There is a short list of cocktails that have interchangeable base liquor components. You will recognize many of the names of these drinks, but many people don't order them because they don't know exactly what they are. In future posts I will go into these Old Stand-By cocktails in depth.
The great thing about these cocktails is that it can taste one way with one type of liquor and then completely different with yet another. This can truly give you an idea of the complexity and flavor of the base liquor.
Here they are:
Sour, Fizz, Collins, Highball, Sling, Rickey, Fix, Cooler, Stinger, Gimlet, Toddy, Julep, Squirt, Swizzle, Cobbler, and of course the Martini.
Some of these are very similar for example the only difference between a Fizz and Collins is the type of glass and the garnish. But we will get into that later.
Many of these cocktails started out with one type of liquor as its base but has evolved to other things over the years. Some purist may have issue with this but it is what is. For example, the Martini is a gin base drink but over time people started drinking it with vodka. This can be attributed to the fact that some people just don't like certain types of liquor so they substitute their favorite or the original drink tastes so good that it is figured that it will taste great with other types of liquor too.
In any case these old stand-by drinks are good place to start when looking for a favorite cocktail. Most if not all bartenders know how to make these and the ingredients are rather simple for most.
Old Stand-By, Bar Fear, For Bartenders For Patrons