8 best classic cocktails to order at the bar

You walk into a bar, approach the bartender and… So many bottles, so many options, but what do you want? * Definitely * not that Malibu and pineapple juice you’ve been relying on since 2001. No, you want these:


For those who always order: a gin and tonic

What it’s made with: gin, lime juice

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Created actually for sailors to prevent scurvy, this drink was later considered a cocktail of the elderly – until its rebirth pretty much now. The drink is one part sweet lime juice to four parts gin, so it’s slightly sweet but packs a punch. And if you’re already asking for limes in your G&T, consider this your new choice.


For those who always order: rum and coke

What it’s made with: rum, simple syrup, lime juice

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Contrary to popular belief, a real daiquiri is not something that comes out of a frozen granita machine. A shaken cocktail made from rum, lime juice and simple syrup, the drink was often served in a frosted glass or over crushed ice (hence the reimagining of the slush you see today). The most modern take is to serve it directly in a cocktail glass.

La Paloma

For those who always order: a margarita

What it’s made with: tequila, grapefruit, club soda

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Refreshing, tequila-based and easy to prepare, it’s the best alternative to ordering a margarita. (And please don’t ask if it’s frozen.)

Tom Collins

For those who still order: gin and soda

What it is made with: gin, lemon juice, sugar and soda

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A Tom Collins is reminiscent of adding lemonade to gin. (It’s not that that’s a bad thing.) It’s honestly the easiest way to add some interest to your gin and soda order – and every bartender should know how to prepare them. (Otherwise, run very far.)

French 75

For those who still order: champagne

What it’s made with: gin, sparkling wine / champagne, sugar / simple syrup, lemon (or another citrus fruit)

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The drink was first created in 1915 in New York City, and we don’t really know what to say other than to look at the ingredients. Gin and champagne? Always be our hearts.


For those who still order: ginger whiskey

What it’s made with: cognac, orange liqueur (AKA triple sec) and lemon juice

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The sidecar rose to prominence in the 1950s, and although whiskeys and cognacs are completely different spirits, they both ferment in a barrel and both have a somewhat smoky flavor. That, mixed with the sweetness of triple sec and lemon, makes for a good strong drink.

Moscow Mule

For those who always order: vodka sodas

What it’s made with: vodka, ginger beer, lime juice

These drinks are what put vodka on the map here in the United States. Their crisp taste (and the fact that they are easy to drink) make them a favorite for many, especially when served in their (correct) copper mug.

Long Island iced tea

For those who still order: all of the above drinks

What it’s made with: vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec and sour mix

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He’s a savage, and certainly not for the weak. If you’ve spent your college days mixing everything up and anything, consider this cocktail a fancy way of saying, “I’ll have it all behind the bar.”

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