Bartending 101: Basic Drink Recipes for Beginners

Bartending 101: Basic Drink Recipes for Beginners

Whether it’s an Old Fashioned or a Bloody Mary, some drinks are ubiquitous to the bartending trade. Any bartender worth their (margarita) salt knows how to make these iconic concoctions. 

Whether you are a bartender by trade or just an enthusiast, here are some timeless drinks every cocktail connoisseur should know how to make. These bartending basics will serve you well, whether you’re at happy hour or just happy at home. 

Old Fashioned

The origins of the Old Fashioned date back to the early 1800s, when it was one of the first official cocktails on record. Though relatively simple to make, its complex flavors are still popular, and it remains one of the best-known drinks around the world.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube (or ½ tsp. sugar)
  • 2 - 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash water
  • Ice
  • Orange peel or cocktail cherry garnish

Instructions

  1. Add sugar cube, bitters, and water to a whiskey tumbler.
  2. Muddle until sugar cube is dissolved (skip if not using sugar cube).
  3. Fill glass with ice and top with bourbon or rye whiskey.
  4. Gently stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Serve with orange peel or cherry garnish.

Margarita

Making a quick and refreshing classic margarita is simple with Demitri’s All-Natural Margarita Mix. Take your margs to the next level with one of our spiced Rim Shot salt rimmers!  

Ingredients

  • Demitri’s All-Natural Margarita Mix
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Demitri’s Rim Shot salt rimmer
  • Lime wedge garnish

Instructions

  1. Wet the glass rim with lime wedge.
  2. Coat glass rim with Demitri’s Rim Shot salt rimmer.
  3. Combine Demitri’s All-Natural Margarita Mix, orange liqueur, and tequila in cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  4. Pour into salted glass and serve with lime wedge garnish.

Moscow Mule

This popular drink has nothing to do with Moscow (or mules, for that matter). The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug that is both aesthetically pleasing and keeps the drink particularly cold. Once you learn this classic, you can get creative with its many variations. 

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedge garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine vodka, lime juice, and ice in a copper mug.
  2. Top mixture with ginger beer. Stir to combine fully.
  3. Serve in copper mug with lime wedge garnish.

Whiskey Sour

A perfect balance of ingredients is essential for a successful whiskey sour. These various ingredients combine bright citrus with floral notes for a sweet finish. The egg white is optional, but we love the rich, creamy texture it introduces to the finished drink. 

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • Ice
  • Orange slice or cherry garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (if using) in a cocktail shaker. 
  2. Dry shake for about 30 seconds.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled.
  4. Strain into a rocks or coupe glass over fresh ice.
  5. Serve with orange slice or cherry garnish.

Mimosa

A boozy brunch staple, a mimosa hits the spot in just about any occasion. Made with equal parts sparkling wine and orange juice, the light, refreshing, and sweet (but not too sweet!) mimosa is easy to master and perfect for experimenting with your favorite add-ins.  

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle dry, sparkling wine (champagne, prosecco, or whatever you prefer)
  • 3 cups orange juice (chilled)

Instructions

  1. Pour sparkling wine into a pitcher.
  2. Top with orange juice. 
  3. Serve.

Bloody Mary

Next to the mimosa, no cocktail has a monopoly on brunch quite like the Bloody Mary, so concocting a classic Bloody Mary an essential skill for any bartender-to-be. Demitri’s All-Natural Bloody Mary Seasoning makes it easy to whip up a delicious drink (or a dozen) in no time at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 tsp. Demitri’s All-Natural Bloody Mary Seasoning
  • 6 - 8 oz. tomato juice
  • 1 - 2 oz. vodka
  • Ice
  • Demitri’s Rim Shot salt rimmer
  • Demitri’s Pepperoni Straw

Instructions

  1. Wet a pint glass rim with lime wedge.
  2. Coat glass rim with Demitri’s Rim Shot salt rimmer.
  3. Combine Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning, tomato juice, vodka, and ice in the glass. 
  4. Stir to chill and combine.
  5. Garnish with pepperoni straws, celery sticks, or other fun Bloody Mary toppings.

Martini

Martinis are so well-known that even the glasses they’re served in bear their name. Mastering the classic recipe is the first step to mastering the many martini variations that exist, such as the dirty martini that adds olive juice to the mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ oz. gin
  • ½ oz. dry vermouth
  • Ice
  • Green olive or lemon twist garnish

Instructions

  1. Before anything else, put your serving glass into the freezer to chill.
  2. Combine gin, dry vermouth, and ice into a mixing glass. Stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain mixture into chilled glass.
  4. Garnish: For olives, simply spear the olives and place in the glass. If using a lemon twist, cut a piece of lemon peel with a small, sharp knife. You can shape the peel with your fingers or wrap it around a clean kitchen instrument to create a twist. Place it on the rim of the glass or in the drink.

Cocktail Cheat Sheet: Demitri’s Gourmet Mixes

The aspiring bartender has much to master before they can call themselves mixologist, but you’ll be well on your way with these classic recipes in your arsenal. 

Contact us today to learn more about Demitri’s full range of products.

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