The Gin Rickey, Pisco Punch, & More: Classic American Drinks to Try

Do you want to put a twist on your next gathering? If so, then ask your bartender to serve up a menu of classic American drinks. These cocktails have stood the test of time because they’re delicious and easy to drink, and you can’t go wrong when putting them on their party list. Here is a little inspiration for your classic American cocktail party.

Gin Rickey

The gin Rickey was the quintessential cocktail of the 1920s and rose to even greater prominence thanks to its feature on the pages of The Great Gatsby. It is a very simple drink that uses only gin, lime juice, and sparkling water or club soda. It is traditionally served in a highball glass. If you don’t love gin, you can make a Rickey with other liquors as well—bourbon is a popular choice. The key is to remember that this is not a sweet cocktail. There should no sugar added to a Rickey for a traditional recipe, though some people do prefer a splash of simple syrup.

Pisco Punch

Pisco punch was a favorite drink of Rudyard Kipling, author of Jungle Book. It mixes the sweet, white brandy from South America called pisco with fresh lemon juice and pineapple juice. Pisco is made with muscat grapes, which blend well with the sweetness of the pineapple juice, but the tanginess of the lemon juice prevents this drink from being overly sweet.


The Sazerac is a contender for the oldest cocktail in the US. It gained popularity in New Orleans before the Civil War and remains popular throughout the South. It is bold tasting and combines cognac, anise liqueur, bitters, absinthe, and sugar with a lemon twist. At the time the cocktail was created, cognac was used an alternative to bourbon, and in fact the drink is named for the cognac that inspired it, but some non-purists reach for bourbon today to make this drink.

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