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Top 10 Classic Cocktails

James Bond has one, do you? Signature cocktails are de rigueur when frolicking in swanky bars. Wrap your lips around our top 10 classic cocktails.


To have a signature cocktail is classy - no really. To walk into a bar boasting some seriously top-shelf nectar and be able to order a cocktail off the top of your head is a sign of someone who's got it going on. James Bond, for example, is a martini man (shaken not stirred). Sex & The City's Carrie Bradshaw is a fan of the Cosmopolitan and That '70s Show's Kitty Forman wouldn't be the woman she is without a Manhattan (or three … bah, who's counting). Below are the top 10 classic cocktails you should commit to memory and name-drop over the bar (find one near you ). It's a very character-building experience … especially in front of all your cocktail-bamboozled friends.

Oh-so-very Sex & The City, the Cosmo is de rigueur for glamorous gals enjoying a night out on the town. Made with a full shot of vodka, and half shots of Triple Sec, lime juice and cranberry juice, it should only take a couple before you feel like Carrie Bradshaw.

Famously ordered by James 'shaken not stirred' Bond, the base of this classic cocktail is two parts gin (some do vodka) to one part dry vermouth, and is garnished with an olive. Depending on how dry you like it, ask for more gin to less vermouth.

So cool it's been sipped (rather a lot) by That '70s Show's Kitty Forman, the Manhattan is a stirred and strained blend of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters (garnished with a maraschino cheery) in a martini glass.

Japanese Slipper
Equal parts Midori melon liqueur, Cointreau and lemon juice, and garnished with a cherry, the Japanese Slipper is a sophisticated and chilled experience - and not something for very little feet.

B-52 (Long)
Named after a long-range bomber - likely because there's a bang to it - the long B-52 is equal parts Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream and Grand Mariner over ice. There's also a layered shot version, and one with flames if you don't mind losing an eyebrow.

Brandy Alexander
John Lennon thought this cocktail much like a “milkshake” and drank them as easily during his May Pang 'Lost Weekend'. Equal parts brandy, brown creme de cacao and then doubled with cream, it's one for when you feel like being naughty.

Three fifths green creme de menthe and one fifth each of white creme de cacao and cream, the Grasshopper is a luxurious alcoholic after-dinner mint. There is a joke about a grasshopper called Kevin … but we're too grown up for that here.

Harvey Wallbanger (Long)
A shot of vodka in a tall glass over ice, topped up with fresh OJ and a floating half-shot of Galliano, The Harvey Wallbanger is a social drink that's as punchy as its punch. Pass on the straw and sip through the layer of Galliano.

Tom Collins
A tall and fizzy concoction of gin and lemon juice (equal parts), a spoonful of sugar and topped up with soda, the Tom Collins tastes particularly good in summer - while on holidays, relaxing at a poolside bar …

An all shook-up mix of one shot tequila, a half shot of Cointreau and a dash of lemon juice, Margaritas scream 'party' and come in salt-frosted glasses. They vary A LOT from place-to-place, but you won't notice after a couple.

Kelly Ford, Citysearch

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Do you have a favourite cocktail? Let us know below.

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August 06, 2008

Ooo I'm going to try some of these now. Thanks!

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August 21, 2008

Cosmos rule! Carrie Bradshaw knows how to make the most of a good thing.

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August 22, 2008

it might be because i'm young, but the places i go it's just vodka infusions, beers and gin&juice. i'd feel like an idiot asking for one of these fancy ones! the furthest i've gone is lemon lime vodka!

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mr marty
August 28, 2008

a man's cosmo i created is called a metropolitan, can be made at most good bars if the staff arent lazy - same as a cosmo with an added half shot of tequilla, just poured in a tall glass over loads of ice, top it up with soda, dress it with a lime sliver ... packs a punch after the third ; )

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September 15, 2008

its gotta be a FUZZY PEACH! A shot of peach Absolut, ruby red grapefruit juice and top with soda and fresh lime! YUM. Another version of this is vodka & peach schnapps so use whatever you have in the cupboard. Refreshing and delicious!

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September 29, 2008

They all sound awesome! Well mine's got 30ml baileys, 30ml schnapps, mango cheek, blended then pour into a martini glass with chocolate on the bottom and top.. Yum..

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November 27, 2008

You've got to try a Smurf at the Moon Cafe in Northbridge!! So Yummy I'm still looking for the reciepe.

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December 06, 2008

blood orange 15 cointreau 15 choc moratz 30 vodka 90 oj shake and poor and garnish wit flamed orange it like a jaffa

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April 22, 2009

I love Pina Coladas - especially when on holiday.

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May 28, 2009

The Old Fashioned. One of the first cocktails ever. Bourbon. Bitters. Sugar. Ice. Simple ingredients, but a good test of any cocktail bar or bartender. Made well, it's an awesome drink. Made badly, and you should find somewhere else to drink.

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