The World's Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2022

07 January, 2022

In the list for a third time, this gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino and lime gem was first published in Ted Saucier’s 1951 cocktail book Bottoms Up. Lost for half a century, it was unearthed in 2004 at Zig Zag Café in Seattle and has been a common sight behind the stick ever since.

42 Painkiller

Trademarked by Pusser’s, the Painkiller was the drink of the Soggy Dollar Bar, on the BVIs, to which seafarers would swim for refreshment. The bar serving the rum, coconut cream, pineapple and orange juice liquid would take sodden money for the drinks, but the cocktail would only delay the pain of having to swim, inebriated, home.

41 Ti’ Punch

This drink of Martinique and Guadeloupe is a sort of downsized Daiquiri/Caipirinha affair of rum and lime juice and, for a true rendition, says David Wondrich, you need cane syrup, the raw juice of the cane boiled down until thick. The Ti’ Punch is back in our list for the first time since 2017.

40 Hanky Panky

The famous American Bar classic Hanky Panky was invented by Ada Coleman, who supposedly served the drink to actor Charles Hawtrey, one of the “best cocktail judges” she knew. She said: “He sipped it and, draining the glass, he said, ‘By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!’” While the phrase also refers to sexual dalliance, in the language of cocktails, it’s a bone fide classic and gains two places in our list.

39 Cosmopolitan

The Cosmo’s years as the bartender’s punch bag are long into the past, and now there’s a sort of indifference warming to affection. It helps that Sex and the City isn’t on the telly and that everyone who grew to hate it has mellowed in their middle age. If you need reminding, the Cosmo is vodka, triple sec, cranberry and lime. A little tweak here and there and it’s not such a bad drink at all.

38 Ramos Gin Fizz

This half milkshake, half Gin Fizz concoction was named after the New Orleans bartender who created it in 1888 – Henry Charles Ramos. The original saw silky-smooth cream and orange flower put a new spin on the Fizz. It takes a long time to make, so don’t be that person who orders it on a busy night. Though do try one – done right, they are worth the work. Particularly if it’s not yours. 

37 Bellini

This peachy sparkler invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, was once a seasonal serve, but eventually became a permanent fixture on the menu in both Venice and New York. It has a wider and less discerning audience these days and was found to be a top tipple in 5% of the bars we polled.

36 Bee’s Knees

Re-entering the list this year after a two-year absence, this lemon and honey classic is, as it says, the Bee’s Knees. Created in the Prohibition era, it’s suggested the honey and lemon distracted from the roughness of the spirits. The recipe is quite simply two parts gin, ¾ lemon juice and ¾ honey. Best with a cold. 

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