3 Classic Cocktail Recipes Every Cocktail Lover Should Know

’Tis the season of the cocktail party. We absolutely love cocktail parties (well, pretty much any party really), but let’s face it, a cocktail party wouldn’t be much of a party without — you guessed it — COCKTAILS. That’s why, with New Year’s right around the corner, we took inspiration from fellow Atlantan and cocktail adventurer James Martin and made it our mission to find, taste and curate some of our best cocktails of the year.

This year, we are all about taking it back to the classics — simple, elegant and just plain delicious drinks. (We apparently arent the only ones. Just take a peak at the top searched cocktails in 2015.)

To complete our cocktail quest, we traveled to one of our favorite Atlanta hotspots, JCT. Kitchen & Bar. We are seasoned fans of this West Midtown institution —  take effortless elegance and welcoming southern charm and pair them with imaginative flavors and craft cocktails, and you have JCT. 

One of the most special features of JCT is the rooftop bar, where we were able to hang out with one of our favorite bartenders/mixology master, Will Crossman. We challenged him to craft us some of his classic favorites and he did not disappoint. Swoo tested and Swoo approved, we’ve included our top 3 recipes every cocktail lover should know.

French 75

2 oz gin

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 tsp of sugar or simple syrup

crushed ice

5 oz of brut champagne (approx.)

lemon peel

Combine the gin, lemon juice, sugar and crushed ice into a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain cocktail into champagne flute or coupe and top off with champagne. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Bartender tip: This cocktail is best when served ice cold, so chill your cocktail shaker and glass beforehand and make sure your champagne is perfectly chilled. 

Old Fashioned

2 tsp simple syrup

1 tsp water

2 dashes of bitters

1 cup ice

1.5 oz bourbon whiskey

orange peel

maraschino cherry

Combine the simple syrup, water and bitters into a rocks glass and stir well. Add ice to the glass and top with bourbon. Garnish with an orange peel and a maraschino cherry.

Wild for whiskey? Check out these top recipes that will keep you sipping well into the new year.

New Orleans Sazerac

1 sugar cube

3 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters

1.5 oz bourbon whiskey

.25 oz Herbsaint (Absinthe)

1.5 oz bourbon whiskey

lemon peel

In a rocks glass, add the sugar cube and 3 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters. Crush the sugar cube well and add whiskey. In a separate glass, coat the glass with Herbsaint and discard and excess. Strain the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Mark your calendars: The anticpated documentary The New Orleans Sazerac following the lifeline of the Sazerac will be released in 2016. Its on our Swoozies Must-See List!

Here at the Swoo, we are very excited to toast the new year. To our loyal friends and followers, we say cheers to 2016 and many more to come!