04/03/2014 12:48 pm ET Updated Jun 03, 2014

12 Cocktails to Drink Before You Die

Have you ever had a proper Manhattan? Or tried the all-time bartender favorite Negroni? If you answered no to either question, we suggest you get to drinking.

Yes, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of classic cocktails. But a few have special staying power: These are drinks as popular today as they were a century -- or more -- ago.

We all have our preferences: maybe yours is gin, tequila or cognac; maybe you're more of a Scotch fan. Set those biases aside and start working through this cocktail checklist. It includes the dozen drinks that any self-respecting cocktail lover absolutely must have tried.

What drink would you add to our list? Weigh in below.

12 Cocktails to Drink Before You Die