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Types of Cocktail Mixes

Types of Cocktail Mixes

Whether you own a restaurant or bar, creating your signature cocktails is easier with our selection of classic cocktail mixes. Choosing the right mix can elevate your bar service without compromising taste. Not only will your bar staff be more efficient, but it will be easier to train new bartenders on how to prepare your signature recipes. In this guide we'll investigate what a cocktail is, the different types of liquor you can choose from, and popular cocktail mixes to add to your kitchen.

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  1. What Is a Cocktail?
  2. Cocktail Mixes
  3. Types of Liquor
  4. Cocktail Accessories

What Is a Cocktail?

A cocktail is any mixed drink that combines one or more spirits with other ingredients, such as juice, flavored syrups, or cream. Most cocktails are alcoholic, although non-alcoholic cocktails have increased in popularity in recent years. There are many different types of cocktails and a wide range of mixology techniques to master.

What Is an Aperitif?

An aperitif is an alcoholic drink consumed before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Most aperitifs are cocktails, although certain wines and liqueurs can also be served. Some guests may confuse aperitifs with digestifs, which are after dinner drinks served after the meal to improve digestion. Since most guests prefer their aperitifs before their meal, your staff must be able to quickly prepare drinks. For that reason, cocktail mixes pose a significant advantage during service rushes.

Cocktail Mixes

The wide variety of cocktails available for you to choose from and the varying preferences of your customers can make curating a cocktail menu difficult. In general, a well-balanced cocktail selection should feature a mix of classic cocktails and new trends. You should also update your drink menu from time to time to keep it fresh. One way to do this is by featuring winter fruits in your drinks during the colder months. Below, we've outlined some classic cocktail mixes to help build out your drink selection. These easy-to-prepare drink mixes allow you to create great-tasting drinks in a pinch, leaving your guests satisfied while saving time in the kitchen.

Margarita with a lemon lime

1. Margarita Mix

The margarita is a classic bar drink and one of the most ordered cocktails on menus across America. Typically served shaken and in a margarita glass, this tequila cocktail is an excellent addition to your drink menu. Keep margarita mix on hand in your kitchen to satisfy your guests. 

What Is Margarita Mix Made Of?

Margarita mix is typically made using a blend of the following ingredients:

  • Lime juice
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Citric Acid

Bloody Mary garnished with an olive and lettuce

2. Bloody Mary Mix

A Bloody Mary is a full-bodied cocktail bursting with unique flavors. Regarded by some as a hangover cure, this cocktail is often consumed in the morning and features salty, spicy, and savory flavors. Investing in Bloody Mary mix can help you achieve consistent results each time, and you can even elevate your drinks by shopping from our selection of Bloody Mary rimming salt

What Is Bloody Mary Mix Made Of?

In general, Bloody Mary mix is made using the following ingredients:

  • Tomato juice/tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Various spices

Sour cocktail garnished with lemon and cherry

3. Sweet and Sour Mix

Sweet and sour mix is a versatile cocktail ingredient that is used to prepare many different drinks. It features a robust, tangy taste and a yellow color. Its citrus flavors allow you to create unique cocktail creations in your kitchen. Combined with your choice of liquor, the result is a delicious cocktail layered with strong sweet and sour flavors.

What Is Sweet and Sour Mix Made Of?

Sweet and sour mix is traditionally prepared using the following ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Sugar
  • Water

Martini being poured with an olive garnish

4. Martini Mix

Whether it's served shaken or stirred, a martini is a refreshing cocktail drink that has stood the test of time. Typically served in a martini glass, this popular cocktail can be prepared using gin or vodka. Martini mixes come in a variety of different flavors, allowing you to get creative with your drink selection. 

What Is Martini Mix Made Of?

Though they come in many different forms, martini mixes are typically prepared using these ingredients:

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Olive juice
  • Lactic acid

Two pina coladas garnished with pineapple

5. Blended Cocktail Mix

Blended mixes do not encompass a single type of cocktail mix, but rather a collection of mixes. As their name suggests, these cocktail mixes are prepared alongside other ingredients in a blender. Though many consider blended cocktails summer drinks, you can experiment with them in your kitchen to create different seasonal variations. Popular blended drink mixes include pina colada mix, frozen margarita mix, and daiquiri mix

What Is Pina Colada Mix Made Of?

Pina colada mix typically features the following ingredients:

  • Pineapple juice
  • Coconut
  • Water
  • Sugar

Mojito in a tall glass, garnished with lime and herbs

6. Seasonal Cocktail Mix

Showcasing herbal cocktails or fruit cocktails on your menu is an excellent way to excite customers and refresh your cocktail menu during the summertime. Cycling through seasonal cocktails while still keeping classic favorites on the menu is an easy way to adapt as the weather changes. For example, you can offer mojitos in the summer and replace them with popular winter drinks as the seasons change. 

What Is Mojito Mix Made Of?

Mojito mix is typically prepared using the following ingredients:

  • Lime juice
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Citric Acid

Types of Liquor

One of the most significant determiners for your guests while they browse your cocktail menu is the types of liquor you offer. There are six essential base liquors, and it's important to stock your bar with at least one of each type before selecting your cocktail mixes. Having one of each allows you to cater to a range of tastes and create the classic cocktails customers expect to be able to order at your bar. We've listed the six base liquors below:

Illustration of a bottle of tequila


While it has always been a popular choice, tequila and other agave-based spirits have emerged as a top bar trend in recent years. Tequila derives from the Weber blue agave plant and its roots can be traced back to the western regions of Mexico. It typically features an ABV between 35% and 55%. Whether you're enjoying it as part of a cocktail or hosting a tequila tasting, this dependable spirit is an excellent addition to your menu. 

What Is Tequila Distilled From?

Tequila is distilled from the Weber blue agave, a variety of agave native to the hot, arid regions of western Mexico.

What Does Tequila Taste Like?

Tequila has a semi-sweet and spicy taste. 

Types of Tequila Cocktails

  • Margarita
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Long Island Iced Tea

Illustration of a bottle of brandy


Brandy is a type of distilled, barrel-aged fruit wine that can be made from a variety of fruits. There are several different ways to drink brandy, making it a valuable spirit to offer on your menu. Its ABV typically falls somewhere between 35-60%.

What Is Brandy Distilled From?

Brandy is typically distilled from fermented grapes, but can also be distilled from apricots, cherries, or peaches.

What Does Brandy Taste Like?

Brandy features a sweet and fruity taste and can sometimes feature hints of oak.

Types of Brandy Cocktails

  • Brandy sour
  • Sazerac
  • Sangria

Illustration of a bottle of vodka


Vodka is one of the most versatile types of liquor. Its origins can be traced back to Russia, Poland, and Sweden, and it is one of the most popular spirits on the market. Standard vodka has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 40%, though it can be higher or lower depending on the brand you choose. 

What Is Vodka Distilled From?

Vodka is distilled from potatoes or neutral grains like rye, corn, and wheat. 

What Does Vodka Taste Like?

Vodka features a neutral alcohol or ethanol taste. 

Types of Vodka Cocktails

  • Screwdriver
  • Bloody Mary
  • Moscow Mule

Illustration of a bottle of whiskey


Whiskey, sometimes spelled as whisky, is deeply rooted in American culture and has seen a resurgence in popularity of late. Typically aged in wood barrels, there are many types of whiskey to choose from. Some people even host their own whiskey tastings to enjoy the subtle differences between each variety. Though whiskey's ABV can vary, it often falls somewhere between 40-50%.

What Is Whiskey Distilled From?

Whiskey is distilled from malted grains such as rye, wheat, barley, and corn. 

What Does Whiskey Taste Like?

Whiskey features a bittersweet taste and sometimes includes hints of smoke, fruit, nuts, and chocolate. 

Types of Whiskey Cocktails

  • Old Fashioned
  • Manhattan
  • Irish Coffee

Illustration of a bottle of gin


With origins tracing back to Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands, gin is the main ingredient in several classic cocktail recipes. It is recognized as the main ingredient in several classic cocktail recipes and comes in several different styles. Gin's ABV is typically somewhere between 40-50%.

What Is Gin Distilled From?

Gin is distilled from neutral grains such as corn, rye, barley, or wheat alongside juniper berries and botanicals. 

What Does Gin Taste Like?

Gin has a dry and slightly herbal flavor. Some compare its taste to the aroma of pine needles. 

Types of Gin Cocktails

  • Dry Martini
  • Gin and Tonic
  • Tom Collins

Illustration of a bottle of rum


Available in several different grades, rum can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a cocktail. Each variation of rum is associated with its own distinct characteristics, allowing you to get creative with your cocktails and experiment with different flavors. It has a wide ABV range, with some rums containing as little as 40% alcohol and others containing up to 80% alcohol.

What Is Rum Distilled From?

Rum is distilled from pure sugar cane or molasses, also known as black treacle. 

What Does Rum Taste Like?

Rum features a sweet, toasted sugar taste that can vary depending on what style you drink. 

Types of Rum Cocktails

  • Daiquiri
  • Mojito
  • Pina Colada

Cocktail Accessories

You can enhance your cocktails by supplying your bartenders with cocktail accessories and ingredients. When incorporated into recipes correctly, this allows your bartending staff to turn classic cocktails into signature drinks and create unique flavors that are only found at your bar. With the right execution, this can attract new customers and establish your business as a destination. Below, we've listed some popular cocktail accessories and ingredients to consider investing in:

Cocktail bitters placed next to a cocktail

Cocktail Bitters

Just as salt accentuates an entree dish, concentrated bitters or flavorings add an extra layer of taste to cocktails. It's important to note that a small amount of these powerful flavorings can go a long way. Some key benefits of using cocktail bitters and concentrated flavors include having precise control over the taste of your cocktails and the ability to add unexpected flavors to your drinks. 

How Long Do Bitters Last?

In general, bitters can last up to five years. Keep in mind that this timeframe can vary depending on what bitters you purchase. 

When to Add Bitters to a Cocktail

It's recommended that you add bitters to your cocktails before the mixture is stirred or shaken. This way, they will blend with the other flavors in the drink. 

Blue cocktail sitting on a tabletop

Cocktail Syrups

Many cocktails strive to achieve a sweet taste, but sugar isn't always the best way to achieve it. Granulated sugar doesn't dissolve well in cold drinks or alcohol. With cocktail syrups, you can achieve the perfect level of sweet flavor while retaining the ideal consistency in your drinks. Not only do these syrups dissolve well, but they can be found in various flavors.

How to Use Cocktail Syrups

  1. Add a small amount of syrup to your cocktail mixture.
  2. Pour your liquor into the mixture.
  3. Fill the container with ice.
  4. Shake or stir the mixture until ingredients are combined. 

How Long Do Cocktail Syrups Last?

Once opened, a cocktail syrup can last up to six months in the refrigerator. It's important to note that this can vary depending on what syrup you buy. 

Alcohol infuser on a countertop

Alcohol Infusers

An alcohol infuser lets you experiment and create signature flavors in-house. These flavors can only be served by you and give you an edge against competing bars. Key benefits of using an alcohol infuser include the ability to provide consistent drink results for your guests and being able to create a fresh taste without the hassle of using fresh ingredients. 

How to Use Alcohol Infusers

  1. Pour your liquor of choice into the infusion bottle.
  2. Allow time for the flavors to absorb.
  3. Once the flavor has reached your desired strength, add it to your cocktail recipe.

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