Top 11 Most Popular Cocktail Recipes

Best cocktail recipes in Kenya


Published on 30 May, 2022

Most cocktails enjoyed across the world have very unusual origins. Some of the recipes that inspired the modern-day iconic drinks were used as remedies to cure illness. Today, the recipes have been refined and using modern liquor and top-quality ingredients, the enjoyment of sipping these cocktails has become an experience that no one would want to miss.

Top 11 iconic cocktails

1. Martinis

The classic martini cocktail is made with gin and vermouth. However, vodka martinis are also popular. The martini formula and technique can be adjusted in countless ways into gin or vodka martini, dirty martini, olive or lemon garnish, dry or wet, shaken or stirred, depending on personal preference.

How to Make Martini Cocktails

What you need;

  • 2 ½ oz gin
  • ½ oz vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish with a lemon twist or olives (1 or 3)
  • Optional: 1 dash of aromatic or orange bitters


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes, and add the gin and vermouth. Pour vermouth to your desired taste.
  2. Stir for about 30 seconds and then strain your mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. You can then add a dash of bitters such as Angostura if need be.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist or olives.
  5. Enjoy your gin martini

A vodka martini is made by replacing gin with vodka, which is among the most common cocktail recipes in Kenya. The olives became an option for martini garnish when vodka began being used as a gin substitute. However, gin martini is the oldest cocktail, and a lemon twist is the original martini garnish.

The secret to having the best martini experience is trying out different options. Every gin is different from the other. You can begin here by choosing different gins and using them in different proportions. For a vodka martini, the same applies. You can even substitute olive garnish with an apple wedge and use apple liqueur to make an apple martini.

Stay alert for more Martini recipes coming up!

2. Gin & Tonic

Popularly known as G&T, this is a classic and easy cocktail made of gin and tonic. It is light and refreshing, made of the two named ingredients and a touch of lime, all comprised of natural flavors. G&T is a popular choice mixed drink for most gin lovers, especially because it is easy to make. You can take it at dinner or any time you need a vitalizing beverage.

Quality gins, preferably with a citrus flavor and a rich botanical blend make the best G&T. Tanqueray 10Classic TanquerayBombay Sapphire, and The Botanist make excellent spirits for G&T.

How to Make Gin & Tonic Cocktail

What you need

  • 4-5 oz of your preferred tonic water
  • 2 oz of your preferred gin
  • A Lime wedge for garnish


  1. Fill ice cubes in a highball glass, then pour the gin and top up with tonic water.
  2. Stir gently to mix.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge
  4. Enjoy your G&T cocktail.

The lime wedge adds a touch of citrus. Run the wedge around the glass rim, then squeeze the juice and drop the lime garnish in the drink.

You can add more lime flavor by squeezing more juice from a second wedge or use lime cordial juice, added before topping the gin with tonic water.

There are incredible gin choices that you can use as well as tonics such as SchweppesFitch & Leedes and more. To get the most out of G&T cocktails, experiment with different gins and tonics. Use well-chilled tonics from freshly opened bottles. You can also use a lemon wedge in place of or in conjunction with a lime wedge.

3. Margarita

Margarita is a popular drink that originated from Mexico, although its origin is fiercely debated. However, starting from the ingredients and even the name, Mexico is written all over this iconic cocktail. Its greatness is based on its simplicity, using only tequila, triple sec, and lime juice as the ingredients. The mixing can be manipulated to give the ideal flavor balance.

How to Make Margarita Cocktail

What you need:

  • 1 oz triple sec (eg. Cointreau, or any other triple sec liqueur of your choice)
  • 1½ oz tequila
  • ¾ oz lime
  • Garnish with a lime wedge
  • Optional: Lime for rimming the glass
  • Optional: Sugar or salt for rimming the glass
  • A cocktail shaker and strainer
  • Chilled margarita or cocktail glass


  1. Wet the rim of a chilled margarita or cocktail glass using a lime wedge, then roll it in salt or sugar.
  2. Pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes your favorite tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.
  3. Shake well, then strain into the prepared margarita/cocktail glass. It may or may not contain fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.
  5. Serve your margarita and enjoy.

Choosing superior liquor to use in making this cocktail is essential in making a perfect margarita. Buy the best tequila and triple sec liqueur online at Drinks Vine and make a refreshing margarita cocktail.

4. Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan is an incredibly sweet and sour vodka cocktail made of vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry, and a citrus touch. It is a perfect cocktail for a party or just as a regular drink that will keep your taste buds racing.

How to Make Cosmopolitan Cocktail

What you need

  • 45ml lemon-flavored vodka
  • 30ml cranberry juice
  • 15ml triple sec liqueur
  • 10ml lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge or orange zest for garnish.


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour the ingredients and then strain into a clean cocktail glass.
  2. Peel a 3cm round orange zest and hold it 10cm above your cosmo, then squeeze and drop it into your cocktail; or, hold it 10cm above the cocktail and lit a match and wave it carefully over the orange zest, then drop it into the cocktail. The flame releases the orange oils into the drink, giving it orange flavors.
  3. Alternatively, make a lime wedge and place it on the cocktail glass rim. Move it around the glass rim and squeeze the juice into the cocktail.
  4. Serve and enjoy your cosmopolitan cocktail.


5. Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary is among the best and most popular cocktails in the world. It is loved due to its ability to turn even the groggiest moments into memorable ones. The original cocktail has seven ingredients, but it also inspires other creative variations. The major ingredients of the original bloody mary include vodka, lemon juice, tabasco, tomato juice, celery salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

How to Make Bloody Mary Cocktail

What you need

  • 4 oz tomato juice
  • 1½ oz vodka
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire
  • 4 dashes hot pepper sauce, preferably Tabasco
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Celery salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 celery stalk for garnish
  • 1 Lime wedge for garnish
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • Ice


  1. Have some celery salt on a small plate
  2. Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a pint glass.
  3. Roll the glass rim on celery salt and fill the glass with ice and keep it ready.
  4. Into a shaker filled with ice, pour vodka, lemon juice, and tomato juice, and then add Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of celery salt, and ground black pepper, then shake gently.
  5. Strain into the prepared glass and then top up with fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with one celery stalk and a lime wedge. You may also add two speared green olives for garnish.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Like most iconic cocktails, there are many variations of bloody mary cocktail, with a range of additional ingredients with varying quantities. You can also increase the quantities of the ingredients to make it spicier. Despite the variations, the elegance of bloody mary remains unrivaled.

6. Manhattan

Manhattan is a whiskey cocktail believed to date back to the late 1800s. It is among the world’s iconic cocktails whose greatness is inspired by its simplicity. It is made with bourbon or rye whisky, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

How to Make Manhattan Cocktail

What you need

  • 2 oz rye whiskey or bourbon
  • ½ oz sweet vermouth
  • Ice
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel
  • 1 or 2 maraschino cherry


  1. Rub orange peel around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass and set aside.
  2. Into an ice-filled cocktail shaker, pour whisky, vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Shake gently and then strain into a cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy!

There are many variations of Manhattan cocktails. In making a great cocktail, the choice of superior liquor is essential. Be creative enough to make an ideal cocktail that is lip-smackingly delicious.

7. Highball

Whisky highball is a simple, elegant, and popular way of enjoying whisky; alone or with friends. It is a classic way of making whisky taste great by employing ridiculously simple recipes. Highball is simply whisky and ginger ale. Any whisky can be used to make a highball cocktail. Whether it is bourbonBlended ScotchJapanese whisky, rye whiskeys, etc., all fit perfectly to give you a memorable highball experience.

How to Make Highball Cocktail

What you need

  • 4-6 oz ginger ale or club soda
  • 2 oz whiskey
  • Optional: Garnish with citrus


  1. Into highball glass filled with ice cubes, pour the whiskey and top it up with ginger ale or club soda.
  2. Garnish with citrus (optional).

It is as easy as that. Try out this recipe with different whisky types and other additives such as lemon juice, orange juice, peach schnapps, etc. Just be creative!

8. Piña colada

Piña colada is a classic blend of white rum, rich coconut cream, and tangy pineapple, usually served with an umbrella to impart a stylish appeal. It is a refreshing sultry cocktail perfect for summer parties or a pool party with friends. You can also prepare and sip it on the beach as you bask in the evening sun.

How to Make Highball Cocktail

What you need

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1½ oz cream of coconut
  • 1½ oz of pineapple juice
  • ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • For garnish, use a pineapple wedge and a pineapple leaf


  1. Pour rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and lime juice, into a cocktail blender filled with ice, then blend until smooth
  2. Pour into a chilled tall glass or hurricane glass
  3. Garnish with the pineapple wedge and leaf
  4. Insert a small umbrella for kitsch appeal

Like in other popular cocktails mentioned, you can be creative with the ingredients and their quantities to create a personalized taste. Garnish as you please.

9. Daiquiri

The Daiquiri recipe is simple, requiring only three ingredients; light rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. It is a refreshing way to enjoy your rum, where you can adjust to your personal taste, balancing the flavor between sweet and sour.

How to Make Daiquiri Cocktail

What you need

  • 1½ oz light rum
  • ¾ to 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ to ¾ oz simple syrup
  • Optional: A Lime twist or a wedge for garnish
  • Ice


  1. Use a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the ingredients
  2. Shake well, then slowly strain into a chilled glass
  3. Serve and enjoy your daiquiri.

You can adjust to the preferred sweetness by adding simple syrup or lime. In case you need to garnish your daiquiri (though not usually garnished), a lime peel or wedge is a great choice.

10. Negroni

Few cocktails are as satisfying as the famous Negroni cocktail, refreshingly bitter and delicious. It is a perfect aperitif that you can enjoy before meals. It features equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, easy to mix up with no hassle at all.

How to Make Negroni Cocktail

What you need

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz gin (like Tanqueray or your other favorite gin)
  • 1 oz of sweet vermouth
  • Orange slice or twice for garnish.


  1. Use the old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.
  2. Pour the ingredients and stir well.
  3. Hold up an orange twist over the drink and squeeze gently to release orange oils, then add the peel as garnish.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

For a perfect Negroni, choose a high-end gin like that you would use for other popular cocktails like a martini or G&T. Bombay, Tanqueray, Gordon’s, Hendricks, and Beefeater are among the gins that will give you a perfect Negroni experience.

11. Mojito

Mojito is among the most popular classic cocktails. It is a rum cocktail enjoyed worldwide, with its origin traced to Cuba. Among the cocktails list, Mojito is more labor-intensive than most cocktails since it involves muddling the mint.

How to Make Mojito Cocktail

What You Need

  • 2 oz white rum
  • Handful mint leaves
  • Club soda/soda water for topping
  • ½ oz simple syrup (made from equal units of water and granulated sugar)
  • ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel


  1. Muddle the mint lightly with your prepared simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Put ice then pour your rum and lime juice and shake well.
  3. Strain the mixture into a highball glass with ice
  4. Top up with club soda/soda water
  5. For garnish, use a lime wheel and mint sprig
  6. Serve and enjoy


  • For a cocktail shaker, you can always improvise! Use two inverted glasses.
  • 1 fluid oz equals 29.57 ml


Published on 30 May, 2022

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