8 Classic Drinks to Order at a Cocktail Bar

classic drinks at cocktail bar

Like most cult favorites, cocktails have a long and storied history. The term wasn’t defined until The Balance and Columbian Repository of Hudson, New York, pinned it as a restorative liquor made of sugars, water, and bitters.

But the primary complaint about cocktails these days is that they are too pretentious. Sure, inventive, over-the-top cocktails are charming in their own right, but nothing beats the classics at a cocktail bar.

The timeless flavors of the margarita, the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, or the Martini are just as heartwarming as comfort food. Better still, nearly every bartender knows how to make these, so you will never go without them.

8 Must-Haves at a Cocktail Bar

If you tend to draw a blank every time you walk up to a bar, just fall back on this list of the eight most classic, time-tested cocktails out there.

1. Negroni

This delicious Italian cocktail was originally intended as an aperitif, a drink for before the meal. The simple, three-ingredient cocktail contains gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It hits the spot with its light bitterness and boozy appeal. Negronis are an acquired taste. But once you fall in love with them, you’ll never go back.

2. Long Island Iced Tea

The Long Island Iced Tea is the ultimate party cocktail. Definitely not for the weak, this heady mix combines almost everything behind the cocktail bar. We’re talking vodka, tequila, white rum, dark rum, scotch, Campari, and triple sec.

With just a small amount of soda as the mixer, the Long Island Iced Tea has a whopping 22% alcohol concentration, making it one of the most famous drinks among liquor lovers.

3. Margarita

The margarita is a mystery cocktail with very dubious origins. Although nobody can tell who mixed it up, there are several interesting legends surrounding its past. According to one of them, Carlos ‘Danny’ Herrera first developed the drink at his Tijuana-area restaurant in 1938. He dreamed it up for one of his customers, an aspiring actress named Marjorie King, who was allergic to all hard alcohol except tequila.

Don’t let the cloyingly sweet version of this drink fool you. The margarita is part of the ‘sour’ cocktail family and is traditionally composed of tequila, triple sec orange liqueur, and lime juice. It is served in a salt-rimmed glass with a dash of sweetener to deepen the flavor profile.

4. Martini

Your inner James Bond needs a good martini now and then. Stylish, strong, and simple, the martini has a universal following. Most martinis are made with equal parts of gin and vermouth. However, a more contemporary cocktail bar may replace the gin with vodka. There’s no right answer.

For garnishes, you can choose either a lemon peel or olives. They’re both equally delicious and do the drink justice.

5. Cosmopolitan

Found on most cocktail bar menus, the Cosmopolitan is a beautiful reddish-pink gem of a drink. This cocktail was made famous by the elegant Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. It contains citrus vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and cranberry juice, mixed and served in a tall glass. The Cosmopolitan is a delicious blend of sweet and sour, perfect for an afternoon brunch.

6. Gimlet

Did you know that the Gimlet was created to prevent scurvy in sailors? And, considering that the drink is basically a punch of gin and lime juice, it’s easy to see why. For the longest time, gimlet was generally ordered at a cocktail bar and restaurant by older generations. But it has made a resounding comeback recently, finding favor with all crowds.

The gimlet has a hefty kick (it's four parts gin!), so it’s not for the faint of heart.

7. Mojito

The Mojito is a classic highball cocktail from Cuba. Fresh, minty, and rum-based, this one will take you straight to the sunny beaches of Caya Santa Maria or Playa Paraiso. This simple and refreshing drink is sure to get you in the mood for summer. Plus, it’s an easy recipe, so you can order one at any cocktail bar and restaurant.

8. The Manhattan

As with many other cocktails, the exact origin story of the Manhattan is lost in time. Many believe it was created by Dr. Iain Marshall in the early 1880s, but this was later dismissed as a myth.

Whatever the case, there’s no denying that the Manhattan is a cocktail classic. Although the traditional recipe calls for rye whiskey, many cocktail bars replace it with bourbon. The other ingredients - sweet vermouth and Angostura bitter - largely remain the same.

Sample these Delicious Cocktails at Fire and Ice’s Cocktail Bar

Cocktails bring people together. There’s nothing like sharing drinks with friends over stimulating conversation. Treat yourself to these mouthwatering cocktails on your next trip to a cocktail bar - you won’t be disappointed!

At Fire and Ice’s cocktail bar, we offer all these delicious drinks and more. Head on over to find your new favorite. Give us a call at 570-696-3580 for more information or reserve a table today.