Common Cocktails Every Bartender Should Know
These are the most popular cocktails in the U.S. Donât let the word common fool you. Theyâre common cocktails because everyoneâs ordering them. And that means theyâre drinks bartenders should know. Stick to the standard liquor pour and standard wine pour to maximize the number of cocktails you get out of your well liquor.
Best Mixed Drinks: Final Thoughts
Easy mixed drinks definitely arent basic. In fact the simple recipes allow the drinker to experience the depth of the spirits and ingredients of these classic cocktails. Just make sure you load up with good liquor and quality ingredients, and stock your home bar with the tools you need to make them.
Which is your favorite out of the easy mixed drinks on this list? Is there a cocktail you plan to recreate yourself? Tell us about your bartending adventures in the comments below!
Tall Refreshing Highball Drinks
Generally, highballs are mixed in an ice-filled highball or collins glass with a shot of a base spirit that is topped with a mixer or two, such as juice or soda. Essentially, these are “pour and serve” drinks.
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Essential Cocktails Every Bartender Should Know
There are hundreds of so-called essential cocktails out there. Some of them were created in the 1800s and even more are being thought up today by creative bartenders.
If you really wanted to, you could spend years poring over cocktail books and practicing bartending techniques in an attempt to master them all the basic bartender recipes.
But do you really need to memorize a hundred cocktail recipes to excel as a bartender?
Of course, you dont.
And in most cases, memorizing hundreds of bartender recipes would be a waste of your time because unless youre actually making the essential cocktails youre trying to learn, whats the point?
When I was new to the industry, I made that exact same mistake. I tried to memorize as many cocktail recipes as I could find. But because I only ever made a few of them, I ended up forgetting most of them. The only ones that stuck with me were the ones that I made on a consistent basis.
So no. You dont need to memorize a hundred cocktails recipes and basic bar drinks to excel as a bartender in 2022. Most of the time, youll only ever make the same 20-25 cocktails over and over again, sometimes less, so you should focus on learning how to make those 20-25 cocktails really well.
Thats what this article is about. Instead of giving you a list of 100 bartender recipes youre never going to make, Ive broken it down to 25 of the most essential cocktails that are being ordered around the world this year.
Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif Winedubonnet
Dubonnet is the Grand Aperitif de France, it is a sweet, aromatic wine based aperitif. It has a wonderful history, and it was in 1846, Joseph Dubonnet created Dubonnet, in response to a competition called by the French Government to find a solution to the problem of it’s inability to persuade the French Foreign Legionnaires in North Africa to drink Quinine, the only medicine for Malaria.Dubonnet is available in Rouge, Blanc and Gold. Dubonnet is known to be the favourite beverage of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II and Nelson Rockefeller. The main ingredients of Dubonnet are a Red Wine base with a distinct base of Ruby Red, Ruby Cabernet and Muscat of Alexander, Herbs and spices including blackcurrant, essence of tea and others. Cinchona bark, the original medicinal ingredient derived from the bark of the cinchona tree and cane sugar.Note that a historical equivalent of Dubonnet is Gin and Tonic, Tonic Water was invented to make European Soldiers in South Asia drink the quinine tonic.Important Note , Dubonnet is Vermouth, although Vermouth is a fortified aromatised wine, but unlike Vermouth it’s primary ingredient was never Wormwood, so Dubonnet is not a Vermouth, although both are very similar and are interchangeable.
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Popular Cocktail Recipes For Spring
Itâs like they always say, âApril showers bring May cocktails.â
Spring cocktails, like all the other seasonal cocktails in this guide, are profitable when theyâre popular and simpleâthereâs demand for them and their ingredient cost is low. Use a liquor cost calculator and you’ll find it translates to a low pour cost and a higher bar profit margin.
So we put together a perfect list of spring cocktails. In it, we detail the recipes for each cocktail, along with some interesting history and context around the drink itself. While context may not seem necessary, itâs an important part of wringing all the profit you can out of these cocktails. The more information you or your bartender can provide around a drinkâthe more context you deliverâthe more value you create. That makes them easier to sell or upsell as a bartender.
Our bartenders drink guide for popular spring cocktails includes:
- Harvey Wallbanger
Easy Shots For Bartenders: The 27 Best Shooter Recipes To Master
If you aim to be a great bartender, knowing some of the best shot recipes will help you achieve your goal. Well, there are the standard whiskey shot or tequila rose, which are also great!
But people are into Blowjobs, Pink Starburst, and other club soda mixes for various reasons. It is fun to do with friends, it is a quick way to becoming tipsy, and they taste great when well-made.
Knowing the best shots and shooters is critical since it will make your bar even more entertaining. Some of the most famous shot recipes served around the world are listed below. Some are delicious, some are for fun, while others will get you intoxicated quickly. And still, others are ideal for people who have already had enough!
If your guests ask for a suggestion , consider what you think theyre searching for and select the best option. So lets start!
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Why You Should Make Your Own Mixed Drinks
Theres something particularly suave about someone that knows their way around a bar. Between the precision to detail, and the dexterity, bartending is a truly impressive talent. Along with the benefits of adding an extra skill to your repertoire, knowing how to make your own cocktails can save you from a hefty bar tab.
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Easy Profitable & Popular Cocktail Recipes: Bartender Guide
In the beginning, there was the old fashioned.
That was pretty much the one cocktail around for a while. And back then it was just called a cocktail.
Now, there are countless cocktails. Thatâs great because it gives bar owners and bar managers a chance to define themselves and offer value to their guests with unique drink menus. But it can be overwhelming to choose 8â12 cocktail recipes out of thousands. And even more so when money and jobs are on the line.
This guide, then, is a path forward. As a beverage inventory management company, we have access to lots of folks in the bar and restaurant business. After consulting with them, we put together this guide of how to easily put together a profitable, popular cocktail menu. Most of it has to do with capitalizing on seasonality and simplicity.
In the first section, weâll go over the canât-miss drinks for each season. Then weâll cover some market research about cocktails in the U.S. and, finally, provide a list of the cocktails we think every bartender should know.
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Classic Cocktails Every Bartender Should Know
October 17 By Woody
Are you new to the field of bartending? Whether you are starting your first part-time bartending gig, or entertaining guests at a cocktail party If you are reading this, odds are you arent an expert.
Like any job, expertise, or skill you face a steep learning curve. The experts in the field have spent years perfecting their craft and you may feel like you are far behind
The truth is though, you dont have to be an expert to become a bartender. Also, no one expects you to be a professional mixologist.
Ever heard of the saying if you know how to read, you know how to cook? Well, bartending is not that far off.
You see, drinks build off one another behind the bar. By learning just a few drinks, you have the skills needed to learn many more. Daunting cocktails that are complex or upscale will soon be much easier to grasp.
Learn the following classics and youre half way there. These are drinks you can count on to get you started as a bartender.
Before you know it, youll be running the show. Here are five classic cocktails every bartender should know. It all starts here
What’s Included In The Bartender Cheat Sheet
If you’re training to be a bartender, or just want to step up your home bar game, this is the cheat sheet for you! Once you learn these bartending 101 recipes, you can begin to play around with flavors to create your very own custom cocktails.
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Did You Know That A Stiff Drink Is Originally Stuff That Horror Stories Are Made Of
In early 19th Century America, whiskey was served straight from barrels and these barrels of low quality hooch was also used by grave diggers to store and transport stolen bodies, since the alcohol prevented the bodies from rotting, and could pass off as barrels of whiskey in transport, The worst part is, once the bodies were transported over the newly laid railroad and were off loaded at the laboratories, the thieves wouldn’t discard the whiskey and would sell it to unsuspecting customers. These were called Stiff Drinks.
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Most Popular Mixed Drinks Are Simple
If youre new to crafting your own cocktails, the bartending world can seem intimidating. Theres a seemingly endless amount of liquor and an endless amount of drinks to make with each liquor variety. Plus many of the techniques for many popular alcoholic drinks can have a steep learning curve.
However, the truth is that many of the most exciting drinks require the least skill. With just a few simple ingredients, the right bartending tools, and some basic techniques, youll be slinging fine cocktails in no time. No need for a fancy drink mixer machinejust the will to learn a few simple tricks.
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Drinks Every Bartender Should Know: 12 Basic Cocktail Recipes
Recipes for a dozen of the most basic drinks you’ll need to know as you start bartending are available in the printable below, which functions as a cheat sheet. It includes recipes, ratios, classic garnishes, and even what glass to use. Print it and keep it with you as you study and practice. To view and print, click the image. If you need help, consult this guide for printables.
A Note On How To Use This Bartender Drinks List
There are some terms in this bartender drinks list that arenât standardized or are otherwise vague. For consistency, hereâs what we mean when we use certain units of measurement or terms:
- Shot: 1.5 oz.
- Dash: Approximately 10 single drops
- Pinch: The amount that fits between your thumb and index finger
- Top with: Fill remaining volume of glass with
- Zest: Scrape the colored fruit skin off, leaving behind white pith
- Twist: A thin piece of peel from a citrus fruit, twisted over and into a cocktail
See our bartending dictionary for more useful mixological terms.
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How Many Drink Recipes Should A Bartender Know
I get asked all the time about how many drink recipes a bartender should know before they start going out and looking for a job. Many people believe that bartenders know thousands of drinks, but its simply not true.
So how many drink recipes should a bartender know? Probably about 60 75 drinks total because every town or city that you might live in has certain drinks that are popular only in that area.
And, there are so many different variations of drinks that its simply a waste of time to memorize every single drink that was ever made. Youre probably going to be asked about a few drink recipes during your interview.
In fact, you should know what youre going to be asked, besides drink recipes, when you interview. Heres a nice list of common questions you might be asked that will help you pass that job interview with flying colors.
Allow me to elaborate on this for a bit. I have no scientific evidence, nor have I consulted with any sort of bartender drink recipe number crunchers to come up with my figures. Im going totally on what I have observed in 25 years of bartending experience. Realistically, a brand new bartender needs to know less than 100 drink recipes to get his foot in the door.
If you were to ask an experienced bartender how many drinks he knows, he could honestly say that he knows 1000s. Just off the top of my head, I can name 100 different drinks with just vodka , combined with some type of mix. Tonic, orange juice, soda, on-the-rocks, etc.
Popular Cocktail Recipes By Season
There are three primary types of cocktails you can put on your drink menu. The first are basic bartending drinks. The classics. These are the basic bar drinks and basic cocktail recipes that bartenders know like the back of their hand.
The second type of cocktails are seasonal. Seasonality is just as important as concept and clientele. Your guests will make different choices based on the time of year using different types of alcohol. Focusing on seasonal drinks is no longer restricted to the holidays when steaming toddies and buttered rums are enjoyed as a novelty. Our environment affects our decision making and thatâs as true for purchasing decisions in bars as it is in clothing stores.
The third type are signature cocktails. These are the ones you and your bartenders and mixologists create. They can be completely original or tweaks of classics and seasonal drinks.
In the following four sections, weâve combined the first two types of cocktailâclassics and seasonalâto create a list of profitable, popular cocktail recipes for each season.
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How To Use This List
This list has been designed with new bartenders in mind. Not only are the recipes on this list some of the most essential cocktails in the world, learning how to make them will also teach you the most important cocktail making techniques you need to know.
That means that the better you get at making these essential cocktails, the better youll become at mixing drinks in general.
Because the majority of cocktails use very similar techniques and formulas. That means when you come across a new recipe, all youll need to do is switch the ingredients and change some of the proportions. Its unlikely that youll need to learn any new techniques.
I highly recommend that you download this list, memorize this list, study this list, and practice making these drinks whenever you get the chance. Because youre going to be making them over and over again throughout your entire bartending career.
Once youve mastered these basic bar drinks, youll be able to pump out these essential cocktails fast, confidently tackle the vast majority of cocktail recipes, and become a better bartender for it.
Basic House Liquor Drinks
The below listed drinks are some of the most basic recipes that a bartender will encounter on a daily basis. Notice that you could make any number of variations on these drinks by simply using a call or premium liquor or changing the type of mix. Notice also that some of these drinks are listed in the list of classic drinks later on in this article. Heres about 20 of them:
- Whiskey Sour
- Jager Bomb
You could make hundreds of variations just with the above cocktails. Using different brands of alcohol, on the rocks, blended, or up. Truthfully, I could come up with a 1000 variations of just the above-listed drinks.
However, we really cannot count these variations in our list of 100 drinks to know. Does a whiskey on the rocks count? Nope. Thats the same as a Whiskey Coke, whiskey neat, whiskey water, etc. A whiskey sour, of course, counts. Just the basic recipe, mind you.
The best way to find out what the most popular drinks are in your area is to ask the local bartenders. You can try finding many recipes on the internet, but Ive found that the author of whatever article Im reading on drink recipes lists the drinks that are popular in the area he or she lives in.
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