Cocktails Everyone Should Be Familiar With
Best Bars in Milwaukee

Cocktails Everyone Should Be Familiar With

You’re sitting at a nice bar with someone you want to impress. Quick question, what cocktail do you order? There are five mixed drinks in the world that everyone needs to know. You should know what goes into them and why they are staples of every bar. Some of these cocktails are fruity and sweet, others will hit your mouth like a horrifyingly old boot. All of them are delicious in their own unique and peculiar ways. So, if you want to start making a great first impression, here are the top five cocktails you need to be familiar with.

  1. Old Fashioned

    If you’re unfamiliar with this classic, it’s time to become well acquainted. One and a half ounces bourbon or whiskey, two dashes of bitters, a muddled sugar cube, and a few dashes of water, this is the definition of elegance. The Old Fashioned won’t knock your socks off, it will remind you why we wear socks in the first place. It’s the tuxedo of cocktails and you’ll never look dumb ordering it at the bar. Garnished with an orange peel, the Old Fashioned mixes citrus and whiskey to perfection.

  2. Negroni

    I once had a friend describe a Negroni as the best tasting cold syrup he’d ever had. He wasn’t wrong. This sophisticated drink takes time to meld with your tastebuds. It’s not something that most people will celebrate the first time they have it, but there’s a certain allure that will keep you coming back time and again. Equal parts Campari, sweet red vermouth, and gin, the Negroni takes on a scarlet red allure. Each portion serving the whole in a cocktail of flavors that you will be peeling back and ascertaining for years to come.

  3. Dirty Martini

    Do not shake your martini… ever. James Bond does not know what he’s talking about when it comes to alcohol. When a martini is shaken the ice breaks down and dilutes the drink, taking away from the flavors. A martini is delicate, there’s a reason its glass is painfully difficult to manage. You need to take your time, experience the martini, it’s not meant to be downed and forgotten. A classic martini is one half ounce of vermouth and three ounces gin. To make it dirty, throw a few olives and a touch of olive juice inside. If you’re looking for the best martini of your life, ask the bar if they have blue cheese olives. Any bar worth your time will have them, and your mouth will thank you profusely.

  4. Moscow Mule

    I love Moscow Mules. I will fight for them every time a debate comes up on the best cocktails of all time. Here’s the thing though, stop ordering them at every bar you go to. It’s a painful truth, but most bars royally screw up their Moscow Mules. Unless, they have fresh ginger or make their ginger beer in house. Otherwise, the bar buys the cheapest ginger beer possible and completely ruins the cocktail. So, be assertive, ask how the bar prepares the ginger beer and don’t settle for anything less than the best. One and a half ounces vodka, four ounces ginger beer, and one sixth ounce of lime juice, the Moscow Mule is deceptively tricky.

  5. Manhattan

    This is for my sweet tooth lovers out there. The Manhattan is the closest you can get to refined dessert in a glass. Two ounces rye or Canadian whisky, a dash of bitters, three fourths ounce of sweet red vermouth, and a Maraschino cherry as garnish, the Manhattan is pristine. Its deep red hues raise the quality of its presentation, while the flavors harken to something more playful and immature. It’s a terrific blend of youth and class that tastes delicious during brunch or late into the evening.

With the internet and all of the world’s information right at hand, there’s no excuse to not know what’s in your cocktail. Bartenders all over the world are testing and creating brand new concoctions all the time. Though, for those times where you need to make a good impression, it’s important to have a base understanding of what drinks are out there. From the Old Fashioned to the Moscow Mule, there’s something for everyone, but make sure to challenge yourself and figure out why some cocktails never go out of style.