Beers are great and wines are sweet, but there’s no party without a cocktail. It is just not complete. You get to mix up a couple of drinks and set your own party mood with cocktails. Who does not love that? So in the spirit of TGIF, here are some of the best selling classic cocktails out there, as compiled by Drinks International:
10. Moscow Mule
Down to number 10, the copper-cladded Moscow Mule is no longer the top vodka classic in the list. But, with 28% of bars saying it’s in their top 10, all is not lost for this simple serve. For a slightly sweeter, oaky version, try swapping the vodka for bourbon and serve up a Kentucky Mule.
9. Aperol Spritz
The Aperol Spritz is popular again – just like it was in the 1950s. It’s up two places and features in the top 10 for the first time, with 30% of bars naming it in their top 10. Created by the Barbieri Brothers in the 1900s, Aperol was their answer to a lighter pre-dinner tipple. Aperol, prosseco and a splash of soda – it shouldn’t be that easy.
The Margarita might be down two places but it has retained its spot as the top tequila classic in our list. While only 7% of bars named the Margarita in their top three, 31% named it in the top 10. For a complete twist on the recipe, try making Margherita Margarita, by Ben Hardy at Lucky Liquor, Edinburgh, who uses mozzarella-infused tequila, cherry tomato shrub, basil, celery, lime, agave nectar and orange bitter.
7. Espresso Martini
Thanks to its renaissance in the bar industry, the Espresso Martini is now a reinvigorated classic among consumers. This coffee-based cocktail has climbed up two places this year and has been ranked in the top 10 by 32% of bars. Known also as the Vodka Espresso and Pharmaceutical Stimulant, the name Espresso Martini finally stuck, maybe due to its V-shaped glass.
6. Dry Martini
The origins of the Dry Martini might be murky but what’s clear is that, in sixth place, this gin-based classic is still popular. Despite being down two places from last year, 35% of bars still put it in their top 10. Some people who don’t enjoy the botanicals in gin might swap it for vodka – we say a Vodkatini just doesn’t compare, as you’ll see further down.
Rising up since its surprising fall last year is the Manhattan. Around 10% say it’s in their top three and 40% say it’s in their top 10. The Manhattan has become commonplace drinking in cafes and restaurants on the German Föhr island. It was said to have been adopted after deep-sea fishing trips to Manhattan. Who knew?
Daiquiri is the most ordered rum cocktail in the list. While only 4% of bars put it as their first choice, the Cuban classic has still managed to move up one place, with 48% naming it in their top 10. If it was good enough for Ernest Hemingway, It’s good enough for the world’s best bars.
3. Whiskey Sour
Whiskey, Boston or New York, take your pick. The name and recipe might vary slightly but the cocktail remains consistent in our list, third place for the second year running. It is said the Whiskey Sour recipe was first published in the Jerry Thomas book The Bon Vivant’s Companion in 1862. It’s come a long way since and although it doesn’t fare as well as a first choice for bartenders (5%), 50% of bars included it in their top 10.
It all started with Count Camillio Negroni and his request for a stronger Americano, and bartender Fosco Scarselli who replaced soda water with gin. The rest is history. Negroni is a worthy runner up, with 19% of bars saying it’s their number one classic. This iconic Italian cocktail has been in second place for five years running and there’s no sign of it wavering. Try Dante’s Negroni: One ounce Bombay Sapphire, ¾ ounce Campari, ¾ ounce Martini Rossi.
1. Old Fashioned
Serve me a drink the old fashioned way. For the fifth year running The Old Fashioned has retained the top spot in the list and in the hearts of bartenders. There’s certainly nothing out-of-fashion about this American whiskey classic. Just like last year, nearly 30% of bars polled said it was their number one selling classic cocktail. Whichever way it’s been referred to throughout history, A Bittered Sling, Cocktail or Old Fashioned one thing remains the same, its popularity.
So whether you work at a bar or you’re about to host the most lit party yet, here’s your guide to what most of your guests cannot say no to.