Shake Things Up on National Cocktail Day

Posted: March 24, 2023 8:00 am


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The day we’ve all been waiting for is fast approaching. March 24 is National Cocktail Day, and it is quite possibly the perfect excuse to indulge in your favorite cocktails and maybe even try out a few new recipes. Whether you prefer a classic martini or a spicy margarita, there’s no denying the joy that comes with a perfectly mixed drink. Take things up a notch this National Cocktail Day and try out some new recipes. For any seasoned mixologist or novice bartender, there’s something on this list for everyone.

So gather your shakers, stirrers, and spirits, and let’s get started on a journey to discover some truly delicious cocktail recipes that will make this National Cocktail Day one to remember. So let’s shake things up and take your taste buds on a wild ride. After all, what better way to celebrate than with a delicious drink in hand?

The Cocktail: A Short History

The history of the modern cocktail can be traced back to the early 1800s when bartenders in the United States began experimenting with new ingredients and techniques to create drinks that were not only delicious but also visually appealing. The term “cocktail” was first used in the late 1700s to describe a mix of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters, but it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that the modern cocktail as we know it today really began to take shape. This was thanks in part to the publication of “The Bartender’s Guide” by Jerry Thomas, which included a wide range of cocktail recipes that helped to popularize the art of mixing drinks. Today, the cocktail has become a staple of bars and restaurants around the world, with new recipes and techniques constantly being developed to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of mixology.

The Classic Old Fashioned

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The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that has been around since the dawn of the cocktail era. It’s a simple drink that consists of just a few ingredients, but the combination of flavors is what makes it so delicious. The key to a great Old Fashioned is using a good quality whiskey, as the taste of the liquor is the backbone of the drink. The sugar and bitters are added to balance out the sweetness of the whiskey and provide a complex flavor profile. The orange slice not only adds a pop of color but also a citrusy note that complements the whiskey perfectly. There are many variations of the Old Fashioned, with some recipes calling for the addition of soda water, cherries, or even muddled fruit. However, purists believe that the original recipe is still the best and prefer to keep it simple. Whether you prefer your Old Fashioned with rye or bourbon, sweet or dry, it’s a timeless drink that is perfect for sipping on National Cocktail Day — or any day of the year.

Get the Classic Old Fashioned recipe at A Couple Cooks.

The Manhattan

The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that is thought to have originated in the late nineteenth century in New York City. This whiskey-based drink is a perfect combination of sweet and bitter flavors, with a touch of cherry to round it all out. The drink is typically made with rye whiskey, although bourbon can be used as a substitute. Sweet vermouth, which is a fortified wine that has been flavored with herbs and spices, is added to give the drink its characteristic sweetness. A few dashes of bitters are then added to balance out the sweetness and provide a complex flavor profile. The cherry is used as a garnish and provides a hint of sweetness that perfectly complements the other flavors in the drink. There are many variations of the Manhattan, with some recipes calling for the addition of orange bitters, lemon twists, or even a splash of absinthe. However, the basic recipe remains a favorite among whiskey lovers and cocktail aficionados alike. Whether you prefer your Manhattan shaken or stirred, up or on the rocks, it’s a classic drink that is ideal for just about any occasion.

Get the Manhattan recipe at Liquor.

Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that is a favorite among whiskey lovers. This simple yet delicious drink is made by mixing whiskey with lemon juice and sugar, creating a perfect balance of sweetness and sourness. The key to a great Whiskey Sour — as with all mixed drink recipes on this list — is using a good quality spirit that can stand up to the tartness of the lemon juice. The sugar is added to balance out the sourness of the lemon and provide a subtle sweetness. The drink is generally shaken with ice and strained into a glass, and it’s often garnished with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange to add a pop of color and a fruity note. There are a good number of variations of the Whiskey Sour, with some recipes calling for the addition of egg white, which creates a creamy texture, or bitters, which add complexity to the flavor profile. Whether you prefer your Whiskey Sour sweet or sour, shaken or stirred, definitely add this great cocktail recipe to your list for National Cocktail Day.

Get the Whiskey Sour recipe at Bon Appetit.

Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is a refreshing and delicious vodka-based cocktail that is believed to have originated in the United States in the 1940s and is made by mixing vodka with lime juice and ginger beer. The lime juice provides a tart and citrusy note that complements the sweetness of the ginger beer, while the vodka adds a subtle hint of alcohol. The drink is typically served in a copper mug, which helps to keep the drink cold and adds a unique touch to the presentation. The copper mug is also believed to enhance the flavor of the drink by creating a chemical reaction between the copper and the ingredients. The Moscow Mule is a versatile cocktail that can be customized to suit your taste, with some recipes calling for the addition of bitters, simple syrup, or even fresh mint.

Get the Moscow Mule recipe at Esquire.

The Negroni

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail that is believed to have originated in Florence, Italy, in the early 20th century. This cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet and bitter flavors, with a touch of citrus to round it all out. The drink is typically made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, a bright red Italian liqueur that is made with bitter herbs and fruit. The gin provides a floral note to the drink, while the sweet vermouth adds a touch of sweetness and the Campari adds a complex bitterness. The drink is stirred with ice and served in a rocks glass and garnished with a slice of orange to add a hint of citrusy sweetness. There are many variations of the Negroni, with some recipes calling for the addition of soda water or orange bitters, or even substituting the gin for bourbon or rye whiskey. However, the classic recipe remains a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts and is perfect for sipping on National Cocktail Day.

Get the Negroni recipe at Serious Eats.

The Mojito

The Mojito is a classic Cuban cocktail that is known for its refreshing and invigorating taste. This cocktail is made by mixing white rum with lime juice, sugar, soda water, and fresh mint leaves. The lime juice provides a tangy and sour note that complements the sweetness of the sugar, while the mint leaves add a refreshing and herbaceous flavor. The drink is typically muddled with a muddler or the back of a spoon to release the oils and flavor from the mint leaves and then mixed with ice, rum, lime juice, and sugar. The mixture is topped off with soda water, which gives the drink a fizzy texture and a subtle hint of carbonation. The Mojito is another very versatile cocktail that can be customized, with some recipes calling for the addition of fresh fruit or even a splash of champagne. If you’re looking for a unique, refreshing cocktail to serve this National Cocktail Day, take the Mojito for a spin.

Get the Mojito recipe at Food & Wine.

The Authentic Margarita

If you’re an adult of a certain age, chances are you’ve enjoyed a margarita in your lifetime. But have you tasted an authentic margarita? Convenience stores are filled with margarita mixers that are injected with sweeteners and artificially flavored, but the original margarita is a simple combination of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. But a true Margarita done right can be a classic and refreshing tequila-based cocktail that has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world for decades. This delicious drink is made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec, and is often served with a salt-rimmed glass. The tequila provides a smoky and earthy flavor to the drink, while the lime juice adds a tangy and sour note. The triple sec adds a subtle sweetness and complexity to the drink. The salt on the rim also helps to balance out the sourness of the lime juice and enhances the flavor of the tequila. There are many variations of the Margarita, with some recipes calling for the addition of fresh fruit or even jalapeño for a spicy kick. But the classic recipe remains a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts and is perfect for sipping on National Cocktail Day or any day of the year — especially if you’re getting some nice Spring weather.

Get the Authentic Margarita recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

Unleash Your Inner Mixologist Today

Now that you’ve got a few recipes to inspire your inner mixologist on National Cocktail Day, it’s time to get creative and make your own unique concoctions. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and combinations. You never know what kind of deliciousness you might come up with. Cheers!

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