Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
21 Cocktails That Every 21-Year-Old Should Know How to Make

By

Being 21 is a joy. Your alcohol tolerance isn’t that high, so it only costs you $5 to get a buzz. Your hangovers can be cured with a greasy breakfast sandwich, and everything in the drinking world is new and exciting. Chances are you haven’t had your first Negroni, and ultra-fancy cocktails seem like something from outer space. So if you’re looking to get a leg up on other people your age or have an itch to become a cocktail master by the ripe age of 30, these 21 cocktails will help you perfect the art of mixing and ordering drinks.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall
You shouldn’t be drinking if you can’t make an Old Fashioned. It only calls for three ingredients and doesn’t require any fancy tools or techniques. But remember, an Old Fashioned does not contain a muddled cherry.

The Essentials

Whiskey
bitters
sugar cube
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If made properly, the Manhattan is a drink of distinction and unparalleled class. Learn to mix this classic, and all of your friends will be beyond impressed.

The Essentials

Whiskey
Sweet Vermouth
bitters
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Whether you’re ordering it at a bar or making one at home, it’s crucial for any beginner drinker to know the difference between a Manhattan and a Perfect Manhattan. This drier, more refined version of the classic deserves a place in your cocktail memory bank.

The Essentials

rye
dry vermouth
sweet vermouth
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Knowing how to make a damn good Martini is as essential as knowing how to build a fire, change a flat tire and mend a button. You can’t win at life without the recipe for this essential cocktail in your back pocket.

The Essentials

Gin
Dry Vermouth
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Sweeter and more luxurious than the classic Martini, this version uses both dry and sweet vermouth. It’s important to know what makes every Martini in the Martini family tree different. That way you understand what terms like perfect, dry, dirty and with a twist actually mean.

The Essentials

gin
sweet vermouth
dry vermouth
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If you plan on ever having a hangover (or want to take care of someone who does), it’s absolutely crucial to know this cure-all, savory brunch staple.

The Essentials

Vodka
Tomato Juice
Worcestershire Sauce
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This spicy and satisfyingly refreshing beer tipple is a great drink to make for almost any occasion, whether you need to whip up something at an impromptu barbeque or want a lower-ABV option for mid-day drinking. Made with just beer, tomato, lime juice and hot sauce, it doesn’t cost more than a six pack.

The Essentials

Beer
Hot Sauce
Maggi Sauce
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
One of the most underrated whiskey cocktails, this sour, boozy sipper is a great drink for anyone to know—especially if you’re new to drinking. If you love whiskey but don’t really know what to do with it besides drink it straight or make an Old Fashioned, this warm weather classic is as simple to construct as it is delicious.

The Essentials

Whiskey
Simple Syrup
Lemon Juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
It’s important to know that there are a lot of wrong ways to make a Daiquiri. Fortunately, this recipe will teach you the correct way to make the classic.

The Essentials

White Rum
Demerara Syrup
Lime Juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
You won’t have any problems in life if you can make a good Margarita. Well, at least your problems will be less overwhelming with an expertly-crafted Margarita in hand.

The Essentials

Blanco Tequila
Lime Juice
Agave Nectar
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This vodka staple couldn’t get any easier or more delicious. A simple mix of lime, vodka and ginger beer, the Moscow Mule is great for parties or summer time hangs with friends. Be sure to use the best ingredients you can find make the most refreshingly crisp Mules.

The Essentials

Vodka
Lime Juice
Ginger Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
One of the greatest party drinks ever created is the Tequila Sunrise. Plus, the combination of orange juice and grenadine really hide the taste of tequila to make this sweet sipper downright crushable.

The Essentials

Blanco Tequila
Orange Juice
Grenadine
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If you like Margaritas, you’re going to love the Paloma. Refreshingly tart and tequila heavy, this cocktail is easier to make than its sour cousin and it doesn’t require a cocktail shaker. The next time friends ask you to make a Margarita, you can look really cool by turning them on to this Mexican staple.

The Essentials

Tequila
Lime Juice
Grapefruit Soda
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Like a tropical, rum-soaked version of a Moscow Mule, the Dark ‘N’ Stormy is a great drink to have in your cocktail arsenal. Mix one up on a balmy, summer day or tropical family vacation when you need an escape.

The Essentials

Rum
lime juice
ginger beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If you’re at a party and need to make a round of shots, look no further than this sweet-tart vodka classic. As quick to make as it is to bust a move after you’ve knocked back a couple, the Kamikaze shot is perfect because it requires no chaser.

The Essentials

vodka
triple sec
lime juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
It doesn’t get any easier—or more refreshing—than mixing vodka with grapefruit juice. If you’re new to drinking and haven’t moved beyond the neutral spirit, it’s nice to know that there’s something you can order besides a Vodka Soda. Make sure to use fresh grapefruit juice instead of the sugary grocery store stuff.

The Essentials

Vodka
Grapefruit Juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If you ever plan on hosting guests for brunch, it’s absolutely critical to know how to make a Mimosa. Yes, it’s just Champagne (or Prosecco) and orange juice, but getting the proportions correct is crucial.

The Essentials

Orange Juice
Champagne
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
It’s important for any 21-year-old to know what distinguishes a decent G&T from a great G&T. How many ounces of gin? A squeeze of fresh lime? What kind of tonic water are you using? It takes a lifetime to perfect the Gin and Tonic, so you might as well start practicing now.

The Essentials

Gin
Lime Juice
Tonic Water
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Mastering the Long Island Iced Tea is an art. The best LIITs are the perfect mix of highbrow and lowbrow, made with fresh juices instead of sour mix and Mexican coke rather than corn syrup-heavy swill. If you know how to manipulate this balance, you’ll never make a bad drink for the rest of your life.

The Essentials

All Clear Spirits
Lemon Juice
Cola
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
No, we’re not talking about that mystery juice found at the frat house. Every home bartender should know how to concoct great Jungle Juice because it’s the gateway to learning how to make classic punches, which will serve you well anytime you have to host a get-together or holiday party.

The Essentials

Clear spirit
Fruit liqueur
White wine
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
You have that bottle of wine your parents gave you and there’s a bunch of fresh fruit in your fridge—buy a $10 bottle of orange liqueur, mix it up and you have Sangria. Not only is it great for serving to drop-in guests, it’s an excellent way to learn how to use ingredients that you already have on-hand to make well-balanced cocktails.

The Essentials

Red Wine
brandy
Orange

Published on

More From Around The Web