A Compendium of 10 NYC Bartenders’ Favorite Classic Cocktail Recipes


In 2014, we asked a number of New York City bartenders to tell us the drink they order when they sit down for a cocktail. Most of them named classics. Each of them divulged a recipe for making that drink exactly right. We’ve compiled the 10 best recipes here, so you can see them all in one place.

Negroni Sbagliato by Raines Law Room’s Meaghan Dorman

1.5 ounces of campari 1 ounce of Cocchi Torino A healthy splash (approximately 2 ounces) of dry Champagne (or other bubbly).

I add a grapefruit and orange slice and serve it over ice in a wineglass.

La Louisiane by Maison Premiere’s Will Elliott

4 dashes of Absinthe Verte 4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters 1/2 ounce Benedictine 3/4 ounce Carpano Antica vermouth 1 3/4 ounce Rittenhouse rye whiskey

Pour ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake several times. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

The Suffering Bastard by Alder’s Kevin Denton

Equal parts gin, bourbon, and lime with a dash of Angostura (bitters). Top with ginger beer.

Vieux Carré by Ward III’s Kenneth McCoy

1 ounce Old Overholt Rye 1 ounce Delamain XO Cognac 1 ounce Dolin Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters 2 dashes Angostura bitters A baby’s kiss of Benedictine

Combine all ingredients into a chilled mixing glass, add ice, and stir for 20 seconds. Pour into a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

The Last Word by The Third Man’s Kasia Krupinska

Equal parts (.75 ounces) of: Mezcal Maraschino Chartreuse Lime

Shake ingredients with ice, double-strain into a chilled coupe.

Boulevardier with Templeton by The Clam’s David Giuliano

1.5 ounces Templeton Rye 1 ounce Campari 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth (preferably Carpano antica)

Stir, serve up, and garnish with an orange peel.

La Paloma by The Gander’s Rick Pitcher

Pour 2 ounces reposado tequila (such as El Tesoro or Tequila Ocho) and 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice over ice in a highball glass. Fill glass with Squirt. Top with a pinch of salt and a lime.

Paper Plane by Distilled’s Micaela Piccolo

3/4 ounce Bourbon (the original called for Buffalo Trace) 3/4 ounce Amaro Nonino 3/4 ounce Aperol 3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain, and serve up.

A Real Daiquiri by Bathtub Gin’s John McCarthy

2 ounces Brugal Extra Dry Rum 1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice 3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Fine-strain into a chilled martini coupe. Garnish with a floated lime wheel.

The Perfect Manhattan by The Arlington Club’s Keith Nelson

It’s an ounce and a half of Michter’s rye, half an ounce of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, half an ounce of Dolin dry vermouth, and a dash of Fee old-fashion bitters, stirred together and served on the rocks with an orange peel twist, squeezed over the top so the orange oils go over the top. Always with Italian sweet vermouth and French dry vermouth.