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Home Bartender Series - Essential Spirits for Classic Cocktail Recipes

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    If a drink has been there for almost a century, you know it has to be great to stand the tedious test of time. These are classic cocktails for you, cocktail recipes that are revered in the bartending world for their culture, their exquisite taste and the stories that they have carried with them through countless decades. 

More than cocktail recipes, these are cultural artefacts that reflect the socio-political histories of the time of their creations. Most of the cocktail recipes emerged around the Prohibition Era (1920-1933) in the United States. The invention of cocktails as a concept became the necessity of the era whereby bartenders got creative and began mixing ingredients in drinks to mask the horrendous taste and experience of bootlegged spirits.

Their simplicity and balance make them accessible to a wide range of palates, while their historical significance adds an air of nostalgia to every sip. Each classic cocktail recipe is a voyage through history. For example, the spirit of companionship and celebration is embodied through the Margarita in Mexican traditions. The Daiquiri, a simple concoction of rum, lime juice, and sugar that was invented in Cuba, captures the sophistication of a bygone period.

The fundamentals of cocktail assembly, including as the significance of precise proportions, component quality, and skill, are laid forth in these time-tested recipes. Aspiring professionals or even home bartenders frequently start out by mastering these classic cocktail recipes, developing their abilities to combine harmonious flavours and appealing presentations.    

By mastering the art of understanding and mixing the spirits for these classic cocktail recipes as a home bartender, you would not only be able to elevate your bartending skills, but become a part of the historical and cultural heritage that these cocktails have to offer. 

Five Must-Haves Spirits For Classic Cocktails

1. Gin

The essence of botanicals and along with a blend of juniper berries distilled to offer a crisp and clear spirit makes gin an essential part of many classic cocktails such as Martini and Gin and Tonic. We suggest having Gordon's The Original London Dry Gin in your home bar for that tripled distilled spirit with handpicked juniper berries along with coriander and angelica. Gordon's The Original London Dry Gin would offer you a crisp and refreshing palette.

Classic cocktail suggestions: Martini, Gin and Tonic

2. Whisky

Whisky is a sophisticated spirit famous for its range of flavours from smoky to spicy. Using whisky in your classic cocktail recipes would introduce a new layer of smoky depth into them, like the iconic Old Fashioned or Manhattan. Using Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Years Old would ensure that your classic cocktail recipes have more profound and more nuanced layers of flavour with a sweet and smoky finish. 

Classic cocktail suggestion: Old Fashioned, Whisky Sour

3. Vodka

Vodka’s clean and clear palate makes it a perfect contender for cocktails as it enables you to craft cocktails with a variety of flavours and still pack a punch! Try the citrus and smooth Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka and experience the versatility of this spirit with classic cocktails today.

Classic cocktail suggestion: Cosmopolitan, Moscow Mule

4. Rum

A staple while listing classic cocktail recipes, Rum offers a warm, spiced and subtly sweet flavour profile which makes it an indispensable spirit for classic and tropical cocktails alike. Captain Morgan Dark Rum brings warm spicy and rich premium notes of vanilla and brown sugar with an oaky finish to your cocktails.

Classic cocktail suggestion: Mojito, Daiquiri

5. Tequila

A representation of Mexican cultural heritage and traditions, Tequila brings the crystal clear notes of the agave plant onto the table. It’s more than just a spirit, it is a cultural touchstone. We recommend using Don Julio Blanco Tequila which would introduce a bright and fresh agave profile with tropical fruity notes to your classic cocktail. 

Classic cocktail suggestion: Tequila Sunrise, Paloma