Five drinks every bartender needs to know in 2021 and beyond

Holden Shatouhy
November 19, 2020
min read

Welcome to your first day of training as a bartender!

When the world opens up again, the restaurant industry is going to need experienced bartenders.

Today, we will teach you how to make five classic cocktails that are extremely popular and are sure to impress everyone.

We’ll be giving you a list of ingredients, instructions, and tips you need to make the perfect cocktails.  Let’s dive straight into it!

The Martini

Martini’s are a super easy drink to make and only require a few ingredients. Whether you make it shaken or stirred is up to you, but grab these ingredients, and we’ll teach you how to make it.

Ingredients needed

  • 3 oz gin
  • 1.5 oz dry vermouth
  • Olives
  • A toothpick
  • Cocktail glass

How to make a Martini

  1. Start by placing a few ice cubes into a clean mixer.
  2. Pour the 3oz of gin and 1.5 oz into the mixer. Shake or stir the mixer for about 30 seconds or until you feel everything is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Strain the mixer into a cocktail glass, making sure no ice gets into the glass.
  4. Grab an olive or two, and spear them with a toothpick. Place the speared olives into the drink and serve it to the customer.

Bonus tips for making a Martini

To keep the drink cold once served, we recommend chilling the cocktail glass for at least thirty minutes in the freezer before serving. If the customer doesn’t like olives, you can exchange them for a lemon twist for a zestier flavor.

The Old Fashioned

Now let’s make an Old Fashioned!

The Old Fashioned is simple to make, and you don’t even need to pull out a mixer! Gather up these ingredients, and let’s make that drink that’s been a favorite since the 1800s.

Ingredients needed

  • 1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
  • One sugar cube
  • Two dashes Angostura bitters
  • Splash of water
  • Orange peel or cherries
  • Lowball glass

How to make an Old Fashioned

  1. Start by putting a sugar cube into a lowball glass. Sprinkle in some Angostura Bitters and pour in a splash of water. Stir everything until the sugar cube is fully dissolved.
  2. Add a couple of giant ice cubes and pour in your favorite bourbon whiskey.  
  3. Next, add in an orange peel or cherries and serve to the customer.

Bonus tips for making an Old Fashion

If you don’t have sugar cubes, use .75 oz of simple syrup and no water. NEVER use a sugar packet and avoid using small ice cubes, as they melt faster and tend to dilute the cocktail.  

If you don’t have or like Bourbon, it can be replaced with other similar whiskey types.

The Bloody Mary

Moving on to the third drink of the day: The Bloody Mary.

It is always a classic breakfast and brunch drink. Bloody Mary’s have become trendy again and can be made in just a few minutes.

They are so easy to make, you won’t even need a mirror to summon it!

Grab these ingredients, and we’ll get started.

Ingredients needed

  • 0.25 oz of lemon juice
  • 4 oz tomato juice
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • Two dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-4 dashes of hot sauce
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • One celery stalk
  • 1  Lemon wedge
  • A highball glass

How to make a Bloody Mary

  1. Begin by combining the lemon juice, tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce into a mixer.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to the mixer. Throw in a few ice cubes and shake it up until thoroughly mixed.  
  3. Strain the mixer and pour the contents into a highball glass.  
  4. Decorate with a celery stalk and lemon wedge

Bonus tips for making a Bloody Mary

You can add a few green olives if the customer enjoys them. Also, for best results, use Tabasco sauce, but any hot sauce will do.

Just keep in mind how spicy it is— if you want something sweeter, add an orange wedge instead of the lemon wedge.

The Long Island Iced Tea

Now let’s make a Long Island Iced Tea. While traditionally this is more of a summery drink, it can still be enjoyed year-round.

It has a few more ingredients than some of the other drinks you’ve made today, but the instructions are super simple and easy to follow.

Ingredients needed

  • 0.5 oz vodka
  • 0.5 oz rum
  • 0.5 oz gin
  • 0.5 oz tequila
  • 0.5  oz triple sec
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz cola
  • One lemon wedge
  • Highball glass with a colorful straw

How to make a Long Island Iced Tea

  1. Start by grabbing some ice and placing it in a mixer.
  2. Now add everything except the cola and the lemon wedge into the shaker, and shake it all together until it’s thoroughly mixed.
  3. Strain into a highball glass, add new ice and pour in the cola.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge, add a straw, and hand it over to the customer.

Bonus tips for making a Long Island Iced Tea

You can use any type of orange-flavored liquor in place of Triple Sec. You can also serve the cola on the side and let the customer pour it in for an added experience or request more or less cola.

The Manhattan

Okay, we have one more drink to make to help you turn this experience around for your waiting customer. Let’s make them a Manhattan.

A Manhattan is another fantastic yet straightforward drink that everybody loves.

Gather these few ingredients, and let’s get this party started!

Ingredients needed

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 0.75 oz sweet vermouth
  • A dash of Angostura Bitters
  • One cherry
  • Chilled cocktail glass

How to make a Manhattan

  1. Get a mixer and add some ice.
  2. Now pour in the rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters into the glass. Stir until everything is mixed for about a minute.
  3. Grab the chilled cocktail glass out of the freezer.
  4. Strain the mixer into the cocktail glass, add a cherry.
  5. Add any other additional garnishes, and finally, serve the customer.

Bonus tips for making a Manhattan

This drink is perfect in its simplicity. The only tip we have for making a Manhattan better is adding orange peels or extra cherries for more fruity flavors.


Great job on completing your training!

All five of these drinks are great tasting, quick to make, and the ingredients are easy to find and to memorize.

Feel free to customize these drinks to add your personality to them, but be careful to stay within your customers’ expectations.

Be sure to use these tips to impress future interviewers when looking for your new job.

Good luck in your future endeavors as a mixologist!

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Written by
Holden Shatouhy

In the industry