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.
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.
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.
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 »
Prosecco marries with richly spiced mulled cider and a splash of fig vodka in this fall drink.
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-infused vodka gives this simple cocktail a light, crisp edge.
This off-dry cocktail skews savory, thanks to the sherry. It’s ideally paired with jamón or other savory bites.
Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur adds a sweet, lightly spicy note to this twist on the martini.
This crisp, almost spa-like take on the martini has a hint of sweetness and a fresh, green aroma.