As the name suggests, the Bee’s Knees cocktail is heavy on honey, with a flash of gin to brighten up the flavors. Add a bit of citrus, and you have a drink worth celebrating. Thinning the honey with hot water will help keep the consistency smooth and sweet.
There’s a reason why gin fizz cocktails tend to top bartenders’ lists; they’re delicious and versatile. Although you’ll have to put in a little legwork to get the egg just right, once you nail it, you’ll have a floral, slightly citruses drink that will wow anyone.
The perennially popular sidecar has many variations, but the classic one remains the best. Fortunately, you can make this cocktail in a matter of minutes with a generous pour of Cognac, some Cointreau, and a bit of citrus juice. Garnish with a lemon twist, and you’re ready to go.
If you don’t like gin, you can swap vodka in for this simple yet sophisticated recipe. All you need is a bit of homemade syrup, some citrus, a touch of gin or vodka, and lime. Then, add lime to garnish or extra in the cocktail for a little more punch.
Excellent champagne is the key to this beautiful drink. Gin and lemon juice give it a kick, and simple syrup makes the whole thing blend together. Add lemon juice to taste, and you will have a bubbly, citrus-heavy drink suitable for any occasion. A curled lemon peel makes the ideal garnish.
Another vintage gin cocktail sure to please, the Classic Martinez is a fun fusion of vermouth, gin, Maraschino liqueur, and bitters. The Maraschino liqueur gives it a unique and elevated flavor, and a twist of orange peel adds just the right amount of bite and citrus. Make to order.
Unlock your inner James Bond with this classic cocktail you can make in seconds. With a heady combination of vodka and gin, this drink isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it makes a fantastic celebratory sip. A bit of Lillet Blanc adds smoothness, and artfully placed lemon peels give it a stunning presentation.
The Lillet Blanc in this drink takes it to the next level making it super dry but still smooth, and the gin gives it a nice kick. Elevate the citrus flavor with a combination of Cointreau, orange garnish, and lemon juice. Made correctly, it’s balanced and a bit biting but strong enough to revive a corpse.
This southern specialty is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby and front porch sipping, but you can still enjoy this minty, bourbon-laced drink even if you don’t engage in either of those activities. Plus, it’s easy enough to make Mint Juleps in bulk with sugar, water, mint, and some spirits. As a result, they’re the perfect party drink.
The luxe and delicious Brandy Alexander gets its velvety feel from creme de cacao and cream. It utilizes a tasty but underrated liquor, Cognac, and has an old-world taste accented by nutmeg. Brandy Alexanders take minutes to prepare, but you should make them individually since they taste best shaken and served ice-cold.
As one of the most straightforward but deeply nuanced vintage cocktails to make, Tom Collins is a bright and bubbly combination of club soda and gin, with some lemon juice to add depth. This cocktail is super easy to prepare but should be made individually, so the club soda doesn’t go flat.
Whether you use bourbon or whiskey as the base, Old Fashioneds are incredible drinks. However, they take a bit of bartending skill to make and some unconventional ingredients like Angostura bitters and brandied cherries. You’ll also need to muddle the mixture at the bottom of a rocks glass to integrate the sugar, bitters, and fruit to their full extent.
Manhattans are martinis’ sweeter, bourbon-based cousin, making full use of sweet vermouth and cherry. Serve them up in small martini glasses with a cherry garnish. The sweet and sour flavor has an old-school appeal and will certainly make your next party a sophisticated, fabulous success.
Newly popular negronis are gin, vermouth, and bitters drinks that are herbaceous and just a little bit tart. One of the best aspects of the negroni is that you can adapt it to fit nearly every taste and style, tossing in club soda or swapping out the gin for whiskey. Most negronis use sweet vermouth, but you can also swap in dry if you’d like.
If there’s one thing the sazerac does well, it’s to provide a beautiful balance on the palate. Although traditional sazeracs use absinthe, you can also use any different type of anise liqueur that you’d like, a splash of premium rye whiskey, and some sugar. Garnish with a citrus twist, and you’re ready to enjoy.
A flip on the negroni, these drinks use bourbon instead of gin and Campari for a more robust final product. The sweet vermouth keeps things relatively light, and a citrus twist adds just the slightest amount of depth and tang. You can serve this drink over ice or sip it neat.
Classic whiskey sours are pretty easy to make, but you need to spend a little time in the kitchen, and you will need to craft each one individually for the best result. Start off with rye whiskey or bourbon, simple syrup, and egg white. Then, add lemon juice and bitters to taste. The egg white gives it a foamy, dreamy consistency.
A vivid green, herbaceous cocktail that’s got some tremendous balance, this cocktail features maraschino cherry liqueur, an underused spirit, and green Chartreuse. Garnish your cocktails with a liberal dose of maraschino cherries and a splash of gin. The result is light but potent.
These vintage cocktails are enough to prompt anyone to stand up and say cheers. Best of all, most of them are super easy to whip up in no time and require common kitchen ingredients.
Did we leave your favorite vintage cocktail out of this list? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to check it out!
I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.
In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.