The 10 Most Popular Cocktails

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A couple of the most challenging things about being a bartender are remembering the ingredients in cocktails and the best cocktail glasses to serve beverages in. Every drink is made differently and served in a specific type of glassware so your guests can adequately enjoy the taste of their beverages. We’ve created this informative guide to provide interesting facts on the 10 most popular cocktails and how to prepare each beverage.

1. Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned was invented by James E. Pepper in 1880. He was a bartender in Louisville, KY and took his recipe to New York City, where the drink began to gain popularity. Fast forward to today, the Old Fashioned is one of the most popular cocktails in the United States and Louisville has named the drink its official cocktail. During the first two weeks of June, the city celebrates “Old Fashioned Fortnight” which is when a number of bars host cocktail events and have drink specials.

How To Make An Old Fashioned

  • 2 ounces of bourbon or rye
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Ice cubes
  • Few dashes of plain water

Place 1 sugar cube in an old fashioned glass. Saturate with dashes of Angostura bitters and plain water. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour bourbon or rye. Stir and serve.

Glass Type

Old fashioned glasses have a wide brim and thick base, allowing bartenders to easily mash dry ingredients. Old fashioned glasses are usually between 6 to 10 ounces in capacity.


  • Cherry
  • Orange peelold fashioned cocktail

2. Moscow Mule

Sophie Berezinski and her father owned a copper factory in Russia. She created the design for the company’s copper mugs but she was having trouble selling the mugs. She decided to move to the U.S. with over 2,000 solid copper mugs to see if they had a market. In 1941, she entered the Cock ‘n’ Bull pub and met John Martin and Jack Morgan. Martin owned Smirnoff Vodka distillery and Morgan was trying to introduce his ginger beer to America. The three of them worked together and created the Moscow Mule, a combination of vodka and ginger beer served in a copper mug.

How To Make A Moscow Mule

  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • ½-ounce of lime juice
  • 6 ounces of ginger beer
  • Ice cubes

Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug. Add ice cubes. Pour ginger beer. Stir ingredients.

Glass Type

Moscow Mule glasses are made from copper which helps drinks stay cool for longer periods of time. These mugs are typically between 12 to 18 ounces in capacity.


  • Lime wedgemoscow mule cocktail

3. Negroni

The Negroni was invented at Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy in 1919. Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen the Americano. Negroni told Scarselli to add gin to his Americano instead of soda water and to replace the lemon garnish with an orange garnish. Negroni fell in love with his creation and it soon became one of the most popular drinks in Italy. Negroni’s family took advantage of the drink’s popularity and created the Negroni Distillery in Treviso, Italy. The distillery produced a ready-made version of the drink and is still open today.

How To Make A Negroni

  • 1 ounce of gin
  • 1 ounce of Campari
  • 1 ounce of sweet red vermouth

Fill an old fashioned glass with ice cubes. Pour gin, Campari, and sweet red vermouth into the glass. Stir the drink.

Glass Type

The wide brim of an old fashioned glass offers an easy way to stir all the ingredients in a Negroni. The size of an old fashioned glass ranges between 6 to 10 ounces in capacity.


  • Orange twistnegroni cocktail

4. Mojito

There are different theories on who invented the mojito. Some believe it was created in the 19th century by African slaves who worked in the Cuban sugarcane fields. Others say that it was created by Naval Officer Sir Francis Drake while he was in Cuba. What we do know is that mojitos began to gain popularity in Havana, Cuba in the 1900s and it’s now one of the most popular cocktails in the world.

How To Make A Mojito

  • 2 ounces of white rum
  • ½ ounce of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 mint leaves
  • Cracked ice
  • Club soda or seltzer
  • ½ ounce of simple syrup

Muddle lime juice, simple syrup, and sugar in a Collins glass. Add mint leaves and mush them to the side of the glass. Fill glass with cracked ice. Pour rum and club soda or seltzer. Stir ingredients and serve.

Glass Type

A Collins glass has a tall, slim look and is used to prevent ice from falling out of your delicious cocktail. These glasses are typically 10 to 16 ounces in capacity.


  • Lime wedge
  • Sprig of mintmojito cocktail

5. Whiskey Sour

The whiskey sour was created by Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England in the 1700s. He mixed ingredients to help his crew recover from scurvy and other seasicknesses. He watered down the liquor to prevent crewmembers from getting intoxicated and used limes and lemons to help prevent scurvy.

How To Make A Whiskey Sour

  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • ¾ ounce of lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce of simple syrup
  • ½ part egg white (optional)

Pour ice and all of the ingredients into a shaker. Shake for about 20 seconds to chill the ingredients. Strain the mix into a glass filled with ice.

Glass Type

Old fashioned glasses have a wide brim allowing you to easily pour the sour whiskey into the glass. The size of these glasses usually ranges between 6 to 10 ounces in capacity.


  • Orange slice
  • CherryWhiskey Sour Cocktail

6. Daiquiri

Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer, created the daiquiri during the Spanish-American war because he believed lime and alcohol would protect his workers from getting yellow fever. He invented this sweet drink in a small village in Cuba called daiquiri which is how the cocktail got its name.

How To Make A Daiquiri

  • ½ ounce of white rum
  • ½ ounce of simple syrup
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • Ice cubes

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Shake well. Strain ingredients into a cocktail glass.

Glass Type

Cocktail glasses are typically available in sizes between 3 to 8 ounces. The glass has an inverted bowl cone shape that allows you to effortlessly get close to the surface to enjoy your drink.


  • Although the drink isn’t usually garnished, a good option would be a lime wedge or twisted lime peel.Daiquiri cocktail

7. Margarita

No one really knows how margaritas were invented. What we do know is that margaritas are one of the most popular drinks in America and Mexico and there are a number of variations of the drink. For example, many individuals like to replace the salt on the rim of the margarita glass with sugar to make their drink sweeter. Others like to add fruits like peaches, mangos, or pineapples to provide their drinks with a more tropical feel.

How To Make A Margarita

  • 2 ounces of tequila
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • 1 ounce of orange liqueur, such as triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand-Marnier
  • Lime slice
  • Salt
  • Ice cubes

Rub the rim of the glass with a lime slice. Add salt to the rim. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a shaker. Shake well. Strain ingredients into the prepared glass over fresh ice.

Glass Type

  • Margarita Glass

The wide rim of the glass allows you to add extra salt, sugar, or garnishes to margaritas to give your drink additional flavors. The size of margarita glasses typically ranges between 6 to 20 ounces.


  • Lime wedgeMargarita cocktail

8. Mai Tai

Victor Bergeron created the Mai Tai at his restaurant located in Oakland in 1944. He had some friends in town from Tahiti and came up with the idea of making a new drink for them. One of Bergeron’s friends took a sip of his invention and said it was excellent. In Tahitian, the word “excellent” means “maitai” which is how the drink got its name.

How To Make A Mai Tai

  • 1 ounce of dark rum
  • 1 ounce of amber rum
  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • ½ ounce of Cointreau
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • Dash of grenadine
  • Ice cubes

Pour all of the ingredients except dark rum into a cocktail mixer with ice. Strain into a glass highball glass that’s filled with ice. Pour dark rum into the glass.

Glass Type

The highball glass has a thick base to keep the glass balanced and prevent spills. The size of these glasses usually ranges between 8 to 12 ounces in capacity.


  • Orange slice
  • Pineapple slice
  • Cherrymai tai cocktail

9. Bloody Mary

Fernand Petiot invented the Bloody Mary in 1921. He was working at a bar in Paris and created the drink on the spur of the moment. He saw he had tomato juice and vodka and decided to mix those two ingredients together. Petiot and the patrons at the bar liked the drink and decided to call the beverage “Bloody Marry.”

How To Make A Bloody Mary

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 4 ounces of tomato juice
  • 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of horseradish
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Ice cubes

Put some salt on a plate. Rub a lime wedge along the lip of the highball glass. Roll the outer edge of the glass into the salt until it’s fully coated. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside. Add your ingredients to the shaker. Shake well. Strain into your prepared glass.

Glass Type

Highball glasses have a thick base to prevent ingredients from spilling and can typically contain 8 to 12 ounces in capacity.


  • Celery stalk
  • Lime wedge
  • Olive
  • Red pepperbloody marry cocktail

10. Manhattan

There is not a confirmed story on who created the Manhattan cocktail. However, there is a popular belief that the drink was created by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The drink became a hit by the end of the night and people from that banquet began to order it at other clubs and bars. They would ask servers for the “Manhattan” which was the name of the club where the banquet took place.

How To Make A Manhattan

  • 2 ounces of rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce of Italian vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass.

Glass Type

The size of cocktail glasses usually ranges between 3 to 8 ounces in capacity. Its flared design allows you to effortlessly smell and taste your drink.


  • Cherrymanhattan cocktail

Elevate Your Cocktail Experience

To fully appreciate the flavors and aromas of these beloved cocktails, the type of glass plays a crucial role. Elevate your drinking experience by exploring this curated selection of premium-quality accessories, meticulously crafted to enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your home bar or cocktail lounge.

  • Cocktail and Whiskey Glasses: The vessel from which you sip your cocktail can significantly impact your enjoyment of the drink. Our collection of cocktail glasses offers a range of styles and shapes to suit every preference, ensuring that each sip is savored in style.

  • Labware Products: Precision is key when it comes to crafting the perfect cocktail. Our labware products, including mixing beakers and flasks, provide the tools you need to create memorable beverage presentations, resulting in consistently exceptional cocktails.

  • Bar Shakers: A well-made cocktail requires thorough mixing and chilling, and our selection of bar shakers is designed to deliver just that. Whether you prefer a classic Boston shaker or a sleek cobbler shaker, our range of options ensures that you can shake up your favorite libations with ease and precision.

  • Decorative Picks: Elevate the presentation of your cocktails with our decorative picks, adding a touch of elegance and flair to every drink. Whether you're garnishing a martini with an olive or skewering a tropical fruit garnish for a piña colada, our picks are the perfect finishing touch for any cocktail creation.

  • Cocktail Napkins: Attention to detail is paramount when it comes to creating a memorable drinking experience. Our cocktail napkins not only add a touch of sophistication to your bar setup but also serve a practical purpose, keeping your hands dry and your surfaces clean as you enjoy your favorite libations.

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