Non-alcoholic beverage refers to non-intoxication drinks or soft drinks, which doesn’t have a bit of liquor by volume or yeast is not introduced to convert sugar into alcohol during fermentation.

They are found in different forms like in packet, bottle, canned, pressured container etc. some example of beverages are e.g. aerated waters, mineral water, juices, squashes, syrups, tonic, soda, pepsi, coke, root beer etc.




Wine is an alcoholic beverage which is obtained from the fermentation of the juice of freshly gathered grapes, the fermentation taking place in the district of origin according to local tradition and practice.

Wine is a living thing. Wine breathes; it is subject to vagaries of temperature, it can catch cold, it can fall sick, it can wither or die. The Bible calls it blood of grapes.

Wine Classification

Wines are classified on the basis of:-

  1. Colour
  2. Characteristics/Nature
  3. Taste
  4. Year
  5. Body
  6. Unspecified Nomenclature

Red wine

  • Colour-Deep Pink
  • Serving Temperature-18*c (Room Temp.)

White wine

  • Colour-Pale Straw to golden yellow
  • Serving Temperature -3-13*c

  Rose’ wine

  • Colour-Light Pink
  • Serving Temperature -7-13*c


 Wine Classification On The Basis Of Characteristic/Nature

  • Sparkling wine:-Sparkling wine is one where natural gas from fermentation is retained in the bottle or one where the wine has been artificially impregnated with gas. A customs definition of sparkling wine is a wine with a wired cork.
  • Champagne,
  • Asti spumante,
  • Espumosos,
  • Cava,
  • Sekt,
  • Frizante etc.
  • Fortified wine: – These are wines which are fortified with spirit like Brandy during vinification (Science of preparing wines) when fermentation process is going on. If fortification is done in the beginning of fermentation the end product is sweet fortified wine. If fortification is towards the end of fermentation, the resultant wine is dry fortified wine.


  • Port,
  • Sherry,
  • Madeira,
  • Marsala,
  • Malaga etc.
  • Aromatized wine:- It is a fortified wine in which herbs, roots, flowers, barks and other flavouring agents have been steeped in order to change the natural flavour of wine.
  • In the middle ages wines were flavoured with Myrrh, Myrtle, Cloves, Ginger, Sandalwood and may other natural ingredients.
  • Roman like to flavour their wines with Pepper, Spikewood Cypress, Wormwood, Myrrh, Poppy, Tar, Pitch, Bitumen, Aloes, Chalk, Mastic Gums, Asafoetida.
  • It also works as aperitifs. Make our appetite ready for food to come.e.g.- Vermouth, St. Raphael, Lillet, Byrrh, Dubbonet, Noillyprat etc.


  • House wines:– Any and all wines which are not too expensive or too cheap can be used by any restaurant. No particular brand is branded as house wine.

Wine Classification On The Basis Of Taste

  • Sweet wine– Wine produced by grapes having high sugar content, as in these wines even after fermentation a lot of sugar is still left, which is not consumed by yeast, the sugar left renders a very sweet wine.
  • Dry wines– Wines produced by grapes with less sugar content and the fermentation is allowed to continue till all the sugar is almost or fully exhausted.


Wine Classification On The Basis Of Year

Vintage wines– The French word Vintage means harvest. Vintage is also referred as Millesime or Recolte in France; in Spain Vendimia, Cosecha in Italy. Although any wine is a vintage wine as any year can be vintage year. However, some year’s climate is so good that the Government in France declares at as Vintage Year for particular region. The various climatic factors for the year to be declared vintage year are-

  1. Sunshine
  2. Temperature
  3. Sugar balance in grapes and its concentration.
  4. Right amount of snow etc

Every year two types of wines are produced. One special vintage and the other non vintage. The vintage wines are bottled and sold while non- vintage are kept and improved.

When the vintage year is printed on the bottle it means the wine is from that particular year harvest when the crop was bumper. The bottles not having vintage year printed on them are generally blended to make wine good.

Non vintage wines– This is a fully blended wines.


Wine Classification On The Basis Of Body

  • Light Bodied Wines– The term light refers to alcoholic content, texture and weight of wine. Light also refers to sensation of wine. These are not matured in casks, rather left in stainless steel or glass vats before bottling. The alcoholic content should be less than 12%, g. are Macon Blanc, PouillyLoche, PouillyFuisse, CteauxChampenois( still white wines from champagne), Beaujolais Noveau etc.
  • Medium Body Wines-These are wines which are round, fairly fat with good body, texture, flavoursome g.- Rioja, Meursault, Hermitage, White Beaune etc.
  • Full Bodied Wine– These wines have heavy body, texture and higher alcoholic content, rich taste and forceful flavour. g. Meursault charmes, chateau chalon, Australian Chardonnays ( White wines) and full bodied reds are Californian Zinfandels, Australian Shiraz, Italian Barbera, Tauarasi, Bulgarian Maurud.


Wine Classification On The Basis Of Unspecified Nomenclature

  • Varietal Wines– These are the wines of North America, which are labelled after the main grape variety in the bottle. Single grape variety is used for making wine. Best known examples are-
  • Red Wines
  1. Zinfandel
  2. Grenache
  3. Cabernet
  • White wines
  1. Sultana
  2. Sauvignon Vert
  3. Cabernet
  • Generic Wines– Generic wines are those wines which are named after the long establishment European areas. Many North American and Australian wines are labeled are Claret, Burgundy, Chablis, Sauternes, Graves, Hock and even Champagne.
  • Green Wine (Vinho Verde)- It is a Portuguese wine, comes from wine grown on the granitic soil in the province of These are acidic wine of low alcoholic content. Red, white and Rose’ wines are made. These are quick Maturing wines.
  • Organic Wine– It is a wine in which no chemicals are added in the soil. Producers use the manure of cattle kept by them. Good examples of organic wines are made by Listel in Carmargue region of France near Montpellier.

Viticulture and viticulture methods

Viticulture denotes how the wine is cultivated. Farming of Vineyards is of prime importance because vineyards without compensatory treatment or neglected vineyards will produce second rate wine. It involves –

  • Vine selection.
  • Keeping the vineyards healthy.
  • Ploughing to aerate the soil.
  • Weeding
  • Fertilizing
  • Pruning to regulate quality.
  • Training the wines.
  • Spraying to combat diseases.
  • Harvesting

Vine Disease

  • Phylloxera – Aphid Phylloxera( small yellow insect) puncture the roots of vine and forms galls on the underside of leaves. The larvae stick to roots and suck the sap.
  • Grey Rot – (Pourituregrise) A grey mould, destroys colour pigmentation in black grapes (growing humid conditions).


Treatment – Anti Rot spray.

  • Mildew – Develops in damp areas, yellow patches on leaves treatment spraying copper sulphate.
  • Chlorosis – Lime stone in soil causes yellowing and even death of vine plant.
  • Frost – It stunts the formation of buds which reduce yield

Old World Wines vs New World Wines

The most basic difference between Old World and New World wines is geographic: “Old World” refers to the traditional winegrowing regions of Europe, while “New World” refers to everything else.

these distinctions can also refer to differences in style. The climates of New World wine regions are often warmer, which tends to result in riper, more alcoholic, full-bodied and fruit-centered wines. These wines are often made in a more highly extracted and oak-influenced style.

Old World wines tend to be lighter-bodied, exhibiting more herb, earth, mineral and floral components. While these are gross generalizations, that’s how these terms are commonly used.

These days, the terms “Old World” and “New World” can take on even broader connotations and spark debates among wine lovers, usually about tradition vs. modernization. “Old World” implies tradition, history, and an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality, while the term “New World” invokes technology, science, corporations and marketing.

Grape varieties

Cabernet Franc

One of the major black grape varieties worldwide, Cabernet Franc is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce Bordeaux. Lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a bright, pale red wine that adds a peppery perfume to more robust blends, as well as notes of tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.


Cabernet Sauvignon

A chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most widely planted wine grape variety in the world. In cooler climates, it produces wines with blackcurrant, green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar notes. Wine from moderate climates sees blackcurrant, black cherry and black olive notes, while in very hot climates the current flavours can become ‘jammy’.


A member of the Cabernet family, Chile produces the majority of Carménère wines available today. Considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, as the Chilean wine industry grows, more experimentation is being carried out on Carménère’s potential as a blending grape, especially with Cabernet Sauvignon.




A green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine, Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne.

The grape itself is very neutral, with its flavours influenced by oak and terroir (the landscape and geology in which it is grown). Cool climates produce a medium to light body with green plum, apple, and pear flavours. Warmer places create more citrus, peach, and melon tastes, while very warm regions bring out fig and tropical fruit notes.


Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world in cooler climates, particularly in the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is also used to make the Italian wine Franciacorta, despite being a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. When young, wines made from pinot noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, pinot has the potential to develop more vegetal and ‘barnyard’ aromas that can contribute to its complexity.


A white grape variety originating from the Rhine region of Germany, Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery aromas and high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines that are usually  pure and seldom oaked.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety planted in many of the world’s wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. The grape is also a component of the famous dessert wines from Sauternes and Barsac. Depending on the climate, the flavour can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. When slightly chilled, it pairs well with fish or cheese – particularly chèvre – and is also known as one of the few wines that goes well with sushi.


The Best Wine Brands and Wines in the World

  • Château Lafite Rothschild is a classified First Growth wine estate in Bordeaux renowned for its expensive red wines. The main grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
  • Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac-This quintessential Bordeaux red wine is made of 80-95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5-20% Merlot, and upto 5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (except in the 1994 vintage and 1961 vintages). It is refined, full-bodied, tannic, and has characteristic notes of dark berries, earth, cedar, and cigar box spice.
  • Carruades de Lafite, Pauillac-Château Lafite’s second wine owes its name to the group of plots in the Carruades plateau, next to the Chateau’s vines on the hilltop. It is a blend of 50-70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30-50% Merlot, 0-5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
  • Penfolds, founded in Adelaide in 1844, is one of Australia’s oldest wine producers. They follow three distinct wine production styles – single vineyard, single region, multi-region, and multi varietal blending. The predominant grape varieties are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
  • Penfolds Grange-Penfolds Grange is a multi-region, multi varietal blend and is widely regarded as a collectors’ item. This Australian First Growth equivalent is made predominantly from Syrah grapes and a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and is priced anywhere over $500
  • MarchesiAntinori is an Italian winery whose history dates back to the 1300s. The main vineyard lies in the Chianti Classico appellation in Florence, although the winemaker has operations in other countries.
  • Tignanello-Tignanello is the most famous of Antinori’s wines. It gets its name from a 47-hectare vineyard in the Santa Cristina estate. It is made from 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc and is loved for its acidity, freshness, and austerity
  • Harlan Estate is a wine maker in Napa Valley, California that produces Bordeaux style blends. The Napa Valley estate has 40 acres under vine with a 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot
  • Harlan Estate 2010-The magnificent Harlan Estate 2010 is rich and full-bodied, layered with expressive dark red and black fruit, cloves, menthol, and leather notes. This Napa Valley wine is best after 3-5 years of bottle age and drinks well over the following 30 years.
  • Harlan Estate 2005-Harlan Estate 2005 is a Bordeaux-style Napa Valley red blend with an opulent, fruity style. You’ll find notes of blackberries, blueberries, violets, spring flowers, and lead pencil with a smooth finish. Let this Napa Valley wine warm in your glass for you to taste it at its charming best
  • WeingutEgon Müller, Scharzhof, is a family-owned German winery in the Saar valley sub-region of the Mosel in Germany. It is owned by winemaker Egon Müller IV and works exclusively with Riesling grapes.
  • 2016 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett-This Riesling is lush and complex on the palate with a herbal mineral quality complemented by berry, earth, musk, and apple notes. It offers a very clear and fresh nose with spicy aromas. While it tastes delicious when consumed young, it also has great aging potential.
  • Scharzhof Riesling QbA-The ScharzhofQbA wine makes a great introduction to Egon Muller Rieslings. Its grapes are sourced from Müller’s Saarburg and Wawern vineyards, and the Wiltinger Braunfels and Kupp vineyards. This light, yet intense wine has a palate that features lime and slate flavors and a peach mid palate.
  • World-famous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) is a winery in Burgundy, France, that makes red and white wine. DRC wines are among the most expensive in the wine market. They’re named after Romanée-Conti, the domaine’s most famous vineyard. This is the wine that any serious collector would love o have in their portfolio.
  • 2007 Grands-Echezeaux, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti-This wine has flavors of ripe raspberry and cherry with a roasted meat dimension. You’ll enjoy its rich, creamy texture with hints of vanilla and caramel and savory notes of cardamom and ginger.
  • La Tâche, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti-This Burgundy Côte de Nuits red wine is made of Pinot Noir grapes. Wine lovers covet it for its leather, tobacco, earth and smoky notes and rich fruit flavor
  • Moët &Chandon (Moët) is a French winery and co-owner of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. It is one of the largest champagne houses in the world established in 1743 by Claude Moët.
  • In 1971, Moët &Chandon merged with Hennessy Cognac, and with Louis Vuitton in 1987 to become Louis-Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy or LVMH.
  • Dom Perignon-Dom Perignon is a vintage Champagne named after a 17th-century Benedectine monk who was one of the pioneers for Champagne wine. It is made of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. You’ll never come across a non-vintage Dom Perignon as each bottle contains grapes only from the same year.These wines are not produced during weak or mediocre harvest years. So they have instant collector value and investment value as soon as they are released.
  • Moet Imperial-The iconic Moet Imperial is loved for its vibrant fruitiness, a seductive palate, and refined elegance. It is made of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. It has a yellow color with green highlights and has the intensity of green apple and citrus fruit with nuances of white flowers.


The reason we try to serve wine at their correct temperatures is because the temperature can dramatically impact the way a wine smells and tastes. By serving the wine at its ideal temperature, we ensure we have the best experience.


We like to put our bubbly in the freezer about an hour before we pop it – but don’t forget about it or you’ll have an explosion. If you’re short on time, you can also place the bottle in an ice bucket for 30 minutes and have similar results. The ice cold temperature will keep the bubbles fine rather than foamy. After you open the bottle and pour the first glasses, you should place the open bottle on ice until the entire bottle is finished.


The best way to get white wine and rose cold is to place it in the fridge immediately after buying it; however, if you buy the wine the same day you want to drink it, either leave it in the fridge for several hours, or you can place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. That should do the trick!  After opening the bottle and pouring everyone their first glass, we prefer not to place it on ice, but instead let the bottle sweat on the table, as the wine’s aromas and character changes slightly as the temperature rises, which we love.


The most common misconception with red wine is that it is ideal to serve it at room temperature, when in fact serving it cool is the best way to enjoy it. To cool red down to its proper temperature, we like to place it in the fridge an hour before serving it. For quicker results, you can put it in the freezer for just 15 minutes. After opening and either decanting or pouring the first glasses, just as with white we like leaving the wine out on the table to slowly warm.


When you serve wine, it should be done in a glass that is transparent so you can have the opportunity to appreciate its color. It should be served in either a regular wine glass or one made of crystal. Regular everyday glasses are not appropriate because you need a stem on the glass in order to hold the glass without warming it with your hands. Some people like to use different shaped wine glasses for different types of wine. Red wine glasses are wider than other types and they have a large bowl. The reason red wine glasses are wider is because red wine needs to be swirled around to come into contact with air. The wider area helps with this. White wine glasses are smaller than red wine glasses and are tulip shaped. The smaller area prevents it from warming up too fast. Sparkling wine glasses are tall, thin and flute shaped. This keeps it cooler and allows for the formation of bubbles.

Wine service

Decanting is the process of pouring a bottle of wine into a decorative decanter before serving in order to separate any sediment that has formed. It also helps aerate the wine, which can give it a boost in flavor and aroma. This process is typically saved for red wines that have been stored for more than five to ten years, but some guests might specially request that their wine be decanted

How to Open Wine at the Table?

Let’s say a party of four wishes to share a bottle of wine. Unlike decanting, where the bottle is opened and poured away from the table, your waitstaff will need to be able to professionally open and serve the wine right at the table in front of the guests.

To open a bottle of wine, employees should follow these steps:

  1. Cut the foil around half an inch from the lip of the bottle using a foil cutter or the small knife in a waiter’s style wine key. This ensures the wine doesn’t touch the foil and can help prevent dripping.
  2. Place the corkscrew directly into the center of the cork and unscrew it straight into the air. Once the cork is three-quarters out of the bottle, finish it quietly by hand to avoid a loud popping noise. One way to do this is to gently wiggle the cork back and forth until it’s all the way out of the bottle.
  3. After the cork is removed, wipe it and the top of the bottle off. This helps remove cork debris and dust from storage.

Things to Do Before Pouring Wine

Begin by showing the wine to the person who ordered it, no matter who is paying the bill. They should frame the label with their hands and announce the vineyard, grape, location, and vintage to your guests. Make sure your servers know not to open the bottle until they get confirmation that the wine is exactly what the guest wants. It’s also essential that everyone partaking has the right style of wine glass. It’s poor etiquette for waitstaff to retreat to the kitchen for another glass after they’ve already poured wine for the rest of the table

How to Serve a Sip of Wine for Your Guests to Taste

At this point, it’s customary to present the cork to the guest who ordered the bottle for them to sniff or examine, allowing them to verify the condition of the wine. Some guests feel the cork to make sure it’s not dried out, while others will smell the cork to take in its distinct aroma or examine the color of the cork to ensure that the bottle has been stored properly on its side. If they decline, employees should simply place the cork on a coaster to the guest’s right.

When pouring wine, servers should wrap the bottle in a clean linen napkin to protect it from the warmth of their hands. This isn’t essential for serving red wines that aren’t chilled, but your guests will probably appreciate the extra effort you’re putting forth to ensure the perfect serving conditions for their wine. Waiters’ gloves can serve the same purpose while also projecting professionalism.

With the bottle wrapped up for temperature control, it’s time to make the first pour for the person who will taste the wine for approval. Make sure your employees know to pour so that the glass is filled only about half an inch, just enough for the guest to know if it’s acceptable.

Wine Serving Styles

Your servers should always pour in a clockwise pattern and serve women first (even if this means going around the table twice). They should finish serving with the guest who ordered the wine, regardless of their gender. They should also always pour from the customer’s right. Your waitstaff must judge the appropriate amount of wine to serve each guest based on the number of people at the table but never pour more than half a glass. An average 750 mL bottle of wine will provide approximately five pours.

How to Finish Pouring a Glass of Wine

Employees should finish each pour with a twisting motion and wipe the lip of the bottle to avoid dripping. When they’ve finished serving your guests, they’ll place the bottle to the right of the host with the label facing outwards and ask permission to remove the cork from the table.

If the guests are enjoying white wine, the server should ask them if they would like the wine left on the table. If they would, make sure servers provide them with a wine bucket or cooler. Since white wine is usually served chilled, your guests might also opt to have your waitstaff return it to the underbar refrigerator until they are ready for a second glass.

Different Wine Pouring Styles


Some wines need to be poured slightly differently. Additionally, you may be asking yourself: what is a serving of wine? Here are a few basic guidelines for servers to keep in mind:

  • Sparkling: Pour in a trickle to avoid over-stimulating the bubbles. Pour a small amount in the flute, let the bubbles settle, and then finish pouring the glass until it’s three-quarters full.
  • Red: Slowly pour the standard wine pour (4 oz.) into the center of the glass until it’s around half full.
  • White: Slowly pour the standard wine pour (3 oz.) into the center of the glass until it’s around one-third full.

Regardless of the type of wine, servers should always hold the bottle with both hands and leave the glass on the table as they pour. Additionally, they need to make sure there’s 6″ to 10″ between the bottom of the wine glass to the lip of the bottle as they pour, as this allows the wine to aerate as it falls into the glass.

How to Serve a Single Glass of Wine

What if a guest merely wants a single glass of wine with dinner? This patron is not interested in buying the entire bottle, so it’s perfectly acceptable to put the bottle back into storage after serving.It’s always good etiquette to show the bottle to your guests, even if they only order a glass. This allows your guests to verify that they are drinking what they ordered.

Ensuring your servers know how to pour wine at your bar or restaurant is crucial to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all of your customers, regardless of whether they are enjoying a fine wine. Many guests rely on their waiter or waitress to suggest, present, and serve the perfect wine for their tastes, making it crucial for waiters to know the pertinent facts on each wine and how to serve it accordingly. Wine presentation etiquette is crucial to serving vino, and an outstanding experience can generate return business and improve tips.


An apéritif is an alcoholic drink, such as dry wine, that is served before a meal. It stimulates the appetite and may be served alone or with light hors d’œuvres, such as cheese, antipasti, bread, or pâté.

Common Apéritifs

Many apéritifs are wine based beverages, while others are spirits. Fortified and sparkling wines make particularly delicious pre-dinner drinks, as do light cocktails.

Wine-Based Apéritifs

Some common wine-based apéritifs include the following.

  • Dry Sherry: Sherry can range from light and dry to heavy and sweet. As an apéritif, choose a light, dry style of Sherry such as a Fino or a ManzanillaFina.
  • Dry Champagne or sparkling wine: Champagne and sparkling wine can also range from dry to sweet; choose the dry (brut or extra brut) versions of French Champagne or sparkling wines.
  • Prosecco: Prosecco is an Italian wine that can be dry or sweet and sparkling, semi-sparkling, or flat. Choose a sparkling or semi-sparkling dry Prosecco (extra brut or brut).
  • Cava: Cava is Spain’s answer to Champagne. Like Champagne, Cava can range from dry to sweet. Choose a dry (brut) Cava.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: With crisp grassy and herbal character, Sauvignon Blanc is the ideal apéritif wine. Try one from New Zealand’s Marlborough region or a crisp and savory Sancerre from France’s Loire Valley.
  • Chablis: Lean and acidic Chablis from France’s Burgundy wine region is anunoaked Chardonnay that has a lovely mineral and saline character to serve perfectly as an apéritif.
  • Dry rosé wine: A dry rosé wine, such as a rosé from Provence in France or a crisp rosé of Pinot Noir makes a great pre-meal apéritif.
  • Lillet Blanc: Lillet Blanc is a blend of citrus liqueurs and Bordeaux wine grapes that is slightly sweet and can be served chilled or on the rocks.
  • Vermouth: Vermouth is an aromatized and fortified wine used in mixed drinks such as the classic Martini. Choose a dry vermouth.
  • Dubonnet: If you prefer your apéritifs a bit on the sweeter side, then you may enjoy Dubonnet. It’s a fortified sweet wine aromatized with herbs and spices.

Apéritif Spirits

Spirits used as apéritifs often have bitter flavors and a low sugar content. Compared to other types of spirits, apéritif spirits also tend to be reasonably low in alcohol content. You can drink apéritif spirits straight up, on the rocks, diluted with a splash, or in cocktails.

  • Ouzo: Ouzo is an anise flavored liquor popular in Greece. Serve over an ice cube or add a splash of very cold water to slightly cool the beverage.
  • Campari: Campari is an Italin aperitivo. It contains infusion of fruit and herbs. Serve Campari with a splash of soda over ice or use it in cocktails.
  • Aperol: An Italian liqueur that is similar to Campari, Aperol is lower in alcohol and slightly less bitter. Serve it in a classic Aperol Spritz (recipe below).
  • Pernod and Pastis: French anise-flavored liqueurs that were originally made to replace absinthe, serve Pernod and Pastis with chilled water. Pour the liqueur into a glass and then pour the water over the top. You can add ice if you wish.
  • Pimm’s No. 1: Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur fortified with fruits, bitter herbs, and quinine. Serve it over ice in lemonade or ginger ale for a classic British apéritif.
  • Rakı: Rakı is a traditional Turkish or Albanian licorice-flavored liqueur. Drink it in a shot glass – or in a traditional kadeh filled with equal parts rakı and water and/or ice.



Apéritif Cocktails

You can also have apéritif cocktails before dinner. These cocktails are typically very dry, many with a slightly bitter edge.

  • Negroni: This sunset colored cocktail contains Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.
  • Martini: The classic martini, made either with gin or vodka and dry vermouth, is the perfect pre-dinner apéritif.
  • Vesper martini: James Bond’s favorite dry martini (shaken, not stirred) is made with gin and Lillet Blanc.
  • Aperol spritz (Spritz Veneziano): This drink combines 2 ounces of Prosecco, 1¼ ounces of Aperol, and a splash of soda over ice.
  • Gin and tonic: The popular combination of London dry gin, lemon, and tonic water is a classic apéritif with bitter and aromatic flavor profiles.
  • Vodka tonic: The less aromatic version of the gin and tonic is simple to make with a combination of vodka and tonic water served over ice.
  • Kirroyale: Combine 3 ounces of chilled Champagne with ⅓ ounce of crème de cassis to create a classic apéritif cocktail.

When to Serve an Apéritif

Serve an apéritif as guests arrive in the cocktail hour before dinner. Serve in smaller portions in order to keep from overfilling the stomach before a meal.


There is often confusion about the difference between an apéritif and a digestif. An apéritif is meant to start a meal and is therefore not very sweet, slightly bitter, and light. A digestif is meant to be consumed after a meal as a way to stimulate digestion of what you have just eaten. Digestifs are often heavier and more full-bodied and are consumed to “finish the meal” much like you would eat dessert. These usually include sweeter or higher alcoholic beverages, such as Port, Cognac or Armagnac, or sweeter Sherries such as cream sherry. Dessert wines and sweet fortified wines also will work as digestifs, including Marsala and Madeira. Likewise, higher alcohol brown liquors such as a nice, well-rounded single malt scotch or bourbon make great digestifs.

A fortified wine is a delicious, viscous wine-based sipping treat that is often enjoyed as a drink before or after dinner. The most common types of fortified wines are Madeira, Marsala, port, sherry, and vermouth.

These still wines have been “fortified” with a distilled spirit such as brandy. The original use of fortification was to preserve the wine, as casks of wine were prone to turn to vinegar during long sea voyages. The spirit added might also enhance the wine’s natural flavors. The liquor is added to the base wine during fermentation. This fortifying of the wine brings the average alcohol content up to around 17 to 20 percent alcohol by volume.

Fortified wines can be made in either a dry or a sweet style. The middle-ground of medium-sweet or medium-dry is covered in virtually all of the fortified wine categories and they will vary from one producer to the next.

Types of Fortified Wine

There are five basic styles of fortified wine. These vary by regional preferences or the methods used in producing them:

  • Madeira is a white fortified wine from the Portuguese island of the same name. It comes with various classifications, including by grape and age.
  • Marsala is an Italian specialty originating from the country’s southern region. It is classified by both color and age, with sweet and dry varieties represented.
  • Port wine is the best-known fortified wine. Though Portugal is known for creating ports, it’s now produced throughout the world. For this wine, you can choose from tawny, ruby, vintage, and white ports.
  • Sherry is a well-known fortified wine produced in Southwest Spain. It comes in fino (dry and light-bodied) and oloroso (dry but richer) styles.
  • Vermouth is probably better known as the “other” ingredient in a martini, but it’s great to sip on its own as an aperitif. It is generally available as either dry or sweet. Vermouth is produced worldwide and varies in taste and quality depending on the producer.
  • Serving Recommendations
  • Similar to other wines, serving temperatures vary with fortified wines. While some are best chilled, its recommended to serve others at room temperature. This is also going to depend on your personal preference as well.
  • While any fortified wine is designed to be enjoyed straight from the bottle, they’re useful in mixing up cocktails. They’re often best in simple drinks, such as the sherry cobbler and white port and tonic.
  • Fortified wines also make a great cooking wine. If you find that your wine is too far gone to drink, add it to a sauce or another recipe that calls for a little wine.

Some brands of Port available at Spirits:

  • Croft
  • Dow’s
  • Fonseca
  • Graham’s
  • Porto Maritavora


Brands of Sherry

  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Lustau
  • Valdivia


Brands of Madiera

  • Paul Masson Madiera (California)
  • Rare Wine Co. Madieras


  • CribariMarsala (California)



  • Dolin Vermouth (Blanc, Dry and Rosso)
  • Martini & Rossi Vermouth (Dry and Rosso




Any of several distilled liquors made from a fermented mash of cereal grains and including Scotch, Irish, and Canadian whiskeys and the various whiskeys of the United States. Whiskey is always aged in wooden containers, usually of white oak. The name, spelled without an e by the Scots and Canadians and with an e in Ireland and the United States, comes from the Celtic usquebaugh (Irish uisce beathadh, Scots Gaelic uisgebeatha, both adaptations of the Latin phrase aqua vitae, meaning “water of life”). The earliest direct account of whiskey making is found in Scottish records dating from 1494.

Scotch whiskys are somewhat light in body, with a distinctive smoky malt flavour. They are made primarily from barley that is malted and then heated over a peat fire, the oily, acrid smoke of which flavours the malt. Variations among whiskys of the Highlands, Lowlands, Campbeltown, and Islay regions are caused partly by differences in the amount of heating the malt receives. The flavoured malt is combined with water, producing a mash, and then fermented to make a beer. When the beer is distilled, it produces a whisky containing 70 percent alcohol by volume (i.e., 140 U.S. proof). This product is successively reduced with water to about 43 percent by volume.

Irish whiskeys taste much like Scotch but without the smoky quality. They are produced by methods similar to those for Scotch whisky, but the malt is not exposed to smoke during roasting. Irish whiskeys pass through three distillations and are sometimes blended with neutral grain whiskeys to produce a lighter-bodied product.

The Canadian whisky industry began in the early 19th century. Canadian whiskys are light in body and flavour and are always blends of both highly flavoured and neutral grain whiskys. They are made from mashes composed of combinations of corn, rye, wheat, and barley malt prepared according to the formula of the individual producer. Canadian whiskys are usually aged for at least six years, then reduced with water to an alcoholic content of about 45 percent by volume before bottling.

In the United States, whiskey production began early in the 18th century. Major distillation centres are established in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Their product is made with malt and other grains (usually corn or rye), producing a beer that is distilled to make a whiskey of 80 percent alcohol content by volume. This distillate, high in flavouring substances derived from the original raw materials, is reduced with water to about 50–52 percent alcohol and aged in unused charred white-oak barrels. Straight whiskeys may be stored in government-bonded warehouses.

Bourbon is characterized by the flavour of corn (maize), used as the main raw material. It was first produced in Bourbon county, Kentucky, and the name bourbon eventually became a general term for similar corn-mash whiskeys. Sour mashes, used mainly in bourbon production, are fermented with yeast, including a portion of previously fermented yeast; other whiskeys are made from sweet mashes, employing only fresh yeast.

In the United States, straight whiskeys are named for the grains predominating in the mash, with at least 51 percent required for whiskeys designated as straight. If a mash of at least 51 percent barley malt is employed, the product is straight malt whiskey; if rye malt is used, it is straight rye whiskey. Straight bourbon mashes contain at least 51 percent corn; straight corn-whiskey mashes contain at least 80 percent. Combinations of similar straight whiskeys of different distillation periods or from different distillers are designated as blended, rather than straight.

 Scotch Brands

1           Jhony Walker Diageo

2          Ballantine’s

3          Grant’s

4          Chivas

5          J & B

6          William Peel

7          Wm Lawsons

8          Famous Grouse

9          Dewar’s

10        Label 5

11        Bells

12        Black & White

The Best Irish Whiskeys

1           Jameson Irish Whiskey. …

2          Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey. …

3          Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey. …

4          Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey. …

5          Green Spot Irish Whiskey. …

6          Redbreast 12 Year. …

7          Powers Gold Label. …

8          Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey.


Canadian brand

  • LOT 40

American brand

  • Bourbon
  • Maker’s Mark
  • Bourbon
  • Elijah Craig
  • Bourbon
  • Wild Turkey Longbranch
  • Stranahan’s Single Malt Whiskey
  • Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack
  • Abasolo Ancestral Corn Mexican Whisky
  • Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Few Rye Whiskey

Service of whiskey

  • Neat – for traditional taste
  • In coffee – for a delicious wake-up
  • In a cocktail
  • With lemonade – to add a touch more flavor
  • With ice cubes – to give it a refreshing edge


Rum is a liquor distilled from sugar. The sugar may be either pure cane sugar, a syrup, or molasses. No matter the base, the underlying flavor profile of rum is a sweet, toasted sugar.


  • White Rum: As per name, clear, lighter bodied, though often aged very briefly and filtered
  • Gold Rum: Slightly more complex than white rums due to aging in oak barrels, still good for cocktails as they’re not yet extremely complex
  • Dark Rum: Aged for longer periods of time, with darker, fuller flavor profiles, good for sipping solo
  • Demerera Rum: While many rums are made from sugar cane grown in Brazil, Demerera is made from cane grown in Guyana, with long aging and a rich, dark flavor profile similar to Jamaican rum; distilled using old stills, thought to be indicative of how rum used to taste
  • Spiced Rum: A distilled rum that’s been flavored with spices, usually upping the impression of spice often gotten from barrel-aging.
  • Rhum Agricole: Made with sugar cane juice instead of molasses, so terroir (i.e. where the sugar cane was grown) is an important factor; can be white, gold, dark, etc., with flavors that incorporate vegetal notes into the complex rum backdrop
  • Naval/Overproof: Refers to any rum that’s higher alcohol (50 to 60% and above)


  • Mount Gay
  • The Real McCoy
  • Appleton Estate
  • Plantation
  • Holmes Cay
  • Diplomático
  • Rhum JM
  • Don Q
  • Goslings
  • Rhum Barbancourt



Rum can be drunk in many different ways and is undoubtedly the world’s most versatile spirit.
Although white rums are generally used to make cocktails, some of them have such a rich aroma that they can also be enjoyed straight. Highly perfumed rums go very well with fruit juice flavours. However, the higher the level of impurity (level of non-alcohol), the more the rum is aromatic, and, therefore, the more it deserves to be served neat rather than incorporated into a cocktail. The white rhums in this category are worth a closer look. Some of the Jamaican white rums, that are white despite being made from molasses and distilled in pot stills, are equally remarkable.
The dark rums are more for tasting straight in a cognac-style glass. However, fine feathers don’t necessarily make fine birds, and this is the case for both rum and whisky – an amber colour is not always proof of quality. This category of spirits, lacking in any legal framework, is sadly often abused and labels are rarely much help when choosing rum. The French rums are actually the most reliable since they are strictly regulated.


Gin, flavoured, distilled, colourless to pale yellow liquor made from purified spirits usually obtained from a grain mash and having the juniper berry as its principal flavouring ingredient. It includes both the malty-flavoured and full-bodied Netherlands types and the drier types, characterized by distinct botanical flavouring, produced in Britain and the United States.


London Dry

London Dry, originating in…England…but produced all over the world, is what most people think of when they think of gin—and it’s what you typically get in a G&T or martini. Beefeater, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire. “You’re definitely gonna get juniper,” said O’Neill, “because juniper is the most dominant flavor within the gin and hence the reason it’s called gin (juniper is genévrier in French).” Juniper, as in the Christmas-tree flavored berry often found in certain Bath and Body Works products, mellows out when distilled.


Plymouth gin is technically a style of gin, but only one distillery produces it and it’s one of the oldest recorded distilleries in the U.K. It’s been through a lot–different owners, a little thing called World War II, the general progression of time and vodka.

Old Tom

Old Tom is the corduroy-clad hipster of gins. After a quick discussion of the death rate versus birth rate in the 16th, 17th, and the 18th centuries, professor O’Neill basically said that back then, gin got a bad rap because so many people were making their own. And it was terrible. “They would have used things like licorice or a sweetening agent to actually sweeten the gin. So it became known as bathtub gin, that style. Old Tom was originally a sweetened style of gin that was produced and it came around the middle of the 18th century, and Old Tom was the street name for the gin.”


This is the original style of gin, dating back to 16th-century Holland. The base grains are malted (so the grain starts to germinate aka liiiiive and then that process is halted), similar to whiskey, giving it a more robust flavor. It’s also flavored with juniper and botanicals, but less so than the other gin types.


  • Gordon’s
  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Tanqueray
  • Beefeater
  • Seagram’s
  • Larios
  • Hendrick’s
  • Gin Mare

Service of gin

Gin & Tonic

The legendary combination of gin and tonic water has been delighting drinkers since the 1700s, when it was invented by British colonialists in India. Malaria posed a major health threat in this region, so doctors often prescribed quinine – a liquid that acts as an antimalarial. But quinine had a bitter, unpleasant taste, so people took to mixing it with gin, sugar, lime, and water to improve its flavour. And thus tonic water (made of water, quinine, and sugar) was born, paired with delicious gin.

Gin & Cucumber

Gin and cucumber is one of the all-time classic drinks combinations. But why does it work so well? The matching of a botanical spirit to a watery vegetable might seem counter-intuitive, but it makes for a delicious combination.

A Fruit Cup

A fruit cup is an absolute British classic; typically a gin-based fruit concoction which is intended to be made into a long drink by the addition of a mixer like lemonade or ginger ale

Gin Martini

As we recently discussed in our James Bond drinks post, a martini made of gin, vermouth, and an olive or lemon garnish is a truly classic cocktail. There are variations on the form – a traditional dry martini is made with dry white vermouth for less sweetness, while for those who prefer a hint more sweetness, a perfect martini uses equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth.

Drinking Gin Straight

Of course, you can always drink your gin straight. Some people will even tell you that it’s the best way to enjoy gin. Just pour the gin over a few ice cubes and drop in a lime wedge if you fancy. Naturally, to enjoy a spirit neat it must be of good quality – there’s nothing worse than nasty, bitter, cheap gin.



Vodka, distilled liquor, clear and colourless and without definite aroma or taste, ranging in alcoholic content from about 40 to 55 percent. Because it is highly neutral, flavouring substances having been mainly eliminated during processing, it can be made from a mash of the cheapest and most readily available raw materials suitable for fermentation. Potatoes were traditionally employed in Russia and Poland but have largely been supplanted there and in other vodka-producing countries by cereal grains.


Plain Vodka

The traditional vodka consists of about 95 percent alcohol and high-quality vodkas are 96.5 percent alcohol. There is a lot of sophistication that goes into making other spirits, but vodka is the simplest spirit to make in the industry

Fruit and Herbal Vodka (Infusions)

This type of vodka relies heavily on the infusion process, which requires a longer production window. But the results present a much more flavorful spirit filled with colors and aromas. The infusion takes about three solid weeks, it’s then filtered, and finalized through the aging process.

Flavored Vodkas

This type of vodka is not new and there has been rising popularity in flavored vodkas for years now. Flavored vodkas have become in-demand because in part because of its versatility in unique flavors


  • Ketel One
  • Chopin
  • Grey goose
  • Van gogh
  • Belvedere
  • Absolut
  • Stolichnaya
  • Hangar 1
  • Three olives


  • It can be taken straight up or neat.
  • It also goes well with a variety of mixers like tonic, lime coridal and soda, areated drinks like sprite and orange juice and tomato juice


Though it is possible to make brandy from any fruit, the most popular choice for making them is early grapes. Used predominantly as an after dinner drink, brandy contains about 35% to 60% of alcohol. To age brandy, it is stored in wooden barrels or subjected to caramel coloring



Cognac is by far the best-known brandy of all and, while there are many producers, a small number of very well-known international brands dominate. These brandies must be produced within the Cognac region, just north of Bordeaux, and matured in oak barrels


Armagnac is another production area in France renowned for high-quality brandies. Unlike in Cognac, small producers tend to dominate. Differences in the way these brandies are produced generally mean Armagnacs having bolder, more complex aromas and flavours compared with Cognac


France’s famous apple brandy, known as Calvados, is made in production regions particularly well-suited to growing apples in Normandy, northern France. Because Calvados is usually produced in very large oak vessels, oak influence is minimised and apple brandies will retain pronounced aromas of apple, even after long ageing


Italy is famous for grappa – a pomace brandy made with the skins of grapes that are discarded by winemakers. The pomace from black grapes includes some alcohol. This is because black grape skins give red wines their colour and need to be included in the fermentation.


One other type of brandy, produced in Chile and Peru, is called pisco. These are pot-distilled brandies made from highly aromatic grapes, especially from the Muscat family of grape varieties.


  • Old Admiral
  • Rémy Martin.
  • Courvoisier.
  • McDowell’s No 1
  • Torres Brandy.
  • Old Kenigsberg.



The most classic way to drink brandy is in a special cocktail glass called a brandy snifter. The snifter has a bowl and rim shape that directs the brandy to the appropriate part of your tongue and delivers the aromas to your nose.

Drink brandy at room temperature, which makes the most of the flavors and aromatics in the spirit. Bring the brandy to room temperature by leaving the bottle out on the counter for about an hour.

Pour It Into a Snifter

Pour the brandy into the snifter without ice (neat). The proper serving amount for brandy is 1.5 ounces.


Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the Agave tequilana Weber Blue, blue agave or Agave Azul, and produced only in five areas of Mexico: Jalisco (where 99% is made and home to the town Tequila) as well as Guanajuanto, Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Nayarit – these are known as the Denomination of Origin Tequila (DOT) and recognised as such in more than 40 countries.

 Types of Tequila:

  • Blanco (white) or plata (silver)– can be bottled directly after distillation or rested in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels to allow oxidisation for up to two months. These have a bold taste and work well in cocktails.
  • Joven (young) or Oro (gold)– sometimes blends of unaged and aged tequilas but more commonly unaged tequilas produced in the same way as blancos but given a golden hue from the addition of colouring and additives for flavour.
  • Reposado (rested)– must be aged in oak barrels of unspecified size or vats called ‘pipones’ for a minimum of two months and up to a maximum of 12 months. Best for mixed drinks and sipping.
  • Añejo– must be aged in oak casks with a maximum capacity of 600 litres for at least one year, or between one and three years. These often have a toasty, vanilla and citrus flavour.
  • Extra Añejo– must be aged at least three years in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 600 litres. These generally have more of a smoky flavour and can be compared to fine French Cognacs with similar price tags.
  • Curados– a new category launched in 2006 – tequilas flavoured with natural ingredients such as lemon, orange, strawberry, pineapple and pear. A minimum 25% agave spirit must be used with 75% of the fermentable sugars coming from cane or corn and the addition of sweeteners, colouring and/or flavourings up to 75ml per litre.


  • Don Julio
  • Ocho
  • Patrón
  • Calle 23
  • Tapatio
  • Fortaleza
  • Jose Cuervo
  • Herradura
  • Olmeca Altos
  • Cimarrón


Liqueurs are a diverse family of strong, sweet, alcoholic beverages, usually containing distilled spirits such as brandy, whiskey, and rum, which are made by combining spirits with sugar and flavourings

Liqueur Varieties

Liqueurs have a wide range of flavors, from coffee to almond to orange. There are also cream liqueurs, like Baileys Irish Cream, and crème liqueurs, which are much sweeter and likened to a potent syrup, like crème de cacao.

Grand Marnier is a delicious example of an orange liqueur. It is an ingredient in classic cocktails such as the whiskey daisy and makes a flavorful addition to many recipes. It’s also a delight when sipped as a nightcap in hot tea.

Other well-known liqueurs are amaretto, Chambord, Cointreau, crème de cassis, crème de menthe, Irish cream, Kahlua, and the variety of flavorful schnapps, to name just a few. Some are brand names and use exclusive recipes, while others are made in a style with a signature flavor that are produced by different companies.

Serving Liqueur

One of the biggest benefits of liqueurs is how versatile they are. Like many spirits, liqueurs can be used in mixed drinks, served neat, over ice, with coffee or mixed with other non-alcoholic beverages such as cream or milk. Many can be used for cooking or in baking and certain liqueurs have even become the major highlight of many desserts.




Sours contain citrus juice, should be tart (or at least tangy) and are usually shaken in a cocktail shaker and served straight up. (Juice drinks like screwdrivers and greyhounds go in the tall/fizz category.) Fresh squeezed juices are critical here, often paired with simple syrup (sugar dissolved in an equal volume of water) to sweeten. Sidecars, margaritas, cosmopolitans and the newly revived favorite Last Word can all be considered sours

Fizz or Collins

Fizzes include anything with bubbles — highballs, Champagne cocktails, Collinses, mules, bucks. These drinks can be incredibly simple and are clearly the most refreshing. Plus it is not difficult to keep a few six-packs of sodas and 750s of basic booze in your liquor cabinet. Throw in a few lemons and limes, and you can whip up a Moscow mule, a rye and ginger, a Campari gin and tonic, a mojito, a Tom Collins or a paloma anytime.


These drinks are the most spirit-forward of the collection, a three-part combo of booze plus what’s known as a “modifier” (a lower-alcohol ingredient like vermouth) plus a bitter or a syrup. Here we find the beloved martini (did you know early martini recipes call for orange bitters?), Manhattan, Brooklyn, Negroni, boulevardier, Rob Roy and all of their bold and boozy cousins.


Rules for making cocktails

The Pour

There are two pouring techniques bartenders use behind the bar. One calls for a jigger (a bartender’s measuring tool) and the other ‘free pours’ the liquid directly into the glass/shaker, measuring by eye or by counting

Frosting Glassware

Frosting glassware isn’t a ‘technique,’ it’s more of a best practice. It doesn’t require any skill, you just need to know why you do it and how to do it.

The reason why we chill glassware is because it helps keep cocktails crisp & cool for longer. This is especially important for drinks served without ice, like a Martini or Manhattan.


Muddling is a cocktail making technique that’s used when you want to crush an ingredient to extract its juices & flavors. It’s commonly used for ingredients like citrus wedges, softer fruits, and certain spices like ginger.

The tool bartenders use to muddle ingredients is appropriately called a muddler (a long stick). But you could also use the back of a bar spoon (commonly used for ingredients like ginger).


Similarly to frosting glassware, you can’t really call building a ‘technique.’ It’s more of a method than a mixing technique. Building means that you pour all of the ingredients into the glass you’ll be serving it in as opposed to preparing the drink in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass beforehand.

You simply ‘build’ the ingredients on top of each other.


The majority of cocktails you’ll be making throughout your bartending career will require shaking. The reason why we shake cocktails is because it’s one of the fastest ways to mix ingredients together, whilst simultaneously cooling & diluting the drink down.


Stirring cocktails is another common cocktail making technique that bartenders use & love. The infamous Martini immediately comes to mind when I think of a drink that requires stirring.


Rolling is a mixing technique in-between shaking and stirring. It mixes ingredients more thoroughly than stirring does, but it’s still more gentle than shaking. This is a great technique to use when you want to mix ingredients reasonably well, but you don’t want to over dilute the drink.


Straining a drink means that you pass the mix through ‘strainers’ to remove any solids that you don’t want entering the final cocktail. These solids could be ice cubes, ice shards, pulp, muddled fruit, etc.

There are 3 different straining tools that bartenders commonly use:

  • The julep strainer,
  • The hawthorn strainer, and
  • The fine strainer.


Layering is a bartending technique that involves gently pouring different colored liquids on top of each other so that you can see the separation between them. A great example of this is the Pousse-cafe cocktail.


Blending simply means mixing drinks by throwing the ingredients into an electronic blender and pressing GO!

It’s used when you want to mix heavier ingredients (fruits, ice-cream, etc) and you to achieve a thicker/fuller texture. Clearly, it doesn’t require any skill so it’s an easy one to get right!


Garnishing is the practice of adding something to the final drink to make it look nicer and/or add something extra to indulge the senses of taste & smell. That could be a citrus twist, lighting the drink on fire, dropping in an olive, or something else entirely.


Recipes of 20 Classical Cocktail


The Old Fashioned is timeless. This simple classic made with rye or bourbon, a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, a thick cube of ice, and an orange twist delivers every time. That’s it — the most popular cocktail in the world.


We love Negronis at VinePair, so much so that we’re sorely disappointed when a bartender doesn’t know how to make one. Thankfully, that shouldn’t happen much longer, as the Negroni claims the No. 2 spot for the sixth year running. Gin, Campari, and vermouth in a perfect, punchy package.


The Daiquiri is often abused with fruit and blenders, but a true Daiquiri made with white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup is a clean and refreshing drink for any occasion.


A well-made dry Martini is elegance in a glass. The classic mix of gin and dry vermouth ranks No. 6 in the top 50 cocktails of the year.


This dependable drink is an easy fit for whiskey lovers, as well as those weary of the brown spirit: its lemony lift and slight sweetness make it appealing for citrus lovers, too. Its simple recipe calls for whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar.


Like a refined Red Bull and vodka for coffee lovers, the Espresso Martini promises a pick-me-up, calm-me-down effect in a tasty package. The after-dinner drink will wake you up while still keeping your buzz going. It’s also been called a Vodka Espresso and Pharmaceutical Stimulant.


The Margarita, in its tart, tangy simplicity, is probably the most well-known tequila cocktail in the world. It keeps its spot as the top tequila-based classic in 2019.


It’s hard to stray from the Manhattan, and the recent rise of rye whiskey makes it even more difficult. Spicy rye, sweet vermouth, and two dashes of Angostura, stirred, strained, and garnished with a brandied cherry can make you feel like a true class act.


The Mojito might be Cuba’s most popular contribution to cocktail culture. The simple mix of white rum, lime juice, cane sugar, and soda (with muddled mint, please) is fresh and tropical, and it’s a classic.


If you haven’t noticed the Aperol Spritz, you haven’t been drinking (or on Instagram). Moving into the top 10 from No. 22 in 2017, this popular aperitif is as visually pleasing as it is tasty and easy to make: a three-two-one ratio of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda.


This famous mug-dwelling drink contains ginger, vodka, lime, and soda. It’s famously served in a Moscow Mule mug, which we venture to guess is much of its slushy appeal.


Two parts gin, one part lime juice, and one-half part sweetener, the Gimlet is an easy sipper that inspires many iterations, and has risen 10 spots in popularity since 2019.


Developed by bartender Julio Bermejo of San Francisco’s Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in the 1990s, the Tommy’s Margarita doubles the amount of agave present in the traditional Margarita by swapping out the orange liqueur for agave syrup. You’ve probably had your share of Tommy’s Margaritas without even realizing it.


The Bloody Mary is as much an experience as a drink. The brunch-time staple is best enjoyed with a house mix of tomato juice, vodka, and spices. And, if it’s your thing, an array of garnishes, from celery and olives, to bacon, to entire cheeseburgers, are known to make appearances.


A VinePair staff favorite, the Boulevardier is the Negroni’s fraternal twin that utilizes whiskey instead of gin. It’s simply equal parts rye, amaro, and sweet vermouth. Garnish with an orange twist, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon.


Jumping 26 spots since 2018, the Clover Club was originally named after a men’s club in Philadelphia, and is now synonymous with the eponymous premiere cocktail club in Brooklyn. The bright pink drink contains gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and an egg white.

  1. FRENCH 75

The French 75 calls for gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne. It’s a classy affair, but can also be found in one of our favorite canned cocktails. Yet another example of the renewed popularity of classic cocktails, the French 75 jumped 12 spots since 2019.


Nothing cures the weary bar goer like a Penicillin, made with blended Scotch, smoky Islay Scotch, lemon juice, and honey ginger simple syrup. Created by Sam Ross, co-owner of New York’s Attaboy, it’ll bring you back to life like a Z-pack.


The Dark ’n’ Stormy contains a mix of Gosling’s rum (and only Gosling’s rum) and ginger beer. Sometimes, simplest is best.


After acquainting yourself with Tom Collins, meet an Aviation: Served up in a Martini glass, the gorgeous lavender-colored cocktail is made with Crème de Violette or Creme Yvette, Maraschino liqueur, gin, and lemon juice. The Aviation has had a bumpy flight these past few years, descending 10 spots from 2017 to 2019 before rising back up 7 this year.