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.
- 2 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-4 dashes Angostura bitters
- club soda
Glass: old-fashioned glass
Build: In an old-fashioned glass with ice, dilute sugar cube with bitters; add splash of soda, then rye.
Garnish: swizzle stick or orange peel
The Twist: Old Fashioned Shot (Analogue, Chicago)
Credit: Alexandra Grablewski / Getty Images
Barman Robby Haynes has had an Old Fashioned Shot on Analogue's menu since it opened. It's taken like a tequila shot, with obvious substitutions: swap in bourbon for the tequila, replace the lime with Angostura-doused orange wedge, and the salt with sugar. Haynes explains: "This was a chance for us to say, 'While we take our cocktails very seriously, we also realize that drinking should be fun, and drinks are often best enjoyed in the company with friends – or with a friendly bartender.'"