Spring is in the air and what better way to enjoy the warm weather by having these refreshing, classic cocktails? When it comes to throwing lavish parties, the Mid-Century era does it best, with its fancy finger foods, classy party dresses, and mixed cocktails. While some of these cocktails were created before the Mid-Centuries, it standbys.
1. Moscow Mule
The Moscow Mule,also known as the Vodka Mule, which you probably expected to make it on our list, is a classic favorite. It was created in the early 1940s and became the “it” drink of the era. When it comes to mixed drinks, you want to keep the recipe simple, highlighting all of the tasteful ingredients it consists of. The Moscow Mule is how Hollywood did happy hour back in the day. Don’t forget the copper mug, it’s an essential ingredient for this special drink!
Photo courtesy of Moscow Mule Recipes
- 2 ounces of vodka
- ¾ ounces of lime juice
- 4 ounces of ginger beer (preferably Fever Tree or Fentimans)
- Garnish: Lime Wheel
- Glassware: Collins or Highball
- Add vodka and lime juice to a Collins, highball or copper mule mug (if you're fancy enough to own one).
- Top with crushed or cracked ice.
- Top with ginger beer and swizzle gently to mix.
- Garnish with a lime wheel.
The Stinger is known to be a 1920s high-society favorite, hitting all the bars after the 1957 film, Kiss Them for Me, when Cary Grant said, “Stingers, Keep Them Coming.” An unusual combination of creme de menthe and cognac that everyone in the Mid-Century era can call their favorite. This iconic, pre-Prohibition cocktail supposedly helped to disguise the alcohol on one’s breath. A strong drink that hides the taste of alcohol? I don’t think it can get any better than that!
Photo courtesy of PUNCH
- 2 1/4 ounces cognac
- 3/4 ounce crème de menthe (preferably Tempus Fugit)
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 sprig mint
- Garnish: mint leaf
- Glassware: coupe or rocks
- In a mixing glass, muddle mint with crème de menthe and orange bitters.
- Add cognac and ice, and shake until chilled.
- Strain over ice into a rocks glass or strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a small sprig of mints
3. Tom Collins
The are different stories about the origin of this drink, believe what you will because those stories just makes this drink better than others. A tall, bold, and mischievous blend of gin and lemon juice that is nothing but refreshing with a little kick. A very simple, yet classic drink you can’t go wrong with! Can you think of anything that sounds better than enjoying a Tom Collins in your backyard, enjoying the Spring weather?
Photo courtesy of Heather Cristo
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
- soda water
- Garnish: brandied cherry (preferably Luxardo) and an orange wheel
- Glassware: Collins
- Add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain over ice into a Collins glass.
- Top with soda water.
- Garnish with a brandied cherry and an orange wheel.
This drink is both a cocktail and milkshake, no wonder it won second place in the New York cocktail contest in 1919! Combining the two favorite beverages in the Mid-Century is something everyone should try at least once in their life. The Grasshopper got its name for the green color that comes from the creme de menthe. It’s the sweet, after-dinner cocktail everyone in the Mid-Century was drinking!
Photo courtesy of PUNCH
- 1 1/2 ounces green crème de menthe
- 1 1/2 ounces white crème de cacao
- 1 ounce half and half
- 1 teaspoon Fernet Branca
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 4 ounces vanilla ice cream
- 8 ounces crushed ice, prepared with a Lewis bag and mallet or a food processor
- Garnish: mint sprig
- Glassware: mug
- Combine all ingredients in a blender pitcher.
- Blend on low speed until smooth.
- Pour into an old-fashioned soda glass or a tall mug.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and serve with a straw.
5. Old Fashioned
The cocktail of cocktails. Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails that lives up to its reputation. Classic, simple, and delicious; a true original. Because Old Fashioned has been around for so long, there are many variations as to how it’s “supposed” to be made. Nevertheless, the Old Fashioned cocktail has the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. This isn’t just a Mid-Century classic though, it’s a timeless, true American cocktail.
Photo courtesy of lamourfou
- 2 ounces rye or bourbon
- 1 sugar cube (see Editor's Note below)
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- splash warm water (if using sugar cube or sugar)
- Garnish: orange peel
- Glassware: rocks
- In a double rocks glass, muddle the sugar cube or sugar with Angostura bitters and a small splash of warm water until dissolved.
- If using simple syrup, swirl with bitters in a double rocks glass.
- Add whiskey and ice (preferably an oversized cube) and stir well.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
What's your favorite, classic Mid-Century cocktail? Let us know!