Back to home
in Home & Family

Be Your Own Bartender – The Basics of Cocktails

  • April 26, 2014
  • By Grace
Be Your Own Bartender – The Basics of Cocktails

Being able to make a good drink is a skill that’s sure to impress – with the added bonus that it’s much more inexpensive than ordering that same drink at a bar.  It’s easier than you think – try these basics and you’ll be on your way.


We won’t insult your intelligence by going on about the obvious – gin and tonic, vodka soda, rum and coke, whiskey and soda – they’re all exactly what they sound like.   However, many drinks just this simple are disguised under complex sounding names.  Add a squeeze of lime to your rum and coke, for example, and you have the very sophisticated sounding Cuba Libre.  Vodka and orange juice sounds much more impressive when called a Screwdriver.  Switch out the orange juice for some cranberry juice, and you’ve got a Cape Codder (and you thought it was just a plain old vodka cranberry.)  Make the very classy Mimosa for a posh feeling brunch favorite- just champagne and orange juice for a very happy breakfast.

Mixing Cocktail

Keepin’ it Classic

Three serious drinks every sophisticated gentleman or lady should know – a Martini, a Manhattan, and an Old Fashioned.  A Martini is actually quite simple; vodka or gin, a splash (or no) dry vermouth, shaken with ice, and served with olives, cocktail onions, or a twist.  Make it dirty (oo la la) by adding a little olive juice to the mix.  You could stir it rather than shaking it, but why not do like James Bond?

The Manhattan combines whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a couple shakes of bitters, shaken or stirred, poured in a cocktail glass, and garnished with a cherry for a sipper that will make you want to pull out your most important-sounding vocabulary words.  For a drink that truly makes the perfect accessory to any suit, try and Old Fashioned.  Muddle a sugar cube with a few shakes of bitters, add bourbon, and garnish with a twist.

cocktail mixing

Fun Favorites

Happy hour gets a little happier with some barstool favorites that are easier to make than you might think.  Take the Cosmopolitan for example.  Throw vodka, triple sec, a splash of cranberry juice (we love it with a very small splash) and a squeeze of lime into a shaker with some ice, mix it up, and voila!  You’re in deliciously pink business.  A fancy-feeling Lemon Drop Martini doesn’t take any fancy tricks to prepare either – vodka, a touch of triple sec, a generous bit of lemon juice, and a spoonful of sugar is all it takes to make this dangerously good concoction.

Feeling a little tropical?  Whip up a Mojito – muddle lime, fresh mint, and a little sugar to taste, add white rum and soda.  Give it a stir and be transported to your own tropical island.  For another vacation reminiscent option, a classic Margarita can’t be beat.  In it’s purest form, a Margarita is simply tequila, triple sec (or other orange flavored liqueur), and lime or lemon juice.  If you like a good salted rim, pour some salt on a plate, wet the edge of the glass, and then dip in the salt.  Is that a Jimmy Buffet song I hear?

Almost any other cocktail you can dream up is just a variation on the basics – so get creative!  Happy mixing!


By Grace, April 26, 2014
About Little Modernist
This site is designed to help you live your best life. We know how overwhelming life can be, so we have designed this blog to focus on the essentials: how to get ahead financially, how to improve your health and fitness, and how to make the most of your free time.
Like Us On Facebook
Facebook Pagelike Widget