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12 Must-Try 1960s Cocktails

The 1960s were a swinging time for cocktails, with a surge in creativity and a shift towards more stylish and sophisticated drinks. These cocktails are a delightful mix of classic and innovative, perfect for anyone looking to add a touch of retro glamour to their gatherings. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail connoisseur or just looking to shake things up, the recipes from this era offer a fun and flavorful journey through mixology history. From elegant soirees to laid-back gatherings, 1960s cocktails are sure to add a dash of vintage charm to any occasion.

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Alcoholic Lime and Gin Gimlet with a Garnish

This refreshing cocktail combines the vibrant flavors of gin and lime juice. The Gimlet strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy, making it a popular choice for those who appreciate a zesty twist. Enjoy it over ice and let the citrusy notes dance on your palate. It’s an effortless drink to make, requiring only a few simple steps, yet it never fails to impress with its crisp and vibrant taste. Embrace the classic sophistication of the Gimlet and indulge in a sip of timeless elegance.

White Russian

Bartender finishing a White Russian cocktail

A creamy delight, the White Russian is a blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, and a luscious touch of cream. This indulgent cocktail is smooth and velvety, offering a rich coffee flavor with a hint of sweetness. Savor it over ice, allowing the flavors to meld together, and relish in its luxurious character. The White Russian is cherished for its ability to transport you to a state of pure indulgence. Take a moment to treat yourself and experience the creamy allure of this iconic concoction.

Dirty Martini

dirty martini cocktail with bottles of ingredients in the background

For the adventurous palate, the Dirty Martini delivers a bold and savory experience. Combining vodka or gin with a splash of olive brine, this cocktail offers a distinctive and slightly salty flavor profile. It’s an acquired taste, prized by those who appreciate the unique twist it brings to the classic Martini. Delivered in a chilled glass and garnished with a briny olive, the Dirty Martini is a sophisticated choice that adds a touch of excitement to any occasion. Dive into the intriguing world of the Dirty Martini and discover a whole new realm of flavors.

Whiskey Sour

whiskey sour with cherry and orange peel garnish

This timeless classic is a harmonious fusion of whiskey, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a hint of sweetness. The Whiskey Sour boasts a perfect balance between tart and smooth, creating a well-rounded flavor profile that delights the senses. Presented over ice and garnished with a cherry or a citrus twist, this cocktail exudes an air of sophistication. Its simplicity in preparation belies the complexity of its taste. Give in to the allure of the Whiskey Sour and experience the timeless charm that has captivated cocktail enthusiasts for generations.

Old Fashioned

Bourbon Old Fashioned Cocktails

A true classic, the Old Fashioned is a masterpiece that showcases the beauty of simplicity. Combining whiskey, sugar, and bitters, this cocktail is a testament to the art of mixology. The Old Fashioned is an embodiment of elegance and refinement, inviting you to savor each sip as the flavors unfold. Chilled to a refreshing degree over a large ice cube and garnished with a citrus twist, it offers a smooth and subtly sweet taste. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia and sophistication of the Old Fashioned and be transported to a bygone era.


manhattan cocktail

The Manhattan is a sophisticated blend of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters. This iconic cocktail embodies the essence of urban elegance. Its complex and robust flavor profile showcases the depth and character of the whiskey, complemented by the subtle sweetness of the vermouth. Delivered in a chilled glass with a cherry garnish, the Manhattan exudes confidence and refinement. Let the rich notes of this timeless classic transport you to the bustling streets of Manhattan, where every sip tells a story of sophistication and style.


Sidecar cocktail

A classic from the Prohibition era, the Sidecar is a harmonious blend of brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. This cocktail embodies the perfect balance between sweet, tart, and citrusy flavors. Bathed in a sugar-rimmed glass, the Sidecar exudes a touch of elegance and indulgence. Its smooth and well-rounded taste is a testament to the craftsmanship of mixology. This cocktail has stood the test of time and continues to captivate discerning palates with its timeless appeal.

Bee’s Knees

Bee's Knees Cocktail Recipe

Sweet, floral, and absolutely delightful, the Bee’s Knees is a cocktail that showcases the enchanting flavors of gin, honey, and lemon juice. Its name perfectly captures its essence – it’s the bee’s knees, indeed! This quenching drink strikes a perfect balance between the floral notes of honey and the citrusy brightness of lemon. Adorned with the cool touch of ice and garnished with a lemon twist, the Bee’s Knees is a true crowd-pleaser, favored by both gin aficionados and those who appreciate a touch of sweetness. Give in to the buzz and let the Bee’s Knees whisk you away to a world of sunny bliss.

Rob Roy

rob roy cocktail

This cocktail pays homage to the Scottish spirit, combining whisky, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters. The Rob Roy is a rich and robust drink, boasting the distinct character of whiskey and the mellow sweetness of vermouth. Embraced by the icy allure and garnished with a cherry, it exudes an air of sophistication and refinement. The Rob Roy is a drink that commands attention, recognized by those who appreciate the smoky complexity of a well-crafted Scotch cocktail. Immerse yourself in the world of Scottish charm and savor the timeless elegance of the Rob Roy.


a glass of Sazerac cocktail with ingredients as background

This cocktail is a New Orleans classic, served in an old fashioned glass. The Sazerac is a classic rye whiskey cocktail. It also uses absinthe or another anise-forward liqueur, although you will only rinse the glass with this ingredient to add a touch of flavor. To make this drink, you’ll also need a sugar cube and bitters, muddled together for some sweetness and spice. The Sazerac should be served without ice and with a lemon peel garnish.

Rusty Nail

a glass of rusty nail

A harmonious marriage of Scotch whisky and Drambuie, the Rusty Nail is a cocktail that exudes warmth and indulgence. This simple yet delightful drink balances the rich and smoky flavors of Scotch with the sweet and herbal notes of Drambuie. Accompanied by ice and garnished with a lemon twist, the Rusty Nail is a drink that appeals to those who appreciate the complexity of whisky-based cocktails. It’s a sip of pure sophistication and comfort, perfect for cozy evenings or gatherings with friends. Embrace the allure of the Rusty Nail and let its smooth and flavorful embrace whisk you away.

Planter’s Punch

planters punch cocktail

Transport yourself to the tropical shores with the vibrant and fruity flavors of the Planter’s Punch. This rum-based cocktail is a delightful blend of dark rum, citrus juices, grenadine, and a hint of sweetness. Set upon a bed of ice with a garnish of tropical fruit, it’s a soothing and satisfying drink that embodies the spirit of relaxation. Loved for its lively and exotic taste, the Planter’s Punch is a favorite among beachgoers and those seeking a taste of paradise. Treat yourself to a sip of sunshine and let the Planter’s Punch ignite your senses with its tropical symphony.

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A classic Gimlet cocktail in a vintage coupe glass, the drink is a crystal-clear mix of gin and lime juice, garnished with a twist of lime. The cocktail is set against a dark, elegant bar backdrop with subdued lighting, highlighting the simplicity and elegance of the drink. Soft light reflects through the drink, casting a delicate glow on the surface. The background is a tasteful blur of bar accessories, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and timelessness.

12 1960s Cocktail Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.7 from 3 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 1960s cocktails
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Step back in time with the most popular cocktails of the 1960s.


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12 Must-Try 1960s Cocktails
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4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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A classic Manhattan cocktail served in a chilled martini glass, reflecting its sophistication and elegance. The Manhattan should have a deep, reddish-brown hue, a signature trait from the mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. A maraschino cherry should gracefully garnish the drink, adding a touch of color and sweetness. The setting should be refined and luxurious, with the glass placed on a polished, dark wood bar top. The background should be softly blurred, ensuring the focus is on the cocktail. Warm, ambient lighting should bathe the drink in a soft glow, highlighting the rich colors and the transparent, smooth texture of the Manhattan.

16 Must-Try 1940s Cocktails

A classic Daiquiri cocktail served in a chilled, elegant cocktail glass, symbolizing its timeless charm and simplicity. The Daiquiri should have a clear, light color with a hint of lime green, reflecting the freshness of the lime juice mixed with rum and sugar. A thin lime wheel or a twist of lime peel should garnish the drink, adding a touch of color and hinting at its crisp, tart flavor. The setting should be minimalist and refined, with the glass placed on a sleek, modern bar counter. The background should be tastefully blurred, drawing the viewer's attention to the cocktail. Soft, natural lighting should illuminate the drink, highlighting the clean lines of the glass and the transparent, refreshing appearance of the Daiquiri.

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