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Here's How To Pick The Perfect Cocktail Every Time

By Liz

January 19, 2017 at 4:24pm


Nowadays, everyone and his mother is doing cocktails.

But while it’s often easy to tell the difference between old classics like a mojito and a daquiri, what about custom cocktails?

In order to aid you in your cocktail choices, and potentially save you quite a lot of wasted money, we’ve put together a glossary of terms and examples of the types of cocktails you should choose, depending on what you want.

Here are some common mixers found on cocktail menus, and what they taste like:

  • Drambuie – Whisky liqueur
  • Chartreuse – Strong herbal French liqueur
  • Benedictine – Spicy French liqueur
  • Angostura Bitters – Alcohol infused mix of herbs and spices
  • Campari –Bitter liqueur
  • Aperol –Bitter Italian liqueur
  • Fernet – Bitter herbal liqueur
  • Curacao – Bitter orange flavour liqueur
  • Cointreau – Orange flavoured liqueur
  • Triple sec - Orange flavoured liqueur
  • Gran Marnier - Orange flavoured liqueur
  • Grenadine – A tart syrup made from pomegranate
  • Galliano – Sweet herbal liqueur that tastes of vanilla
  • Amaretto –Sweet almond flavoured liqueur
  • Falernum – Sweet syrup
  • Midori – Sweet melon liqueur
  • Chambord – Raspberry flavoured liqueur
  • Crème de Cassis – Blackcurrant flavoured liqueur
  • Crème de Mure – Blackberry flavoured liqueur
  • Crème de Cacao – Chocolate flavoured liqueur
  • Calvados – Apple brandy
  • Vermouth – Fortified wine
  • Kahlua – A coffee flavoured liqueur

Armed with the knowledge above, you should be able to choose drinks you like while avoiding anything too bitter or sweet for your tastes.

Here are some examples of the types of drink to choose, depending on what you like.

For the person who likes strong tasting alcoholic drinks

These drinks are normally heavy on alcohol and bitter liqueurs, and light on the fruit.

Martini: Gin and vermouth, with an olive. Should actually probably be stirred

Old Fashioned: Whiskey, mixed with bitters, plus a sugar rim and a slice of orange

Negroni: Gin, vermouth, Campari, with an orange peel


For the person who wants something refreshing

These kinds of cocktails are often citrussy, over ice, with something a little sugary in them to reduce the bite.

Mojito: White rum, mint, soda water, lime juice and sugar

Margherita: Triple sec, tequila and lime or lemon juice, served with salt or sugar on the rim

Moscow Mule: Ginger beer, vodka and lime juice

Long Island Iced Tea: Tequila, gin, vodka, rum, triple sec, topped with cola


For the person with a sweet tooth

Sweeter drinks are more likely to contain some kind of syrup or fruit juice, without any of the bitter liqueurs

Strawberry daquiri: White rum, syrup, lime juice, and strawberry puree

Tequila sunrise: Tequila, orange juice, grenadine

Hurricane: Rum, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup

Tequila Sunrise

So, now you're fully educated. Go forth and drink!

READ NEXT: Here Are The Biggest Dos And Don'ts Of Irish Dating, According To A New Study


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