Cocktail Guide

Building up a basic bar at home doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money, but it’s an investment that will pay off in your own enjoyment and your reputation as a host. Setting up a bar at home requires surprisingly little. We’ve kept the requirements simple: supplies for a dozen basic cocktails and standard single-liquor highballs like gin and tonic.

Basic Bar Checklist

  • Bottle/Can opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Cutting board and paring knife
  • Ice bucket and tongs
  • Jigger
  • Juice squeezer
  • Shaker
  • Stirring spoon
  • Strainer
  • Towel
  • Cocktail or “Martini” (4 to 6 ounces)
  • Highball (8 to 10 ounces)
  • Old-fashioned or “rocks” (8 to 10 ounces)
  • Shot (2 ounces)
  • Wine, stemmed (10 to 14 ounces)


Basic Cocktail Guide



2 ounces gin
2 ounces Rose’s lime juice
2 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Serves 1. This recipe may also be prepared without ice, although this is unusual today. If fresh-squeezed lime juice is preferred, add 1 teaspoon sugar to 2 ounces lime juice.

Gin fizz

3 ounces gin
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 or 4 ice cubes
Club soda

Combine all ingredients except the soda in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass and fill with soda.


2 or 2 1/2 ounces gin
1/4 or 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
3 or 4 ice cubes
Twist lemon peel or an olive

Combine all ingredients, except the lemon peel or olive, in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass. Add lemon peel or olive.

Tom Collins

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) gin
club soda or seltzer water
1 lemon slice for garnish

In a tall glass stir together the lemon juice and the sugar until the sugar is dissolved, add the gin and enough ice cubes to fill the glass, and stir the drink well. Top off the drink with the club soda or the seltzer water, stir it well, and garnish it with the lemon slice.


Bloody Mary

46 ounce can tomato juice
4 ounces lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 ounces vodka per serving
20 ice cubes
10 thin slices lemon

Combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well. Pour into container and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Put 2 ice cubes in each 8-ounce glass, add 1 1/2 ounces vodka and 5 ounces tomato-juice mixture. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Salty Dog

4 ounces grapefruit juice
2 ounces vodka
Cut lemon
2 or 3 ice cubes

Rub the rim of an Old-fashioned glass or an 8-ounce wineglass with lemon, then spin in salt. Add the ice cubes, vodka and grapefruit juice and stir gently to mix.

Sea Breeze

1 1/2 ounces vodka
2 ounces grapefruit juice
3 ounces cranberry juice
Lime slice

Pour the vodka, grapefruit and cranberry juices into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with lime slice.

Vodka Cooler

3/4 cup grape juice, or to taste
1-liter bottle ginger ale
1 1/2 cups vodka if desired, or to taste
Lemon slices

In a pitcher stir together all ingredients and add ice.



2 1/2 ounces blended whiskey
3/4 ounces sweet vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters
3 or 4 ice cubes
Maraschino cherry

Combine the whiskey, vermouth, dash of bitters, and ice cubes in a mixing glass and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.


1 lump sugar
Dash Angostura bitters
1 or 2 drops cold water
2 or 3 ounces bourbon (or any whiskey)
Twist lemon peel
Slice orange (optional)
Maraschino cherry (optional)

Rob Roy

3 ounces Scotch whisky
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
5 or 6 ice cubes
Twist orange or lemon peel

Combine all ingredients except the peel in a mixing glass and stir gently to chill as well as dilute the drink. Strain into a cocktail glass. Twist the peel over the drink to release the oil and then drop it in. For a weaker drink, reduce the Scotch to 1 1/2 ounces and the vermouth to 1/2 ounce. In some recipes the bitters are omitted or replaced with orange bitters.

Whiskey Sour

2 or 3 ounces whiskey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 or 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
3 or 4 ice cubes
1 orange or lemon slice or peel
Maraschino cherry

Combine all ingredients except the fruit slice or peel and cherry in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a sour or Delmonico glass and garnish with the fruit and cherry.