Irish Coffee
Irish Coffee

We know it’s tempting to run straight for the Bailey’s Irish Cream with this drink. It’s Irish after all, and cream does go really well with coffee. But if you want to make a real Irish Coffee, stick with Jameson, coffee and float a layer of heavy cream over the top.

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned

An Old Fashioned should be just that: old fashioned. Therefore this drink should consist only of its Prohibition-era ingredients: a good quality bourbon or rye (your choice), sugar, water, and bitters. There is no need to pulverize any fruit for this one. Feel free to drop an orange peel in for garnish though.

Daiquiri
Daiquiri

The common misconception here is that daiquiris need to be frozen and loaded with strawberry syrup. Neither is true. A classic daiquiri calls for 2 ounces of your favorite light rum, 3/4th ounce of lime juice, and 3/4th ounce of simple syrup. Sub the simple syrup for maraschino liqueur and add grapefruit juice to serve a Hemingway Daiquiri.

Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

How many vegetables can fit in one glass? Garnish preferences aside, the often-overlooked ingredient here is Worcestershire sauce, which is crucial since the fresh tomato juice (that you are undoubtedly using) needs that extra kick of salt. Fresh basil can really liven up this morning cocktail as well.

Scotch
Scotch

OK, so it’s not exactly a cocktail but so many people waste perfectly good scotch that it needs to be addressed on this list. Outside of a Rob Roy and a few other classics, there are two ways to drink scotch: on the rocks or neat.

Long Island Iced Tea
Long Island Iced Tea

Yes, the name says tea. No, there’s none of it in this drink. Now that we have that out of the way, don’t forget the tequila! A real Long Island Tea has tequila, gin, vodka, light rum, and triple sec (yes, all of it). Ditch the gin and double the tequila to make a Texas Tea. As always, fresh lemon juice is better than sweet and sour mix.

Mojito
Mojito

For some reason people think that if they’re not picking mint shreds out of their teeth, they aren’t drinking a good mojito. The truth is, when you pulverize and shred the mint in the glass, it creates a rather bitter flavor that can ruin your drink. Instead, try lightly tapping the mint with a bar spoon, or smacking them with your hand to get the flavor just right.

Cosmopolitan
Cosmopolitan

Finally, you and your girlfriends can watch that "Sex and the City" marathon in style, knowing you’re doing it the right way! First of all, quit drowning your cosmos in cranberry juice, it should only be there for color. Secondly, toss out that low-grade triple sec in favor of an orange liqueur worthy of your tastes. It really makes all the difference here.

Tom Collins
Tom Collins

Too many people reach for Sprite with this drink. That ends today! Here’s the recipe you’re looking for: 1.5 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, half an ounce of simple syrup, and 2 ounces of carbonated soda water.

Whiskey Sour
Whiskey Sour

Like so many other cocktails, the whiskey sour has been streamlined in the fast-paced bar industry and now uses sweet and sour mix as its main mixer. To make a whiskey sour that will really knock your socks off, use simple syrup and a little freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. For extra credit, add an egg white to the shaker to make yourself a Boston Sour.

Mint Julep
Mint Julep

The classic Kentucky Derby cocktail. The Mint Julep must be served with crushed ice in a frosted tin cup, otherwise it’s not a julep. Any other method would be closer to a whiskey smash. As with the mojito, be careful not to overwork your mint. We find something satisfying about smacking vs. muddling your mint anyway.

Dry Martini
Dry Martini

Reaching for the vodka for this one? Shame on you! Martinis are made with gin. There is some debate as to how much dry vermouth should be used, but we have found that a 3 to 1 ratio of gin to vermouth is palatable to most tastes. Also, you’re not James Bond. This one should be stirred.

Margarita
Margarita

There are five ingredients to a good margarita. Tequila, orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier are our favorites), lime juice, ice, and salt. Notice that sweet and sour mix isn’t on this list. It shouldn’t be on any list. Ever.

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