A lot of men tend to have a problem, while out drinking at bars, which never even occurs to most women. This problem is the age-old conflict between how great fruity, typically “girly” drinks taste, and how un-macho it is to be seen drinking some frozen pink concoction served in a hurricane glass and garnished with a flower. Many men are at bars trying to mingle with women, and they see these kinds of drinks as a roadblock, however small or unimportant in the long run. This probably explains why most of the time, men are seen drinking beer and little else. If you’re a man and you’d like to branch out, from beer to more sophisticated cocktails, both in bars and at home, then this list of the best mixed drinks for men is perfect for you.
Manhattan- Ordering a Manhattan is a great option if you’re in a situation where people are consuming hard alcohol, particularly in the form of martinis, far more than they’re indulging in beer or wine. A Manhattan is made with sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters, and a variety of whiskey, rye, bourbon, or scotch. The ingredients are shaken with ice and strained into a chilled martini glass, and the cocktail is usually garnished with a cherry. This is classically thought of as a man’s drink due to the strength of the liquor and the absence of mixers, but it’s enjoyable because the sweet vermouth cuts the strong flavors of the bourbon. A Manhattan also gives you a lot for your money; you don’t need to drink very many of them.
Old Fashioned- Old Fashioned’s have risen in popularity again thanks to the AMC television series “Mad Men,” on which the main character, Don Draper, is seen drinking this particular cocktail at least once per episode. An Old Fashioned is served over ice, and is a mixture of sugar, bitters, a splash of water, whiskey, and a lemon peel. It is traditionally served in a short tumbler glass, often called an Old Fashioned glass after the cocktail. An Old Fashioned is another great drink that combines the hard, strong taste of whiskey with a bit of sweetness to cut that flavor.
Classic Martini- If you prefer clear liquors, you can never go wrong with a classic martini. Anything shaken with ice and served in a chilled glass is a descendent of this timeless drink. Originally, martinis were made with gin, but today they are more commonly prepared with vodka. The gin or vodka is shaken with ice and dry vermouth, and strained into a chilled martini glass. Martinis are often garnished with olives, and dirty martinis have a bit of olive juice added to the alcohol before it’s shaken. Like a Manhattan, a martini is very strong, as it’s not watered down by any mixers, so it’s a drink that you can nurse for a while without having to order several.
Greyhound- The Greyhound is a great option for those who like clear liquors as well as tartness in their cocktails. Greyhounds are made by simply mixing grapefruit juice with vodka or gin and serving it over ice. Sometimes the rim of the glass is salted, but only if requested. The grapefruit juice makes this cocktail very refreshing, and it is said that the flavor can make the taste of gin far less strong. This drink is nice because of its simplicity. It is similar to a gin and tonic or a rum and coke, but slightly more sophisticated because it is given a unique name.
Tom Collins- A Tom Collins is a great drink to refresh you during the hot summer months, and its name has a cool history, which is a definite bonus. The original Tom Collins drink gained popularity during what is called “The Tom Collins Hoax” in Pennsylvania in 1874. It became very common that year to trick people into thinking that a man named Tom Collins was talking about them, leading the listeners to run off and try to locate Tom Collins. The drink is made by combining gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, and serving the mixture over ice, garnished with a cherry or lemon peel, or both. This cocktail is like a cold glass of lemonade, with just a hint of kick from the gin.
Gimlet- A gimlet is a simple drink for those who don’t want to be too fussy or complicated with their alcohol. It is made by simply combining lime juice and gin, originally, but vodka is also frequently used these days. The tartness of the lime combines with the natural gin flavor to make this drink light and refreshing. It’s most commonly made using Rose’s lime juice.
Rusty Nail- Another very popular and “manly” cocktail, a Rusty Nail combines Scotch whisky with Drambuie, a liqueur derived from malt whiskey, spices, and honey. This is definitely a drink you won’t feel strange ordering; the name is pretty masculine. Drambuie’s sweetness balances out the stronger taste of Scotch very nicely, almost like adding a drop of maple syrup to whiskey on the rocks. This drink is typically garnished with a lemon peel. Drambuie can be mixed with many different drinks, such as champagne (a Rusty Royale), ginger beer (a Rusty Mule), and apple juice (a Rusty Apple Toddy).
Sidecar- The Sidecar was supposedly invented in Paris during the early twentieth century. It was traditionally made using brandy, specifically Cognac, orange liqueur (Cointreau or triple sec), and lemon juice. Today, however, it is more commonly made with bourbon rather than brandy. It is garnished with a lemon twist, and often served in a glass with a sugared rim. This drink is perfect if you like your cocktails to be sweet.
The Godfather- Does a manlier movie than The Godfather even exist? The Godfather is a combination of Scotch whisky and amaretto, so it’s like drinking almond whiskey, and the sweetness of the liqueur mellows out the harsher Scotch flavor. This is a nice drink to sip on slowly after dinner.
Manly Temple- Perfect for men to order, this drink has a straightforwardly masculine name. The Manly Temple is made with Sprite, grenadine, and whiskey, making it an adult version of the popular Shirley Temple soda drink. The name, however, may not make up for the fact that this cocktail is decidedly pink.
Dark and Stormy- A lot of typically “girly” drinks are made with rum, making it hard to order anything other than a rum and coke if you’re not looking for a tropical and fruity beverage. The Dark and Stormy is one delicious solution to that problem. It combines dark rum and ginger beer, and is served over ice and garnished with a lime. Dark and Stormy’s are great to drink in the summertime, and taste like sweet alcoholic ginger ale.
Hole in One- A Hole in One is a hot drink, perfect as a cold remedy or just a winter cocktail. It combines honey, tea, lemon, and Johnnie Walker Red. The Johnnie will give this drink some serious strength, but it will be balanced by the honey and lemon, which provide a soothing quality as well.
Long Island Iced Tea- This drink is not for the faint of heart, and it definitely qualifies as masculine enough to order without concern. A Long Island is made with light rum, vodka, tequila, gin, sour mix, triple sec, and a splash of cola. It is garnished with a lemon wedge. This drink is obviously very strong, and should not be consumed as quickly as simpler cocktails.
Kamikaze- Typically served as a shot, this can be consumed on the rocks as well, and tastes very much like lemonade without looking too frilly. A Kamikaze mixes vodka (typically Smirnoff), triple sec, and lime juice (often replaced with sour mix, which tastes more like lemonade).
Black Velvet- The Black Velvet combines one of the darkest beers, Guinness, with light and bubbly champagne. It sounds like a strange combination, but those who drink it swear by this cocktail. This is a great way to drink champagne without being obvious about it, and without having to hold a dainty champagne flute.
Billionaire’s Margarita- This cocktail takes a very popular drink and kicks it up a notch with stronger and better ingredients. It combines Jose Cuervo Familia Reserva tequila, Grand Marnier liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice, shaken and served over ice, usually with a lime garnish and a salted rim.
Now that you’re familiar with some “manly” drinks and how to make them, you can feel more comfortable ordering and drinking cocktails in a public setting, or in your own home while hosting. Of course, all that really matters is that you’re enjoying what you’re drinking and doing so responsibly, but this list of mixed drinks should help you when you’re presented with a cocktail list and have no idea what you should order. Having these options in your back pocket is a great way to get out of a social situation where beer just isn’t the best option. And you never know, you may enjoy these drinks so much that one of them may become your new go-to cocktail.