The American government has a document with the exact rules on how to mix cocktails — here are the 13 best recipes

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U.S. Forest Service and Will Shenton/Wikimedia

Creative cocktails have become the hallmark of bartenders around the world. After all, there’s no “right” way to mix up a drink, right?

Apparently, there is – and the U.S. government seems to have signed off on it.

Craig Stoltz, a cocktail enthusiast and former Washington Post editor, posted a curious engineering diagram on Liquor.com.

The diagram, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service in 1974, spells out exactly how to create some of the most common cocktails around.

Cocktail chart

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Department of Agriculture. Forest Service. Region 8

A closer look at who signed off on the document – which is preserved in the National Archives – reveals that it is more of a prank than actual law, with signatures like “I. Mixum” and “I. P. Freely.” However, that doesn’t mean that the chart doesn’t contain some useful advice.

Here are 13 of the cocktail construction recipes on the chart that any amateur mixologist should have under their belt, from the martini to the Zombie.


Old Fashioned

For an 8 oz beverage, stir:

    1 1/2 oz bourbon (1 1/2 ounces is roughly 45 milliliters, or one standard shot of liquor) 6.5 oz soda One sugar cube One dash of bitters Two ice cubes One red cherry One orange slice on the rim

Daiquiri

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Evengy Starkhov/Shutterstock

Shake with cracked ice, then remove:

    1 1/2 oz rum 3/4 oz squeezed lemon or lime juice One teaspoon granulated sugar

Manhattan

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star5112 / Flickr

Stir with cracked ice, then remove:

    1 1/2 oz bourbon 3/4 oz Italian vermouth One dash angostura bitters One red cherry

Tom Collins

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U.S. Forest Service and Will Shenton/Wikimedia

For a 12 oz. beverage, mix:

    1 1/2 oz gin 3/4 oz lemon juice 9 3/4 oz soda One teaspoon granulated sugar One red cherry Three cubes of ice One orange slice on rim

To make the John Collins, swap the gin for bourbon.


Whiskey Sour

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Brent Hofacker

Shake with cracked ice, then remove:

    1 1/2 oz bourbon 3/4 lemon juice One red cherry One teaspoon granulated sugar One orange on rim

Screwdriver

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bhamsandwich / Flickr

To make a 6 oz beverage, stir:

    1 1/2 oz vodka 7 1/2 oz orange juice Two ice cubes

Martini

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Wikimedia and U.S. Forest Service

Stir with cracked ice, then remove:

    1 1/2 oz gin 3/4 oz French (dry) vermouth One green olive with red center

To make a Gibson, swap the olive for a white pickled onion.


Rum and Cola

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Martin Belam via Wikimedia Commons

To make a 12 oz beverage, stir:

    1 1/2 oz rum 10 1/2 oz cola 16 squeezed lime slices, or two full squeezed limes Three ice cubes

Mint Julep

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Flickr

Stir:

    2 oz bourbon Water Four crushed sprigs of mint One teaspoon granulated sugar Four to six crushed ice cubes


Zombie

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Magnetic Rag via Wikipedia

To make a 14 oz drink, shake with cracked ice and remove:

    1 oz Jamaica rum 2 1/2 oz rum 1/2 oz apricot-flavored brandy Four squeezed lemons 1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice 1 oz passion fruit juice One floater (about 1/2 oz) of Demerara rum Orange juice One red cherry One mint leaf

Make sure to add a straw.


High Ball

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Wikimedia

Mix:

    1 1/2 oz bourbon Two ice cubes One lemon peal Drinker’s choice for mixer

Grasshopper

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Flickr

Shake with cracked ice, then remove:

    3/4 oz fresh cream 3/4 oz creme de cacao 3/4 oz creme de menthe

Gin Fizz

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Viennetta/Shutterstock

For a 6 oz drink, stir:

    2 oz gin 1/2 of a squeezed lemon Soda