A Complete List of ESSENTIAL Cocktail Recipes You Should Memorize Before Jumping Behind A Bar.

There are so many cocktail recipes you can learn. However, it’s difficult to know which ones you should memorize if you want to make your debut in the bartending world.

I know when I was scouring the internet, I had to use MULTIPLE sources and ended up memorizing tons of cocktails that I never used, while neglecting ones that were more frequently ordered.

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So, in my pursuit to make it easy for anyone to learn the art of liquor-bending, I’ve compiled this list.

Here’s a list of recipes you should absolutely memorize if you don’t want to be caught off guard every other night at work.

Absolute Necessity:

Indisputably Important:

A Staple:

Outdated, yet so simple that it won’t even take up much storage in your mind:

A Timeless Classic:

You’re gonna want to know this one even if it’s just for your own consumption:

Strangely frequent:

Absolute necessity unfortunately. I hate making them but love drinking them. (I’m gross I know):



Necessary in case any underage girls with good fake IDs come through:

Absolute Necessity:

A Timeless Classic:

An absolute classic! A signature of a bartender who knows what they’re doing is a proper negroni. Don’t slack on this one.



No they’re not frozen, although they can be:

Also not frozen, although it can be:

Your worst nightmare if you work at a club or a high volume, party centric bar:

A mule basically. But make it rum. And extra:

Also outdated but keep it in there just case.



I mean c’mon:

The margarita’s superior and lesser known cousin:

Super basic yet necessary:

  • Spicy Margarita

Margarita, but make it FLAVOR:

Contains four other liquors on this list, but for some reason, I feel it belongs under tequila.



Not a well known Cognac/Brandy but this one is popular and for good reason.



Just like a samurai who won’t go to war until he’s mastered the sword, you shouldn’t get behind a bar until you make this drink PERFECTLY:

A Timeless Classic:

  • Kentucky Mule

Doesn’t take up too much RAM:

Good alternative for anyone who can’t handle boozy whiskey drinks:

For those girls who “want something fun” but can’t handle their liquor:

You’ll be surprised. Especially if you live somewhere cold:

A staple.

Honorable Suggestion: It’s not a well-known drink, but I wanted to put it on this list because it is so underappreciated:

Imagine  you have that guest come in and request a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned and you put them on to this?! That’s a fat tip waiting for you right there!

This is one of those cocktails that true liquor or cocktail nerds love ordering. If you ever run into one of these orders and you can’t deliver, I’m sure they won’t be mad, just disappointed:

Surprise these people and deliver them their favorite cocktail and they’ll appreciate you. You only become a cocktail nerd by going out a ton or by being a bartender. Both of those add up to a great tip. If you can deliver a quality cocktail that is.

A strangely complicated drink to make correctly. Most non-cocktail bars lack the facilities to produce this. If you have the luxury of these ingredients being at your disposal, learn this recipe and push it to your rum-loving guests. They’ll thank you for it:

On the flip side, this is a difficult cocktail to find done well. Be the bartender that surprises your guest; only your bank account and their taste buds will benefit.