Cocktails Every Man Should Know

When I wrote about tending bar I talked about setting the menu but gave no recipes. Now I’m going to share a list of cocktails and other mixed drinks every man should know if he ever wants to tend bar. You might want to bookmark this one so you have a convenient refer until you’re able to memorise the recipes.


Most drinks are to be served in specific glasses. It’s not like the wrong glass is likely to change the taste, but presentation is always important. 

Cocktail Glass Margarita Glass Old Fashioned Glass
Champagne Flute Highball Glass

For Gentlemen


There are countless variations on the martini, but there are two main ones;

Classic Martini

1 oz Gin

1/2 oz Vermouth

Stir with ice. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or olive. 

Some people prefer “sweet” or “dry” martinis. The former has more vermouth than normal and the latter has more gin.

Vodka Martini

Easy, just use vodka in place of gin.


2 oz Rye Whiskey

1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth

dash of Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Old Fashioned

2 oz Blended Scotch Whiskey

dash of Water

dash of Bitters

1 Sugar Cube

Muddle sugar, bitters, and water in an old fashioned glass (crazy, I know). Add Scotch and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist, orange slice, and/or cherry and serve with a swizzle stick. 

For Ladies

Long Island Iced Tea

3/4 oz Tequila

3/4 oz Vodka

3/4 oz Triple Sec

3/4 oz Gin

3/4 oz Light Rum

1 oz Sour Mix


Combine ingredients over in a highball glass, adding Cola for colour. Garnish with a lemon slice. 


3 oz Sparkling Wine

1 oz Peach Schnapps

dash of Grenadine

Pour into champagne flute. 


4 oz Sparkling Wine

1 oz Orange Juice

Pour orange juice into a champagne flute then slowly add sparkling wine. Garnish wish an orange wheel. Mimosas are typically only served with brunch. 

For Anyone


A tropical classic. 

1 1/2 oz Tequila

1/2 oz Triple Sec

1 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into salt dimmed margarita glass. 

Irish Coffee

2 oz Irish Whiskey


Prepare hot coffee to taste in a mug, preferably an Irish Coffee mug, and add whiskey. May be topped with whipped cream. Irish Cream may be substituted for whiskey. 


A Canadian classic. 

1 oz Vodka

4 oz Clamato

dash of Worcestershire Sauce

pinch of Salt

pinch of Pepper

2 dashes of Horseradish

Rim a highball glass with celery salt. Shake with ice and strain into glass, over ice. Garnish with a celery stalk. 

For Kids & Teetotalers

Shirley Temple

1 oz Grenadine

6 1/3 oz Ginger Ale

Pour ginger ale over ice in a highball glass and add grenadine. Garnish with a lemon slice and cherry.

Roy Rogers

Shirley Temple made with Cola instead of ginger ale. 

Arnold Palmer

Mix equal parts lemonade and unsweetened iced tea and serve over ice in a highball glass. It’s also acceptable to vary the ratio, in fact rumour has it that Me. Palmer himself preferred more iced tea than lemonade. 

A Signature Drink

Sorry, I can’t give you a recipe for this one. A signature drink is a recipe created for the occasion or a specialty of the bartender. My signature drink is an iced tea martini. I’m not going to give you the recipe but I’ll gladly make one for you if you’re ever at a party where I’m tending bar. 

The Favourites

There’s no such thing as a wrong drink choice, even a gentleman drinking a girly drink or a lady drinking a manly drink. If you have any regular guests, you should definitely learn how to mix their favourite drinks. 


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