As a bartender, I have always been fascinated by the art of mixing drinks. The world of cocktails is vast, and there is always something new to discover.
However, there is something special about classic stirred cocktails that never gets old. These drinks are the epitome of sophistication, elegance, and refinement.
What makes classic stirred cocktails stand out is their simplicity. They are made with just a few ingredients, and the technique used to mix them is straightforward.
But don't let their simplicity fool you. The balance of flavors and aromas in these drinks is what makes them truly exceptional.
Classic stirred cocktails are the perfect choice for any occasion.
Whether you're hosting a dinner party, enjoying a quiet night in, or celebrating a special occasion, these drinks will never disappoint. They are timeless, versatile, and always in style.
In this blog post, I will be sharing some of the best classic stirred cocktail recipes that every bartender and cocktail enthusiast should know.
From the iconic Manhattan to the elegant Negroni, these drinks have stood the test of time and continue to be favorites among drinkers worldwide. So, grab your shaker and let's get mixing!
1. Bourbon Old Fashioned Cocktail
The Bourbon Old Fashioned Cocktail is a classic stirred drink made with bourbon, sugar, bitters, and ice. It's a simple yet sophisticated drink that has been around since the mid-1800s.
The combination of sweetness, bitterness, and smoothness from the bourbon makes it a favorite among whiskey lovers. It's a timeless drink that never goes out of style and is sure to impress your guests. Give it a try and see why it's one of the most beloved cocktails of all time.
2. Manhattan Cocktail
The Manhattan Cocktail is a classic stirred cocktail that is simple yet sophisticated. Made with just three ingredients, this cocktail is easy to make but packs a punch in terms of flavor. The combination of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters creates a smooth and balanced drink that is perfect for sipping on a cozy evening.
The addition of cherries is optional but highly recommended as it adds a touch of sweetness and a pop of color to the drink. If you're a fan of whiskey-based cocktails, the Manhattan is a must-try. It's a timeless classic that has stood the test of time and remains a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.
3. The Classic Gin Martini
The Classic Gin Martini is a legendary cocktail that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, with various theories about its creation. However, one thing is certain – it is a timeless drink that has stood the test of time. Made with gin, dry vermouth, and orange bitters, this cocktail is simple yet sophisticated.
The garnish of an olive or lemon peel adds a touch of elegance to the drink. The ratio of gin to vermouth has evolved over time, resulting in a drier version of the drink. While some may prefer a "wetter" version, the Classic Gin Martini remains a staple in the world of cocktails. It's a drink that exudes class and sophistication, and is perfect for any occasion.
4. Classic Gin Martini
The Classic Gin Martini is a timeless cocktail that has stood the test of time. Made with Beefeater London Dry Gin, dry vermouth, and orange bitters, this wet gin martini is stirred to perfection. It's a citrusy, boozy, and herbaceous drink that is perfect for any occasion.
The lemon twist garnish adds a refreshing touch to the cocktail. If you're a gin lover, this classic martini is a must-try. It's a simple yet sophisticated cocktail that will never go out of style. So, if you're looking for a classic stirred cocktail that will never disappoint, the Classic Gin Martini is the perfect choice.
5. Man O' War Bourbon Cocktail
The Man O' War Bourbon Cocktail is a classic stirred cocktail that is perfect for bourbon lovers. Named after the legendary Kentucky thoroughbred, this cocktail is a variation of the Manhattan and features a perfect balance of acidity from the lemon juice and depth from the Luxardo Cherry syrup.
The cocktail is super boozy and full of bourbon, making it a perfect drink for those who love a strong cocktail. The use of freshly squeezed lemon juice and Luxardo Maraschino Cherry syrup elevates the flavor of the cocktail, making it a must-try for any bourbon enthusiast. Overall, the Man O' War Bourbon Cocktail is a delicious and boozy drink that is sure to impress any cocktail lover.
6. Chai Spiced White Russians
Looking for a cocktail that's perfect for the holidays and the winter season? Look no further than the Chai Spiced White Russian. This classic cocktail recipe gets a seasonal twist with the addition of chai spice, which includes cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper.
The infusion of Hanger 1 Straight Vodka with chai tea bags gives it a unique and delicious flavor. The cocktail is made with vodka, coffee-flavored liqueur, and half-and-half, and is garnished with cinnamon sticks and star anise for a festive touch. It's a perfect drink to enjoy with friends and family during the holiday season.
7. Brown Sugar Manhattan
Looking for a twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail? Look no further than the Brown Sugar Manhattan. This cocktail takes the traditional ingredients of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, but adds a unique twist with the use of brown sugar simple syrup.
The result is a rich, flavorful drink that is perfect for a cozy night in or a special occasion like Valentine's Day. Served in a coupe glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry, this cocktail is sure to impress. If you're a fan of the classic Manhattan, you won't want to miss trying this delicious variation.
8. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that dates back to the late 1800s. It's a simple yet sophisticated cocktail made with bourbon, bitters, sugar, and a twist of orange peel. The key to a perfect Old Fashioned is in the technique. It should be stirred, not shaken, and served with a large ice cube to prevent it from becoming watered down.
The orange peel is not just a garnish but a flavor element that adds a subtle yet distinct aroma to the cocktail. If you're a fan of bourbon, the Old Fashioned is a must-try cocktail. Its smooth and rich flavor will leave you wanting more.
9. The Fireside Apple Cider & Cinnamon Whiskey Boulevardier
If you're looking for a classic stirred cocktail with a twist, look no further than "The Fireside Apple Cider & Cinnamon Whiskey Boulevardier". This drink takes the traditional Boulevardier recipe and adds a touch of autumn with apple cider, cinnamon simple syrup, and a twist of orange.
The result is a warming and complex cocktail that's perfect for sipping by the fire on a chilly evening. The use of rye whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth gives this drink a balanced and assertive flavor profile that's sure to impress. Whether you're a fan of mulled apple cider or classic whiskey cocktails, "The Fireside" is a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast.
10. Classic Negroni Cocktail
The Classic Negroni Cocktail is a simple yet stunning drink that is sure to impress your guests at any happy hour or dinner party. With just three ingredients – gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari – this ruby red cocktail is a quick and easy showstopper. The addition of an orange peel garnish and brandied cherry takes it to the next level.
For those looking to add a touch of authenticity, smoking the orange peel can create an old-school speakeasy vibe. The Classic Negroni Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a classic stirred cocktail that is both easy to make and visually stunning.
The Negroni is a classic stirred cocktail made with gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and an orange peel garnish. It has a striking appearance and refreshing taste, making it perfect for sipping on warm summer evenings.
The origin of the cocktail is debated, but it is said to have been invented in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni asked a bartender to make his favorite cocktail, the Americano, stronger. The Negroni has become a beloved classic cocktail among many, and its simplicity and bold flavors make it a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast.
12. Italian Gin and Tonic
The Italian Gin and Tonic is a classic stirred cocktail that takes a Negroni-ish turn with the addition of Campari and Vermouth. This cocktail is perfect for those who want to switch up their regular Gin and Tonic routine.
The Campari adds a fresh bitterness to the cocktail, making it a great fall drink. The Italian Gin and Tonic is not only delicious but also visually appealing, making it a great addition to any cocktail party. If you're a fan of Campari, this cocktail is a must-try.
13. Vesper Cocktail
The Vesper Cocktail is a classic stirred cocktail that was invented by James Bond in the novel Casino Royale. This drink is not your typical vodka martini as it calls for gin and Lillet Blanc, which is a substitute for the no longer available Kina Lillet. The gin flavor is dominant in this drink, so it may not be for everyone, but it's a great way to enjoy good gin.
The Lillet Blanc adds fruity notes to the drink, making it special and unique. If you enjoy this cocktail, you should try the Edith's Fizz and The Prohibition. The Vesper Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking to expand their cocktail horizons and try something new and exciting.
14. The Perfect Manhattan
"The Perfect Manhattan" is a classic stirred cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet yet bitter taste. Made with rye, sweet vermouth, bitters, and amarena cherries, this cocktail is a perfect blend of flavors that will satisfy any palate. The use of rye in this recipe gives it a unique grassy flavor that sets it apart from other cocktails.
The amarena cherries used in this recipe are bold and tart, making them the perfect addition to this sweet cocktail. This cocktail is not just a drink, but an homage to Manhattan, the birthplace of the bartender's great-grandmother. Overall, "The Perfect Manhattan" is a must-try for anyone looking for a classic stirred cocktail with a unique twist.
15. Negroni Cocktail
The Negroni Cocktail is a classic Italian drink with a beautiful ruby red color. Made with Campari, gin, and vermouth rosso, it has a unique balance of bitterness and sweetness.
Served with a slice or twist of orange, it's the perfect way to start an Italian aperitivo. Its simplicity and elegance make it a timeless favorite that is sure to impress.
16. Negroni Sbagliato
The Negroni Sbagliato is a refreshing and bubbly twist on the classic Negroni cocktail. This Italian creation swaps gin for Prosecco, resulting in a less bitter and fruity taste. The cocktail is perfect for an Italian aperitivo and is best served with some nibbles.
The name "Sbagliato" meaning wrong or incorrect in Italian is a nod to the bartender who mistakenly used Prosecco instead of gin, creating this delicious and fun twist on a classic. If you're a fan of the Negroni, you'll love this slightly less bitter and bubbly version.