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15 Great Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make

By Adrian Prisca


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Great Cocktails

Ah, who doesn’t enjoy a great cocktail, especially with the holidays just around the corner? We all enjoy one every now and then, especially when we go out for a night on the town or while we’re on vacation at a great resort. Unfortunately, this year none of those things have been possible with most of the world being on lockdown. So what better time to learn to make our own than right now?

The beauty about mixing our own cocktails at home is that we don’t have to go very far and endanger our lives if we’re not that great on the first try. It might actually take quite a few tries to develop an acceptable technique.

Thankfully we do have a list of cocktails accompanied by a tentative recipe to follow so you’re not going in blind, but we will let you get creative and come up with your own personal way of mixing. 

cocktail making

The only tool you really need for most of those drinks is a cocktail shaker, a few different bases and you’re ready to embrace your inner mixologist. 

We have gathered here a list of the most popular and fairly simple cocktails to make yourself, so have fun experimenting and.. enjoy!


Manhattan Cocktail

Named after the Big Apple’s most famous neighborhood, the Manhattan cocktail became popular in the mid 1870s when it was served at a banquet in Manhattan hosted by the mother of sir Winston Churchill. It is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.

You can use any whiskey you have on hand, stir all the ingredients in a jug, strain it into a cocktail glass and garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour cocktail

One of the oldest and most popular cocktails out there, it will surely impress anyone who tries it. The whiskey sour was originally made using whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and egg white which gives it a richer creamier texture and tones down the tartness.

You can opt out of the egg white, but if you have some at home why not try it both ways?


Margarita cocktail

The margarita is a Mexican cocktail made with tequila as its base, orange liqueur and lime juice. It is usually served with a salted rim and it can be shaken with ice or without or blended with ice.

To prepare, rub the rim of the glass with a lime slice and turn the glass upside down in a plate of salt. Mix one ounce of Cointreau with an ounce of lime juice and two ounces of tequila and shake them all with ice and pour them into a glass. Garnish with a lime slice and enjoy.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins cocktail

Another veteran on the mixology scene, this cocktail was first introduced in 1876 by Jerry Thomas, the ‘Father of American Mixology’. It is one of the easiest cocktails to make and a favorite due to its simplicity.

All you need to do is to mix all the ingredients – 50ml of gin, 25ml of lemon juice, 25ml of sugar syrup and 125ml of soda water- in a glass over ice and enjoy!


Daiquiri cocktail
Daniel Krieger

A very versatile yet simple to make cocktail, the daiquiri is a must in your repertoire of mixed drinks. Rum based, you just add your citrus juice of choice and sugar and that’s it. Doesn’t get much easier than this, and the possibilities are endless.

This is just one of those cocktails that you can play with as you get more comfortable with your experimenting.


Boulevardier cocktail

I’m not a bartender in my spare time and I personally never heard of this drink. It is a must to learn how to make though, because it makes you all warm and fuzzy inside.

Perfect for those chilly nights, you will be glad you stumbled upon it. Shake 30 ml of bourbon whisky, 30ml of sweet red vermouth and 30 ml of Campari in a cocktail shaker with ice then strain it into a short glass over ice.


Mojito cocktail

The Mojito is one of my all time favorites. This cuban classic is a very refreshing rum based drink that is appropriate any time, for any occasion.

All you need is some white rum, a lime, a teaspoon of granulated sugar, soda water, and last but not least, a bunch of fresh mint leaves. I’ve tried it with dried mint and it is not the same! This is a not negotiable substitution, unfortunately. Fresh mint all the way!


Sidecar cocktail

The classic Sidecar cocktail is probably the perfect harmony between sour, tart and sweet all mixed into one pleasurable cocktail.

Mix 60 ml of cognac, 30 ml of Cointreau, half of a juiced lemon in a shaker full of ice, strain it into an elegant cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon or orange twist and you got yourself a classic. It’s not too complicated to make, but it sure looks like one of the most expensive cocktails out there. 

Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule cocktail

If you want to experience the real way this drink was meant to be enjoyed, grab a copper mug, fill it with crushed ice, add 50 ml of vodka, 150 ml of ginger beer and garnish it with a sprig of mint.

It will stay chilled and refresh you for those days when you want some strong flavours with a little oumph.

French 75

French 75

For the lovers of gin and champagne, this is a very easy yet sophisticated French cocktail. Le Soixante Quinze, as it is called in French contains 50 ml of gin, half of juiced lemon, 10 ml of sugar syrup and 75 ml of champagne.

Mix all the ingredients except the champagne in the shaker with ice, shake well and strain it into a champagne flute. Top it up with the champagne and give it a gentle stir. Sante!


Cosmopolitan cocktail

For the lovers of Sex and the City, this is your drink of choice. Although first introduced in Minneapolis, Carrie popularized this drink which made many believe this was a Manhattan based cocktail.

Before the cranberry juice was added to this drink it was not thought of as a girly drink. This vodka, triple sec and lime juice mix is actually a very strong ‘manly’ cocktail. Don’t be fooled by its pink color!


Southside cocktail

This is a simple gin based cocktail which can be customized with either soda water or champagne, or enjoyed on its own. The main ingredients are gin, mint leaves, one lime juiced and some sugar.

Mix all those ingredients into a shaker with ice and give it a good shake then pour over ice into a cocktail glass. When you’re feeling more festive top it up with champagne, but soda water will give it a nice variation if you need the extra fizz.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz cocktail

Maybe my Italian influence growing up has something to do with my preference for this drink, but take my word for it, it is good. The Aperol Spritz cocktail is very simple to make, and you definitely don’t need a chemistry degree to be able to get the ratios on this drink right.

It’s as simple as it gets: three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part soda water. Chin-Chin!

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned cocktail

A staple in any well-stocked bar, this cocktail is a classic. Invented by James E. Pepper in Louisville , this is a bourbon based drink that is sure to please your palate.

Start off by mixing 60 ml of bourbon with one sugar cube and make sure the sugar is dissolved before the next step. You can then add ice cubes to your glass and two dashes of Angostura bitters, and if you prefer you can fill up the glass with soda water and garnish it with orange peels.

Dry Martini

Dry Martini

No list will be complete without the dry martini. If you’re a newbie and you’re just learning about mixing cocktails, I would say definitely learn to make a dry martini. It is one of the simplest yet sophisticated drinks out there, and once you get it just right you’re good to go.

In a cocktail shaker mix 60ml of dry gin with 15ml of dry vermouth, give it a good shake, strain it into a martini glass and top it off with a green olive or two. Cheers!


 I don’t know about you, but I have to go grab some missing ingredients and take my own advice this season. Happy Mixing!!

classic cocktails

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About Adrian Prisca

Founder of Luxatic and countless other projects, Adrian has shaped this website into a go-to source for discerning readers looking for the latest in luxury products and experiences. He has over 15 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content across numerous platforms and he’s considered a leading voice in the luxury industry. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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