12/02/2011 08:41 am ET | Updated Feb 01, 2012

How To Sweeten Your Cocktails

The oldest definition that anyone has found for the term "cocktail" describes a drink with exactly four ingredients: A spirit (of course), water, bitters and sugar.

Now, we're sure you're familiar with water. And our Spirits 101 articles will give you the basics on liquors of all kinds. Plus, whether you want to buy artisanal bitters or make them yourself, we've got you covered.

So today we're talking about sweeteners. While sugar or simple syrup may be the standard, cocktails now incorporate a wide range of sweet flavors. Read on for our advice, plus plenty of recipes.

How to Sweeten Your Cocktails