While most of your guests won’t expect a full bar, learning just a few key cocktail recipes can help ensure you have all your bases covered. The problem is that there are so many great cocktail recipes to choose from; how do you narrow down the list to just a few that will satisfy everyone?
To find the answer, we informally polled our friends on BakeSpace.com, Twitter and Facebook to determine their favorite cocktails. Hands down, the winners were three classics: the Martini, Mojito and Margarita. Here’s a quick primer on their history and how to make them like a pro.
The classic martini is made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive. It was the favorite drink of Winston Churchill, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Cary Grant, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and of course our favorite secret agent, James Bond.
While the history of the martini is unclear, some experts believe it was named after the Martini Rosso dry vermouth introduced in 1863. Others believe a bartender named Martini invented it. Regardless, it’s one of the easiest cocktails to make.
Classic Martini Ingredients:
75ml (or approx 2+ 1/2 oz) Gin
15ml (or approx 1/4 oz) Dry Vermouth
1 green olive OR a twist of lemon peel
6 ice cubes
Classic Martini Directions:
Into a mixing glass, toss a handful of ice cubes (about half a dozen), then pour in the Gin and the Vermouth.
Stir well. Some may prefer shaken!
Strain and pour into a martini glass.
To finish, either drop a green olive into the bottom of the martini glass OR arrange a twist of lemon peel on the edge of the martini glass.
Don’t have any vodka? Check out this martini recipe with beer from BakeSpace member Doughboy!
Pour 1 beer: MGD, COORS (o.g. or lite), Miller lite, or any type of American beer into glass
Add: – 1 teaspoon or = 4.92892159 milliliters of olive juice, 2 olives & a pinch of salt
Mix and enjoy!
Find more Martini Recipes
The Mojito traditionally includes five ingredients: white rum, sugar (sugar cane juice), lime, sparkling water and mint. It’s best served in a tall Collins glass. Author Ernest Hemingway made the drink famous after visiting a bar called La Bodeguita del medio. It’s a sweet recipe that will quench your thirst on a hot day
For fun, there’s also a “Dirty Mojito” made with spiced rum, brown sugar syrup, key limes, crushed mint and soda.
Here’s a simple mojito recipe: PRINT RECIPE
12 fresh mint sprigs, each about 8 inches long,
plus 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup light rum
Sugar and 1 or 2 lime wedges for coating rims
Ice cubes as needed
2 cups club soda
For the garnishes:
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
4 small fresh mint sprigs
In a bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon, crush together the mint sprigs, sugar and lime juice.
Pour in the rum.
Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Select 4 tall, slender glasses.
Spread a layer of sugar on a small, flat plate.
Working with 1 glass at a time, run a lime wedge around the edge of the glass to moisten it, then dip the rim into the sugar to coat it evenly.
Put the glasses in the freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes.
When ready to make the mojitos, fill a blender halfway with ice cubes.
Pour the rum mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the blender.
Add the club soda and the 1/2 cup mint leaves and puree until well blended.
Divide the mixture evenly among the chilled glasses.
Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and a mint sprig.
Find more Mojito Recipes
The Margarita is ranked by Wikipedia as the most common tequila-based cocktail in the U.S. With a variety of flavors and ways to serve (shaken with ice, on the rocks or blended), you’re bound to find a margarita your guests will love.
The original Margarita was introduced in 1948 by socialite Margarita Sames during a party at her cliffside hacienda in Acapulco. Ms. Sames began experimenting with Tequila Herradura, Cointreau and fresh lime juice. According to legend, her cocktail kept the party going for two weeks .
Here’s a basic margarita recipe:
1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.
Find Margarita Recipes
For more cocktail recipes, check out BakeSpace.com’s cocktail recipe section.
Bonus Cocktail – Raspberry White Sangria (photo) by BakeSpace member Imstuffed… because it looked so refreshing and festive.