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Make Any Cocktail With These 3 Standard Recipes - Cocktailskills.com

Make Any Cocktail With These 3 Standard Recipes

Most craft cocktails are based on 3 basic templates.  That might seem hard to believe, but it really is true.

That doesn’t mean all recipes are direct clones of each other.  In fact, the opposite is true.  The rules that govern balanced cocktails  support creative expression and experimentation.

Why does that matter?

If you know these recipes, you have a base for any cocktail that you would like to make.

Standard Recipe #1: The Shaken Cocktail

The standard template for shaken cocktails is:

  • 2 oz of spirit, 40%-45% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) or 80-90 Proof (more on Proof here).  Flavor preferences aside, any type of spirit that falls within the noted ABV range will work.
  • .75 oz of citrus juice, strained.  Lemon, lime, and orange, are the most common citrus juices.
  • .75 oz of sweetening syrup.  In standard recipes, this can be simple syrup, honey syrup, or orgeat among others.  More complex recipes include liqueurs and/or multiple syrups, equal to the listed ratio.

Complex versions of the shaken cocktail might include multiple spirits, spirits and liqueur combinations, alternate juice combinations (ex: lime + pineapple) and more.

Standard: Daiquiri

Complex: Jungle Bird


Standard Recipe #2: The Stirred Cocktail

Stirred cocktails are a step in the boozy direction.  The standard template for stirred cocktails is:

  • 2 oz of spirit, 40-45% ABV.
  • 1 oz of aromatized wine (usually vermouth), 12-18% ABV.
  • 3 -5 dashes of bitters.
  • Citrus Peel or Twist

Complex versions may include multiple spirits, aromatized wines, and bitters.  They may also use an outright tweaked ratio:

  • 1 oz of spirit, 40-45% ABV
  • 1 oz of aromatized wine, 12-18% ABV
  • 1 oz of bitter liqueur or aperitivo, ABV will vary

Despite different proportions and ingredients, the pattern remains: base spirit + aromatized wine + bittering agent.

Standard: Manhattan

Complex:  Negroni


Standard Recipe #3: The Built Cocktail

Built cocktails are the booziest of the bunch.  They showcase the spirit of choice, and offer bitters and orange as an accent to the base flavor.  The standard template is:

  • 2 oz of spirit, 40-45% ABV
  • Citrus peel
  • 1 tsp of sugar or .25 oz of sweetening syrup
  • 3-5 dashes of bitters

Complex versions use multiple spirits, spirit/liqueur rinses, or multiple bitters, all while sticking to the standard template proportions.

Standard: Old Fashioned

Complex: Mint Julep


What do you think about the templates?  Have you noticed any patterns like these? I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment below!

By | 2017-09-30T04:30:01+00:00 September 30th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Make Any Cocktail With These 3 Standard Recipes

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