Ten Tasty Car-Themed Cocktails

Traffic jams, distracted driving, the cost of fuel – it’s enough to drive anyone to drink. And because of that, we’ve rounded up ten great auto-themed cocktails.

Just remember: before you even think of reaching for the cocktail shaker, appoint a designated driver. Always put the keys away before you play, because drunk drivers are never welcome at our party!

Golden Cadillac

This creamy cocktail was created in the 1950s at Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q in El Dorado, California. The story goes that a newly engaged couple wanted the bartender to invent a drink to celebrate their relationship, and since they’d arrived in a gold Cadillac, well….

The cocktail was an immediate hit, and Poor Red’s went through so much Galliano that the liqueur company apparently bought the bar a gold Cadillac of its own to display outside. To make one, shake three-quarters of an ounce each of crème de cacao, Galliano, and cream with ice, and strain into a chilled glass.

Cadillac Margarita

No one’s really sure when or where the margarita, the most popular of all tequila-based cocktails, was first created. But it’s believed that the Cadillac Margarita was first mixed in the late 1980s, when top-shelf tequila brands began arriving in the US and bartenders upped the ante with them. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck appears to have been one of the first to put it on a menu, serving it to the rich and famous at his Beverly Hills restaurant.

Why the name? Cadillac had always been at the top of GM’s hierarchy, and at the height of its popularity, its slogan was “The Standard of the World”. According to mixologist extraordinaire Dale DeGroff, you can make this “Standard of the Margarita” with an ounce and a half of 100 percent blue agave tequila, an ounce of Grand Marnier, and three-quarters of an ounce of fresh lime juice. Shake it with ice, rim a glass with salt, and strain this top-drawer cocktail into it.


If you’ve ever driven in Manhattan, you’ll need one of these to calm you down afterwards. The drink is named for New York, apparently having been created in a bar there around the 1880s.

But in keep with our automotive theme, we’ll remind readers that there was a car called the Manhattan, built in the 1950s by Kaiser. Put ice in a large glass. Add two ounces of rye or bourbon and an ounce of sweet red vermouth, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. Stir it, strain it into a chilled cocktail glass, and add a cherry.


Considered a sweeter variant of the Manhattan, the Metropolitan seems to have first appeared in print in 1884, named after a hotel where it was first shaken-and-stirred. But we’ll put in here in honour of the car, a pint-sized product built in Britain for American automaker Nash from 1954 to 1962.

To make a Metropolitan, put crushed ice in a shaker and add two ounces of brandy, half an ounce of sweet vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a teaspoon of superfine sugar. Shake and strain into a chilled glass.


The story goes that this concoction was the favourite of an American army captain who would ride up to a bar in Paris each day in a motorcycle sidecar to get one. Most cocktail historians scoff and say the drink was more likely created in New Orleans in the late 1800s. We don’t really believe the sidecar story, but we think it’s pretty cool nevertheless.

You’ll want to be in the sidecar, not on the motorcycle, for this one. Take an ounce of brandy, an ounce of Cointreau or Triple Sec, and three-quarters of an ounce of lemon juice. Shake them with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

Dodge Special

The Savoy was considered Britain’s first luxury hotel when it opened in London in 1889. Its American Bar was one of the country’s first cocktail lounges, and its head bartender, Harry Craddock, compiled its recipes into a book in 1930.

Dodge had been assembling trucks in Britain since 1922. It’s not clear if Craddock had his eye on one when he mixed his first Dodge Special, but we’ll run with it anyway. You can too: shake half an ounce of gin, half an ounce of Cointreau and a dash of grape juice with ice, and strain into a chilled glass.


While we’re not sure about Dodge, we’re more than confident that Harry Craddock named this cocktail after his country’s most famous – and priciest – auto brand.

Rolls-Royce may have been British through and through when this cocktail was created, but the drink has some help from other countries. To a half ounce of British gin, add a quarter-ounce of French (dry) vermouth, a quarter-ounce of Italian (sweet) vermouth, and a dash of Benedictine. Shake over ice and strain into the most expensive glass you own.


Okay, we’re going waaay out on a limb here, because the Stinger cocktail dates back to at least 1917. It became popular during Prohibition, because the mint supposedly overpowered the smell of illicit booze on one’s breath.

But to stay with our automotive theme, mix one up and sip it while you’re reading our First Drive of the 2018 Kia Stinger. To make one, put ice in a cocktail shaker, add an ounce and a quarter each of brandy and white crème de menthe, shake well, and strain into a chilled glass.


When cars first came about, no one was sure what type of fuel was going to ultimately win. In addition to gasoline and electric cars, you could also buy vehicles powered by steam. One of the most famous was the Massachusetts-built Stanley.

It was created by twin brothers Francis and Freelan Stanley, who initially made their money by inventing a photography process that they sold to Kodak. Freelan would later build the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, where an overnight stay gave Stephen King the inspiration to write The Shining. To steam up some motivation of your own, take three-quarters of an ounce each of brandy, Cointreau and lemon juice, shake with ice, and strain into a glass.

Imperial Fizz

A fizz is just as it sounds: a carbonated cocktail that’s a little out of date these days, but which deserves to make a comeback. Chrysler’s Imperial might be the same – it was the company’s luxury line, meant to compete with Cadillac and Lincoln, but the nameplate was phased out after 1993.

Fill your shaker with ice, and also a rocks glass. Shake together an ounce of scotch, half an ounce of white rum, and half an ounce of lemon juice. Strain it into the glass, top with soda water, and garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry. Enjoy!

Designated screwdriver. 12/15/2017 10:00:00 AM