Around the United States in 5 Cocktails

image of cocktails at an event

There’s an element of fun to be had when it comes to curating the perfect list of cocktails.

You don’t have to be a bartending expert, nor do you need to stress over party planning or what the best cocktails for your party would be.

This is where Office Libations comes in with a few ideas.

Inspired by Chad Parkhill’s Around The World In 80 Cocktails, we took the time to condense this list to areas a little closer to home.

Here is how you can travel around the United States with 5 American inspired cocktails.

Brandy Old Fashioned – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

image of a brandy old fashioned cocktail

Since the 1850s, brandy has solidified its place in American history.  And no other state will have a greater brandy presence than Wisconsin.

Order an Old Fashioned in Wisconsin and you’ll be served with a sweet brandy concoction with slight variances.

According to Parkhill, German America fell in love with Korbel brandy come 1893 at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Furthermore, Wisconsin at the time found itself heavily populated with German immigrants.

Wisconsin has since been known for their brandy infused Old Fashioned Cocktails.

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Fish House Punch – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

image of fish house punch

If you’re looking to create your cocktails in batches, Fish House Punch is the perfect route to take.

The State in Schuylkill, otherwise known as the Schuylkill Fishing Company, is one of the oldest social clubs in the world.

Can you guess what their official drink was?

Suffice to say, Fish House Punch was a popular menu option back in the day. By 1885, the punch recipe became so popular that it lasted all the way through prohibition.

Throw together some freshly squeezed lemon juice, dark rum, cognac, and peach brandy among other ingredients, and you’ll have the perfect Fish House Punch fit for any party.

Flame of Love Martini – Los Angeles, California

image of a flame of love cocktail

The Flame of Love Martini starts its Journey around 1940s America when Vodka started gaining momentum in the realm of liquor.

Once the 1960s rolled around, the Vodka Martini became a big part of pop culture. After 1975, Vodka was dominating America.

By this time, bartenders were serving Martinis that were 80% Vodka.

The Flame of Love Martini originated from the desire to create a new kind of Martini. One with a little more flavor above all.

Thanks to the flaming orange peel, this cocktail will make a simple yet show-stopping addition to any cocktail menu.

Manhattan – New York City, New York

image of a Manhattan cocktail

It’s unclear where the Manhattan truly originated from.

It’s thought that the drink was invented, George Black who ran a saloon called the Manhattan Inn.

By adding Vermouth to a classic whiskey cocktail, this created a new sophisticated kind of cocktail.

The ratio may vary, but an easy way to remember the recipe is to follow the Manhattan 212 area code. 2 ounces of bourbon whiskey, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.

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Martinez – San Francisco, California

image of a Martinez cocktail

We’ll end this list with a cocktail inspired right here in the bay area.

Once upon a time, a gold miner was passing through the Occidental Hotel from San Francisco on his way to the mining town of Martinez. It was here that a man named Jerry Thomas served the miner with a drink named after his destination.

However, as Parkhill goes on to say, this story may not be true but it makes for an interesting tale nonetheless.

The Martinez consists of sweet red vermouth, old tom gin, maraschino liqueur, a dash of bitters and topped with a lemon peel to garnish.


Some of the most popular cocktails consist of a mix of traditional recipes and clever twists on old classics.

Though we didn’t get a chance to traverse the world through 80 cocktails, we managed to look into what the US came up with throughout the years.

So when you’re looking at the best cocktails for your party, remember these American classics to round out any cocktail menu.

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