7 of the most quintessential cocktails of all time

June 24, 2016 •

4 min reading

7 of the most quintessential cocktails of all time

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Cocktails might be one of the most widely accepted forms of hospitality in the world. Used to welcome guests, mark special occasions and mile stones, and bring friends closer together.

To set the mood for your next cocktail party, Christophe Laurent, Senior Lecturer Practical Arts & EHL Values Ambassador, have compiled some of the most quintessential cocktails that every bartender (or host) should know how to make, and their histories.


Bloody Mary

This daytime cocktail pays homage to Queen Mary I, or Mary Tudor, nicknamed Bloody Mary due to her turbulent history fighting to hold onto the throne of England while unsuccessfully trying to bear children. Since then, the drink has become a popular brunch staple and was made famous in the 1958 musical South Pacific by a song with the same title.

Ingredients: 3 parts vodka, 6 parts tomato juice, 1 part lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation: If possible, season the tomato juice with lemon and any desired spices for at least an hour prior to serving. When ready, mix ingredients well and serve in a tall glass over ice. Garnish with celery, olives, pickled vegetables, bacon, or shrimp.



This beloved Mexican drink originated in Tijuana Mexico at a small, local restaurant called Rancho La Gloria in 1938 to make tequila more palatable. The cocktail become wildly popular and the central part of many Jose Cuervo tequila marketing campaigns, singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville empire, and a bar-staple across the globe.

Ingredients: 7 parts tequila, 4 parts Cointreau or Triple Sec, 3 parts lime juice.

Preparation: Margaritas are usually served with a salt, chili, or sugar rim and can be made on the rocks or blended with ice.Simple shake or blend the ingredients together and enjoy.



Although this cocktail has gained tremendous popularity in recent years from the smash hit American television show Sex and the City, the cosmopolitan has been around since the 1970's and did, in fact, hail from New York. Award winning New York mixologist Toby Cecchini is often credited with creating this light, flavorful cocktail for some of his most elegant clients.

Ingredients: 3 parts vodka, 1 part Cointreau, 2 parts cranberry juice, 1 part lime juice.

Preparation: Shake ingredients well over ice until they are very cold, strain, and serve in a martini glass. Cosmopolitans should be served straight up without ice and rarely include a garnish.



The Manhattan cocktail was first shaken up at the Manhattan Club in - you guessed it - Manhattan in 1870's. Ian Marshall is often cited as the bartender who dreamed up this rich, elegant cocktail for Winston Churchill's mother. Today, it's one of the most frequently requested cocktails at bars.

Ingredients: 2 parts whiskey 1 part sweet vermouth, A dash of bitters, Orange peel garnish

Preparation: Shake whiskey, vermouth and bitters over ice and strain into a low cocktail glass without ice. Before garnishing, rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass for an added subtle flavor. Serve cold.

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The history of the martini is somewhat unclear. Some believe it was invented in San Francisco, others say it was born in New York City. Still others claim that Italian vermouth maker Martini and Rossi dreamed up the drink to sell their product. No matter how the martini got to us, it's one of the most popular, iconic, and well known cocktails in history.

Ingredients: 6 parts gin or vodka, 1 part dry vermouth.

Preparation: Shake the ingredients over ice and served straight up in a martini glass or on the rocks in a low cocktail glass with your desired garnishes. Many patrons also enjoy a dirty martini, which adds a splash of olive juice to the drink before shaking. Garnish with a lemon twist or olives.


Wiskey Sour

Often thought to be created by Peruvian mixologists in the late 1800's, whiskey sours have been around for several centuries. They build from the popular South American pisco sour cocktail, and have become a popular take on an old favorite.

Ingredients: 3 parts bourbon, 1 part lemon juice,1 part lime juice, 1 part simple syrup, Optional dash of egg whites

Preparation: Shake all ingredients over ice, strain and serve with ice.



Named after Daiquiri Beach in Cuba, this fruity, tropical drink is a summer staple. The drink traveled from Cuba to Navy bases near Washington, DC and became popularized by U.S. President John F. Kennedy during his presidency. The drink spread during the 1940's because rum was so easily imported from Cuba, making it an inexpensive - but delicious - option.

Ingredients: 3 parts white rum, 2 parts lime juice (or mango or strawberry juice), 1 part simple syrup

Preparation: Daiquiris are most commonly blended with ice and served frozen, but they can also be served straight up without ice. Simple mix the ingredients, blend and serve, or shake and strain into a chilled glass.

This article does not advocate or encourage the abuse of alcoholic beverages.
Please drink responsibly and with moderation.

Written by

MOGB - EHL Values Ambassador

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