7 Best Cocktails: Their Recipes and Strange Histories

Funky names usually mean there’s a funky story involved. And there are few greater sources of funky names than cocktails. From the Moscow Mule to the Negroni, there’s plenty of intrigues to be enjoyed in exploring the history of some of the best cocktails — as well as how to make them like a pro.

mojito recipe

1. Mojito

A mojito is like drinking a swimming pool. Wait, no, let’s try that again — a mojito is drinking the FEELING of a swimming pool. It is the sun on a warm summer day. It is the joy of a backyard cookout, of late nights in the warm air listening to music with friends, of the intoxicating heat of a tropical paradise cooled by the minty freshness of an invigorating libation and rum.

  • Prep Time 2 Minutes
  • Cook Time 1 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 242 kcal

Ingredients

  • 10-13 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz. of white rum
  • 2-4 teaspoons of sweetener syrup
  • 1 oz. of fresh-squeezed lime juice

Instructions

  1. Add 10 mint leaves, 2 oz. of white rum, 2-4 teaspoons of sweetener syrup, and 1 oz. of fresh-squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Muddle the mint to release the flavor, but don’t dice it up too fine.
  3. Add ice cubes and shake for 15 seconds.
  4. Strain into a glass, leaving about an inch to top off with club soda.
  5. Finish with a lime and mint leaves.

Mojito History & Pairing

Rum is the basis of the mojito, but it may not have always been so. This beverage’s origins were in Cuba, where legend has it that the locals used it as a medicinal drink — though with moonshine instead of rum.

When the pirate Francis Drake sent his men to gather medicine for scurvy and dysentery, they returned to the ship with the ingredients of this drink. Drake is said to have swapped out the existing liquor for rum. And the word mojito? It comes from an African word, mojo, for magic.

Strain Pairing:

 

Daiquiri cocktail recipe

2. Daiquiri

Perfect for all Mojito lovers in a mood for something slightly different, slushier and refreshingly fruity.

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 139 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-½ oz. of light rum
  • 3/4 oz. of freshly squeezed ​​lime juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 oz. of ​simple syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine the rum, freshly squeezed ​​lime juice, and ​simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice cubes, shake it up.
  3. Strain into a glass to enjoy.

Daiquiri History & Pairing

Yet another delicious rum drink, the Daiquiri hails from its namesake town of Daiquiri, Cuba. An American mining engineer named Jennings Cox invented the drink in 1898 as an attempt to protect people against yellow fever. Ten years later, a U.S. Navy medical officer introduced it to his country in Washington, D.C.


Strain Pairing: Girl Scout Cookies OG

moscow mule recipe

3. Moscow Mule

Vodka alert! If you appreciate vodka and are not one for overly sweet cocktails, chances are the Moscow Mule is one of your favorite drinks.

Rejoice and learn how to make your own because the Moscow Mule is quick, easy, and delicious.

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 182 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. of vodka
  • 1/2 oz. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 oz. of ginger beer
  • Lime wedge
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Combine the vodka, freshly squeezed lime juice, and ginger beer in an ice-filled mug (preferably a copper mug for style points).
  2. Stir with a cocktail spoon ever-so-slightly.
  3. Garnish it with a lime wedge. Enjoy!

Moscow Mule History & Pairing

Though we all want some Russian spy intrigue, the actual story of the Moscow Mule is an American one. In 1941, the president of Heublein (a liquor company) joined his friend Jack in his Los Angeles bar, the Cock ‘n’ Bull. Wes Price was behind the bar that night and was trying to unload the unpopular ginger beer.

Heublein had just purchased Smirnoff, so there was plenty of vodka around — and they simply combined them in a copper mug made by Jack’s girlfriend.

Strain pairing: AK-47 OG

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

4. Cosmopolitan

While we may never truly untangle the mystery of Cosmo’s real parents and birthplace, there can be no denying that there is indeed a standard recipe set in stone, regardless of what personal spin any individual mixologist might put on it. If you want to taste the real deal made by your own hand, here’s the way to go:

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 217 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz. of vodka
  • 1 oz. of Cointreau orange liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. of fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. of cranberry juice

Instructions

  1. Simply pour the vodka, Cointreau orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and serve in a chilled glass.
  3. Garnished with orange peel.

Cosmopolitan History & Pairing

The person most often credited with the creation of the cosmopolitan is Tony Cecchini. Predictably, it was invented in New York City at a place called The Odeon.

Tony remembered a West Coast drink he wanted to make more urbane and updated it with Absolut Citron, fresh lime juice, Cointreau, and Ocean Spray cranberry juice to create a flirty, delicious new standard.

Strain pairing: Girl Scout Cookies OG

piña colada cocktail recipe

5. Piña Colada

Can one drink transport you to an exotic island in the middle of the Atlantic? Yes, a Piña Colada can. Learn how to make your own below and later level up with a DIY cannabis-infused cocktail smoothie version.

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 762 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. of light rum
  • 2 oz. of pure pineapple juice
  • 1-½ oz. of​ cream of coconut
  • Pineapple wedge or Maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour the rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut into an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake it for at least 30 seconds until there’s a layer of foam at the top.
  3. Strain into a tall glass or mason jar and garnish with a pineapple wedge or maraschino cherry.

Piña Colada History & Pairing

The delicious piña colada was the invention of Ramon Marrero, who created it in 1954 in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Caribe Hilton Hotel. By 1978, it had become the island’s official drink.

Strain pairing: Blueberry OG

margarita cocktail recipe

6. Margarita

This is the tequila recipe to make the classic cocktail, from which every other twist on the elixir has poured forth.

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 160 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-½ oz. of premium reposado tequila
  • 1 oz. of orange liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedge
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In an ice-filled shaker, combine tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Swipe a lime wedge around the rim of a glass and dip it in coarse salt.
  4. Lastly, add ice cubes and strain the drink into it.

Margarita History & Pairing

Plenty of people want the claim to the Margarita cocktail. However, in our book, the inventor is Danny Herrera. In 1938, he was working at the Rancho La Gloria in Tijuana when he served the drink to a customer. That customer? Actress Marjorie King — who happened to be allergic to every liquor but tequila. The rest is history.

Strain pairing: Trix OG

negroni cocktail recipe

7. Negroni

There are fewer cocktails more decadent than the gin Negroni. Keep reading on how to make your own in the comfort of your home.

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 3 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 195 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. of gin
  • 1 oz. of Campari
  • 1 oz. of sweet vermouth
  • Orange zest
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Pour the gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth into an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes in it.
  2. Stir.
  3. Squeeze some orange zest over the rim, and bask in its tasty delight.

Negroni History & Pairing

 This upscale Italian cocktail is said to have come from Cafe Casoni in Florence. The year was 1919 and Count Camillo Negroni, the French General, asked a bartender named Fosco Scarselli to serve him a vermouth-Campari drink with gin in place of soda. That’s how history was made.

Strain pairing: Kaya Sting-a-ling

Cocktail Bonus: The Old-Fashioned

What is a list of the best cocktails without the old-fashioned? We’ve got the perfect recipe if you want to find out how to make the perfect old-fashioned cocktail.

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Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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