Ten Essential Cocktails

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Ten Essential Cocktails

Ten Essential Cocktails All Bartenders Should Know

Do you want to work in a bar? These days, it takes more than simply knowing how to pour a good lager (although that’s a skill in itself!) Bar managers are looking for energetic, passionate staff who know how to differentiate between a Tom Collins and a Gimlet. Why not get a head start on the competition by brushing up on some cocktail essentials? Here is a list of cocktails that all bartenders should know how to make on demand.

Mexican Margarita

These days, a summertime Mexicana feast is unimaginable without a pitcher of frozen Margarita. It’s a classic and zesty favourite for a hot day, combining triple sec, tequila and lime neat, with ice or blended. Remember that the higher the quality of your tequila, the better your Margarita will be.

Magic Mojito

Breezy beaches and balmy Havana nights: this is what the Mojito is all about. It’s refreshing and ragingly popular over summer. Just muddle some lime wedges, mint and sugar in the bottom of a highball glass, and top with white rum and soda water.

Sexy Cosmo

We have Sex and the City to thank for promoting this cheeky little number. No Ladies’ Night is complete without this sweet and tangy blend of vodka, Cointreau, lime and a splash of cranberry juice. It is always shaken and served ice-cold in a slim martini glass.

Punchy Pina Colada

This, the national drink of Puerto Rico, competes with the Mai Tai for the position as the ultimate summer cocktail. It’s a heady and timeless combination of pineapple juice, coconut cream and white rum. These days it can be served over crushed ice or blended.

Caipirinha Carnival

This stripped-down favourite is meant to be enjoyed overlooking the teeming streets of Rio de Janeiro. Muddle wedges of fresh lime with sugar, and top off with cachaca – the crucial local ingredient which is a liqueur derived from sugarcane. Fill the glass with soda water and plenty of ice.

Classic Martini

Want to be whisked away to the glamour and sophistication of yesteryear? The crisp, clean combination of dry vermouth and top-quality gin will do exactly that. These days, upmarket bars have concocted a range of Martini variations, like an Appletini, Mintini or Rose Water Martini (?) For us, there’s just no substitute for the original. Just ask James Bond.

Magnificent Mai Tai

One sip of a Mai Tai (meaning “out of this world in Tahitian) will take you to the white-sanded beaches of the Pacific. This is the ultimate tropical cocktail. Rum (light or dark) is blended with pineapple juice, lime juice, orange curacao and syrup.

Legendary White Russian

After the cult success of The Big Lebowski, film buffs everywhere wanted to get their hands on a white Russian. These days, it’s an enduring favourite, involving the sweet combination of vodka, Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream. This lowball is delicious when served over crushed ice.

Dashing Daiquiri

This is another tropical essential. A classic strawberry daiquiri is made up of white rum, syrup, a slash of lime and of course, strawberry juice – all blended together in what is a decadent treat. Like its sister cocktail, the margarita, daiquiris now loved to be served frozen.

Zesty Long Island Iced Tea

Get the party truly started with a long island iced tea. This punchy drink involves the union of no less than five white spirits – tequila, vodka, gin, triple sec and rum – with sour mix and a refreshing splash of cola. Be sure to add plenty of ice.

These are ten of the best, but be prepared to learn many more on the job. Basic knowledge of these ten cocktails will get you through the door at any popular watering-hole.