Classic Mint Julep According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, mint juleps were originally made with cognac. Bourbon was probably adopted as a substitute by Southerners after the Civil War. See the recipe for the Mint Julep » Back to Juleps for the Kentucky Derby ». Andr¿ Baranowski

Here at SAVEUR, we love all sorts of cocktails. Sometimes we want simple, rustic, or comforting drinks. But other times we want to freshen up, dress to the nines, and mix up some drinks that will stun our guests. We’ve rounded up our favorite classy cocktail recipes that will impress at a casual get-together or an elegant gathering.

A fancy garnish can make a great cocktail even more celebratory. The Rose & Rye is a simple cocktail of rye, lemon, and a rose-tinged simple syrup—rose petals take it to the next level. The Red Carpet is even more luxurious—made with vodka, citrus juice, pear jam, and ginger, it gets topped with edible gold leaf.

What’s fancier than champagne? We love using sparkling wine to make elegant, effervescent drinks. The French 75 is a classic made with champagne, cognac, and lemon juice. For a strikingly colored variation try the Sicilian 75, with Campari and blood orange juice.

The bellini is another classic sparkling wine cocktail. Our version doubles down on the fruit with both peach brandy and peach puree. Our autumn bellini subs out the brandy and peach for fig-infused vodka and a syrup made from mulled apple cider, while the Scandinavian bellini pairs peach puree with aquavit.

If you ask James Bond, he’ll tell you that the classiest of cocktails is the martini. A basic martini can be made with equal parts gin and dry vermouth, but from that base there are many possible adaptations. We have versions featuring cucumber, ginger, sherry, and basil.

Find all these drinks and more in our collection of classy cocktail recipes.


The Last Word

Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern. Its equally-portioned ingredients make for easy scaling: mix up a triple or quadruple batch to serve several drinkers at once. Get the recipe for The Last Word »

The Red Carpet

This elegant drink, served at New York restaurant Daniel to celebrate the Academy Awards, is made even more luxurious with a dusting of gold leaf.

Rose & Rye

Rose & Rye

Strawberry Cachaça Shake

Use an aged cachaça like Avuà Amburana to add warm depth to this fruity drink. Get the recipe for Strawberry Cachaça Shake »

Carthusian Sazerac

This variation on a Sazerac gets a boost from the complex, herbal flavor of chartreuse and a bright dash of lemon bitters. Get the recipe for Carthusian Sazerac »

New York Cocktail

This drink is one of our favorites to make with Rittenhouse rye whiskey. See the recipe for New York Cocktail »

Original Bloody Mary

A combination of vodka, tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire, and fresh ground spices is simple, classic, and always delicious. Get the recipe for Original Bloody Mary »

The Moonwalk

Joe Gilmore, legendary Head Barman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, invented this cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the first moon landing. The drink—a combination of grapefruit, orange liqueur, and a hint of rosewater, topped with Champagne—was the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.

Blueberry Jam and Prosecco Cocktail

A combination of jam, vodka, and prosecco could be cloyingly sweet, but this refreshing cocktail has enough lemon juice to balance sweet and tart perfectly. Get the recipe for Blueberry Jam and Prosecco Cocktail »

Classic French 75

This elegant blend of champagne, cognac, and lemon has a surprisingly violent name—”French 75″ was American slang for a 75-mm field gun during World War I.

Arbor Blush

Pisco, the South American brandy made from grapes, adds a floral, citrusy kick to this sparkling cocktail made with Lillet Rosé and champagne.


The traditional Bellini is made with white peach purée and sparkling wine, but the addition of peach brandy intensifies and sweetens the cocktail. Get the recipe for Bellini »

Autumn Bellini

Prosecco marries with richly spiced mulled cider and a splash of fig vodka in this fall drink.

Scandinavian Bellini

Aquavit infused with peaches and anise pairs wonderfully with peach purée for a Swedish twist on a bellini from Manhattan’s Restaurant Aquavit. Get the recipe Scandinavian Bellini »

Elderflower Old Fashioned

Elderflower liqueur replaces the traditional sugar cube in this floral twist on an old favorite. Get the recipe for Elderflower Old Fashioned >>

Fitty-Fitty Martini

Inspired by the original Fitty Fitty at the Pegu Club, this vodka martini is an even split of vodka and vermouth, with a little orange bitters added for depth.

Basil Martini

Basil-infused vodka gives this simple cocktail a light, crisp edge.

Jerez Martini

This off-dry cocktail skews savory, thanks to the sherry. It’s ideally paired with jamón or other savory bites.

Ginger Martini

Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur adds a sweet, lightly spicy note to this twist on the martini.

Cucumber Martini

This crisp, almost spa-like take on the martini has a hint of sweetness and a fresh, green aroma.