending ingredients for a great drink!
A classic sour cocktail, it’s rumored that an army captain invented The Sidecar in 1918. He named it after a motorcycle sidecar. It’s a well-layered but complex drink enjoyed to this day.
- 2 oz brandy or cognac
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 0.75 oz lemon juice
Mix it in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Once shaken, strain the ingredients into a cocktail glass (or a rocks glass), coat the glass’s rim with sugar. A lemon slice makes a great garnish!
#5. Jack Rose
Created around the run of the 20th century, the drink quickly gained popularity during the prohibition. It was such a famous drink it even ended up in Hemmingway’s book “The Sun Also Rises.”
Named because of its rosy hue, the Jack Rose consists of apple brandy (or applejack), grenadine, and lemon juice. The fruitiness of the applejack as the drink’s base merges nicely with the grenadine and lemon.
- 1 1/2 oz. applejack (or apple brandy)
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
- 1/2 oz. grenadine
- Lemon twist as a garnish
Combine the applejack, lemon juice, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake thoroughly until the contents are well-chilled. Strain the contents into a coupe glass. Garnish with your lemon twist, and enjoy!
What are the most potent, most popular alcoholic drinks?
These are a few of the most potent, most popular cocktails around. Most made with a bit of mixer and high-proof alcohol, these drinks are intense! From hard-hitting Zombies to a dry Martini, one of these drinks will suffice for the night.
Some of the best bar drinks are the ones you can slowly sip on because they are so strong you should only have one or two. Let’s explore some of the most popular cocktails reserved only for the brave and adventurous!
- Zombie -Created in the 1930s, this cocktail uses three different rum types, lime juice, Angostura bitters, falernum, grenadine, Pernod, grapefruit juice, and cinnamon. Many bar owners will only serve two Zombies to one customer in an evening because they’re so strong!
- Jungle Juice -Don’t let the fruit fool you; this drink is potent! The fruit used in this drink stews overnight inside the contents of an entire bottle of grain alcohol before it’s served up in a punch.
- Death in the Afternoon - Its other name is “Hemingway Champagne” (since Ernest Hemingway originally invented the drink). A combination of champagne and absinthe, the drink is simple to make with only two ingredients, but it contains a lot of alcohol.
- Aunt Roberta -This drink is one of the most potent and most popular cocktails in the world. And no wonder! Aunt Roberta contains 100% alcohol. There are no mixers added to this lethal concoction of gin, vodka, blackberry liqueur, and brandy.
Stories claim a slave owner’s daughter created the drink from Alabama in the 1800s. The daughter fled her abusive home life and later started a moonshine business. It was at this time she sold her deadly drink.
- Long Island Iced Tea - A trendy cocktail with a reputation as a powerful potion to pour down your throat. The alcohol content is cleverly disguised by the amount of cola and sour mix added to it.
Watch out! This drink comes with a list of 5 types of alcohol as its ingredients. If you want to take your time sipping this strong drink without diluting it, use an ice ball maker to make slow-melting ice.
- Negroni -A classic Italian cocktail comprising gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Having more than one of these drinks will indeed make you feel the world spin! The only part that isn’t laced with alcohol is the orange garnish, which gives the drink a bit of zest and a bitter flavor.
With these recipes and a little creativity, you’ll be enjoying popular cocktails from centuries ago right in your home today! Most are easy to make and have simple ingredients. And if you’ve tried the best-mixed drinks on this list and want more, try these fruity cocktails.
Whether you prefer the most common cocktail recipes or create your own version of it, these recipes are a great starting point. Soon, you’ll be sharing your knowledge of century-old drinks with friends and mastering the art of the world’s popular cocktails for years to come!