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Cocktails You Have Been Making Wrong

You would never believe the mistakes you've been making at the bar, and surprisingly you're not the only one; the cocktails you have been making wrong need to be amended.

By Alfred TaerzPublished 6 years ago 6 min read

Everyone likes a fresh mixed beverage every once and while (some of us like them more often than others), but what if we've been making our favorite classic drinks completely wrong this whole time? It honestly doesn't take a rocket scientist to know how to make a Martini or a Bloody Mary, but these are only two examples of the vast annals of wrongly-made cocktails. If you're going to make something (especially if you want it to taste good and be worthwhile), make it the right way and don't fall into the trap of making it your way. Your ways are wrong, trust me.

You're not the only one, though, as everyone is to blame, in some capacity, for this life-long tragedy in the alcoholic industry. That's why it's about time we amend these following mistakes, or the cocktails you have been making wrong your whole life will only worsen. Cocktails, mixed drinks, however you want to call them—they're art. Like any well-made formulations of art, there are preferred techniques in the ways of making them, and then there's your way. Bringing back these archaic ways of cocktail mixing, I intend to rid this common mistake before our most favored beverages are ruined for good.

Whiskey Sour

Stop putting pre-made sour mix into your Whiskey Sours, as it's been turning this amazing classic into one of the many cocktails you have been making wrong. Try making your own sour mix with lemon juice and simple syrup instead of buying the pre-made crap that will only dilute the beverage.

You'll also want to ensure you've got the right Whiskey for the occasion, as not every alcoholic spirit can be utilized. The perfect Whiskey Sour for you is what you'll need to devise, as it all depends on the quality and texture you want your beverage at. Try any one of the best Whiskeys for Whiskey Sours.


Probably one of the most simple drinks on this list is, surprisingly, among cocktails you have been making wrong. Most people tend to enjoy using Triple Sec, yet this is simply not correct. Orange liqueur needs to be avoided when mixing some classic Margs.

Instead, use something simple, like simple syrup (duh), or maybe even agave. You can get creative, bit not too creative. Stick to lime juice, tequila, and salt rim. Easy as pie, until you start watering the Marg down, then you've got a huge problem.

Alien Secretion

While it should only be a shot, not among cocktails you have been making wrong, the Alien Secretion makes itself known widely as among the most uniquely screwed up concoction on this list. Some might say you need cherry juice, others want you to mix alcohols (it is, after all, called Alien Secretion, key word being alien), but none are correct.

Really, all you'll need to make the best Secretion is melon liqueur, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. That's it, and ensure it's held within a shot glass, because it is a shot, not a cocktail per say (even though people think it is).

Hot Toddy

The Hot Toddy is actually not hot water mixed with Whiskey, as some might want you to believe. No one adds enough honey, and mixing tends to get tossed out the window, as most are concerned among cocktails you have been making wrong.

The Hot Toddy is no stranger to the cold, so add some lemon peel as the garnish, specifically one that is clove studded. This will give your beverage a light hint of spice, for which many tend to forget is a necessary ingredient.

Bloody Mary

No one has ever made the Bloody Mary right. Ask anyone and they all have their own ways of making it, even though nobody tastes it while mixing. Some people either add too much or too little citrus juice, or simply splice it incorrectly.

Instead, bartenders should be tasting it while they mix it. It's ironically one of the most difficult one to make correctly when mixing drinks. Utilize quality ingredients, and once you've come up with the right base, top it off with a salty bacon straw for some added zing.


You're probably most surprised out of all to see the Martini among cocktails you have been making wrong, but it's no mistake. Among classic cocktails, made more famous by the likes of James Bond and his 007 movies, the Martini was turned on its head by the Hollywood quip that changed it all:

"Shaken, not stirred."

Though it may taste different, a shaken Martini is simply wrong, because there are no extra acidic ingredients like simple syrup, dairy, or egg white, diminishing the necessity for shaking in the first place. Bond was also fond of the vodka Martini, even though some contend with the belief that this simply doesn't exist (like the idea of the Martini itself). Use gin, don't shake it, and add an olive, that's all you have to do.


It might be one of the top cocktails to drink before noon, but it's also among the cocktails you have been making wrong, so stop it. The Daiquiri deserves so much better.

Like the Marg, Dacks get screwed up all the time with an overdosing of neon-tinged stupidity. Erase this crap from memory and just use simple syrup, light rum and lime juice. That's it! If you want to have some fun with the drink, you can try making the Hemingway Daiquiri, which adds a subtle tinge of grapefruit juice for that extra layer of flavor.

Old Fashioned

Despite having the name Old Fashioned, this classic alcoholic beverage finds itself among cocktails you have been making wrong, because none of you know how to use bitters in your cocktails.

Beginning amid the 1960s, the Old Fashioned began seeing itself reverted more from a cherry and orange mix with rye or bourbon tones, to then on becoming more of a fruit salad in a glass. Leave the frilly nilly garnishes aside and start peppering your Old Fashioned with some old fashioned recipes, like Mitcher's Rye, Angostura bitters, bay leaf, white peppercorn, and some maple.

Tiki Drinks

Julien Bourgon, manager of the Masseria in Washington D.C., has a few insights on the ways of the Tiki Drinks (among the sugariest and frilliest of cocktails around):

"Using good rums... you want pungent and funky rums, which is why these blends kind of came about to try to collect all of these nuances you can get out of rum."

He also says it's not fault of our own for inviting Tiki Drinks into the category of cocktails you have been making wrong this whole time. But, that's okay, because it's not like you're making Pokémon-inspired cocktails. You're basically making cocktail drinks with fresh citrus juice (a must), along with some quality acidic ingredients, like orgeat syrup, as Bourgon recommends.


You may not have heard of it, but the Negroni is supposedly among the easiest cocktails to make, despite it also being one of the many cocktails you have been making wrong. Stop forgetting ice and a garnish, as many tend to serve Negronis without these valuable necessities.

Beyond that, you'll also want to think about the right cup, since most people tend to put it in a coupe glass, which dilutes the mixed drink. The warm mixture of sweet vermouth, Campari, and gin is best served on the rocks, so it can properly chill and dilute itself as the ice melts. It's also expressly necessary you add an orange peel garnish, otherwise you're not actually making a Negroni.

Mint Julep

The summery blend of mint and herbal flavors is also surprisingly among cocktails you have been making wrong, so let's fix that. Instead of adding cubed ice, as everyone seems to love doing (even though it's wrong), add more mint. Chances are you're not adding enough, like the garnish. You want it far more powerful and minty fresh than you think it deserves to be (if that makes any sense).

Utilized crushed ice, not ice cubes. You want it taste almost like a snow cone, rather than an actual beverage. You also might want to use high-proof bourbon, as this will go nicely with the simple syrup and won't be overpowered by it, as most are.


About the Creator

Alfred Taerz

English psycho therapist. I like to help people and oftentimes do, when people take my advice seriously. It's all in the mind, you'll see...

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    Alfred TaerzWritten by Alfred Taerz

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