The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World (2024)

February 07, 2023 by Karl Tessendorf

Jump to:

What is the secret sauce behind creating popular cocktails? Is it a catchy name, a flashy glass, or a long list of hard-to-find ingredients? Or is it something else entirely? There are a select few cocktails that captured the world’s imagination. They’re the ones that break through culture and language barriers and change the course of cocktail history. Sure, they’re all cocktails but as you’ll see in our list below, they are all very different. They vary from one spectrum to the other, but the one thing they all have in common is great flavor. Join us as we take a journey through the most popular cocktails of 2024. 

1. Old Fashioned

Top view of rich Old Fashioned Cocktails with Orange peel garnish

If there was ever a cocktail that embodied the ‘they don’t make ‘em like they used to’ attitude it’s the Old Fashioned. It’s been around since the mid-1800s and it’s considered the original cocktail recipe. Back then whiskey was a little less refined, and The Old Fashioned recipe smoothed out the rougher edges of the tipple. It might be a simple blend of whiskey, sugar, and bitters with an orange peel and cherry garnish, but it’s the cocktail definition of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. It’s on every cocktail list in any bar worth its Margarita salt, and it’s spawned dozens of spin-off variations.    

Make it with: Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon

2. Negroni

Bright Negroni cocktails served on a vintage tray with snacks

The Negroni may have been invented in 1919, but in 2024 it’s one of the most popular gin cocktails ever. It’s become the drink of choice for many discerning cocktail drinkers, and with just one sip it’s easy to see why. It’s a perfect marriage of floral and herbaceous gin, bitter-sweet and spicy Campari, and the sultry character of sweet vermouth. A twist of orange over the glass releases aromatic oils and cocktail perfection is achieved. For a drink with such flavor complexity, it couldn’t be easier to make. With just three ingredients all you need to remember is the rule of thirds for the perfect Negroni recipe— 1 part gin, 1 part Campari and 1 part vermouth.     

Make it with: Campari

3. Margarita

Front View of Delicious Lime Margaritas in ice bowl

If there’s one drink to have in your cocktail party arsenal, then it has to be the mighty Margarita. Just think about it, you could be the Margarita aficionado in your group of friends. The Margarita maestro, the salt slinger, the sultan of sweet and sour! They may even chant that when you enter the room and shower you with limes, but we digress. The key to a great Margarita is to spend a little extra on quality ingredients. Don’t buy any premixed concoctions. Rather do a little homework and make them from scratch. All you need is good tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and a little salt. Margarita destiny is calling, what are you waiting for?    

Make it with: Espolòn Tequila Blanco

4. Espresso Martini

Front view of three decadent Espresso Martini cocktails served with sweet and savory snacks

The love child of two of the world’s favorite drinks, the Espresso Martini is a double caffeine shot to the heart. Feeling sluggish on a night out? Ate too much at dinner? This rich and decadent vodka-laced cocktail will pep you right up. It’s a simple 3-part cocktail featuring vodka, coffee liqueur, and a freshly brewed shot of espresso. It’s sweetened with a touch of simple syrup and shaken hard over ice to create its classic frothy look. Sip it slowly and let the soothing coffee-spiked flavors wash over your senses.

Make it with: SKYY Vodka 

5. Cosmopolitan

Front view of the best refreshing Cosmopolitan cocktails

When the writers of Sex and the City decided on the Cosmo as the drink of choice for its stars, cocktail history was made. Sure, the Cosmopolitan had been around since the mid-80s, but it was this decision in 1999 that Carrie-pulted it into classic cocktail legend. It would be easy to dismiss the Cosmo as merely a pop culture moment—if it wasn’t so darn delicious. It’s a citrus vodka, orange liqueur, and lime juice citrus flavor bomb that’s complemented by the sweet and sour edge of cranberry. The 90s may have come and gone, but just like the little black dress, the Cosmo never goes out of style. So, keep calm and Carrie on!   

Make it with: Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

6. Manhattan

Two classic Manhattan cocktails with maraschino cherry

The Manhattan is a pillar of the classic cocktails; it’s on the IBA’s (International Bartenders Association) unforgettable list. An easy cocktail to master, the Manhattan’s cocktail ingredients consist of just three familiar parts; whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Don’t let this spirit forward cocktail intimidate you though; it’s a smooth, sweet, and tasty drink you’ll want to add to your arsenal for sure.

Make it with: 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso 

7. Daiquiri

Refreshing Lime Daiquiri on a wooden table

The original Daiquiri was invented in 1898 in the mining town of Daiquiri in Cuba. Almost a decade later, this classic recipe traveled from Cuba to America, and it was an instant hit. The Lime Daquiri is said to have been a firm favorite of President John F Kennedy and famed writer Ernst Hemingway. In fact, he loved it so much that he had one named after him.  

The Classic Daiquiri uses only three simple ingredients, and the recipe is a delicate balancing between the sweet and the sour. This fresh and straightforward lime cocktail that is very similar to a Classic Margarita in that you’ll be using fresh lime juice and sugar syrup, but instead of tequila, you’ll be using light rum. It’s a drink for a refined palate and perfect for a warm summer evening.  

Make it with: Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum

8. Mojito

Mojito cocktail with lime and mint garnish

In the world of popular cocktail recipes, this mint-infused juggernaut continues to blaze a refreshing trail. Like many of the greats, its origins are lost to time but a variation has been traced back to 16th-century Cuba. With its muddled mint leaves and suspended lime wedges, the Mojito is unmistakable in any part of the world. The bright citrus and vanilla flavors of white rum bounce off the fresh lime and fragrant mint. The sugar adds a touch of sweetness to temper the acidity and club soda brings it all together with tongue-tingling vibrancy. Few drinks go down easier than a well-made Mojito on a hot summer’s day. 

Make it with: Trois Rivières White Rum

9. Gimlet

Close up top view of two Gimlet Cocktails in coupe glasses, garnished with lime wheels, and presented on a white platter set on a striped blue and white tablecloth

The 19th century was a tricky time to be in the navy – folks were very prone to catching scurvy – a brutal, painful, and sometimes deadly disease brought about by vitamin C deficiency on long ocean voyages. Citrus juice turned out to be the answer, and Navy men took to it in a big way, often mixing it with something a little stronger to give it some kick.  

The story goes that the Gimlet is named after Surgeon Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette. He ostensibly prescribed the drink as a daily tonic to prevent disease among sailors and officers in the British Navy. Our kind of guy! 

Make it with: Bulldog Gin

10. White Russian

Close up of double cream being poured into a White Russian cocktail

With only three ingredients, the best White Russian cocktail is packed with good quality. We suggest a premium vodka like Skyy Vodka and a high-shelf coffee liqueur. When it comes to the cream, make sure it’s proper heavy cream—not the instant whipped kind! 

proper White Russian recipe is deceivingly simple to make, but sometimes the simplest things in life are also the most delicious. If you want to find out how much alcohol is in White Russian, then all we can say is that even though it tastes a little like melted coffee-flavored ice cream, it’s actually quite potent with three ounces of alcohol in one drink, so enjoy it slowly.

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest cocktail trends.


Martinis in all their forms seem to never go out of style. They are also fertile territory for bartenders with inventive minds. The Mojito is another crowd-pleaser with its fresh flavors and effervescent kick.

The Margarita is one of the world’s favorite cocktails and the choice of many ladies. It’s an uncomplicated cocktail that manages to strike a balance between sweet, sour, salty, and zesty.

The IBA was founded in 1951 and it aims to represent the best bartenders in the world. It hosts yearly competitions for both cocktails and flair bartenders. Its cocktail list is regarded as canon. 

Stay in the mix

Sign up to our drinkspiration newsletter.