Choosing a drink is about so much more than what you like the taste of. What you pick will have a strong impact on how people view you. Like it or not, we live in a world of first impressions and snap judgements. Ordering the wrong thing at the bar can easily make you seem immature, out of touch or just plain boring.
The good news is that there are a lot of manly drink options out there, including cocktails, that will make you look good – and taste good at the same time. Some of these are well known, like the black Russian, the mojito and the martini, but there may be some on this list that you may have never heard of.
No matter what your alcohol preferences are, I’m sure that everyone can find at least one drink that they like that won’t make them look ridiculous.
Manly Mixed Drinks
The sidecar is a cocktail with a long history with roots strongly set in New Orleans. Typically served in a glass rimmed with sugar, the sidecar is a well-balanced delight – containing some Spanish curacao and some French cognac.
Over time, the sidecar has evolved and modern sidecars tend to use cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice in a 2:1:1 ratio (more or less). The cocktail is the child of an older, even more classic drink – the brandy crusta, which was one of the earliest cocktails to use citrus or a sugar rim.
The Manhattan has a strong reputation, and it’s one of those drinks that just about everybody has heard of. The drink uses whisky, sweet red vermouth and bitters along with the traditional maraschino cherry as a garnish.
Rye whisky is the traditional whisky choice for the cocktail, but other types are also used, like Canadian whisky or bourbon. A number of named variants to the cocktail also exist, like the dry Manhattan, which is served with a twist and uses dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth.
37. White Russian + Black Russian
Both black and white Russians are vodka-based drinks. For the black Russian, the International Bartenders Association (IBA) specifies a ratio of five parts vodka to two parts coffee liqueur.
The drink is traditionally served on the rocks. The white Russian is a variation on the drink, where either milk or cream is added as well. Neither drink is actually Russian in origin. Instead, the name is a reference to the use of vodka as the primary spirit.
36. Tom Collins
With the Tom Collins, the primary alcohol is gin and the cocktail also includes lemon juice, sugar syrup and carbonated water. It is typically served in a Collins glass and often garnished with a lemon.
The cocktail is especially versatile, with dozens of different variations. Many of these variations simply involve a change in the base alcohol. The brandy Collins is an example of this, which uses brandy, while the Jack Collins uses applejack as the base alcohol.
35. Old Fashioned
An old fashioned is made with whiskey (typically either bourbon or rye risky), bitters, sugar and a little water, and traditionally served with a twist or an orange slice. It is also Don Draper’s favorite cocktail in Mad Men.
That is a testament to its popularities in the 1960s, although the drink had been largely forgotten before the series came out. The old fashioned uses a short, round glass, known as an old fashioned glass. The glass was named for the drink, rather than the other way around – which is a good indication of how popular the drink was.
34. Rum & Coke
Rum and coke is a great example of a simple mixed drink. It’s especially common because the drink relies on only one type of alcohol and many households have cola on hand.
Typically a rum and coke will be served on the rocks, although in casual settings this is often omitted. A variation of this mixed drink is the Cuba libre, which has the distinction of also using lime juice. In many parts of the world, rum and coke is another name for the Cuba libra, and the lime juice is considered an option ingredient.
33. Jack & Coke
Made with Jack Daniels whiskey and Coca-Cola, a jack and coke has a similar construction to the rum and coke mentioned above. The drink has provided a significant branding opportunity for the companies involved, and the two are often sold in close proximity in stores that sell alcohol.
Jack Daniels has also produced a premixed canned drink that has the same flavors, although cola is used rather than the Coca-Cola specifically.
A boilermaker actually refers to two types of drink, both of which involve beer. In the case of the United States, a boilermaker is a shot of whiskey and a glass of beer. These may be mixed or separated.
When separate, the tradition is to drink the liquor as a shot then sip the beer as a chaser. Boilermakers also have considerable history in television and films, partly because when the shot is separate boilermakers are immediately recognizable. In the United Kingdom, the term refers to a mixed drink that is half draught mild and half brown ale.
31. Irish Car Bomb
An Irish car bomb is similar to a boilermaker, but with different ingredients. The beer component of the drink is an Irish stout, while the shot is half Irish cream and half Irish whisky. As with the boilermaker, the shot can be drunk separately or mixed into the beer.
The nature of the components means that once mixed the drink must be consumed quickly, or it will curdle. The name Irish car bomb is somewhat controversial, which makes the drink offensive in some places.
A yorsh is another beer cocktail, and an interesting one. The mixed drink is simply beer mixed in with vodka and the types of beer and vodka used can vary considerably.
Likewise, there is no standard approach for the ratio between beer and vodka, and this tends to vary depending on the desired taste and strength. Because vodka has little flavor of its own, the resulting drink tastes much like the original beer, but it has a much higher amount of alcohol.
29. Gin and Tonic
A gin and tonic is a refreshing mixed drink for the summer. It is typically served in a highball glass and is served on ice. The drink just involves a mix of gin and tonic water, based on the preferences of the person making the drink.
In the United States, a common recommendation is to make it yourself using bottled tonic water, as bars tend to use soda out of a tap, which often barely resembles tonic water.
28. Black and Tan
A black and tan is a beer cocktail that involves a blend of dark and pale beer where these are layered in the glass. This is possible because the dark beer has a lower relative density than the bottom beer.
To make the drink, the pale beer needs to be added first and then the dark beer poured slowly on top. The best way to do this is to pour the top layer over an upside down spoon to prevent the layers to mix.
27. Whiskey Sour
A whiskey sour is a refined drink with a combination of whisky, lemon juice and sugar. It is a shaken drink that can be served on the rocks or straight up. The sugar is often provided in the form of syrup, as is the case of many mixed drinks.
The taste ultimately depends on who makes the drink and the combination of ingredients, but they taste a little bit like lemonade and whisky, and the lemon juice actually tends to make the taste of the whisky a bit more interesting.
A snakebite is a deceptively simple mixed drink. The drink just involves lager and cider, roughly in equal quantities. The name snakebite is very suitable, because it really does have a bite.
There is a little bit of controversy about the drink, especially in the United Kingdom, where bars may sometimes refuse to sell the drink. The reason for this is that the mix of alcohol can often get people drunk very quickly and it is a frequent choice by people trying to get wasted.
The godfather is simple mixed drink, containing equal parts of amaretto and Scotch whisky. It is served on the rocks in an old fashioned glass (the same glass as the old fashioned drink).
The source of the drink’s name is not clear, although it does seem to have a strong reference to the Godfather movies. There is also a godchild variation, which uses brandy instead of scotch. There is also a godmother variation, which replaces the whisky with vodka.
24. Rusty Nail
The rusty nail is another example of a two ingredient drink. In this case, the drink uses Scotch whisky and drambuie, in a roughly 2:1 ratio. In some cases, the amount of drambuie is decreased to decrease the overall sweetness of the drink.
Most of the time the drink is served on ice, but it will also sometimes be served neat. Because the drink reliese heavily on Scotch whisky, it is important to avoid cheap Scotches, as they will ruin the drink.
23. Gin St. Clements
The Gin St. Clements is actually a variation of a non-alcoholic drink, known simply as the St. Clements. That drink involves a combination of orange juice and lemon juice along with tonic water.
The alcoholic version of the drink uses the same ingredients along with the addition of gin. Typically the gin chosen is Beefeater gin, although other types of gin can also be used.
22. Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is one popular cocktail, but even then it’s one that doesn’t appeal to everybody. The cocktail itself is a mixture of tomato juice and vodka, served in a highball glass.
However, other flavorings and garnishes are frequently added to the cocktail including (but not limited to), salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. This makes it an especially complex cocktail and means that the cocktail will vary considerably depending on who prepares it.
And hey, if you're hungry, try these food-inspired cocktails.
A mojito is a classic cocktail that has origins in Havana. It traditionally involves five ingredients: white run, lime juice, mint leaves, sugar and soda water.
The sweetness of the citrus and the refreshing nature of the mint and the citrus work well against the kick of the rum – although the cocktail typically has a relatively low overall alcohol content. The drink is commonly viewed as a summer drink and has the advantage of looking very visually appealing.
(only appropriate on vacation)
The painkiller is a tropical cocktail that that is a twist on the Pina Colada. Like the Pina Colada, the painkiller is a rum cocktail with a strong fruity flavor. In addition to the rum, it also involves the use of pineapple juice, cream of coconut and nutmeg.
The painkiller is actually trademarked by Pusser’s Rum and is considered a signature drink for Pusser’s. Because of this, the cocktail is exclusively made with Pusser’s Rum, rather than any other type of rum.
19. Mint Julep
Mint julep is a mixed alcoholic drink that typically involves bourbon whiskey, mint leaves, powdered sugar and some water. There is considerable debate surrounding the way that the cocktail is prepared and the exact approach towards preparation can vary from one bartender to the next.
Mint julep is traditionally served in either pewter or silver. Doing this allows frost to form outside the cup. This practice isn’t as common nowadays, but instead the drink is more frequently served in some form of tall glass, like a highball glass or a Collins glass.
The Sazerac is a cognac cocktail that also uses absinthe, along with a sugar cube and some bitters. The most significant feature of this cocktail is its preparation, which tends to involve the use of two old fashioned glasses that have been chilled.
Although crushed ice is also used as part of the preparation, the final drink is traditionally served straight up and any leftover ice is strained out as part of the preparation for the drink.
17. Absinthe (traditional)
Absinthe is a distilled spirit that is known for its highly alcoholic nature and anise flavoring. Absinthe isn’t a cocktail, but it deserves a special mention because of the unique approach to preparing and serving it. A small quantity of absinthe is poured into the glass and then a spoon with holes placed along the top, as the image shows.
Sugar cubes are placed on the spoon and water is poured into the glass. The idea is to pour the water in a way that dissolves the sugar and brings it down into the glass. The technique can take quite some time to get right, especially as absinthe strengths can vary considerably.
16. Whiskey Smash
The whiskey smash is one of the older types of cocktails out there, but it is also an unappreciated one. In many ways, the cocktail is a cross between a mint julep and a whisky sour, containing some elements of each.
One great thing about whisky sours is that they are an inherently simple recipe, just involving whisky, mint, simple syrup and lemon. The overall taste of the drink can be tweaked somewhat by changing the type of whisky used.
15. Steam Roller
The steam roller is interesting because it is a cocktail that relies on steam beer, which is a type of beer made with lager yeast that does not use refrigeration as part of the process. This creates a full-bodied and appealing beer. The steam roller cocktail uses this type of beer, along with elderflower liqueur, cherry liqueur, whisky, lemon juice and ice.
The stinger is a relatively simple cocktail that relies on two ingredients. Its primary alcohol is brandy (most frequently cognac), while the second alcohol used is white crème de menthe.
The drink is compared by mixing in a glass with ice and then straining into a cocktail glass. The use of ice helps to keep the cocktail crisp and refreshing. Because of the mint, the cocktail isn’t something that everybody will enjoy. If the mint doesn’t sound appealing, then you may not find the cocktail especially appealing either.
13. Scotch & Soda
A scotch and soda cocktail is exactly what it sounds like. It is a combination of Scotch whisky and club soda, frequently served on ice. Like other similar drinks, scotch and soda is especially easy to make and doesn’t involve any complexities in pouring.
The exact ratio of scotch to soda depends largely on the taste that the users prefers. The chosen type of whisky can also have some variation on the preferred ratio, as some types of whisky have a more favorable flavor profile than others.
12. Rob Roy
The Rob Roy is a specific type of Manhattan, distinguished by its exclusive use of Scotch whisky. The name of drink in inspired by an opera that was based on the Scottish hero Rob Roy.
Like other Manhattans, the Rob Roy also uses sweet vermouth and bitters. Just like a normal Manhattan, the Rob Roy can be made in a number of variations, including dry, which uses dry vermouth.
The kamikaze is served both as a drink and as a shot. The drink makes use of vodka, triple sec and lime juice.
The IBA version of the drink specifies equal measures of each of these three components, but many variations do exist, both in terms of the proportion of the ingredients and in the specific ingredients. For example, the blue version is made either by adding in a drop of blue food coloring, or by using blue curacao instead of the triple sec.
10. Hemingway Daiquiri
The Hemingway Daiquiri is named for the famous author and is thought to be the drink that Hemingway most commonly consumed. It is also known as an El Papa Doble, but the name Hemingway Daiquiri has now become much more common.
The cocktail makes use of a line rum, maraschino liqueur along with lime and grapefruit juice. Red grapefruit is often preferred because it is more visually appealing, although this isn’t necessary. The combination of lime, grapefruit and light rum creates a complex and tart cocktail that doesn’t have the same over-the-top sweetness that many cocktails suffer from.
The greyhound is a fairly simple drink – just the combination of grapefruit juice and gin, although vodka is sometimes used instead of gin.
Because of the composition of the drink, the greyhound tends to taste strongly of grapefruit, especially if vodka is used instead of gin. This can make the drink especially unappealing for anyone who doesn’t particularly like the taste of grapefruit. This is a great cocktail for the morning as well.
8. Gin Rickey
Gin rickey is another refreshing cocktail that takes advantage of the shape taste of lime. This produces a cocktail that is tart and appealing, without being overly sweet.
The cocktail itself is fairly simple, just using gin, the juice from about half of a lime and carbonated water. In many ways, the end result is similar to a gin and tonic, except that the sharpness of the lime replaces the distinct taste of tonic water.
7. Cuban Libre
The Cuba libre is a basic cocktail made from rum, lime and cola. As I mentioned previously, this is a variation on a basic rum and coke, and is simply referred to as rum and coke in many parts of the world.
It is a particularly appealing drink because of its simplicity, and the addition of lime helps to make the drink a little more interesting than basic rum and coke.
6. Black Velvet
Black velvet is a bit of an unusual cocktail. It uses a stout along with a sparkling white wine, often champagne. Most of the time, Guinness is the stout of choice for the cocktail, although other stouts can be used.
The different densities of the stout and the wine produces a dual-layer effect, which looks very appealing in a glass. For this reason, a champagne flute is often chosen as glassware to serve the beverage in.
5. El Presidente
El Presidente is a rum cocktail, typically served without ice, although that isn’t always the case. The cocktail uses two parts rum, one part dry vermouth, one part dry curacao and a little grenadine.
The color of the drink can vary considerably depending on the specific types of each ingredient used. For example, curacao comes in orange and in blue, whereas rum may be either dark or light.
4. The Little Italy
The Little Italy cocktail is a pretty good example of New York in a glass. The cocktail involves rye whisky, cynar and sweet vermouth along with a couple of skewered cherries. The cocktail is fairly simple to make, and involves mixing all of the ingredients together with ice and then straining into the cocktail glass. (start 3:06)
3. Irish Coffee
I don’t have many hot mixed drinks on this list – largely because they aren’t all that common. One particularly good one is Irish coffee. This is a mixture of hot coffee along with cream, brown sugar and most importantly, Irish whisky.
The drink is especially appealing for coffee lovers, as the flavor of Irish whisky only enhances the overall taste of the coffee. There are certainly other types of hot coffee cocktails out there, but Irish coffee is one of the most well-known examples.
2. Hot Toddy
There is no single recipe for a hot toddy. Instead, it is a more general term for hot drinks that include a spirit, boiling water, spices and honey. Some other common ingredients in the drinks include cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice and a lemon slice.
Hot toddies are especially common as ways to treat a cold or to help anyone feeling ‘under the weather’ in general. Indeed, the cocktail can be quite soothing and the alcoholic aspect numbs some pain and can sometimes make other symptoms seem to matter less.
Our final example is the ever-famous martini. At its most basic, a martini is made from gin and vermouth (mostly gin) and it is garnished either with olives or with a twist of lemon.
In modern times, the martini has become increasingly popular, especially because of its use in popular media, such as in the James Bond movies. There are many different variations of the martini, including dry, dirty and perfect.
Tips On How to Order A Drink Like A Man
Some of this video is a bit too…alpha for me, but there are some pretty good tips in here like not hitting on the bartender, and how to tips. Although a $5 tip does seem a bit outrageous!