A great mixologist can whip up these go-to favorites whenever members prefer a simple and refined drink at the club.
Cocktail trends may ebb and flow, but there will always be a few classic concoctions that withstand the test of time. These are the drinks that bartenders have in their back pocket whether they’ve been printed on the club menu or not. If a member craves one of these classic favorites, the drink is typically easy to put together with what’s available at every bar.
But what makes a cocktail classic? Broadly speaking, these are the drinks that only combine minimal ingredients to showcase the spirit. Some recipes have been around for 50 to 100 years, many of which survived the jump before and after prohibition. Even if their recipes have changed over time, classic cocktails reflect a refined and traditional option for drinkers.
While the full list is quite extensive, some of the most recognizable classic cocktails include:
- Old Fashioned
- Whiskey Sour
- Moscow Mule
- Tom Collins
Each of these cocktails has its own recipes and variations, but they also all have several things in common. First of all, they all begin with a strong foundation of one of the five major spirits—vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, or tequila. They typically include between two and three additional ingredients or garnishes ranging from sweet or dry vermouth, muddled herbs, lemon or lime juice, or a fruit garnish. Cocktails can typically be served on the rocks, neat, up, or with varying levels of the paired ingredients, providing a surprisingly wide versatility for such a simple drink.
Classic cocktails allow members to turn to a familiar flavor while tasting the unique spin that every bartender brings to their drinks. New cocktails will always be an excellent way to show off a club’s unique style, but the classic drinks are the backbone of any bar menu.