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Visit a popular bar these days and you may feel like you've entered a time warp to the 1920s, the heyday of the cocktail.

Your favorite bartender has transformed into a "mixologist," and stands elbow-deep in shakers, stirrers, strainers and fancy ice.

Meanwhile, amateur enthusiasts sport their own kitted-out home bars that are ready to whip up any mixed drink--complete with mirrored trays, sparkling stemware, hem-stitched linen cocktail napkins, crystal muddlers and vintage swizzle sticks.

It's all part of a larger nationwide trend, in which savvy and knowledgeable wine sippers have cultivated a new passion for cocktails too. Where previously a multi-course dinner of spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, cedar-planked salmon, and flourless chocolate-espresso cake might have called out for wine pairings, now cocktail pairings are becoming increasingly popular.

So as the weather cools and we enter holiday party season, you'd be wise to arm yourself with two or three staple drink recipes for guaranteed pitch-perfect entertaining. Classic cocktails like Martinis, Manhattans and Negronis-stiff drinks all perfect for a thirsty crowd-can all batched and chilled ahead of time. (Never fear. Over the next few months, we'll be sharing the recipes and tips you'll need.)

Your guest's thirst will be quenched and you'll come off looking like a cocktail ace. So raise a glass: The glamorous age of cocktails is back!