Classic Cocktails Every Host Should Know How to Make

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When it comes to impressing your partner or throwing an excellent party, a little cocktail know-how can make all the difference. There are a few simple cocktails that every host should know how to put together—and this guide can help you to get started.



The martini has been a staple long before James Bond came to the screen. It’s traditionally made with gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and bitters. Try out some different gin and vodka brands to see which one you like best.


A Manhattan is also made with vermouth, but you’ll use sweet instead of dry. The main alcohol in a Manhattan is bourbon or rye whiskey and you’ll also add bitters and either an orange peel or brandied cherry for garnish.


Margaritas are excellent for parties because you can make them in a large batch and they taste delicious. The traditional flavor for margaritas is lime, but you can make them with jalapeno, mango, pineapple, or any of your favorite fruit flavors. Don’t forget to salt the rim!


The Negroni is a divisive cocktail, and most people either really like it or won’t enjoy it at all. Still, you’ll want to have it in your repertoire. Make a Negroni with the Italian liqueur Campari, vermouth, gin, and an orange peel garnish.


You can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned. After all, there’s a reason it continues to be a beloved cocktail after so many years. For an Old-Fashioned, you’ll need sugar, warm water, ice cubes, and bitters. The alcohol will either be bourbon or rye whiskey.


The Cosmopolitan is a sweet and delicious cocktail with lots of room for creativity. Traditionally, it’s made with vodka and Triple Sec and then mixed with cranberry juice and a splash of lime, but you can make them with any of your favorite flavors.

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