As a bartender, I've seen it all. From the classic gin and tonic to the trendy Aperol spritz, there's no shortage of cocktail options out there.
But sometimes, the simplest drinks are the most enjoyable. That's where Built Cocktails come in.
What are Built Cocktails, you ask? Well, they're exactly what they sound like: cocktails that are built right in the glass.
No shaking, no stirring, no fancy equipment required. Just a few simple ingredients poured over ice and topped off with a garnish.
Built Cocktails are perfect for those who want a delicious drink without all the fuss. They're also great for entertaining, as you can easily make them in batches and let your guests customize their own drinks.
Plus, since they're so easy to make, you can experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your own signature cocktail.
So, without further ado, let's dive into some of the best Built Cocktail recipes out there.
From the classic whiskey sour to the refreshing Paloma, these drinks are sure to impress. So grab your favorite glass and let's get building!
1. Mary Pickford Cocktail
The Mary Pickford Cocktail is a sweet and fruity concoction named after the silent movie actress of the bygone era. It combines pineapple juice, rum, grenadine, and maraschino liqueur to create a smooth and refreshing drink.
Unlike other tropical cocktails, the Mary Pickford swaps coconut for cherry, making it a unique and flavorful option for those looking for a pick-me-up between dinner and a night out. This cocktail is perfect for those who love a sweet and fruity drink with a kick. So, if you're looking for a refreshing and delicious cocktail, the Mary Pickford is definitely worth a try.
2. Oaxaca Old Fashioned
The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is a perfect cocktail for those who love classic Old Fashioned with a twist. This cocktail is a combination of bourbon and smoky mezcal, garnished with a charred cinnamon stick that is still smoking.
The mezcal adds a layer of earthiness and smoke, while the bourbon helps to smooth things out. The combination of these two spirits creates a boozy, spirit-forward cocktail that is perfect for fall. This cocktail is simple, yet it packs a solid punch. If you're a fan of smoky notes, this cocktail is definitely worth a try.
The Mojito is a classic rum-based cocktail made with sugar syrup, lime juice, mint, and soda water. It has a rich history, with two stories about its invention. The drink gained popularity when Bacardi Company made it very popular in the mid-1800s.
Ernest Hemmingway was a fan of the drink and discovered it while on a trip through Cuba. The Mojito has many variations, making it perfect for everyone's taste. If you're looking for a refreshing and classic cocktail, the Mojito is a great choice.
4. Singapore Sling
The Singapore Sling is a complex cocktail that includes gin, benedictine, grand marnier, cherry liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, angostura bitters, and soda water. It was invented in the early 20th-century at Long Bar, Raffles Hotel in Singapore and is a variation on the Gin Sling.
The cocktail is strong, fruity, and herbaceous, and can be tart, refreshing, and delicious when made with exact measurements. The Singapore Sling is a must-try for anyone who loves complex cocktails with a rich history.
The Margarita is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for decades. This refreshing drink is made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, and is served with salt along the rim. However, this recipe takes a unique twist by turning the Margarita into a sorbet. The result is a frozen treat that is perfect for hot summer days.
The recipe is simple and easy to make, and the best part is that it is equivalent to drinking a regular Margarita. While this recipe is not kid-friendly, it is perfect for adults who are looking for a fun and unique way to enjoy their favorite cocktail. Overall, the Margarita sorbet is a must-try for anyone who loves Margaritas or is looking for a fun and refreshing summer treat.
6. Skinny Bitch
The Skinny Bitch cocktail is a refreshing and low-calorie option for those who are conscious about their diet. Made with vodka, fresh lime juice, and soda water, this citrus-forward cocktail is perfect for those who want to enjoy a drink without worrying about the calorie count.
It is a favorite among body-conscious people worldwide and is even the official drink of the ladies of "The Real Housewives of Sydney." The key to making the perfect Skinny Bitch is to use fresh lime juice and plenty of ice to chill the drink to the perfect temperature. If you're looking for a delicious and guilt-free cocktail, the Skinny Bitch is definitely worth a try.
7. Espresso Martini
The Espresso Martini is a delicious and energizing cocktail that is perfect for those who love the taste of coffee and the kick of vodka. This cocktail was invented in 1980 by British bartender Dick Bradsell, and it has since become a popular drink around the world.
The combination of vodka, Kahlua coffee liqueur, cold espresso, and sugar syrup creates a balanced and flavorful drink that is sure to impress. The Espresso Martini is perfect for those who want to extend their nights and jumpstart their days. If you're a coffee lover, this cocktail is a must-try.
8. Cable Car
The Cable Car cocktail is a tribute to San Francisco's iconic cable cars, created by renowned bartender Tony Abou-Ganim. This rum sour is sweet, tart, and lightly spiced, making it a perfect drink for any occasion. The use of spiced rum instead of brandy and orange curacao for sweetness sets it apart from other classic sour cocktails like the Sidecar or Brandy Crusta.
The addition of cinnamon and sugar on the rim gives the drink a punchier sweetness and a present hint of spice, making it a perfect choice for those who love a little kick in their drinks. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful cocktail that pays homage to a beloved icon of San Francisco, the Cable Car is definitely worth a try.
9. Sea Breeze Cocktail
The Sea Breeze Cocktail is a refreshing and fruity drink that is perfect for those who love light and thirst-quenching cocktails. Made with only three ingredients – vodka, grapefruit juice, and cranberry juice – this cocktail is easy to make and can be adjusted to personal preferences.
It's not a strong cocktail, but be careful as it's so easy to drink that you can easily have one too many. The Sea Breeze Cocktail is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a delicious drink without getting too intoxicated. If you're looking for a cocktail that will remind you of sunny days at the beach, then the Sea Breeze Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
10. Last Word
The Last Word cocktail is a classic drink that has been around since 1915, but it was forgotten for many years until it was rediscovered in the early 2000s. This cocktail is made with gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice, and it has a unique blend of sweet, sour, and herbal flavors.
The Last Word has become a popular cocktail bar staple due to its delicious taste and versatility. Bartenders have found creative ways to make variations of this cocktail, and you can even use Mezcal instead of gin to add earthy tones. If you're looking for a cocktail that will leave you speechless, the Last Word is definitely worth a try.
11. Whiskey Smash
The Whiskey Smash is a classic cocktail that has been around for over a century. It is a refreshing drink that is perfect for those who enjoy the taste of whiskey but want something a little lighter. The combination of lemon juice, bourbon whiskey, mint leaves, and sugar syrup creates a perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors.
This cocktail is perfect for any occasion, whether you're hosting a party or just relaxing at home. The Whiskey Smash is easy to make, and it's a great way to impress your guests. If you're looking for a delicious and refreshing cocktail, the Whiskey Smash is definitely worth trying.
12. Cunningham Cocktail
The Cunningham Cocktail is a unique and delicious drink that combines scotch whiskey, Benedictine, cherry liqueur, blood orange juice, and lemon juice. Created by San Francisco bartender Marco Dionysos, this cocktail pays homage to two classic drinks, the Blood & Sand and Bobby Burns, while also adding its own twist with the use of blood orange and lemon juice.
The result is a perfectly balanced cocktail that is both sweet and tart, with rich herbal and cherry notes. Garnished with brandied cherries and a flamed blood orange twist, the Cunningham Cocktail is a must-try for any scotch lover looking for a new and exciting drink to add to their repertoire.
13. Bobby Burns
The Bobby Burns cocktail is a classic drink made with scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Benedictine. It has a smoky, peaty flavor that is balanced out by the sweetness of the vermouth and the herbal notes of the Benedictine.
The cocktail is finished with a touch of lemon zest, which adds a refreshing citrusy note to the drink. If you're looking to try something new and exciting, the Bobby Burns cocktail is definitely worth a try.
14. Blood & Sand
The Blood & Sand cocktail is a classic scotch-based drink that has been a staple on bar menus since the 1930s. Its name comes from Rudolph Valentino's silent-film star, "The Latin Lover," who starred in a 1922 bullfighter film. This cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet and sour, with the sweetness coming from the cherry liqueur and sweet vermouth and the sourness from the freshly squeezed orange juice.
The smooth scotch whiskey used in this cocktail gives it a unique flavor that is not too sweet. If you're looking for a cocktail that is easy to make and has a classic taste, then the Blood & Sand is a great choice. It's perfect for any occasion and is sure to impress your guests.
15. Surfer on Acid
The Surfer on Acid cocktail is a unique and refreshing drink that combines the complex and herbal flavors of Jägermeister with the sweet and fruity taste of pineapple juice and coconut rum. This tall, cold cocktail is perfect for a hot day and can be enjoyed straight up or over ice.
The Surfer on Acid is a versatile drink that can be served as a shot or a cocktail, making it a great choice for any occasion. Created by a Los Angeles bartender in the 1990s, this cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and refreshing Built Cocktail recipe.
16. Ultimate Caesar Cocktail
The Ultimate Caesar Cocktail is a Canadian classic that is sure to spice up any occasion. Made with a Caesar mix and vodka base, this cocktail gets its flavor from ingredients like horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. The best part? It comes with a built-in snack!
Garnished with celery, bacon, shrimp, or even sliders and wings, this cocktail is perfect for brunch, happy hour, or a relaxing day on the deck. Whether you like it mild or extra spicy, the Ultimate Caesar Cocktail is a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast. So, grab your friends and family and enjoy this delicious and refreshing drink!
17. Corpse Reviver No.1
The Corpse Reviver No.1 is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. Originally created as a hangover cure, this cocktail is a blend of calvados, sweet vermouth, and cognac. It has a rich and vibrant flavor profile that leans towards the Manhattan family of cocktails.
The sweetness of the vermouth perfectly complements the richness of the brandies, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer dark spirits. While it may seem odd to use this as a morning beverage, many did, and it's also an excellent choice for evening drinks. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful cocktail, the Corpse Reviver No.1 is definitely worth trying.
18. Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is a classic Tiki drink that has been popular among cocktail lovers for decades. It is a built cocktail made with white or dark rum, orange curacao, lime juice, and orgeat syrup. The drink was created to showcase the flavor of good-quality rum, and bartenders today continue to mix rums to achieve the best flavor, depth, and complexity.
The name of the cocktail is a matter of legend, but it is said to mean "the best-out-of-this-world" in Tahitian. The Mai Tai is a refreshing, balanced, and rum-forward cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you're a Tiki enthusiast or just looking for a delicious cocktail to enjoy, the Mai Tai is definitely worth trying.
19. Rob Roy
The Rob Roy cocktail is a classic drink that is similar to the Manhattan, but with a twist. It uses scotch whiskey instead of bourbon, which gives it a distinct flavor. This cocktail is a chance to show off the whiskey you choose, and it pairs well with sweet vermouth.
The drink has a rich history, having been created at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Rob Roy is a perfect choice for those who enjoy spirit-forward cocktails and want to experiment with different scotches and vermouths to find the perfect recipe. If you're looking for a classic cocktail with a twist, the Rob Roy is definitely worth a try.
20. Mezcal Negroni
If you're looking for a refreshing take on the classic Negroni, the Mezcal Negroni is a must-try. This cocktail substitutes gin with Mezcal, a smoky and earthy agave spirit, which adds a unique and delicious twist to the original recipe.
The Mezcal's assertive nature competes with the bitter Campari and herbal vermouth, creating a perfectly balanced cocktail. The Mezcal Negroni is a fun variation of the traditional recipe, and it has quickly become a modern classic. If you're a fan of Negronis or looking for a new cocktail to try, the Mezcal Negroni should be at the top of your list.
21. Moscow Mule Punch
The Moscow Mule Punch is a refreshing cocktail that combines limeade, ginger beer, and vodka. It's perfect for parties and outdoor events, and it's easy to make in a large pitcher.
The punch is tangy and spicy, with a delicious lime flavor and a boozy kick. It's a great choice for a hot summer day, and it can be garnished with lime wedges or fresh mint to add some extra flair.
22. Blackberry Vodka Lemonade Fizz
The Blackberry Vodka Lemonade Fizz is a refreshing and light cocktail that is perfect for daytime drinking during the summer. The combination of muddled blackberries, lemonade, and a splash of club soda creates a sweet and tangy taste that is perfectly balanced with a shot of vodka.
This cocktail is so good that it is sure to be a hit at any summer party, including the Fourth of July. For those who prefer a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the vodka and enjoy the mocktail version, which is just as delicious. Overall, the Blackberry Vodka Lemonade Fizz is a must-try cocktail that is sure to become a summer favorite.
23. Pineapple Upside Down Cocktail
If you're looking for a sweet and girly cocktail, the Pineapple Upside Down Cocktail is definitely worth trying. This dessert in a glass is a mixture of pineapple juice, cake-flavored vodka, amaretto, lime juice, and grenadine.
The grenadine is supposed to sink to the bottom and form two distinct layers, but even if the layers blend together, the drink is still gorgeous and delicious. It's perfect for sipping by the pool or on the back porch with your girlfriends. If you're a fan of sweet cocktails, you won't want to miss this one.
24. Tokyo Mule
The Tokyo Mule is a refreshing twist on the classic Moscow Mule, made with sake, cucumber, ginger syrup, lime juice, and vodka. This cocktail is perfect for those who love Japanese flavors and want to try something new.
The combination of sake and ginger syrup creates a unique and delicious taste, while the cucumber and lime juice add a refreshing touch. The Tokyo Mule is a great cocktail to enjoy on a hot summer day or to impress your guests at a party. If you're looking for a fun and flavorful cocktail, the Tokyo Mule is definitely worth trying.