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Cocktail Recipes by Molly’s Spirits

Mixologist Approved Cocktails

At Molly’s Spirits, we have all types of cocktail recipes for you to expand your palate and create the perfect drink for any occasion! Sort by ingredients, seasons and more on our page. In the meantime, bar lingo can be confusing. Let’s help go over some techniques, lingo and information to help you make the most of your at-home bartending. Before you know it, you’ll be stirring Manhattans and shaking Martinis to dazzle your guests!

Illegal Smile Whiskey

Illegal Smile

The Illegal Smile is a refreshing whiskey cocktail with citrus and strawberry flavors. It comes from our friends at Heaven Hill and is the perfect beverage for summer happy hours!

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Learn the Lingo

Up? On the rocks? Dash versus splash? What even is top shelf? Bar lingo can be daunting to the uninitiated, leading to anxiety-induced situations when you’re trying to order a drink at a fancy bar. But we’re here to help. Fortunately, the lingo hasn’t changed much in the last 60 or so years. We’ll help break down some of the most popular phrases and how you can adapt them for your home drinks.

Well Drink

The “well” is the section of the bar where bartenders store the “house” liquors, usually because they’re more affordable without sacrificing too much taste.


Served with no ice or mixers. The bartender pours the liquor from the bottle into the glass — that’s it.


Up off the table, usually in a martini glass. Usually, these drinks are chilled with ice via stirring or shaking and strained into the glass without ice.

On the Rocks

Over ice.

Top Shelf

The best brand available. These are generally superior quality and more costly.

Essential Bar Ingredients and Mixers

Building your home bar takes more than just stocking up on several different sprits. To be ready to host your next party or just be ready for whatever suits your mood, it’s important to stock essential mixers. We’ll cover a few we recommend that everyone should have at home for the widest availability of possible drinks:

  • An assortment of bitters, especially Angostura
  • Sodas, soda water and tonic water
  • Citrus juice, including lime, lemon and orange
  • Simple syrup
  • Sour mix
  • Grenadine

Tools of the Trade

Now that we’ve got our liquor and mixers, it’s time to talk about tools. Specific tools help you build the perfect cocktail. You don’t always need to buy the fanciest or most expensive tools, but a few basic tools are essential for making great drinks:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Bar spoon for stirring drinks and layering ingredients
  • Jigger for measuring shots and half shots in drinks
  • Cocktail strainer – sometimes these come with your shaker. It helps keep undesirable ingredients out of your final drink
  • Muddler for mashing fresh spices, herbs and produce into your drinks

Let’s Get Started!

Now that we have our tools and ingredients, let’s have some fun! There are plenty of cocktails to try to explore and enjoy! Remember, it’s all about having fun. If you tried a drink and didn’t enjoy it, think about what you liked or what you could change to improve it. Creating cocktails and recipes is all about innovation and creativity. Browse our fun list of cocktails, and don’t be afraid to get creative and make your own! For all your bar stocking needs, visit Molly’s Spirits in Denver. We have all the liquors, mixers and bar accessories you need to make your next favorite drink!