10 Classic Cocktails Every Gentleman Should Know How to Make

There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows his way around a well stocked bar, picking out the perfect spirits and ingredients to concoct the perfect classic cocktail.

From the iconic Martini to the refreshing Paloma, here are 10 classic cocktails that you should know how to make. Memorize, practice, and perfect these, my friend. You can thank me later.

Old Fashioned

(Photo by Drew Beame/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 tsp sugar (or 1 sugar cube)

Put the sugar in a whiskey glass and add bitters. Gently pour over whiskey and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add ice and swirl. Serve with a garnish of orange or a dehydrated fruit slice if your heart desires.


(Photo: Dmitry Dreyer/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Salt for the rim

Slide a slice of lime around the rim and dip in a saucer of salt. Pour all other ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake to combine. Strain into the glass with fresh ice and serve.


(Photo: Sebastian Coman Photography/Unsplash)
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth

Add all ingredients to a glass with ice and stir.

Whiskey Sour

(Photo: Johann Trasch/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg white

Add all ingredients to a shaker and dry shake to combine. Add ice and shake again. Stir over ice into a rocks glass and serve.

Moscow Mule

(Photo: Alex Plesovskich/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • .5 oz lime juice

Add lime juice to the copper Moscow Mule mug and drop in a few ice cubes. Add in vodka and top with ginger beer.


(Photo by Eddie Howell/Unsplash)
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 2 oz white rum
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz simple syrup

Add mint leaves and simple syrip into a shaker and muddle. Add rum and lime juice with ice and shake to combine. Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice, top with club soda if desired, and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.


(Photo: Drew Beamer/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Quickly stir all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with a cherry.


(Photo: Mae Mu/Unsplash
  • 2 oz gin or vodka
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • .75 oz lime juice

Shake everything in a shaker with ice and strain into a glass.


(Photo: Lefteris Kallergis/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • .5 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • Absinthe

Swirl absinthe around a chilled glass and pour out the excess. In a mixing glass, combine the rest of the ingredients and strain into the absinthe-coated class.


(Photo: Illumination Marketing/Unsplash)
  • 2 oz tequila
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • Grapefruit soda to top

In a highball glass, add ice, and pour in tequila and lime juice. Top with grapefruit soda.

BONUS: Martini

(Photo by Aditya Saxena/Unsplash)
  • 3 oz gin or vodka
  • .5 oz dry vermouth
  • Lemon peel or olive for garnish

In a mixing glass, stir (or shake, if you want to go 007-style) vodka and vermouth with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. If garnishing with lemon peel, squeeze the oil from the peel into the glass.

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Zeynep Yenisey
-former contributor- I’m a writer and editor who loves luxury accommodations and first class flights.