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17 Vintage Cocktails We Need to Bring Back

While I’m all about contemporary cocktails, you simply can’t go wrong with tried-and-true vintage cocktails. 

I’ve heard many times, and I’m sure you have too, that you’ve got to know the rules to break the rules. The same goes in the cocktail world. 

Homemade Whiskey Sour Cocktail with Cherry
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Learning how to make classic vintage cocktails is a must for any cocktail lover. 

These are the concoctions that have perfected the art of mixology and have enraptured you to come back time and time again – because they’re just that good. 

So I’d like to dedicate this toast to a throwback of the best of the best with these 17 vintage cocktail recipes.

1. 3-Ingredient Vintage Champagne Cocktail

Classy and uncomplicated, this three-ingredient cocktail is the grandest of libations for a party. 

You’ll gather a round of champagne glasses, then fill them with brandy, triple sec, and champagne.

For a more vintage touch, serve these in an old-fashioned coupe, which is essentially a broad-rimmed champagne glass. 

2. Classic Gin Fizz Cocktail

Fizz is an older version of a sour. It typically involves sugar, citrus, and sparkling water. 

This one serves it on the rocks with gin and club soda along with a lemon wedge for garnish.

It’s incredibly bright and invigorating with a subtle mouth-puckering twist.

3. Classic Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar dates back to World War I. It’s slightly changed over the years, but mostly in ratio.  

This particular recipe is for cognac and Cointreau fans alike. It mixes the two with just a hint of lemon. 

It’s forward on the booze and well-rounded with citrus. 

4. Classic Gimlet

The name alone sounds like it harkens back to another time. Featuring gin and lime, the gimlet is crisp and a great way to get in a little vitamin C. 

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This one adds a dash of simple syrup to mellow out the citrus while the gin adds a wonderful array of botanicals for complexity. 

5. French 75

Another classy cocktail that’s a favorite of mine is the French 75. It’s a radiant concoction of gin and champagne. 

This exhilarating fizzy drink is perfect for celebrations where a toast is in order. It’s also a nice addition to cocktail hour with close friends. 

If you’re a history buff, you may be interested in hearing the name itself refers to a 75-millimeter field gun used by the French in World War I.

6. Singapore Sling

As the name suggests, this cocktail comes from Singapore. It’s very fruit-forward in the most delightful way. 

There are many variations, but this one stays true to the classic. It’s got gin, Cointreau, brandy, and Benedictine. 

In case you’re not familiar, Benedictine is a French liqueur that is very herb-flavored and floral.

7. Brandy Alexander

With such a bold name, you probably expect the flavors to match. Surprisingly, this cocktail is less stiff and more dessert. 

It has a silky smooth body and heavy chocolate flavor from creme de cacao.

The brandy keeps it sweet and smooth while the half-n-half gives it a voluptuous mouthfeel. 

8. Bee’s Knees Cocktail

This cocktail will win over your heart with a single sip. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and booze.

This recipe only calls for three simple ingredients which are lemon, honey, and gin.

9. 3-Ingredient Dark and Stormy

Assertive and effervescent, this dark and stormy is a bold refreshment.

Ginger beer and dark rum meld in harmony with a touch of lime juice to make the flavors pop.

This is one of those craft cocktails that’s good for pretty much any occasion.

You can make one for yourself or whip up a batch for friends and everyone will be happy.

10. Classic Manhattan

Manhattans are one of my favorite vintage cocktails. They come in a couple of variations, but I prefer the classic with whiskey.

This one uses both cherry and orange bitters for balancing out the whiskey and sweet vermouth.

It also enhances the citrus with the help of oils from an orange peel.

11. Pisco Sour

This is how they like their sour in Chili and Peru. While both claim rights to the creation of this cocktail, there’s no question about its exceptional taste. 

This cocktail features pisco which is a grape-distilled spirit. It also calls for simple syrup, egg white, and lime. 

It’s plenty tart and creamy with the perfect balance of sweetness.

12. Brandy Crusta

This New Orleans cocktail requires a bit more prep, but nothing that requires high levels of expertise. 

It starts with rimming a glass in sugar and tossing in a spiraled lemon peel. Then you shake cognac, curacao, lemon, and bitters before pouring them into a glass. 

For a sweeter touch, a dash of cherry liqueur will do best. 

13. Classic Martinez

Legend has it this classic came from the city of Martinez in California.

While there is debate about who had the idea first, it’s no doubt grown in popularity. 

One taste and you’ll easily see why. It’s like a gin version of a Manhattan with a dash of maraschino bitters.

14. Vesper Martini

If you want one of what James Bond is having, grab your cocktail shaker and make this vesper martini.

It’s a combination of gin, vodka, and Lillet. It’s originally made with Kina Lillet, but this liqueur is no longer commercially produced. 

15. Corpse Reviver

Wondering what an old-school hangover cure tastes like? It tastes like this. 

This pre-Prohibition cocktail is a bold punch to the mouth with gin, Lillet blanc, and absinthe. It’s also got some orange liqueur and lemon for good measure.

16. Tom Collins Cocktail

Tom Collins is the epitome of vintage gin cocktails. It’s a wonderful refreshment that doesn’t require a manual to make. 

All you need is some quality gin, club soda, simple syrup, and fresh lemon. I also recommend a tall glass, but use what you’ve got. 

17. Old-Fashioned

Rounding out our tour of the vintage cocktail world is the old-fashioned cocktail.

This classic has been around for centuries for a reason, its utter perfection.

It requires nothing more than whiskey, bitters, and simple syrup. An orange peel is standard for a garnish, while you can add a cherry, too.

17 Vintage Cocktails to Bring Back


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a vintage cocktail in 30 minutes or less!
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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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