In an age of artistinal bitters and small-batch gins, when hundreds of new drinks are finding their way onto menus, there's good reason why we keep coming back to the classics: manhattans, old-fashioneds, martinis, and negronis. These are the drinks on which so many others are based, primarily because their tried-and-true recipes have pleased generations (in some cases, a century or more) of discerning drinkers. We rounded up our favorite classic cocktails, and asked the experts to weigh in on how they've updated classics without reinventing the wheel.
- 1 oz. dry gin
- 1 oz. dry (French) vermouth
- 1 oz. Campari
Glass: rocks glass
Build: In a mixing glass with ice, combine ingredients; stir, strain, and serve on the rocks.
Garnish: orange peel
The Twist: Breakfast (Amor y Amargo, New York City)
Credit: Steve Cohen / Getty Images
Veteran Amor y Amargo bartender Aaron Polsky defends the bitters-centric interpretation of the classic negroni with mezcal, amaro, vermouth and sriracha bitters: "At Amor, our template for Negroni variations was Spirit, Bitter Liqueur, Aromatized wine. So, as long as it stuck to that and was balanced, we served it as a Negroni variation. Breakfast captures the experience of drinking black coffee at a diner with a glass of OJ and hot sauce with your eggs."