Those of us who appreciate the finer things in life understand the allure of a perfectly crafted cocktail. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious connoisseur, our curated classic mixed drinks list awaits, showcasing iconic libations that have enthralled taste buds for generations.
Elevate your cocktail repertoire as we unveil the secrets behind the most popular mixed drinks — from sophisticated sips to refreshing concoctions — allowing you to savor the artistry and craftsmanship in each of these classic mixed drinks. So grab your shakers and join us on this adventure if you have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for the finer pleasures of wine and liquor.
30 Most Popular Cocktails
Let’s explore this comprehensive list of popular alcoholic mixed drinks that you can easily recreate at home. From classic cocktail drinks to lesser-known gems, these libations will impress your guests or elevate your solo sipping experience. Each cocktail will be accompanied by a brief explanation and the recommended glassware for serving.
To make these drinks easily, ensure your home bar is well-equipped with essentials like cocktail shakers, muddlers, jiggers, drink strainers and mixers such as simple syrup, club soda and fruit juices. Let’s dive into the world of common mixed drinks and discover your new favorites.
1. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is one of the most common cocktail drinks known for its timeless appeal. It embodies the essence of sophistication with its rich flavors and smooth profile. This cocktail showcases the robust notes of whiskey, complemented by the subtle sweetness of sugar and the complexity of aromatic bitters.
To make an Old Fashioned, combine 2 ounces of bourbon or rye, 1 sugar cube, a few dashes of aromatic bitters and a splash of club soda in an old-fashioned glass. Add ice, stir gently and garnish with an orange twist. Serve in an old-fashioned glass to fully appreciate the drink.
The Margarita is a beloved cocktail known for its vibrant and refreshing flavors — the perfect balance of tangy citrus, smooth tequila and a touch of sweetness. This cocktail offers a delightful combination of flavors that awaken the taste buds.
Combine 3 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of fresh lime juice, ½ to 1 teaspoon of orange liqueur and 1 ounce of simple syrup in a shaker with ice. You can create simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water. Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed margarita glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy the margarita’s zesty allure.
The Negroni is a sophisticated cocktail known for its bold and complex flavors. It combines the bitter notes of Campari, the herbal essence of sweet vermouth and the robust character of gin. The Negroni delivers a harmonious blend of flavors with a bitter-sweet profile that lingers on the palate.
To make a Negroni, mix equal parts — usually 1 ounce each — of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth in a glass with ice. Stir well, then strain into a chilled rocks glass over fresh ice. Serve garnished with an orange twist to enhance its allure.
The Manhattan is a classic cocktail renowned for its timeless elegance and rich flavors. It harmoniously blends the warmth of whiskey with the complexity of sweet vermouth, and aromatic bitters offer a hint of bitterness. The Manhattan exudes a smooth and sophisticated character that lingers on the palate.
In a glass with ice, combine 2 ounces of whiskey, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth and a few dashes of aromatic bitters. Pour into a chilled cocktail martini glass, gently stir and garnish with a cherry.
5. Whiskey Sour
The Whiskey Sour is one of the classic cocktail drinks known for its balanced combination of tangy citrus and smooth whiskey flavors. It offers a delightful contrast of tartness and sweetness.
To make a Whiskey Sour, mix 2 ounces of bourbon, ¾ ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice and ¾ ounce of simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Next, shake well, then strain and pour into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge or cherry for an extra touch of elegance. Serve and savor the Whiskey Sour’s refreshing and vibrant taste.
The Martini is an iconic cocktail celebrated for its timeless sophistication and delicate flavors. It is a harmonious blend of gin or vodka and dry vermouth, resulting in a crisp and clean taste. The Martini is a mix of elegance and simplicity, making it a classic favorite.
Combine 4 ounces of gin or vodka and 1 ounce of dry vermouth in a glass with ice. Stir gently, then strain into a martini glass. Next, add a lemon twist or olive as a garnish.
The Cosmopolitan is a sophisticated cocktail renowned for its vibrant flavors and chic appeal. It offers a perfect balance of tartness, sweetness and a hint of citrus.
Combine 1 ounce of cranberry juice, 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 1 ounce of orange liqueur — such as Cointreau — and 2 ounces of vodka in a shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel or twist to enhance its presentation.
8. Moscow Mule
The Moscow Mule is a cocktail celebrated for its refreshing and zesty flavors. It combines the spiciness of ginger beer, the tanginess of lime juice and the smoothness of vodka. The Moscow Mule delivers a delightful blend of sweet, sour and slightly spicy notes that create a unique and invigorating taste.
To make a Moscow Mule, mix 1 ½ ounces of vodka, 3 ounces of ginger beer and ½ ounce of fresh lime juice in a copper mug filled with ice. Stir gently, garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy the Moscow Mule’s invigorating flavors.
The Gimlet is a classic cocktail known for its simplicity and refreshing flavors. It boasts a perfect harmony of tangy lime and the smoothness of gin or vodka. The Gimlet delivers a crisp and citrusy taste that is both refreshing and satisfying.
To make a Gimlet, combine 2 ounces of gin or vodka, ¾ ounce of lime juice and ¾ ounce of simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve and enjoy the Gimlet’s invigorating and timeless appeal.
The Mojito is a famous cocktail known for its vibrant and refreshing flavors. It combines the brightness of mint leaves, the tanginess of lime juice and the sweetness of sugar, all enhanced by the crispness of rum.
To start, muddle 3 fresh mint leaves with 1 ounce of simple syrup and ½ ounce of lime juice in a glass. Add 2 ounces of rum and ice, then top with club soda. Stir gently, garnish with a mint sprig and serve in a highball glass to enjoy its invigorating taste.
The Paloma is a refreshing cocktail celebrated for its bright and citrusy flavors. It showcases the tanginess of grapefruit juice, a touch of sweetness from lime juice or simple syrup and the effervescence of soda water. The Paloma delivers a perfect balance of sweet, sour and bubbly notes that make it a popular choice.
Combine 2 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice, ½ ounce of orange juice and a splash of lime juice in a highball glass filled with ice. Next, add 1 ½ ounces of grapefruit soda, stir gently, garnish with a grapefruit wedge and savor the Paloma’s invigorating taste.
12. Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is a tropical cocktail that’s famous for its exotic flavors and delightful complexity. It combines the sweetness of rum, the tanginess of citrus juices and a hint of almond from orgeat syrup. The Mai Tai offers a harmonious blend of fruity, nutty and refreshing notes that transport you to a beachside paradise.
To make a Mai Tai, mix 2 ounces of rum, ¾ ounce of lime juice, ½ ounce of orange liqueur, ¾ ounce of orgeat syrup and a dash of grenadine in a shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a highball or tiki glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel, mint sprig and enjoy the Mai Tai’s tropical allure.
The Vesper is a sophisticated cocktail made famous by James Bond and known for its elegant and complex flavors. It combines the botanical notes of gin, the crispness of vodka and a touch of bitterness from Lillet Blanc. The Vesper offers a perfect balance of herbal, citrusy and slightly bitter elements that create a unique and refined taste.
To make a Vesper, mix 3 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of vodka and ½ ounce of Lillet Blanc in a glass with ice. Stir gently, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve and savor the Vesper’s sophisticated and enticing flavors.
14. Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is a famous brunch cocktail celebrated for its bold and savory flavors. It combines the richness of tomato juice, the tanginess of citrus and a variety of spices and seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and celery salt. The Bloody Mary offers a complex and robust taste with a hint of heat.
Start by mixing 2 ounces of vodka, 4 ounces of tomato juice, ½ ounce of lemon juice, as well as a dash of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and celery salt in a tall glass with ice. Stir well, garnish with celery stalk and serve in a highball glass to enjoy the Bloody Mary’s bold and satisfying flavors.
The Sazerac is known for its rich history and complex flavors. It embodies the essence of New Orleans with its combination of rye whiskey, aromatic bitters, sugar and a touch of absinthe. The Sazerac offers a robust and sophisticated taste profile, featuring the spiciness of rye, the herbal notes of bitters and a subtle hint of anise from the absinthe rinse.
Combine 3 ounces of rye or brandy, ½ ounce of Demerara syrup and 10 dashes of bitters in a glass and stir. Rinse an Old Fashioned glass with absinthe, then strain the cocktail into the glass. Serve the Sazerac straight up or over ice and garnish with a lemon peel for an authentic experience.
The Daiquiri is renowned for its simplicity and refreshing flavors. It features the perfect combination of rum, fresh lime juice and a touch of sweetness from simple syrup. The Daiquiri offers a crisp and citrusy taste with a smooth finish.
To make a Daiquiri, mix 2 ounces of rum, ½ ounce of lime juice and ¾ ounce of simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve and enjoy!
The Sidecar is a classic cocktail known for its sophistication and delightful flavors. It combines the richness of cognac or brandy, the tanginess of lemon juice and a touch of sweetness from orange liqueur. The Sidecar offers a balanced and smooth taste with hints of citrus and warm undertones.
To savor the elegant flavors of the Sidecar, mix 1 ¾ ounces of cognac or brandy, 1 ounce of lemon juice and ¾ ounce of orange liqueur in a shaker with ice. Next, shake well, then strain into a chilled coupe glass. Serve and enjoy.
18. French 75
The French 75 is one of the many champagne cocktail recipes that exudes elegance and sophistication with its sparkling effervescence and bright flavors. It combines the crispness of gin, the tanginess of lemon juice and a hint of sweetness from simple syrup, topped with sparkling wine. The French 75 offers a refreshing and citrus-forward taste with a bubbly finish.
To enjoy the French 75 in all its effervescent glory, mix ¾ ounce of lemon juice, 1 ounce of gin and 1 ounce of simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Next, shake well, strain into a champagne flute and top with 3 ounces of sparkling wine. Then, add a lemon twist as a garnish, serve and enjoy.
19. Aperol Spritz
The Aperol Spritz is a refreshing and vibrant drink — one of many prosecco drink recipes — that has gained immense popularity for its light and citrusy flavors. It combines the bitterness of Aperol, a vibrant Italian aperitif, with the fizziness of prosecco and a splash of soda water. The Aperol Spritz offers a bitter-sweet taste profile with notes of orange, herbs and a pleasant effervescence.
Enjoy this delightful cocktail on a warm day by mixing 2 ounces of Aperol, 3 ounces of prosecco and a splash of soda water in a wine glass filled with ice. Stir gently and garnish with an orange slice.
20. Cape Codder
The Cape Codder is a simple yet refreshing cocktail that showcases the flavors of cranberry and vodka. It is a quintessential summertime drink with a delightful balance of tartness and sweetness.
The Cape Codder combines 2 ounces of vodka with 4 ounces of cranberry juice in a highball glass filled with ice. Stir gently to mix the ingredients and garnish with a lime wedge. This classic cocktail is best served in a highball glass, allowing the vibrant colors of the drink to shine through. Enjoy the crisp and fruity flavors of the Cape Codder.
The Greyhound is a refreshing and straightforward cocktail known for its simplicity and vibrant flavors. It features the perfect combination of tart grapefruit juice and smooth vodka. The Greyhound offers a balance between the citrusy and slightly bitter notes of grapefruit and the clean profile of vodka.
To make a Greyhound, combine 2 ounces of vodka with 4 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in a highball glass filled with ice. Stir gently to mix and garnish with a grapefruit wedge. Serve this delightful cocktail in a highball glass and enjoy its bright and invigorating flavors.
The Mimosa is one of the most classic brunch cocktails, known for its simplicity and refreshing flavors. It combines equal parts sparkling wine and orange juice. The Mimosa offers a delightful blend of crispness from the sparkling wine and the vibrant citrus flavors of orange juice.
To make a Mimosa, pour 2 ounces of chilled orange juice into a champagne flute, then gently top it off with 2 ounces of chilled sparkling wine. Serve this elegant and effervescent cocktail in a champagne flute to showcase its effervescence and enhance the brunch experience.
23. Naked and Famous
The Naked and Famous is a unique and complex cocktail that combines bold and vibrant flavors. It balances smokiness, bitterness and citrus notes in perfect harmony. The flavors in the Naked and Famous come from equal parts of mezcal, yellow Chartreuse, Aperol and lime juice.
Combine ¾ ounce each of mezcal, yellow Chartreuse, Aperol and freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled coupe glass.
The Penicillin is a modern classic cocktail known for its smoky and sophisticated flavors. It combines the rich notes of Scotch whisky with the warmth of honey and ginger, balanced by a touch of citrus.
To make a Penicillin cocktail, muddle ¾ ounce of fresh lemon juice, ¾ ounce of honey syrup and 2 ounces of blended Scotch whisky in a glass. Add ice, then stir until chilled. Then, strain and pour into an ice-filled rocks glass and float ¼ ounce of smoky Islay Scotch whisky on top. Add a lemon twist as a garnish and serve this enticing cocktail in a rocks glass to savor its robust flavors.
25. Piña Colada
The Piña Colada is a tropical and indulgent cocktail that evokes the flavors of a sunny beach vacation. It combines the creamy sweetness of coconut with the refreshing tang of pineapple, creating a delightful blend of flavors.
To make a Piña Colada cocktail, blend 1 ½ ounces of white rum, 2 ounces of pineapple juice and 2 ounces of coconut cream with crushed ice until smooth. Pour the mixture into a hurricane glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry for a vibrant presentation that captures the essence of this beloved tropical cocktail.
The Rosita cocktail is a classic tequila-based drink with a sophisticated and balanced flavor profile. It combines the robust flavors of tequila, sweet vermouth, Campari and dry vermouth. The tequila brings a smooth and agave-forward note, while the vermouths add sweetness and herbal complexity. The Campari contributes a touch of bitterness and a vibrant red color.
Start by combining 1 ½ ounces of tequila, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth, ½ ounce of dry vermouth, ½ ounce of Campari and a dash of bitters in a glass with ice. Stir well, then strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel. Serve in a stemmed cocktail glass.
The Sangria is a refreshing and fruity cocktail that originates from Spain — one of the various wine cocktails. It features a medley of flavors, combining red wine with the sweetness of fruits like oranges, apples and berries.
Combine 4 ounces of red wine, 2 ounces of orange juice, 1 ounce of brandy and a splash of simple syrup in a pitcher. Stir in sliced fruits — such as oranges, apples, blackberries and pomegranate seeds — and let it chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve the Sangria over ice in a wine glass garnished with fresh fruit slices for a delightful and vibrant summer drink.
The Screwdriver offers a refreshing burst of flavors. It combines the vibrant and tangy taste of orange juice with the smoothness of vodka. Enjoy this easy-to-make cocktail any time of the day.
To make a Screwdriver cocktail, pour 2 ounces of vodka into a highball glass filled with ice. Then, top it off with 4-6 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice. Give it a gentle stir to mix the ingredients. The Screwdriver is typically served in a highball or Collins glass and can be garnished with an orange slice for added freshness.
29. Tequila Sunrise
The Tequila Sunrise is a vibrant and fruity cocktail known for its stunning appearance and delightful flavors. It features the bold and distinctive taste of tequila, complemented by the sweetness of orange juice and a hint of grenadine.
Start to fill a highball glass with ice and pour in 1 ½ ounces of tequila. Add ¾ ounce of orange juice and give it a gentle stir. Slowly pour ¾ ounce of grenadine syrup over the back of a spoon to create a layered effect. The Tequila Sunrise is traditionally served in a highball glass and can be garnished with an orange slice and a cherry for an eye-catching presentation.
30. White Russian
The White Russian is a creamy and indulgent cocktail known for its smooth flavors. It combines the richness of vodka with the sweetness of coffee liqueur and the creaminess of heavy cream or milk. The White Russian can be enjoyed as a dessert-like treat.
To make a White Russian, fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and pour in 2 ounces of vodka. Add 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua, and stir gently. Finish by floating 1 ounce of heavy cream or milk on top.
Find Your Favorite Cocktail Ingredients Today
We have embarked on a delightful journey through the realm of the most popular mixed drinks. We’ve explored a comprehensive classic cocktails list, uncovering the timeless favorites that have captivated cocktail enthusiasts for generations.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of these iconic recipes, it’s time to stock up on your favorite cocktail ingredients. Browse Marketview Liquor’s extensive range of spirits, ensuring you have everything you need to create these masterful libations in the comfort of your own home. Cheers to the perfect cocktail experience!