FREE Shipping on orders over $25Now offering personalized Engravings on select products

The 10 Best Classic Cocktail Recipes You Need To Know, Part Two

Posted by Evan Prish on

I hope you’re thirsty, because The Millennium Road is back with part two of The 10 Best Classic Cocktail Recipes You Need To Know.  This week, we’re keeping the drinks flowing with five more delicious recipes for some of the most classic cocktails around.  Don’t worry, we’ll keep the introduction brief this time and get right to the recipes.

If you haven’t checked out the cocktails and recipes in part one yet, you can do so here.  If you still need bar tools to craft your cocktails, and you will need basic bar tools for these recipes, check out our 5-Piece Cocktail Mixology Set here.  It’s got everything you need to whip up these cocktails with style and ease! 

Ok, now for the recipes.


Manhattan Recipe

Manhattan cocktail in a martini glass.


  • 3oz rye whiskey (or bourbon)
  • ½ Carpano Antica (or standard Sweet Vermouth)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters


Combine all ingredients in mixing glass. Fill glass with ice and stir 20 times.  Strain into an up glass.  Garnish with a black or maraschino cherry. 

About the cocktail:

Named for New York City’s bustling borough, the Manhattan cocktail is a usual suspect you’ll find on just about every bar or restaurant’s cocktail list.  Its recipe has been recorded as early as the 1800s, when brown spirits were largely the preferred choice among Americans.  In the later part of the 20th century, however, brown spirits began to decline in popularity as different liquors from around the world started to seep into the drinks of American cocktail culture.  Thus, so did the Manhattan.  Within the past twenty to thirty years, however, brown spirits have seen an unprecedented resurgence in popularity, with the Manhattan cocktail following suit. 

Rye is the preferred liquor of choice for this cocktail, but bourbon works just the same.  Rye and bourbon are both whiskeys, just different types.  Rye is made predominantly from the rye grain, which has more of a spice and peppery flavor.  Bourbon, on the other hand is made predominantly from corn, which has more of a sweet flavor.  This is directly reflected in the taste profiles of rye and bourbon whiskey.  Whichever ingredient you choose for your Manhattan will depend on your personal taste preference.  If you’re more of a scotch person, substitute your favorite scotch for the rye/bourbon.  A scotch Manhattan is a separate cocktail entirely, known as a ‘Rob Roy’.


Piña Colada Recipe

Pina Colada cocktail.


  • 1oz white rum
  • 1oz coconut rum
  • 1oz coconut cream
  • 2oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2oz lime juice


Combine all ingredients in shaker.  Shake well.  Strain over ice into a hurricane or rocks glass.  Garnish with a pineapple slice, or a maraschino cherry (or both!)

About the cocktail:

If you’re not into yoga and like getting caught in the rain, then the Piña Colada is for you.  Literally meaning “strained pineapple” in Spanish, legend has it that a primitive version of this tropical cocktail was first invented by the notorious Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, which he used as a morale booster for his crew.  The cocktail has been named the official drink of Puerto Rico and the United States ‘observes’ National Piña Colada Day every year on July 10th.  If you’re not sure where to find coconut cream, just go to your local supermarket and ask for Coco Lopez.  It’s one of the most popular brands of coconut cream and is used by bars around the United States. 

While lime juice isn’t a make or break ingredient for this recipe, it does add an extra flavor that helps make the cocktail particularly tasty.  You can also use 2oz of white rum instead of 1oz each of white and coconut rum.  The coconut rum goes exquisitely well with the coconut cream and makes the cocktail that much smoother.  Want a frozen Piña Colada?  Combine the ingredients in a blender and add a cup of crushed ice.  You can thank me later.  


Bloody Mary Recipe

Bloody Mary cocktail.                                          


  • 2oz vodka
  • 6oz tomato juice
  • ½ tsp white horseradish
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Tabasco


Combine all ingredients in a pint glass.  Fill up with ice.  By using another pint glass, or a shaker bottom, “roll the drink”.  This is the process of pouring the drink back and forth between two shakers or glasses.  Do this 4-5 times and it should get nice and chilled.  Garnish with whatever you’d like, it’s a bloody mary!

About the cocktail:

The number one drink of hangovers and Sunday brunches, the Bloody Mary is typically served as a cocktail and a meal all in one.  Its recipe can vary depending on the bar or restaurant, but the main ingredients are always the same: vodka, tomato juice and a variety of spices.  Coincidentally similar to many other classic cocktails, the Bloody Mary’s origins are debated.  However, its famous name is widely associated with Queen Mary I of England.  Notorious for executing almost 300 of her opponents during her reign by burning them at the stake, she was fittingly given the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’. 

The recipe for this cocktail needs to be followed precisely, otherwise the drink will not come out properly.  However, changes are always welcome depending on the drinker’s taste preferences.  If you’d like a particularly spicy Bloody Mary, try a ¼ tsp more of horseradish and a couple more dashes of Tabasco.  You may find that alone will significantly increase the cocktail’s spiciness.  If you’re feeling crazy, substitute the vodka for tequila.  You now have yourself a ‘Bloody Maria’.  


Long Island Iced-Tea Recipe

Long Island Iced Tea cocktail.


  • ½ oz vodka
  • ½ oz rum
  • ½ oz tequila
  • ½ oz gin
  • ½ oz triple-sec
  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • Cola


Combine all ingredients, minus the Cola, in shaker. Shake well.  Strain into pint glass with ice.  Fill up remainder of glass with Cola.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.  

About the cocktail:

One of the booziest cocktails out there, the Long Island Iced Tea is sweet, sour and packs a punch.  The cocktail is a favorite to make amongst bartenders, many whom craft this cocktail by holding the five liquor bottles in their hands and pouring them all in at the same time.  The cocktail’s popularity has led to many variations over the years, including the California Iced Tea, Grateful Dead Iced Tea, Long Beach Iced Tea and the Electric Iced Tea.  The variations are the following:

  • California: substitute 1oz orange juice for coke, add splash of sprite 
  • Grateful Dead: substitute splash of sprite for coke, ‘float’ 1oz of Chambord
  • Long Beach: substitute splash of sprite for coke, add 1oz of cranberry juice
  • Electric: substitute splash of sprite for coke, ‘float’ 1oz of Blue Curacao 

Float means to slowly pour the ingredient on top of the cocktail after it is in the glass, allowing the liqueur to sit on top of the drink and slowly flow to the bottom.  This is a technique that can only be done with a liqueur that is thicker than the rest of the ingredients in the drink.  It also makes for a very cool aesthetic appeal.  If you want to make the cocktail even sweeter, add an extra tsp of sugar.


White Russian Recipe

White Russian cocktail.


  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • ½ oz Kahlúa
  • 1 oz cream


Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake well.  Pour (not strain) into rocks glass with the shaken ice.  

About the cocktail:

Official drink of ‘the Dude’, the White Russian is actually a variation of another cocktail called the Black Russian. The Black Russian is a type of cocktail referred to as a ‘lowball’, or a two-liquor drink.  It’s recipe only contains vodka and Khalúa.  However, somewhere along the line a daring drinker decided to spice things up by adding cream.  The cream adds a thickness to the cocktail and goes very well with Khalúa, a coffee flavored liqueur. 

In 1998, the film The Big Lebowski propelled the cocktail to international fame due to the film’s title character (aka the Dude), portrayed by Jeff Bridges, drinking White Russians throughout the movie.  While the standard way to make this cocktail is to combine the ingredients in a shaker, because of its simplicity you can actually just pour everything straight into the glass.  Start by filling the glass with ice.  Then pour in the vodka followed by the Khalúa.  Finally, pour the cream on top and stir gently.  The Dude will be proud. 


Well, there you have it folks.  That unfortunately brings us to the conclusion of The Millennium Road’s 10 Best Classic Cocktail Recipes You Need To Know.  A few pro tips and reminders before we wrap up:

  • NEVER shake with a carbonated beverage, just don’t do it.
  • Cointreau has a higher percentage of alcohol than Triple Sec, but they are both citrus-orange liqueurs.
  • Manhattans, Old-Fashioneds and Long Island Iced-Teas are all particularly boozy cocktails, drink with caution.
  • Carpano Antica is a higher quality and more expensive Sweet Vermouth
  • If you’re making a drink for someone else, use the straw technique referenced in Part-One to make sure the drink tastes right before you serve it.
  • Make sure to include all ingredients and follow recipes as they are. Different proportions will make a cocktail taste and potentially look different.
*As you start to make more cocktails and begin to understand how drink recipes work, you’ll be able to make your own variations on recipes and eventually come up with your own cocktails!  But for now, stick to the recipes.  
  • You can perfectly chill a glass by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes while you’re making the cocktail. It’ll be nice and frosty when you take it out.  Nothing is better than an ice-cold drink served in an ice-cold glass.
  • ABV stands for alcohol by volume, this is the percentage used to measure alcohol in all forms of alcoholic beverages. Your standard liquor, take vodka for example, is typically 40% alcohol by volume.  This is also the same as 80 proof.  80 proof = 40% ABV, 40 proof = 20% alcohol and so on and so forth.

If you still don’t have the bar tools necessary to make these cocktails, we got you covered.  Check out our 5-Piece Mixology Cocktail Set here.  It’s got everything you need, and more, to make all these cocktails just like a professional bartender (and with some style.)  

Questions?  Comments?  Just wanna say hi?  We’d love to hear from you!  Email for any and all inquiries.  We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

← Older Post Newer Post →