Category Archives: Classic Cocktails

TIme-honored classic cocktail recipes.

manhattan bourbon cocktail feature

Manhattan

The Manhattan, simply put, is my very favorite cocktail. It’s my go-to cocktail for home happy hours or when I don’t know what I’m in the mood for. I always drink it in my special glass—the one with the bullseye on it. My wife gave me this glass as a gift and it’s my traditional happy hour cocktail glass. It’s important to establish little happy hour traditions at home. It’s also the drink that I typically order on the road to see if the bartender is capable of making a good cocktail or not. So while this drink is not new, my recipe collection would be incomplete without it.

Manhattan
2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
1 oz Vya sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fee Brothers aromatic bitters

Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the bourbon or whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Gently stir for 20-30 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino or brandied cherry.

If you are new to drinking Manhattans, I suggest you start with bourbon since it is a little more approachable. Make sure you use a decent one such as Maker’s Mark. After you’ve grown accustomed to the bourbon Manhattan, move on to an American rye whiskey such as Sazerac Rye. The original Manhattans were made with rye whiskey, so it is only fitting that you try one that way. Or you can just use Bulleit Bourbon which is a nice compromise between the two since it is a bourbon with a high rye content (about 30%). Cheers!

manhattan bourbon cocktail Manhattan

Margarita

classic margarita tequilia cocktail Margarita

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing worse than drinking a terrible margarita at the neighborhood Mexican restaurant. All you are able to taste is premade sour mix and you wonder if there’s any tequila in there at all.

Well, you don’t have to suffer at home if you do one important thing—ditch the “margarita mix” and treat yourself to a REAL margarita. It’s surprisingly simple to make.

Margarita
2 oz Sauza Hornitos Añejo Tequila
1/2 oz Harlequin Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz agave nectar

Fill a shaker with ice. Add the tequila, orange liqueur, juices and agave nectar. Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Pour (without straining) into a 12 oz double old fashioned glass with a salted rim.

You can use either Reposado or Añejo tequila, but make sure it is 100% pure agave. Otherwise, you are only getting half tequila and fillers. On the other hand, don’t use ultra premium tequila either because you can’t tell much difference with the additional ingredients. Ultra premium tequilas are meant to be sipped straight. That’s why I like to use Sauza Hornitos or a similarly priced brand.

For those of you who don’t know, agave nectar is a sweetner and can be found in the grocery aisle (usually near the honey).