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Learn how to become a bartender

Old Fashioned

Ingredients: 2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey (use something good, but not over-the-top) 1 teaspoon superfine sugar (or 1 sugar cube) 2-3 dashes of bitters; Angostura is traditional and works well; Fee Brothers’ Whiskey Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned Bitters are better


Ingredients: 1 1/2 ounce Old Tom gin 1 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I like Carpano Antica in this) 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur 2 dashes orange bitters Lemon twist, for garnish Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters. Stir until very cold then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over cocktail to express its oils. Rub rim of glass with peel and discard.


Ingredients: 2 ounces dry gin 1 ounce dry vermouth 1 dash orange bitters (optional, but highly recommended) Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well to chill and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the drink and use as garnish, or, if you must, toss in an olive.


Ingredients: 4 ounces rye whiskey 2 ounces sweet vermouth 4 dashes Angostura bitters Garnish: 2 Maraschino cherries Pour the whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until outside of shaker is very cold to touch. Place a maraschino cherry in each of two chilled cocktail glasses. Dividing evenly, strain the contents of the shaker over cherries and serve immediately.


Ingredients: 2 ounces rye or other whiskey 1 ounce dry vermouth 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur 1/4 ounce Amer Picon, or a few dashes Angostura or orange bitters Combine ingredients with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Ingredients: 2 ounces light rum (you can also use gold rum, but dark rum can be too heavy) 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime) 1 teaspoon sugar Pour sugar and lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and fill shaker with ice; shake well for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.


Ingredients: 3/4 cup lemon juice, from 6 to 10 lemons 3/4 cup lime juice, from 8 to 12 limes 3 1/2 cups high quality tequila, preferably reposado 2 cups Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec 1/2 cup simple syrup (or more to taste) 2 quarts ice cubes Combine all ingredients in large pitcher and stir to combine (you’ll probably need to make two batches, unless you have a very large pitcher). Serve immediately in salt-rimmed glasses filled with ice.


Ingredients: 2 ounces VSOP cognac, armagnac or good California brandy 1 ounce Cointreau 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, to taste superfine sugar, for garnish (optional) Procedures Optional: prepare cocktail glass by making a slit in a lemon wedge and running the cut edge around the rim of the glass; then dip the rim in a saucer of superfine sugar to create a thin crust; chill the glass until needed. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into prepared glass; garnish with a twist of orange or lemon peel, if the urge comes across.

Bloody Mary

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon celery salt or (or plain kosher salt, if you prefer) 1/4 lemon, cut into two wedges 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or less to taste) Dash cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Franks) 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish (or 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish) 2 ounces vodka 4 ounces high-quality tomato juice 1 stick celery Place celery salt in a shallow saucer. Rub rim of 12-ounce tumbler with 1 lemon wedge and coat wet edge with celery salt. Place lemon wedge on rim of glass. Fill glass with ice. Add Worcestershire, soy, black pepper, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and horseradish to bottom of cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add vodka, tomato juice, and juice of remaining lemon wedge. Shake vigorously, taste for seasoning and heat, and adjust as necessary. Strain into ice-filled glass. Garnish with celery stalk and serve immediately.

Irish Coffee

Ingredients: 1 1/2 to 2 ounces Irish whiskey, to taste 4 ounces fresh-brewed coffee 1/2 to 1 ounce simple syrup Heavy cream Whip the cream until thick, but not stiff. In a pre-warmed toddy mug, Irish coffee glass or sturdy wine glass, combine the whiskey, simple syrup and coffee (for more richness of flavor without added sweetness, try making the simple syrup using brown sugar or demerara sugar). Stir to combine, and gently spoon between 1/2-inch and an inch of cream atop the coffee mixture, to taste.

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