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5 Classic cocktails to ring in the New Year

Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...

Classic cocktails are always in style

Always-in-fashion cocktails have two things in common: They're simple to make and use very few ingredients. Whether you like sweet, spicy or a combination of the two, these five classic cocktails will be ready to ring in the New Year time and time again.

Classic Manhattan recipe

Classic Manhattan recipe

One of the original drinks in the cocktail movement, the Manhattan, also named the "king of cocktails," first appeared in New York City's Manhattan Club in 1870. Served on the rocks, with the occasional Maraschino cherry garnish and twist of orange peel, this classic is always in fashion.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash bitters
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Orange peel

Directions:

  1. In a large ice-filled glass, combine whiskey, vermouth and bitters; stir well to combine.
  2. Pour liquid into a chilled lowball glass, garnish with cherry and orange peel. If desired, serve over ice.

Classic Side Car recipe

No one knows the exact origin of the Side Car, but it's said the name comes from a World War I officer who named the drink after his motorcycle side car. Strong with lemon and orange, simple syrup is often added for a touch of sweetness.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces cognac
  • 3/4 ounce triple sec
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce sugar

Directions:

  1. Dampen the rim of a cocktail glass. Dip rim of glass in sugar to coat; set aside.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine cognac, triple sec and lemon juice. Shake well and strain into sugar-rimmed glass.

Classic Cosmopolitan recipe

Some may claim Carrie Bradshaw saved the Cosmopolitan from going out of style, but this 1970s classic has proven to have its own staying power despite pop culture's influence. With dozens of variations, the classic cocktail recipe below will always be a mainstay.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce 100 percent cranberry juice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass.
  2. Garnish with orange peel and serve chilled.

Classic Bellini recipe

Thank the Italians for one of the most popular brunch cocktails – the Bellini. Dry Prosecco and sweet pureed white peaches with a touch of raspberry make this perfect for any mid-morning celebration.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces white peach puree, chilled
  • 4 ounces Champagne, chilled
  • 1 sugar cube

Directions:

  1. In a fluted glass, add peach puree.
  2. Slowly add Champagne and drop in sugar cube. Serve chilled.

Classic Americano recipe

This classic cocktail containing vermouth and Campari originated in Italy, where it was popular with American tourists during Prohibition.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounces Campari
  • 1-1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • Club soda
  • Orange, lemon or lime slice

Directions:

  1. In a medium ice-filled glass, combine Campari, vermouth and club soda.
  2. Garnish with a slice of orange, lemon or lime.

More cocktail recipes

Classic White Russian
How to stock a bar for a party
Ouzu cocktails

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