Thirsty Thursday: 5 Classic Cocktails for the Perfect #ThrowbackThursday

Mixologists these days are coming up with all sorts of crazy cocktails combining expensive liquors with exotic ingredients, and for the most part, they taste pretty delicious.  But sometimes you really just can’t beat the classics.  Who knows if these experimental cocktails will be able to stand the test of time, but if they don’t, there are some cocktails that will never go away.  I’m not talking about the dive-bar classics like a Rum ‘n coke or a vodka cranberry, I’m talking about real cocktails.

Usually, we throwback to the 80s or the 90s, but a few sips of a Manhattan or a Martini can transport you way back to before even your grandparents could drink.  There’s a reason we have been drinking the same cocktails for a hundred years, and that reason is because they are simply delicious.  Sometimes, you just can’t beat the original.  If you feel like stirring up a cocktail you can label with a #tbt, check out these classics.  And if you absolutely have to update them for the 21st century, we’ve included some modern twists as well.  Cheers!

1. Manhattan

Classic Manhattan

The Manhattan is the ultimate cocktail throwback, with its origins dating all the way back to the 1870s, in Manhattan of course.  The base alcohol of the cocktail is whiskey, traditionally rye whiskey, mixed with Vermouth and bitters. Check out this tutorial for some instructions on how to mix up a basic Manhattan.  For a 2014 Manhattan, try using Bourbon or some flavored bitters.

2. Martini

Classic Martini

The Martini is the ultimate in classy classic drinks, and if you need to feel more adult, order one up.  There is a lot of controversy about the art of martini making; Shaken or stirred, vodka or gin? To my understanding, a true martini should be made with gin, never be shaken, and garnished with olive.  If you do anything else, it isn’t a Martini.  If you want vodka, you specify that when ordering. Check out these recipes for mixing up this classic cocktail with either type of booze. And if your definition of Martinis is a little broader and olives aren’t your thing, there should be something on this list that will tickle your martini fantasy.

3. Cosmopolitan


In my humble opinion, no cocktail hits the spot quite like a Cosmo.  A little sweet, a little tart and a lot boozy, it leaves all cocktail cravings satisfied.  A basic Cosmo combines cranberry juice, triple sec, vodka and lime juice, and the result is a pretty pink concoction perfect for a girls night out.  If you want to put a little twist on this classic, try changing up the type of juice you use.  Pomegranate works well, so does white cranberry juice and pear vodka.

4. Sazerac


One of the best cities in this country to grab a drink is New Orleans, and the Sazerac just so happens to be the city’s official cocktail.  If you want to mix up a taste of the Big Easy, use this basic recipe, which also uses bitters and rye whiskey, but is certainly not a Manhattan, thanks to the addition of absinthe (No, you won’t hallucinate).  To “modernize” this cocktail, you can actually try making the original – now most Sazeracs are made with rye whiskey, but you can go right back to the roots and use Cognac instead.

6. Tom Collins

Tom Collins

The main characteristic that makes many of these cocktails so timeless is their simplicity, and the Tom Collins is no exception.  The true origin of this drink is a mystery, but the recipe isn’t.  All you need is gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and some club soda.  This would be the perfect cocktail to make super healthy at home by swapping out some agave or a natural sweetener for the simple syrup.  And it is nice and clear so you don’t have to worry about staining your classy cocktail dress.  Recipe too simple? Try adding some maraschino cherry liquor.  Yum.

Which classic cocktail is your favorite?



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