Most Popular Drinks Every Bartender Should Know

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Hey, Bartender

Tip from BarWhiz: Also check out our Periodic Table of Alcohol which gives great information about popular drinks

Besides being able to pour a proper pint, every bartender should have a solid backing knowledge of the most popular drinks. Not every patron knows what they want to order and those that do know want it made the way it is supposed to be. Of course there are hundreds of drinks a bartender SHOULD know, but we’ve decided to go with the classics. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular drinks every bartender should know.

#1 Cosmopolitan (aka – Cosmo)

Cosmopolitan

Thanks to the ladies in Sex and the City, every middle-aged woman out on the town thinks it is not a complete night until they have consumed a multitude of Cosmos.

1oz vodka
½ oz triple sec
½ oz lime juice
½ oz cranberry juice

Chill a martini glass. (add ice, water) Shake the vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice in a shaker with ice. Empty the chilled glass, strain the contents from the shaker into the martini glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.

#2 Classic Martini

Classic Martini - Project Flickr: Drink

The martini can keep it dry or wet, clean or dirty, infused with apples or bacon. There are literally hundreds of variations of the martini these days with the production of flavoured vodkas and creative bartenders. Anyone who has ever seen a James Bond movie knows that he prefers his martini made with vodka not gin, and shaken not stirred. Keep it simple. There is a reason it is a classic after all.

2 ½ oz gin
¼ oz dry vermouth

If someone really knows their martini, they will certainly be the first to tell you how they prefer it prepared. If not, follow these and you will be safe. Toss a handful of ice cubes into a mixing glass adding the gin and vermouth. Stir or shaken (as denoted). Strain into a martini glass and finish with a skewer of olives or a twist of lemon peel.

#3 Bloody Caesar

Bloody Caesar

There is a Bloody Mary and there is a Bloody Caesar. If you are a bartender you know the difference. If you don’t know, then you are not a good bartender. I prefer to build mine from the ground up, and why not be a little dirty about it too (extra Worcestershire).

Here is my personal recipe:

1 oz vodka
7 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
pinch of salt & pepper
4 oz Clamato juice

Rim a tall rocks glass with celery salt. Squeeze a wedge of lime and drop into the glass. Fill with ice. Add vodka, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, and fill with Clamato juice. Bang salt & pepper shakers over the top two times. Garnish with a wedge of lemon & lime, a dash of horseradish and two skewered olives.

#4 Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple cocktail

Unfortunately the world is populated with people who do not imbibe alcohol but still like to pretend they enjoy a cocktail from time to time. It is also a standard for children at restaurants who want to feel like adults. Every bartender should know how to whip up a Shirley Temple.

2/3 cup lemon-lime soda or ginger-ale
2 tbsp grenadine
1/3 cup orange juice

Fill a tall rocks glass with ice. Add the soda, grenadine and juice; still until combined. Classic garnish is an orange skewered with a maraschino cherry.

#5 Screwdriver

Screwdriver Cocktail at Hostaria del Piccolo

Every woman loves them and men cannot get enough of them at Sunday brunch with the family.

1 oz vodka
½ cup orange juice

Fill a small rocks glass with ice. Add vodka and juice.

#6 Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre

If you had trouble with the Screwdriver, then this is probably going to throw you for a spin. Seriously. If you did not know what this is, if you even have to read what a Cuba Libre is, then please quit your job as a bartender.

1 oz white rum
½ cup coca-cola

Fill a small rocks glass with ice. Add rum and coke. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

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Most Popular Drinks Every Bartender Should Know, 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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2 thoughts on “Most Popular Drinks Every Bartender Should Know

  1. Love this post. I will definitely be using this for my next cocktail party! Great idea about the Shirley Temple too….this way drivers can have a cocktail and not feel like they are missing out! But I have to admit, i do LOVE a cosmopolitan ;0)

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  2. I’m doing my best, in a tough job market, to learn to bartend after years in the service industry as a server and manager. Telling people to quit their jobs because they don’t know how to make drinks is pretty terrible. You’ve got a skill that others would love to know about, but you’re not a drill sergeant, you’re a pseudo role model, that needs to tell people how terrible they are for attempting to learn. But in the long run, although your words are demeaning, thank you for giving some drinks to look over and learn.

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