The 20-Something Girl’s Guide To Classic Cocktails

It’s Friday and you’re headed out to celebrate the end of the work/school week with your friends by grabbing some food and drinks at your favorite local spot. Typically, you would order a vodka soda or a rum and coke, but on this particular day you feel like branching out a little bit and ordering something a little more “grown up.” It’s your lucky day, because below is your new best friend; A Quick Guide to Classic Cocktails!

When you’re in the mood for something classic | Martini

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Made with gin, dry vermouth, and orange bitters, and garnished with a lemon twist, the Dry Martini is a great option for someone looking for a strong yet classy cocktail.

If you’re not a big fan of gin, you can also order a Classic Martini which is made with vodka, dry vermouth, and orange bitters. The Classic Martini is garnished with an olive, rather than a lemon twist.

When you’re in the mood for something strong | Manhattan

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The Manhattan is a timeless cocktail made with whiskey or bourbon, Italian sweet vermouth, bitters, and garnished with a cherry or a lemon twist (depending on your bartender). It is very strong, so if you’re someone who prefers mixed drinks, the Manhattan is not for you!

When you’re in the mood for something citrusy | Cosmopolitan

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The Cosmopolitan is easily one of the most widely recognized, and sexiest cocktails of all time. The classic Cosmopolitan is made with citrus vodka, cointreau, fresh lime juice, and cranberry juice, however there are plenty of different renditions to reach out to handfuls of different tastes. Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw, and order a cosmopolitan as your after dinner cocktail.

When you’re in the mood for something strong, yet sweet | Old Fashioned

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An Old Fashioned is typically made with sugar, bitters, water, and whiskey and garnished with lemon and/or orange twists. The Old Fashioned is one of those cocktails that has several different variations determined by either your location, your bartender, or the type of restaurant you’re at. The Old Fashioned isn’t as strong as the Manhattan or the Martini, as the prominence of the whiskey is slightly toned down due to the sugar and citrus flavors.

When you’re in the mood for something simple but bold | Gin & Tonic

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Even though Gin & Tonics are a basic and extremely simple cocktail, flavor is not something they lack. They are made with gin and tonic water, and garnished with either a lemon or a lime wedge. Some people say that the Gin & Tonic has a salty taste to it, while others say the flavor resembles pine. The Gin & Tonic is also considered to be a refreshing cocktail due to its simplicity and carbonation.

When you’re in the mood for something sweet & refreshing| Mojito

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The Mojito is a great cocktail for someone who likes carbonation, and a sweet citrus flavor. It is made with mint leaves, simple syrup, lime juice, white rum, and club soda and garnished with a sprig of mint or a lime wedge. The overload on refreshing flavors and the clean feeling of the carbonation easily subdues the flavor of the rum, making it an easily enjoyable cocktail for virtually anyone.

When you’re in the mood for something sour | Gimlet

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Made with gin, lime juice, and simple syrup and garnished with a lime wheel, the Gimlet is a cocktail that really lends itself to a more sour flavor. The lime juice and the gin work together to create a strong yet enjoyable cocktail. Unless you’re really sensitive to more sour flavors, the Gimlet shouldn’t make you pucker your lips, but should leave a limey flavor in your mouth. Although it isn’t typically made with vodka, if gin isn’t your thing you can order a gimlet made with vodka instead.

When you’re in the mood for something refreshing and sweet | Mint Julep

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The Mint Julep is a Kentucky Derby classic made with raw sugar syrup, mint leaves, and bourbon. Typically it’s garnished with a few dashes of bitters atop a dome of crushed ice, and a spring of mint. Some people say that the Mint Julep tastes like sweet limeade with mint undertones, therefor it’s definitely viewed as a refreshing cocktail for a hot summer’s day.

When you’re in the mood for something spicy | Moscow Mule

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Made with vodka, ginger beer, and freshly squeezed lime juice and garnished with a lime wheel, the Moscow Mule is another simple cocktail with a more spicy kick behind it. However, a lot of Moscow Mule drinkers prefer to drink their cocktail after dinner, rather than during. Typically, the Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug, but depending on the bartender it can also be served in a highball glass.

When you’re in the mood for something bubbly and sweet | Paloma

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The Paloma is a Cinco de Mayo classic, made with with tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda and garnished with a lime wedge or half of a grapefruit wheel. The paloma touches on both the sweet and sour taste buds, and because of the grapefruit soda, gives off a refreshing vibe. This cocktail makes the perfect end of the work week refresher.

Paige Songer

Editorial Contributor, Cazenovia College Major: Interior Design Her heart belongs to: Chocolate, Mojitos, Neutral Colored Clothes (mostly black), The New York Islanders (esp. John Tavares), Dave Matthews Band, the Gulf of Mexico. Her guilty pleasures: Bath & Body Works, Adam Sandler/Rob Schneider Movies, 90's Alternative Rock bands, Emojis.

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