16 classic cocktail recipes you need to master in your lifetime

A special occasion, bank holiday weekend, birthday party and a Saturday night all have one thing in common: they’re all made better with a classic cocktail in hand. Should any of these occasions occur, which naturally they will, it’s important you know how to make all the classics.

We can understand, however, if you can’t remember the proportions of a punchy negroni or a classic cosmopolitan off the top of your head, which is why we’ve listed 16 of the best classic cocktails all in one place. Go on, have a scroll and learn a couple off by heart for when the next occasion calls for it.

16 classic cocktail recipes you need to master in your lifetime

Pina Colada

Sip on the sweet and tropical flavours of this rum-spiked cocktail: a creamy and coconut-y pina colada.

pina colada


Not a tipple for the faint-hearted, this Italian aperetif should be short, punchy and bittersweet.



No summer garden party is complete without it! Knock up a pitcher of Pimm’s whenever the sun decides to shine. Ours contains a splash of sparkling wine too…


Espresso Martini

Wake up and smell the… you know the rest. There’s nothing quite like this pick-me-up cocktail. Take care though – they’re delicious but lethal!

espresso martini


A hugo cocktail is a refreshing, super-zesty mix of prosecco, gin and elderflower cordial. Whisk up this seasonal number to enjoy on a sunny afternoon, served with lots of mint.

hugo cocktail

French 75

Add a touch of glamour to your next dinner party and welcome guests with a glass of this gin and champagne-based drink. Fancy!

french 75

Aperol Spritz

Is it even summer if you haven’t enjoyed a glass of this bright orange cocktail? Enjoy over plenty of ice with a slice of orange peel.

aperol spritz


Using fresh peaches in this fruity drink makes all the difference. Top up with chilled prosecco and garnish with basil leaves.


Bloody Mary

We’re not convinced this fiery cocktail can be hailed as a hangover cure as such, but it will certainly light up your senses thanks to its stimulating list of ingredients: vodka, Tabasco, horseradish, tomato juice and salt.

bloody mary

Kirsch Royale

If boozy cherries mixed with champagne sounds like your kind of tipple, then then you’re in for a treat with this one.

kirsch royale


Vermouth and vodka are all you need for this shaken-not-stirred classic. Oh and an olive. That part’s essential.



A sophisticated, classic cocktail recipe of bourbon, sweet red vermouth and orange zest that’s sure to jazz up any dinner party.


Hot Toddy

Never tried a hot cocktail before? Keep cosy on chilly winter evenings with this spiced ginger and rum drink.

hot toddy

Gin and tonic (with elderflower)

You already know how to make a good G&T (light on the T, heavy on the G), so we thought we’d share this elderflower number instead. It makes a wonderful springtime tipple garnished with plenty of fresh, fragrant herbs.

gin and tonic

Vesper Martini

Shake (don’t stir) all the ingredients for this Bond-inspired cocktail, then serve alongside these vesper martini-cured salmon blinis.



A proper cosmopolitan cocktail should be punchy, fruity and served short in classic martini glasses. Enjoy this pink drink at your next summer garden party.


Every cocktail deserves a delicious bite to go with it. Serve them alongside a platter of fabulous canapes. 

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