Bright, fruity, savory, spicy and everything in between — seemingly endless ingredient combinations exist for mixing a drink. Those made with gin, rum, rye whiskey, vodka and coffee liqueur are the top five you should try next time you’re ordering or mixing a drink.

This refreshing classic mixes 1 ounce of gin with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, all topped with club soda in a tall-and-narrow straight glass with ice. Add a lemon slice for garnish and a hint of simple syrup if your taste is more sweet than sour.

Tips

Substitute lemonade for the fresh lemon juice in a pinch.

Deriving its name from its resemblance to dark storm clouds over Bermuda, the classic Dark & Stormy is three parts ginger beer to one part dark rum. You can take it up a notch by muddling a fresh lime wedge with 1/2 teaspoon of white sugar and a piece of fresh ginger in your glass before mixing.

This drink — also referred to as an Old Fashioned — was first concocted in the 1800s in New York City. Shake to combine 2 ounces of rye whiskey, 1 ounce of vermouth and two dashes of bitters with ice and strain the mixture into a martini glass. The traditional garnish for a Manhattan is a cherry; however, any citrus wedge will also pair nicely.

A perfect brunch companion, the Bloody Mary should be seasoned to each drinker’s personal spice preference. Tomato juice is transformed by adding:

  • a pinch of salt, pepper and celery salt
  • hot pepper and Worcestershire sauces to taste — start with a dash of each and increase as desired
  • 1/2 ounce of lime juice
  • 1 ounce of vodka

Mix before pouring the drink over ice in any large glass. Optional: mix in horseradish or add a spicy pickled bean as garnish for extra spice.

Try this 1970s favorite as a sweet treat: Mix two parts of vodka and heavy cream and one part of coffee liqueur, shake the mixture with ice and pour it over a short glass full of fresh ice.

Tips

Although some may frown on this substitution, half-and-half, light cream or whole milk can be used in place of the heavy cream for a lighter but less decadent version of this drink.