If you’re looking for a way to make a great impression, learning how to mix up these popular alcoholic drinks will do the trick.
When it comes to making people like you, there’s not much better than whipping up some popular alcoholic drinks for them. The trouble is, many people don’t know how to make anything more complex than a rum and coke without messing it up.
And making a bad drink is worse than not making one at all. In order for your friends to have a great time, make them a few yummy drinks! Just learn how to before you make a fool of yourself and serve up something nasty.
Making delicious alcoholic drinks takes a level of skill
I know those bartenders make it look easy, but when they’re mixing up a $15 cocktail with 10 steps just to get it right, they’re putting a lot of skill to use. You can’t just throw a bunch of things together and achieve the same taste.
There’s a science to it. Certain flavors mesh well with others and on the flip side, pairing too much of one ingredient with another can be disastrous to your taste buds. These people go through a lot of training and to great lengths to mix up a satisfying and yummy beverage for their customers. [Read: 12 essential manly drinks and the types of men who drink them]
How to make these popular alcoholic drinks the right way
If you’re looking to up your drink-making game and let your friends enjoy something delicious, we can help. But first, let’s talk about a few things to remember for mixing drinks.
#1 The stronger, the NOT better. People think that by making a drink extra strong, people will like it more. That’s not the case at all. It can really ruin a drink if you put too much liquor in it and not enough of everything else. As much as people drink to get sloshed, they also drink to enjoy it.
#2 The quality of liquor does make a difference. You can make good drinks without high-quality liquor, but if you get the high-end stuff, it makes them even better.
#3 It’s better to measure out quantities than look cool. I get it. You want to make yummy drinks while also looking like you’ve been doing it for years. So you spin the bottles, pour in without measuring, and hope for the best.
Don’t do this. You’ll just make a fool of yourself and the drinks will be off recipe. Aka, they’ll taste awful.
How to make these 10 popular alcoholic drinks the right way
Ready to start shaking up some tasty beverages? Here are some of the most popular drinks and how you can make them just as well as a specialty bartender.
#1 Long Island Iced Tea. This is a classic drink most people will know of, even if it doesn’t actually contain any iced tea. It’s basically a concoction of liquor, and a bit of cola.
The recipe: ½ fluid ounce vodka, ½ fluid ounce rum, ½ fluid ounce gin, ½ fluid ounce tequila, ½ fluid ounce triple sec, 1 fluid ounce sweet and sour mix, 1 fluid ounce cola – or to taste. Pour all the liquor into a cocktail shaker and shake away. Then dump it all into a glass and splash some cola. You can garnish with a lemon! [Read: 24 girly staple drinks everyone should know]
#2 White Russian. This is definitely a popular drink that takes some finesse to get right. If you’re a coffee lover, this one’s for you.
The recipe: 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of Kahlúa liqueur, and cream. Pour the alcohol into a small glass filled with ice and top with a heavy helping of cream. Watch those creamy swirls and sip.
#3 Old Fashioned. This is a delicious classic beverage – and one of my personal favorites. Many people have different ways to make it, but keeping it simple while still maintaining its reputation is best.
The recipe: 1 teaspoon raw or granulated sugar, 3 dashes of bitters, 2 ounces of rye whiskey, 2 teaspoons of warm water, and orange wedge. Start by dissolving the sugar in the warm water along with the bitters. Add a few large ice cubes and pour the whiskey over them. Then stir for about 20 seconds and garnish with an orange wedge.
#4 Moscow Mule. Another personal favorite, and the favorite of many all over. It’s a pretty simple drink that tastes amazing and looks classy. It’s perfect for a hot summer day.
The recipe: 2 ounces of vodka, 4 to 6 ounces of ginger beer, and 0.5 ounces of lime juice. Add the lime juice into a copper mug, then add some ice cubes, pour in the vodka next, followed by the ginger beer. Stir lightly and serve. [Read: How to decline a free drink at a bar the classy way]
#5 Whiskey Sour. This is particularly popular among the gentlemen, but a classic drink nonetheless.
The recipe: 2 ounces of whiskey, 1 ounce of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 egg white – though this is technically optional. Combine everything in a cocktail shaker and shake. If you’re using an egg white, shake without ice first. Then add the ice and strain while you pour over an iced glass. You can garnish with a lemon wedge or some maraschino cherries.
#6 Gimlet. This is one you probably see all the time, but just don’t know what it is. You can make it with vodka, but the original version is with gin.
The recipe: 2 ounces of gin, ¾ ounce of lime juice, ¾ ounce of simple syrup, lime wedge or cucumber peel for garnish. Pour everything into a cocktail shaker with ice and STIR vigorously until fully chilled. Then pour it into a chilled martini glass or over ice in a glass. Garnish with the lime wedge or cucumber peel.
#7 Manhattan. You’ve probably heard of this one time and time again. It’s a classic and for good reason.
The recipe: 2 ounces whiskey or bourbon, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters, and a cheery for garnish. Pour everything into a mixing glass with some ice and stir until combined and chilled. Strain into a chilled, empty cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry. [Read: Really fun drinking games for two]
#8 Mint Julep. If you want something that’s both refreshing and tasty, this is the drink for you. Just remember that some people are bit more sensitive to mint than others so tailor it to their needs.
The recipe: 10 mint leaves, 1 ½ super fine sugar or simple syrup, seltzer water, crushed ice, 2 ½ ounces bourbon. Put the mint leaves on the bottom of a small glass, add the sugar, and then muddle until the leaves break apart. Add just a splash of the seltzer water, fill with ice until the cup is ¾ full, then add the bourbon. Top with just another splash of seltzer water and garnish with a mint leaf.
#9 Martini. This is a drink everyone should know how to make. It’s a classic and nearly everyone will love it.
The recipe: 2 ½ ounces gin, ½ ounce dry vermouth, 1 to 3 olives or a lemon wedge for garnish. It’s a pretty simple recipe. All you have to do is combine the gin and vermouth in a glass with some ice and stir until thoroughly chilled. Then strain and pour into a chilled martini glass and add your garnish of choice. [Read: 8 different types of guys you meet at bars]
#10 Margarita. Who doesn’t love a good margarita? They go with practically any meal and pack a powerful, delicious punch.
The recipe: 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 large teaspoons of fine sugar, 1 tablespoon triple sec, ¼ cup tequila, 2 cups of ice, coarse salt, and a lime wedge. Place salt on a plate and rub the lime wedge around the rim of the glass. Dip the now moist glass rim into the salt so it sticks.
Then, in a cocktail shaker, stir together the lime juice and sugar until it’s mostly dissolved before adding the triple sec, tequila, and 1 cup of ice. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds and strain into your salt-rimmed, ice-filled glass. Serve with a lime wedge.