Americans like to relax. Part of the process often includes taking that relaxation to the next level with a little liquid refreshment. In many cases, beer or wine will do when it comes to finding a beverage of choice. However, Americans are also quite creative, and there are a number of cocktails that are classically American. Some of them are so good that the rest of the world has adopted them, while others hold unique appeal for American drinkers.


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This drink originated in the humble town of Martinez, California by bartender Julio Richelieu in the late 1850s. The martini consists of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters, and it’s topped with a maraschino cherry. This drink began to grow in popularity when it became known that it was the drink of choice for millionaire John D. Rockefeller. When prohibition became reality in the United States, the martini became one of the big movers because gin was easy to produce and transport.

Bloody Mary.


The popular story is that the Bloody Mary was invented by American comedian George Jessel, who was performing in Palm Beach, Florida during the 1950s. The story picked up steam because Jessel made the claim one of the staples of his act. Smirnoff even used Jessel’s words in their advertisements for vodka, which is the key ingredient in the drink, along with tomato juice and Tabasco sauce. However, the best information credits St. Regis Hotel bartender, Fernand “Peter” Petriot, for coming up with the libation in New York City in the 1940s.

Tom Collins.

This is a drink that was named after a prank. According to the legend, you run into a friend on the street, and he tells you that a fellow named Tom Collins just slandered you before running into a bar down the street. When you arrive at that saloon, the proprietor tells you that Collins was there, and he just left for another bar. You then continue your pursuit from bar to bar until you realize you’ve been had. The drink, invented in New York City, consists of gin, lemon juice, lime juice and soda water.


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Another drink that was invented in New York, this cocktail is a mixture of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, and it is garnished with a maraschino cherry. It was invented at the Manhattan Club in the 1870s.

Mint Julep.


This is a traditional American cocktail that is usually served once a year when horse racing fans prepare to watch the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. The Mint Julep consists of lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves, lime wedges, bourbon and club soda. While racing enthusiasts stand by this traditional drink, some of its critics claim that the drink is far too sweet, and you can’t stomach more than a sip or two.

Lynchburg Lemonade.


This is a popular southern drink that can cool you down in a hurry after a hot day on the golf course. This drink is made with Jack Daniels whiskey as its primary ingredient, but it also includes Cointreau, lemon sour mix, lemon-lime soda and a lemon wedge.

Long Island Iced Tea.


Another thirst-quenching drink that works best on a hot summer day, it has only been around since the 1970s. The key ingredients include vodka, tequila, rum, gin and triple sec. There is no tea in the drink; the color in it comes from a spritz of cola. That’s the only mixer, so that means this drink can hit you hard and do it quickly.