Top 10 retro cocktail recipes

Mix up a selection of classic retro cocktails for your next party. These colourful nostalgic drinks are full of flavour, fun and kitsch garnishes.

Neon colours, outlandish garnishes and plenty of fun flavours are the order of the day on our retro cocktail menu. Add a touch of nostalgia to your next celebration toast with these glamorous drinks. Choose your favourite from a pretty-in-pink aviation with floral flavours, or a creamy and tropical piña colada. Break out the cocktail shaker, all the colourful umbrellas you can get your hands on and enjoy a simple but spectacular drink. 

Celebrate a special occasion with even more of our favourite cocktail and drink recipes

1. Aviation

Pink cocktail with blueberry garnish
This old-school gin-based cocktail is back and better than ever as far as we're concerned. Whip up our easy aviation recipe with sweet maraschino liqueur and floral crème de violette for a perfectly balanced pink drink. One sip and you'll be flying without wings. Garnish with blueberries and a twirl of lemon zest for a final fruity flourish. 

2. Blue lagoon

Blue cocktail with ice in glass with cherries
Refresh your tastebuds with our easy blue lagoon cocktail. This aqua-marine masterpiece is full of fresh citrus flavours and a touch of sweetness from the maraschino cherry sryup. It might look tricky to make, but our simple recipe takes just five minutes to make. This refreshing party-starter is best served in a chilled hurricane glass. It's a warm weather favourite, ideal for when the sun comes out. 

3. Purple rain

Purple cocktail in glass with lime slices and straw
Make your party pop, by throwing in a little purple rain. Mix up gin, vodka and the secret ingredients, blue curaçao and grenadine. Topping up your drink with soda and grenadine last means the red grenadine swirls through the blue to create a cascade of purple. You're just three steps away from a show-stopping cocktail that's sure to impress.

4. Piña colada

Pina colada in glass with coloured straws
Nostalgic and full of kitsch appeal, the piña colada will transport you to a sandy beach – or an '80s bar! With its tropical blend of coconut cream, white rum and tangy pineapple, this drink screams summer. It’s Puerto Rico’s national cocktail, so serve with a retro cocktail umbrella and you’ll feel those holiday vibes in no time. 

5. Tequila sunrise 

Cocktail in glass with cherry and umbrella
A tequila sunrise is the ultimate retro cocktail – brightly coloured layers of booze, a sweet, fruity flavour and the obligatory cherry garnish. Enjoy the classic tequila sunrise with grenadine, tequila, triple sec and orange juice. Our top serving suggestion is to drink while lounging poolside in a floppy sun hat. 

6. Snowball

Snowball cocktail with cherry garnishes
Our creamy snowball cocktail is a firm festive favourite. This simple drink is made with lashings of rich, custard-like advocaat, sparkling lemonade and plenty of ice. It's the ultimate treat for a winter celebration. Try mixing it up with a dash of sharp lime cordial, or, swap the lemonade for ginger ale to add a little warmth to the smooth advocaat. Advocaat is made with brandy, so if you want to add an extra glug, we won't object. 

7. Singapore sling

Red cocktail with pineapple and cherry garnish
Bright in colour and bold in flavour, the Singapore sling is a gin-based cocktail with cherry brandy, Benedictine, Angostura bitters, pineapple and lime juice. This iconic drink is one for every gin connoisseur to savour. It's smooth, semi-sweet with tropical flavours we can't get enough of. It's said to have come from the Raffles Hotel in Singapore over 100 years ago, but it's still just as delicious today. 

8. Cosmopolitan

Pink cocktail in glass with orange zest
Vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur and citrus – the Cosmopolitan is a socialite’s drink of choice. Made popular amongst the urbanites in New York, this '80s cocktail can still be found in city cocktail bars today. With this tangy, sweet recipe in your arsenal, your party guests will never be left wanting. 

9. Grasshopper

Green cocktail in glasses with chopping board and cocktail shaker
A grasshopper is like the boozy equivalent of a glass of mint choc-chip ice cream. This bright green cocktail is made with cooling crème de menthe, white crème de cacao and single cream. If you've got a sweet tooth, you'll love this easy, chocolatey triumph. It's a seriously indulgent glassful. Try serving as an after-dinner cocktail, as a fun twist on an after-dinner mint. 

10. Long Island iced tea

Cola cocktail in glass with lime and straw
Perfect for party pitchers, our Long Island iced tea is simple, strong and uses the classic cola and lime flavour combination. This punchy highball is equal parts vodka, gin, tequila, rum and triple sec, with plenty of ice. Make a batch in a jug for serving up to thirsty guests. Master this recipe and you'll be designated bartender for any future festivities. 

Check out more drinks guides and recipes

How to make frozen cocktails
Our top fruity cocktail recipes
5 ways with coffee cocktails
Best ever whisky cocktail recipes

What's your favourite retro cocktail recipe? Leave a comment below...




Comments, questions and tips

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Juley Alabakoff's picture
Juley Alabakoff
9th Mar, 2019
There is a lovely gin made here in Portland Oregon actually called Aviation Gin made with lavender and citrus that would be wonderful in the "Aviation" cocktail. Give it a try.
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