Decoding the Cocktail Menu: 5 Steps to Ordering a Drink You’ll Love

The first ingredient is a key, but even the glass offers a clue.

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Roberts & June

Roberts & June are Washington D.C.-based cocktail bloggers and bartenders.

Savoy Gimlet

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In this recipe, we’ve replaced the gin base with vermouth, making for a lower alcohol drink with a lovely, delicate flavor. It’s not too far off from the original, but enough for a genuine change of pace.


1. Combine the sugar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker, and stir to dissolve the sugar.

2. Add the vermouth to the shaker.

3. Fill with ice above the level of the liquid.

4. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds.

5. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish.

Saint Scotch

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One of the many things we love about the Negroni is the way it serves as a template for other recipes, like this one. If you’re a St. Germain lover, use it as your gateway to whiskey. If you’re a whiskey lover, let it bring out your softer side.


1. Combine the whiskey, St. Germain, and vermouth in a mixing glass.

2. Add ice to the level of the liquid.

3. Stir until the ice has noticeably melted.

4. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish.

Honey Oh So Sweet

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Honey oh so sweet and gin. Switch it up. An old fashioned doesn’t have to be made with whiskey. Try gin instead, and you’ll find the same comforting warmth, but with a little more brightness as well.


1. Pour the honey into the bottom of an old fashioned glass.

2. Add the bitters and gin.

3. Stir gently to combine.

4. Add ice — one large cube if you have it.