Classic cocktails never go out of style and the good news is most of them are a breeze to whip up at home. All you need are mixers, glassware, garnishes, and a couple (or more, who’s counting?) of attempts to get the ratios just right. Here are some time-tested, delicious classics to get you started on your DIY cocktail journey.
Negroni: Cocktail historians trace the origins of the Negroni back to Count Camillo Negroni, who asked a bartender to use gin instead of soda in his Americano. It’s equal parts sweet, bitter and boozy. You’ll be reaching for a refill in no time. To make, stir 1 oz London dry gin, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 1 oz Campari with ice for 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.
Gin and Tonic: The humble Gin and Tonic was invented by the soldiers in the British East India Company in 1800’s India. The soldiers mixed quinine with water, lime, sugar, and gin to stave off malaria but all you need is a well-made gin and tonic water. Pour both over ice (use ratios according to your palate), toss in a wedge of lime, and enjoy it on a hot day.
Martini: The Martini, which gets its name from the Italian vermouth brand from 1863, is an elegant gin and vermouth drink that can be enjoyed dirty, dry, on the rocks, or off. Despite what Mr. Bond says, a well-balanced martini is stirred, not shaken. Add 2 oz of gin and 1 oz of vermouth to an ice-filled mixing glass or shaker. Stir for ten seconds, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon peel. Some people like to add an olive which lends a briny flavor.
Manhattan: This cocktail combines bourbon or rye whiskey, wine vermouth, and bitters. The result is a drink that is spicy and sweet. Stir 2 oz rye whiskey,1 oz sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters into cracked ice, and then strain everything into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry.