5 Modern Classics You Should Be Making

Bramble cocktails

I’m usually very boring when it comes to cocktails. I love a good old classic such as a Martini or a Negroni. They are easy to make, and you never need too many ingredients. Recently, however, I have also been making some great modern classics (which are basically minor twists of the classics anyway…). These are cocktails that never go out of style, and you can easily make slight changes yourself to create a range of tasty drinks.

Here’s five modern classics you should absolutely be drinking this summer!


Bramble was created in the mid-1980s by London bartender Richard “Dick” Bradsell. It is a take on the classic Gin Fix cocktail, which is made with gin (or genever), lemon and sugar syrup served with crushed ice. Dick Bradsell wanted to create a British cocktail and was inspired by his childhood memories of going blackberry-picking on the Isle of Wight.

Make it:

45ml Gin

30ml Fresh lemon juice

12.5ml Sugar syrup

12.5ml Crème de Múre

To create a ‘bleeding’ effect, shake only the first three ingredients. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice, add more crushed ice and drizzle the Crème de Múre on top. Garnish with blackberries.

Tip: You can also replace the Crème de Múre with Cassis.

Bramble cocktail

Paper Plane

Paper Plane gets its name from M.I.A.’s track of the same name. The cocktail was first created by NYC bartender Sam Ross in 2008. Originally, he used Campari, but decided to change it to something slightly less bitter.

Make it:

22.5ml Bourbon (ideally 46% ABV)

22.5ml Amaro Nonino Quintessentia

22.5ml Aperol

22.5ml Fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tip: Replace bourbon with rye and see what happens.

Paper plane cocktail
Paper plane modern cocktail

Breakfast Martini

This is a twist on Marmalade Cocktail, which dates back to the 1930s and could be found in the Savoy Cocktail Book. It also has similarities with White Lady. Breakfast Martini was invented by Salvatore Calabrese in 1997.

Make it:

 50ml Dry gin

15ml Cointreau

15ml Fresh lemon juice

1 barspoon Orange marmalade

First, stir the marmalade with the gin in the cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tip: Add 10ml Campari to give it an Italian twist.

Breakfast martini modern classic

Naked & Famous

Joaquín Simó, the creator of Naked & Famous, describes the cocktail as ‘the bastard love child of a classic Last Word and Paper Plane, conceived in the mountains of Oaxaca’. Made with four equal parts, it is an easy cocktail to make, and one of the best in this list (in my opinion).

Make it:

22.5ml Mezcal

22.5ml Aperol

22.5ml Yellow Chartreuse

22.5ml Fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime peel.

Tip: Try it with different mezcals to find the right level of smokiness.

naked and famous cocktail

White Negroni

Who doesn’t love a Negroni?! White Negroni substitutes vermouth with Lillet Blanc and Campari for Suze or other gentian liqueur. White Negroni is said to have been invented by Wayne Collins at VinExpo in Bordeaux in 2001.

Make it:

25ml Dry gin

25ml Suze

25ml White vermouth

Pink grapefruit peel for garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into an ice-filled tumbler and garnish with the citrus peel. Or if you’re feeling lazy, build it straight into the tumbler, stir, add garnish and enjoy.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to alter the measurements away from equal parts. Add a bit more gin and use a little less Suze.

For more Negroni recipes, see my previous article Negroni Recipes For Every Season.

white negroni

Which one is your favourite? Have you tried any modern classics?

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