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Drinks to order out that I can't make at home?

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help! I'm stuck in a drink-ordering rut when I got out to eat.

Basically, I tend to order my 'standard' Grey Goose martini up w/ olives, and can never think of anything else to order. Occasionally an Old Fashioned, or Manhattan, or Mojito.
Once in awhile a restaurant will have a 'specialty' drink on their menu which is really good. Example: cucumber-infused vodka martini w/ ginger. or Sake-tini.

I like drinks that are not too sweet, or cream-based.

At home, I'm really good at making the martini, sidecar, margaritas, caipirhana, to exactly my liking. So I don't want to order these out, and I'm usually disappointed when I do.

so what other "semi-standards" should I try & add to my ordering vocabulary?

-=$>Dave<$=-

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  1. I'd try a Negroni -- equal parts gin, campari and sweet vermouth.

    It's pretty easy to make at home, actually, but you can order it out.

    1. I have this problem too. It's so hard getting a good sidecar or martini when out, and I always end up perusing the drinks menu in hopes for something special that catches my eye. Or, if the bar is busy, something that'll be easy for the bartender to pour quickly without messing it up.

      For the summer, I do like all those flavoured vodkas with soda - Stoli has a new blueberry vodka out that I just saw at my favourite bar the other night, which I'll have to check out.

      A recent fave is raspberry Stoli + soda + a splash of Chambord. I usually don't like Malibu, but the other day a friend ordered Malibu + iced tea, which was surprisingly good.

      1. For the most part, you can make everything better at home (through trial and error) than most bartenders care to make. A really dedicated bartender who is serious about mixology is a rare thing. Most restaurants and bars don't place an emphasis on this, but I love the places that do.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Atomica

          I generally agree. That being said, it's the variety of ingredients/spirits at a bar that I don't have at home that gives the edge. For example, I don't usually have a bottle of the cordials (e.g. Chambord) to splash into a drink.

          One place in Philadelphia (Farmacia) had a very interesting drink which I liked. If I remember correctly, it was Vanilla Stoli, grapefruit, and unsweetened coconut milk/cream floated on top. It was great and very interesting/unusual. And I wouldn't generally have the coconut at home, for example.

        2. I don't like really sweet mixed drinks - a dry gin martini does me just fine- but I do enjoy a Cape Cod- the cranberry juice is a real treat!

          1. How about an Aviation, which requires maraschino liqueur(and gin and lemon juice)? Most people don't have maraschino liquer at home. Actually, not many bars do, either!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alcachofa

              A bottle of marashino liquer is a great addition for a home bar -- you can make a classic daquiri that will outclass anything that you can get in a bar, plus a quarter oz or so added to pineapple juice, lime and rum makes a terrific planters punch. Along those lines when I order something out its usually at a tiki bar or some place like that where I can get a drink made with juices or other ingredients that I may not have around the house. At a regular place I might opt for a negroni -- as an earlier poster suggested -- or see if there is a special cocktail the place has. (I discovered caipirhanas that way -- eating at a chussaria in New York about 8 years ago I saw that everyone at the bar was ordering the same thing. I tried one and have been hooked ever since.)