Having a few good cocktail recipes in your back pocket is arguably the best accessory you can carry. 

But overstocking your home bar and trying to learn a bunch of drinks all at once isn't a good idea. Start with one recipe, make it a few times, and then move on to another drink that uses similar ingredients. For instance, start by perfecting the Old Fashioned and then pick up some mint and crushed ice and work on your Mint Julep.

Below, veteran bartender Eamon Rockey lays out a lesson plan for your cocktail education. Here's how to make nine classic drinks, all using a combination of these core ingredients and tools.

April Walloga contributed reporting on an earlier version of this article.

Old Fashioned

Mint Julep

Whiskey Sour

Moscow Mule


Tom Collins




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