The best bartender cheat sheet with 45 important cocktails you need to master.
Want to learn some of the most popular cocktail recipes? This master cocktail list includes 45 of the most common bartending recipes. Think of this as your bartending cheat sheet with easy alcoholic drink recipes that you can make at home, for a party, or at the bar. You're going to step up your bartending 101 game with these classic recipes.
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To grow from being a good bartender, to a great bartender, you first have to master the classics. First off, so many people know, love, and order these classics cocktails (whether at a home or restaurant bar). Second, before you can play around with flavors, and put your own spin on the classics, you have to know how to make these basic drinks.
We'll talk through the bartender tools you need to have (and know how to use), as well as the bartender cheat sheet with 45 cocktail recipes.
Be sure to grab your bartender cheat sheet to get started!
What's Included in the Bartender Cheat Sheet?
If you're training to be a bartender, or just want to step up your home bar game, this is the cheat sheet for you! Once you learn these bartending 101 recipes, you can begin to play around with flavors to create your very own custom cocktails.
Best Bartending Tools
In order to make the drinks on our master cocktail list, you'll need a few tools on hand. I want to walk you through how & why we need each of the tools below.
- Boston Shaker: This is a great versatile bar tool! It's a two piece cocktail shaker that can be used for shaken or stirred cocktails. Many professional bartenders prefer a Boston shaker with one side that's metal and the other that's glass.
- Jigger: A cocktail jigger is used to measure various ingredients. There are different types of jiggers (double jigger, Japanese jigger, stepped jigger, or precision liquor bottle pourers for busy bartenders). One shot is typically 1.5 ounces, which is equal to one standard jigger.
- Bar spoon: Bar spoons are used for many purposes, mainly for hand stirred drinks. However, they can also be used for measuring if a cocktail recipe calls for "1 bar spoon." One bar spoon is about .035 ounces (although not all spoons are created equal size, so double check this size). You can also use a bar spoon for laying drinks or adding in a garnish to the inside of a drink.
- Hawthrone Strainer: The Hawthorne strainer is used to stain cocktails from a shaker into the serving glass. Most commonly, it's used for fine straining shaken cocktails to keep the ice out of the serving glass for drinks like sours, martini, or margaritas.
- Julep Strainer: This was the OG strainer if you will. While some experts argue this is not a very useful strainer nowadays. However, it's mostly used to strain cocktails that are hand stirred such as the negroni or manhattan.
- Mesh Strainer: The mesh strainer helps ensure a smooth, almost velvety texture to your cocktail. It's usually used in conjunction with a Hawthorne strainer to double stain small bits of ice for a silky texture, like in a martini.
- Juicer: For all the freshly squeezed citrus you'll use in a cocktail, a juicer is necessary! Make sure you get one that is heavy duty and won't easily break!
RELATED POST: Lavender Lemon Pisco Sour Cocktail
Other Bartending 101 Resources
Make sure you check out my cocktail basics video series where I teach you the basics of liquor. The goal of this series is to get you more familiar with the basic in’s and out’s of common liquor (how it’s made, how to buy a bottle you’ll like, and how to make mixed drinks with it).
By the end of the series, you’ll be a pro at mixing up fun and inspiring drinks in your home bar. Here are some videos to get you started:
- Tequila Basics You Need to Know
- Learning to Pick a Bottle of Whiskey You'll Love
- Secrets to Finding the Best Bottle of Gin
- What's the Best Type of Rum to Buy
- Guide to Peruvian Pisco
- Creative Cocktail Garnish Ideas to Nail the Presentation of Your Next Drink
RELATED POST: Pomegranate & Blood Orange Gin Martini
Don't Forget Your Master Cocktail List
Don't forget to download your master cocktail list with 45 cocktail recipes that you need to know to be a great bartender!