5 Classic Cocktails to Host the Perfect Night at Home

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What a crazy time we’ve been living through with the impact and effects of the Covid-19.  With lock-down restrictions easing up across the country, eventually, you’ll be able to head out to your favorite bar, but still, isn’t it always dope to entertain in style at home?

Whether you are hosting a small, sophisticated group or simply having your special someone over, here are 5 classic cocktail recipes that give a range of tastes and flavors to help keep mouths happy as you guide the night.

Daiquiri

Photo Credit: PunchDrink

This isn’t the overly sweet and frozen one that you can find at any Applebee’s!  Now, we’re talking about the perfectly balanced, nuanced and deliciously sour recipe that you can serve either straight up in a cocktail glass or on the rocks.  You’ll need 2 ounces of white Rum, 1 ounce of lime juice and ¾ ounce of simple syrup.   To prepare the simple syrup in advance, add equal parts sugar and warm water, then stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Here’s how you make the cocktail:

In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients with four or five ice cubes, then shake.

Double strain the cocktail to catch any loose pieces of ice.  You can garnish it with a piece of lime.

Negroni

Photo Credit: Town and Country

This is the quintessential “before dinner” cocktail!  It arouses both your palate and your stomach, getting you and your guests ready to move on to the next part of the evening.

There’s equal parts (1 ounce) of gin Campari and sweet vermouth.

Here’s how you make the cocktail:

In a rocks glass, add ice cubes and the three ingredients, and stir.  Then, express an orange peel over the glass as a garnish.

Gin Gimlet

Photo Credit: Alex Overhiser

This classic cocktail is a great way to keep the party going all night and to leave your guests are wanting more.  The Gin Gimlet is a “sour” cocktail, so just like the Daiquiri, there is a balance between the sweet and sour tastes.  You’ll need 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of fresh lime juice and ¾ of your simple syrup.

Here’s how you make the cocktail:

In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients with four or five ice cubes, then shake.

Double strain the cocktail to catch any loose pieces of ice.  Garnish it with a piece of lime or cucumber.  You can serve it without ice, in a cocktail glass or on the rocks.

Photo Credit: Alex Overhise

Are you ready to slow things yet?  This classic cocktail will no doubt up your hosting game as you and your guest pull in closer to talk about the evening.  All you need is 2 ½ ounces of gin, and ½  of dry vermouth and 2 dashes of orange bitters.  Easy!

Here’s how you make the cocktail:

Fill your mixing glass with ice cubes, and add the ingredients. Lightly stir and pour in a martini glass.  You can garnish this cocktail with a lemon twist or an olive.

Bourbon Old-Fashioned

Photo Credit: Shawn William, Kitchen Swagger

Strong, spicy and bitter – sipping on this cocktail is always a nice transition into the night to come. You’ll need 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon, ½ teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of water and 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.

Here’s how you make the cocktail:

In a rocks glass, add the sugar, water, and Angostura bitters, then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Next, add ice cubes and bourbon, continue to stir very easily to chill down the whiskey.  To finish off, lightly squeeze orange peel over the glass to express the oils.

Written By: Sterling Hudson

Sterling Hudson is a mixologist and writer. He has worked behind the bar in New York City, Istanbul, London and is now the Bar Director and Head Bartender at Octopus in Paris, France.

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