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a classic man's cocktail?

say you're a twenty-something male, saddling up to the bar. what's your standby, signature cocktail?

i've been trying to settle on one for some time, but i'm not well versed in spirits. i'm looking for something along these lines:

- nothing too stiff (e.g. a martini)
- nothing too sugary (e.g. a margerita)
- something with character or sophistication (e.g. a sidecar?)

i've been drinking dark 'n stormies, but those seem a little juvenile...

help a guy out!


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  1. #1. Gimlet. Real lime juice...not Rose's. Gin, not vodka.
    #2. Mint Julep (not just for Derby day) : 1 tsp sugar; 2 mint leaves; crushed ice to fill glass; bourbon; splash soda.
    #3. Greyhound.
    #4. Presbyterian.
    #5. The Ted: Captain Morgan & Coke
    #6. The Bell: Vodka & orange juice
    #7. The Ted Jr.: 7up
    #8. The Theodora: Cream soda

    21 Replies
    1. re: liegey

      Gimlet - yes, gin over vodka. But what's your beef with Rose's Lime? Fresher is not always more authentic. Gin with plain lime juice is unpleasantly harsh - it needs the sugar.

      "A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else" (Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye).

      1. re: frenetica

        Indeed. I asked for a gimlet, and the barkeep made it with raw lime juice. One sip, and I sent it back.

        A variation I like is the vanilla gimlet, using Stoli vanilla. Tastes like key lime pie.

        Chandler also wrote, "Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."

        1. re: frenetica

          Frenetic, I would not stick to an author's opinion published or not as a recipe to be followed other than as an experiment. And that one ie equal parts gin and Rose's Lime Juice is a failed experiment. The lime juice is a condiment to a gimlet as the vermouth is to a martini. A good gin and "capful of the lime juice make a mildly tart gin cocktail - enjoyable and easily repeatable. Ice in the mixing glass stir and strain. Now you've got it.

          1. re: feelinpeckish

            Savoy has the gimlet clocking in at a 50/50 ratio of gin and lime syrup.

            Also, I'm curious to know how present vermouth should be in a martini, given you calling it a 'condiment'.

            1. re: jgg13

              The recipe on the bottle of Noilly Pratt says 1/3 vermouth, of course they want to sell more Vermouth. Personally, I like about half that much.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                To stick w/ Savoy, they call for 1/3 vermouth as well. I'm more of a manhattan fan than martini, but I view both of them as ideally having 1/3 vermouth.

                FWIW, Harry Johnson called for a 50/50 blend in the martini cocktail

                1. re: jgg13

                  I can't for the life of me EVER recalling that much vermouth being used in a drink in my circle or any bartender in quality any level of bar/restaurant. The "cap-full" I described is adequate for a dry (not VERY DRY) martini. Without going into the outside the limit descriptions where one merely whispers the word vermouth over the gin, my description provides a very pleasant drink. And it also applies to manhattans as to vermouth quantity.

                  1. re: feelinpeckish

                    That's how a lot of people do it in modern times, but classically speaking they're wrong. it doesn't help though that most places don't properly keep their vermouth, i think that a lot of people think that they don't like vermouth because they've only had the stuff after it has gone bad.

                    And the whole winston churchill whispering the word thing isn't a martini, it's a gin (or vodka) served up :)

                    1. re: jgg13

                      Agree completely. A lot of the original recipes (for both Manhattans and for the Martinez, which is the forerunner of the Martini) call for even as much as 2:1 vermouth:spirit. If you use a good vermouth, it can taste pretty good, and as a bonus, the drink doesn't have quite as much alcohol in it. I don't understand the hate for vermouth - without the vermouth (and, some might argue, without bitters), it's not a cocktail. If you just want really, really cold gin or whisky in a cocktail glass, why not just ask for that (I'm not even going to get started on vodka)! Once you're getting to the point of spraying the vermouth on, why even bother.

                      I usually make about Manhattans 2:1 whisky to vermouth, and sometimes make Martinezes 2:1 vermouth:gin (I've tried both using a mixture of sweet and dry, which one old recipe used, and just sweet).

                      Agree about the other problem - with people asking for so little vermouth, even bars sometimes don't go through the vermouth that fast. And a lot of places that stock top-shelf spirits still use sub-par vermouth, or crappy ice.

                      My girlfriend made this comic about Martinis (attached below) (the character in the second frame is "Cocktail Crusader"

                      1. re: jgg13

                        A dry martini means it's made with French (or dry) vermouth as opposed to Italian (or sweet) vermouth, and forget ratios and all that whispering jive. I prefer my martinis dry but I'm not dogmatic as to the ratio--I mix mine to suit my prevailing moods. Sometimes I even add sweet vermouth: other times I add bitters and a twist. In all cases, all open vermouth bottles are kept well chilled.

                        My wife is partial to manhattans, preferably 2 parts 6-year-old Sazerac rye to 1 part Vya sweet vermouth with Angostura Orange bitters stirred over ice and served over a Luxardo cherry with a tsp of maraschino syrup slipped down the side of the glass.

                      2. re: feelinpeckish

                        Funny, but the "quality" bartenders are doing exactly that: more vermouth.

                        And a Manhattan with just a "capful" of vermouth is gross.

                        Where do you drink? I'd like to know where not to go.

                        1. re: Alcachofa


                          I love a Manhattan and not enough Vermouth is a sure route to a bad Manhattan.

                          I can understand those who want a dry Martini or even a Winston-Churchill-glass-of-Gin-by-another-name. However, a dry martini should not be the default and a regular Martini should be close to 1/3 Vermouth. Just make sure its good vermouth.

                        2. re: feelinpeckish

                          "can't for the life of me EVER recalling that much vermouth being used in a drink in my circle or any bartender in quality any level of bar/restaurant."

                          Witness CHOW's "The Perfect Martini" video, where we learn about The Fitty-Fitty at NYC's Pegu Club - a half gin, half vermouth martini.


                          I've tried the recipe at home and it's actually quite good.

                          1. re: feelinpeckish

                            Stop using crap vermouth. Use plenty of it. Your martini will thank you.

                            1. re: feelinpeckish

                              I don't tend to love a TON of vermouth in my martinis, maybe a 1:4 ratio, so I can almost see where you're coming from, but in a Manhattan? No freakin' way. That's at least a 1:3 ratio at my house, and might begin pushing 1:2.

                      3. re: feelinpeckish

                        A "failed experiment"? I suppose all the classic cocktails are "failed experiments" in your book. Anything less than 3:1 is just gin with a hint of Rose's. Nothing wrong with that, but it isn't a gimlet.

                    2. re: liegey

                      A gimlet, by definition, uses Rose's Lime. Fresh lime is no longer a Gimlet, but something closer to a gin sour.

                      And coookie, in case you were wondering, a Presbyterian is whiskey or bourbon with club soda and ginger ale. Other base spirits can be substituted, just order a vodka presbyterian if you want to do that.

                      My signature cocktail is the Pegu Club Cocktail, a refreshing blend of gin, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters, served straight up with a lime twist. It's a very summery drink, so you might want to find something to tide you over until it warms up. Cuba Libres are always good... sure it's just rum and coke with a squeeze of lime, but a Cuba Libre sounds so much more exotic, doesn't it?

                      1. re: liegey

                        You are telling a man to drink rum and coke? or a basic screwdriver (vodka+oj)? This guy would get laughed at by every lady in the house! He needs to drink gin anything or scotch. Jeez, dont effiminate the guy seeking help.

                        1. re: Hungry Girl

                          I'd agree with this sentiment about a Rum & Coke or screwdriver. Drink drinks that taste like drinks, put one or two things in that will dilute the flavor of the spirit, but not drown it out. If you are worreid about appearing to be more manly, drink something on the rocks or with tonic or club soda.

                        2. re: liegey

                          Walker Percy on juleps: 1941: Drinking mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that
                          when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them
                          like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of
                          Bourbon. Men fall face-down unconscious, women wander in the woods
                          disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahil Gibran and the
                          Be careful of the advice you seek!

                          1. re: liegey

                            Consider the Pink Lady: gin, applejack, and the laughing in the face of death that comes with consuming raw egg products. It's also delicious when properly made, i.e., with a housemade Grenadine instead of one of those generally horrific commercial bottled products.

                            Order one and stare down anyone that snickers: that ought to prove your manly bona fides. In Boston, Green Street and Eastern Standard Kitchen shake up fine renditions.


                          2. According to "The Hipster Handbook" the Holy Trinity of cocktails are:
                            1) The (gin) Martini
                            2) The Cosmopolitan (not a man's cocktail surely)
                            3) The Manhattan

                            I love 1) and 3). 3) with Makers is my favorite. However, you did say a "man's" cocktail and all of the above (although very deck) come served in a Martini glass (not manly). I recall in a lot of Scorsese films mob guys ordering "7 & 7" (Seagram's 7 and 7up). You can always just go Scotch on the rocks.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Chinon00

                              Not too much ice, or maybe just a little cool water if it's good scotch, IMHO.

                              1. re: Chinon00

                                Or get your Manhattan on the rocks. When I lived in St. Louis almost every bar served them that way. Then I moved to the upper Midwest, where they are served up and made with brandy! It pays to know your bartender. Or just be specific.

                              2. This will probably get moved, but it is a good topic. I like to drink vodka and tonic, or rye and ginger ale.

                                Rusty nails are good, but maybe a bit too stuffy.

                                1. A Manhattan -- and I've never been served it in a martini glass. I like it extra sweet (more red vermouth) but only if it's decent vermouth.

                                  Otherwise, I'd drink scoth, neat. Or burboun, neat.

                                  24, Male. I'm NOT a manly man and I'm as likely to order Cassis or something else 'girly'. However, I like Manhattans and other harder liqour.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Atahualpa

                                    "A Manhattan -- and I've never been served it in a martini glass"

                                    Of course not - however Manhattans should be served up in a cocktail glass, which is a stemmed glass similar in shape to martini glasses.

                                    Finally, sorry, an extra sweet manhattan does not qualify as a 'man's drink'

                                    1. re: Atahualpa

                                      I usually get asked "up?" when ordering a Manhattan, say yes, and therefore get it in a stemmed cocktail glass - as Frank notes: but I suppose if such a glass moves it to "not manly" I guess you could say "no" and get your Manhattan on the rocks.

                                      I can't help but think a Manhattan goes against the "not too stiff" guidance from the OP, but I have a hard time coming up with a drink I'd call "manly" that isn't also stiff... if I want manly and not stiff I guess I'd have a beer!

                                      Actually looking at some of the other answers I think those who said scotch & soda have it right... seems to meet all the criteria.

                                      1. re: Pincho

                                        for something as dark as a Manhattan but not as stiff tasting, try the Creole (1 oz rye, 1oz sweet vermouth (less sweet vermouth if it's something like Vya), 1/4 oz benedictine and (since amer picon is not commonly available) 1/4 oz either allspice dram or cointreau (or a mix), garnished with lemon rind.

                                    2. thanks for the suggestions thus far!

                                      and maybe i should modify my first post. i'm certainly not above throwing back the odd girly drink or two. perhaps what i meant rather than a "man's drink", is a "gentleman's drink" - that is, less emphasis on the machismo, and more on the suave.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: coookie

                                        Old Fashioned
                                        Vesper - if you want suave then james bond is your guy

                                      2. That is a tall order. Most traditional man drinks are strong - Manhattan, Martini, neat whisky - with nearly pure alcohol. You might try a Harvey Wallbanger or a Cuba Libre; they would probably fit your request. Otherwise I would stick to the simple drinks - rum & coke, 7&7, screwdriver. Wouldn't the screwdriver be the ultimate man's drink since it is named after a tool?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                          a Cuba L:ibre is an excellent and refreshing drink, while still maintaining the "manliness" of a drink.
                                          excellent recommendation!

                                          1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                            I was forever spoiled after visiting Toronto and ordering a real Cuba Libre with Havana Club rum from Cuba. Excellent rum in a good traditional drink.

                                          2. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                            interesting posts i read today included things we ate/drank in college which we'll never do again. your harvey wallbanger came up and i have to agree! besides, it's not particularly manly to my thinking, and when a bartender asks what it is, it's not particularly suave, and i wonder just how many bars these days have galiano... too many of those and he won't be feeling suave! just sick. Stick to something like bourbon or scotch with a splash and a twist. gauging that a screwdriver is manly because it's also a tool omits the heavy orange juice factor. stick to sipping whiskey.............

                                          3. A good premium whiskey/cognac based liqueur on the rocks like Drambuie or Benedictine & Brandy (B&B) with a splash of water

                                            Gin and Tonic

                                            Scotch and soda

                                            Manhattan on the rocks

                                            Any spirit, preferably premium, like scotch, bourbon, brandy, rum, tequila, gin, on the rocks with a splash of water or soda

                                            Rusty Nails, which I don't think are stuffy. (Scotch and Drambuie on the rocks)

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: JMF

                                              I just want to add that a well made margarita on the rocks with salt, a mojito, or a caipirinha are great drinks.

                                              I had a few jalapeno margaritas at Tim Love's, Lonesome Dove in NYC last friday which were fabulous. Padron tequila, Gran Marnier, muddled jalapeno slices, lime and other citrus juices. The musky jalapeno went great with the tequila and citrus. This is my new favorite drink. Absolutely Excellent with just the right amount of spice, the bartender asked my spice level and was right on.

                                              1. re: JMF

                                                I agree. Chile infused tequila makes a great, not sweet, margarita. In NYC, Barrio Chino makes a wonderful habanero grapefruit margarita and Toloache makes a great jalapeno, cucumber margarita.

                                                Also, if too much scotch upsets my stomach, I drink vodka & milk of magnesia, aka a Phillips screwdriver.

                                                1. re: Rmis32

                                                  How about Vodka and prune juice...A Piledriver.

                                              2. re: JMF

                                                Totally agree on the Scotch and soda. It's a perfect suggestion, as it's not straight boooze. It reminds me of my grandfather, who always had one in his hand. :)

                                              3. Cocktails that sound manly: Scotch and soda, rum and coke, Jack and coke, 7 and 7. Bear in mind you'll get rail liquor from the first two.

                                                Super manly-sounding: draft beer--Bud, (Rolling) Rock, Lager (Yuengling), with a shot of Cuervo, Jameson's, or Jack.

                                                Suave, yet simple, and manly-sounding: Dewar's on the rocks, Maker's neat, dirty Martini, Manhattan up.

                                                Keep it simple. Or even better, just order what you like. If I were still single, and I heard a man order a dark 'n' stormy, I'd probably come up and introduce myself. ;)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: gina

                                                  cookie, please be circumspect about putting coke in anything top shelf.

                                                2. Maybe try a Moscow Mule. Very similar to a dark-n-stormy (basically changing the rum for vodka, and adding some lime juice). But, it is semi-obscure so that gives the illusion of being more sophisticated; but still easy to make, if you're in an unfamiliar bar; plus "Moscow" and "mule" are both in the name--both things not immediately associated with girlyness.

                                                  An Old Fashioned is good, but most places serve them as glorified scotch-and-sodas. If you're in a bar with better bartenders, this would be a good one for your purposes.

                                                  Finally, if you're in one of those places which have cocktail or "martini" lists, order anything without vodka, and you'll be ahead of the pack.

                                                  Other notes:
                                                  Screwdriver is a waste of orange juice. And talk about lacking sophistication anyway!

                                                  Chinon, how is a martini glass not manly?

                                                  Atahualpa, you've never had a Manhattan in a martini glass!? Where is this?

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Alcachofa

                                                    I used to drink Moscow Mules as a teenager overseas b/c it was so easy to drink!

                                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                                      Sorry, Moscow Mule is what my Mom used to drink 30 years ago. Not a man's drink, a Mom's drink.

                                                      "you've never had a Manhattan in a martini glass!?" As noted above, neither have I and hopefully, neither have you. Up Mahattans should be served in a cocktail glass. Only Martinis should be served in Martini glasses.

                                                      1. re: FrankJBN

                                                        Er, I just did a quick Web search, and it would seem that most barware vendors equate the two. Can you furnish either a picture or a description of a "cocktail glass" as distinct from a martini glass?

                                                        1. re: tcd

                                                          Here's an image from the Museum of the American Cocktail.

                                                      2. re: Alcachofa

                                                        the Mule is my hasband's cocktail of choice (and by "of coice," I mean if he absolutely CANNOT get his hands on a beer! He also loves a mojito. Don't think you can really get a "manly" cocktail, but according to my male friends, th stronger the better!

                                                      3. twentysomething male here - and while I too succumb to the occasional colorful, sweet "girly" cocktails - when I do want a manlier drink, I go for Manhattan, Capt. & Coke or a Mojito (the last one is rather tricky though, some bars don't muddle the mint right and others make it too sweet.)

                                                        Also, margaritas on the rocks tend to be more manlier & less sweet than their frozen blended cousins ~ but no guarantees.

                                                        Likewise, any beer mixes should be good (my favorite is snakebite, half lager and half cider) but as noted above - just drink what feels right at the moment!


                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: AquaW

                                                          "when I do want a manlier drink, I go for Manhattan, Capt. & Coke ..."

                                                          So, a Capt & Coke is manlier than what exactly? A cherry coke? Captain Morgan was invented to serve to those people for whom rum was too manly.

                                                        2. Seriously, go for the Cosmos. You're telling everyone that you're secure enough in your manliness to enjoy such a drink.
                                                          Besides, it'll get rid of any bladder infection you might have.

                                                          1. I'm 40 something and I don't do girly drinks.
                                                            Don't buy anything from a bartender who uses a Slurpee machine
                                                            Your Mixologist must use real, squeezed lime juice, real fruit juices and good brands.
                                                            1/ The mighty Manhattan in a highball glass. No other drink compares. Be really 50's and order it with Bourbon instead of Rye (for a taste revelation try one made Orancio Orange Vermouth & Woodford Reserve Bourbon, it's called the 'Whistler"and I've patented it!)
                                                            2/ Dry Martinis with Gin (Gin is just Vodka with more flavour)
                                                            3/ Real Daiquiris (Amber rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup)
                                                            4/ Real Margaritas (fresh squeezed lime juice, Anejo Tequila, Triple Sec & coarse salt)
                                                            5/ A properly made Mint Julep in a highball glass.
                                                            Go on, go and get drunk!
                                                            Da Cook

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: Da_Cook

                                                              The daiquiri is not getting near enough love in this thread. What can be more of a "classic man's" cocktail than Ernest Hemingway's choice?

                                                              1. re: BustedFlush

                                                                Hemingway didn't always make the best choices, lol!

                                                                1. re: BustedFlush

                                                                  Well, most of the time when you order it, you'll get a frozen concoction, not what Papa Hemingway had. Most people don't want to have to explain how to make a drink, so they shy away from ordering it out.
                                                                  I know I do. I once attempted to order a Daiquiri at a "cuban" restaurant in town. When the waitress explained that they were out of strawberries, i realized that it was a lost cause and said just forget it.

                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                    Agreed - daiquiris are firmly in my "only at home" category because I am downright frightened to find out what will show up if I order one out, and tired of trying to explain their true nature to my friends. Fantastic (and yes, v. manly) when made correctly, though.

                                                                  2. re: BustedFlush

                                                                    Ever since I saw the movie "Auntie Mame" I can't help but think of Daiquiri's sweetened with honey without laughing. That being said, a good Daiquiri is a great drink.

                                                                    To me a gentleman's drink wold be along the lines of Booze and soda, or booze, soda, with fresh juice and bitters. There are tons of variations there.

                                                                    Whiskey on the rocks being the most "manly" to my mind.

                                                                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                      I mean this in jest, but it seems odd to take advice on manly drinks from someone named cosmo grrl :)

                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                        Au contraire. If you're trying to be manly, you're obviously trying to make an impression on somebody. If your audience is scotch-n-soda-guy, more power to you. But if you're looking to make a statement with cosmogrrl, who better to tell you how you're doing?

                                                                      2. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                        ah yes, the infamous "Claude Upson Daiquiri"
                                                                        good times

                                                                  3. For me, Wild Turkey Manhattans if you know that the bar can do cocktails perfectly (also I used to love Old Fashioneds with properly muddled stuff, sidecars (a cognac marguerita), Tanqueray and tonics); otherwise whatever they have the best of -- single malt scotch, cognac, or tequila -- neat.

                                                                    1. End of my twenties male. I think my drink changes depending on the season.

                                                                      Winter/Fall--Lagavulin 16yr-one ice cube. I let the cube melt in scotch. A little water opens up the nose and the small ammount of ice slightly chills it without making it cold. This is always a great drink. Basically try a bunch of whiskeys and see which one you like best. It really is a matter of personal preference. I like smoky, oceany peaty tastes so i am drawn to Islay Single Malts with Lagavulin being my choice.

                                                                      Summer time-Mojitos. I dont care if they are too trendy or slightly girly, a well made mojito is one of the most refreshing things to sip on on a hot summer day. If well made the sweet, sour and herbal should balance each other out. Nothing compares.

                                                                      Other drinks i enjoy...

                                                                      Old Fashioned-not too many places make it well, but i like one now and then.

                                                                      Ammaretto Di Sarono on the rocks---When i am in the mood for something sweet. One of these after a nice meal in place or with dessert is a good choice. I cant drink too many of these as they are too cloying.

                                                                      Dirty Vodka or Gin Martini-I get in the mood for a dirty martini every so often. I love the salty taste of the brine. I can polish off a few of these if i am looking to get drunk.

                                                                      Well made Margarita--This too has to be well made from fresh ingredients and good alcohol. you dont need to get the best tequila as the lime overpowers most of the taste anyway. Just dont go for bottom barrel stuff as the harshness comes through. Frozen margaritas are for college kids.

                                                                      Midori Sour-This is my girly drink. For the times when i want something sweet, i dont want to get drunk, or its simply day time. This hits the spot.

                                                                      All in all i say there are genreally a few rules i go by.

                                                                      1)Other than the Mojito, nothing too complicated for the bartender. Having a rocks/neat drink in your repetoir is a good thing.

                                                                      2)Top shelf is worth it if you are drinking neat or rocks. Dont waste your money ordering top shelf when you are getting mixed drinks. Middle of the road should do then.

                                                                      3)Figure out what you are in the mood for and go from there. If you want to drink a girly drink, by all means go for it with gusto. Dont let anyone else dictate what you enjoy. You are not what you drink.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                        funny thing about the recommendations for old fashioneds - when i tended bar, those were for the little old ladies. simple syrup, orange and cherry, a splah of bitters and a splash of soda with some cheap whiskey. sweet and fruity and oftener than not, too sweet! i'm just surprised they've survived. i would have thought they' go the way of grasshoppers,golden cadillacs and pink ladies.... but hey!

                                                                      2. Lately I've gotten into the classic Negroni cocktail. For those not familiar with it, it's equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. I drink it stirred and straight up.

                                                                        I've always liked Campari, but I think most people don't. The Negroni is a bitter sweet cocktail with an interesting reddish/brown color. It has a complex flavor, particularly depending upon the gin used.

                                                                        1. I like Campari, i will have to give that a shot.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                            on a hot day outdoors, campari and tonic in a tall glass of ice with lots of fresh lime. if you don't care for tonic, you won't like campari. it's got a bitter side.

                                                                            1. re: lil magill

                                                                              I find that there is not much point in adding tonic to Campari. The apertif is bitter enough. Why not use soda water instead?

                                                                              Champagne, blood orange juice, and Campari creates a divine cocktail.

                                                                              And of course, Campari is fine just as itself on ice.

                                                                            2. re: MVNYC

                                                                              The Negroni is also a much safer way to drink like Hemingway when you're out on the town than a daiquiri.

                                                                            3. More an aperitif than a cocktail - Lillet.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                Lillet's a poofter drink! (Don't get excited, I'm powerfully pro-poofter and pro-poofter drinks). Lillet is a great aperitif, especially with a splash of soda (a little too sweet otherwise). My second-favorite aperitif after Campari and soda, followed by white vermouth. Real favorite, unavailable in my area: Suze.

                                                                                Macho manly drinks: scotch and soda, scotch rocks, bourbon rocks, gin martini. Nothing with sugar or fruit, period. No top-shelf liquor.

                                                                                Suave manly drinks: The Negroni is an excellent suggestion. Be careful not to use too much gin, and make sure the vermouth is just enough to sweeten the Campari, not to really get a lot of vermouth flavor. Manhattan is obvious. I've never had a good Old Fashioned in a bar, but that's my choice if I'm making them for myself. Black Russian. Margarita or (better) Daquiri, but ONLY on the rocks, never blended.

                                                                                The real tough guys drink Fernet Branca, slowly, neat.

                                                                                1. re: fnarf

                                                                                  I am a really tough guy. :) Actually, I know more females (3 that I can think of) than males (0) who enjoy Fernet neat.

                                                                                  1. re: Pei

                                                                                    Chicks are ten times tougher than guys. My wife for instance; you wouldn't believe what she has to put up with.

                                                                                  2. re: fnarf

                                                                                    Wow, there's another Suze fan around here? I love the stuff. It used to be carried by a few NYC stores, but none seem to have it anymore. I'm conserving my last bottle that I carried home from France, pouring myself a little on special occasions only.

                                                                                    1. re: Boswell

                                                                                      I finished the bottle I brought home five years ago, and haven't found it anywhere since. I can't even find it online. But yes, I love it; it's the perfect balance between rich sweetness and bitterness. Great with a single ice cube.

                                                                                      1. re: fnarf

                                                                                        I'm pretty sure I saw Suze at Astor. Mmmmmm. I just had something called Ciane in France, and it was somewhat similar to Suze. Web says "This cocktail was invented in 1991. Its unique, bittersweet flavour comes from Franche-Comté gentiane roots."

                                                                                2. Shot of Cuervo 1800, and a bottle of Bud.

                                                                                  shot and a beer, a pretty manly combo..

                                                                                  1. I have two "bar" drinks: beer and vodka and soda with a squeeze of lemon. I am a retired bartender (I'm 28 years old) and a cocktail connoisseur, but I know enough about bartenders to know what to order and when. If you try to get too sophisticated and order odd-ball drinks, you'll likely get something made incorrect.

                                                                                    When I am at home, my favorite drinks are the margarita (I've writtend about them and studied them extensively) and a gin martini, but I generally will order neither in a bar. Why? They need to be made properly.

                                                                                    I'm sorry that you have the impression that a margarita is sweet or a martini is too stiff. Ok, the martini is stiff, and you'll be on the floor after four of them, but the drink should be balanced well enough not to have a bite.

                                                                                    When you are out, your safe bet is a liquor and a mixer. What about gin and tonic? I like vodka and soda because it is clean and refreshing, and keeps you hydrated (I live in the south). Keep it simple, and you won't be dissapointed with a bad drink. And order what you like, you'll feel more comfortable. BTW, if you order a gimlet and the bartender makes it with fresh lime juice, he or she is doing it wrong.


                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: UptownKevin

                                                                                      I'm curious - why is it wrong to make a gimlet w/ fresh lime juice - the sugar from Rose's? TIA

                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                        The Gimlet was a drink devised by sailors in the British Navy. They were given rations of gin and they also had access to Rose's Lime Juice, so they combined the two to make a palatable drink (I'd be willing the gin didn't taste like Bombay Saphire!). That's just the way it was made and that's the real recipe.


                                                                                    2. pear cognac (Belle de Brillet, not Poire William)
                                                                                      shochu with calpico, splash of soda
                                                                                      averna with splash of cointreau

                                                                                      1. OK: first, Rose's Lime tastes toxic to me, and give me a wicked heartburn.

                                                                                        Next: I'm not a gin drinker, but love campari, so I started experimenting with a non-gin negroni. I like the balance of sweet and bitter. I finally settled on Stoli Orange straight up, shaken, with a few drops of campari (similar to martini/vermouth proportions, but experiment until you get it right). It looks a little like a cosmo, but is less sweet and less cliche. I've heard this drink called various things. My partner and I call it a Cleveland Sunset. Go figure!

                                                                                        Finally: Here's an interesting but acquired taste. Tequilla on the rocks. Mind you, don't try this with any nasty Cuervo. Strictly high-grade stuff, which means you won't be able to drink this at just any bar. People will either think you're cool or crazy.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ClevelandRandy

                                                                                          A Negroni without the gin (just Campari and sweet vermouth) is I believe called an Americano, though that name has probably died with the espresso invasion.

                                                                                          1. re: fnarf

                                                                                            Close. Count Negroni ordered his Americano with gin substituting for the club soda; viz. an Americano is campari vermouth and fizzy H2O.

                                                                                            1. re: Poindexter

                                                                                              I've only ever had an Americano at home (loved it) - the one time I tried to order it in a bar I ended up with a coffee...

                                                                                          2. re: ClevelandRandy

                                                                                            Acquired, indeed. I would try tequila on the rocks at home, first, just to be safe. ;)

                                                                                            1. re: ClevelandRandy

                                                                                              I thought I was a freak for the peach flavored Stoli and Campari cocktail I love during the summer.

                                                                                              Great minds...

                                                                                              1. re: ClevelandRandy

                                                                                                Is it Lime Cordial, or a different product?

                                                                                              2. All of this is sissy stuff. Real men drink slivovitz, straight, from an old, scuffed-up juice glass.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: hatless

                                                                                                    Can you get slivovitz in the U.S.??? I've never seen it.

                                                                                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                      Slivovitz is very much available in the US.

                                                                                                      Find a neighborhood with a fair number of people from a slivovitz-drinking country -- Yugsolavs, Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Romanians or Hungarians, or an Orthodox Jewish community with roots in that region -- and you'll find it. If there aren't any Eastern Europeans in your neck of the woods but there are elsewhere in your state, a liquor store should be able to get it on special order from its distributor.

                                                                                                      1. re: hatless

                                                                                                        You forgot Austrians! :o)

                                                                                                        Actually, I think I have seen it in a liqour store or two. I drank it from the juice glass, but with a splash of water.

                                                                                                      2. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                        They have it in my local Washington State Liquor store, which is saying something -- it's a crappy store (and a crappy system). It's not a specialty or exotic item -- it's a bottom-shelf liquor.

                                                                                                        1. re: fnarf

                                                                                                          I have only seen it consumed by musicians and groupies, but Jaegermeister is popular.

                                                                                                          You could also order moonshine or grappa if you feel you have something to prove.

                                                                                                          Personally I like gin and tonic, and never thought if it as a "mans drink"

                                                                                                        2. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                          Is this same stuff you drink on your drive home from work in Slovenia. I've only heard good things, I guess you black out before that things start happening.

                                                                                                      3. A well made sidecar is great, classic - problem is, most bartenders can't make one well. You can tell when the bartender knows their stuff. A Maker's Mark manhattan is a good standby. In summer, try a daiquiri - no, not the fruity crap with some damn umbrella, but a mixture of white rum, sugar, fresh squeezed limes and cracked ice. That's a cocktail, not for the faint of heart.

                                                                                                        (n.b. Per the above, great tequila is made for sipping. Can put a bottle on ice, too, serve with a "chaser" of spicy tomato juice and some spanish peanuts. Great combo.)

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: tdo ca

                                                                                                          I just remembered one of my favorites- the Hemingway Daiquiri, also known as a Papa Doble. Sadly, it's something you can't order at a lot of bars since it involves maraschino liqueur, which is completely unrelated to maraschino cherries. It uses 1 ounce white rum, 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur, 1/4 ounce grapefruit juice, 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, and 3/4 ounce simple syrup, shaken well and served straight up. It's a darn near perfect cocktail.

                                                                                                        2. I'm 30something but have been drinking Old Fashioneds since my 20's. I wasn't going to suggest it at first, because the OP warned against strong alcohol or sugary tastes... and the Old Fashioned has both. I guess they balance one another out though. Norman Bukofzer, one of NYC's secret treasure bartenders, suggested long ago that I try my O.F. made with Old Overholt rye. I did- it's delicious, and I always ask for it, although many places don't carry that brand. (got a bottle at home at all times)

                                                                                                          Negronis and Sidecars, mentioned above as well, should fill your requirements... but they come with the same caveat as Old Fashioneds: they're good if the barman knows what he's doing, not worth ordering if he dosent.

                                                                                                          My M.O. at an unfamiliar bar is to take a little time before ordering and observe the bartender in action. I'll have a look at the drink specials menu to get an idea of what kind of skill level the staff may have. If I get a good vibe, I'll order one of the above; if not, I'll check out the single malt scotches and, lately, the higher-quality tequilas. If you're only familiar with Jose Cuervo silver and the like I strongly recommend trying different tequilas! You'll be surprised how smooth and complex they can be... I was. I love Gran Centenario Reposado on the rocks- but that's just one suggestion.

                                                                                                          The high-end Tequila on ice has something else going for it- it goes down well on a hot day or a cold one. So you don't have to worry about having a summer standard AND a winter standard. That being said, there's nothing like a classic, and the gin and tonic is THE classic summer cocktail. Try a bunch of gins because they're noticeably different. Junipero and Hendrick's are my two faves.

                                                                                                          I hope this helps- here's to a long and distinguished drinking life!

                                                                                                          1. Almost forgot- inspired by the Dude in the Big Lebowski- White Russians. Delicious and maybe even appropriate.

                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                              I think the cream girlies it up. Go Black Russian.

                                                                                                              1. re: fnarf

                                                                                                                How you assign a gender to cream I don't understand.

                                                                                                                1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                  The semiotics of that one are pretty cut-and-dried. After all, where does cream come from?

                                                                                                                  Exploring societies' perceived gender of, say, vodka, would be more interesting. Given that vodka itself is a "received" concept for most North Americans, the symbology surrounding it may well vary widely in different subcultures.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hatless

                                                                                                                      OK, I understand cream comes from a breast, so that's pretty feminine alright. But consumption is what we're after here, and whatever white liquid comes out of breasts is consumed by males, females, even transgendered Americans. So I disagree that having cream in a cocktail makes it girly.

                                                                                                                      Can we compromise and say it is masculine, but only in a sweater wearing, snuggly, pipe and muttonchop, by the fire at the ski lodge kind of masculine?

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                        Uh, that's not where *cream* comes from...

                                                                                                                  1. re: fnarf

                                                                                                                    Anything the Dude drinks is most certainly not girlie. Which reminds me, has anyone ever tried making a white russian with non-dairy creamer ala the Dude?

                                                                                                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                      Please, don't try that at home.

                                                                                                                      I did once at work though (I'm and was white collar office drone in college many years ago): nips are dangerous. It sorta worked when I made a slurry

                                                                                                                  2. sidecars and old fasioneds are definetly good, IF made right. a tip for o.f., is to specify 'no soda.' a lot of bartenders top it with soda for some reason, and it makes is gross. no idea why they do that. If you like scotch, a rusty nail is always a good choice. don't order anything off of one of those endless 'martini' menu's, or really, anything with flavored vodka at all. and here's a drink to try instead of a cosmo(same taste profile, much more complex); it's called a floridita: 1 1/2 oz rum
                                                                                                                    1/2 oz lime juice
                                                                                                                    1/2 oz sweet vermouth
                                                                                                                    1/8 oz white creme da cacao
                                                                                                                    1/8 oz grenidine

                                                                                                                    not really what you're looking for in this, but a great alternative to a cosmo. so, my pick, in an ideal world(with decent bartenders):
                                                                                                                    Old Fasioned
                                                                                                                    Rusty Nails (or single malt)
                                                                                                                    Gin & Tonic

                                                                                                                    1. wow, this thread has exceeded my expectations. thanks for all the suggestions so far, including the ones that are stretching my horizons.

                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                        The trouble with the sidecar is that it will make you seem like you're trying too hard. Stick with the following:

                                                                                                                        Scotch rocks

                                                                                                                        And for heaven's sake don't be ordering white russions, Cosmo's (cringe!) or Midori sours! Yikes!!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Kater

                                                                                                                          The Cosmo's presence on Sex and the City cemented its reputation as a chick drink. The pink color doesn't help either. You could always take out the cranberry and tah-dah, you have a Kamikaze.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Kater

                                                                                                                            I disagree with your first sentence, Kater. Plenty of people drink sidecars because... they like sidecars. (I'm one!)

                                                                                                                            While giving the OP some ideas about what to taste, what's the point of pre-assigning personalities, stigma, gender, and whatever else to inanimate objects!? Seems unchowish.

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                              The personalities assigned were implicit in the original poster's message. There is a reason he didn't ask "what's the BEST cocktail?" All the rest is (or should be) in the spirit of good fun, which is extremely chowish. If you aren't familiar enough with traditional gender roles to be able to play around with them, you're probably not as aware as you'd like to think you are (but then, none of us is).

                                                                                                                              Whether you prefer a sidecar is only germane if you are yourself consciously playing the role of a Manly Man while having them.

                                                                                                                              I interpreted the original question to be "what kind of a drink would Cary Grant drink?", Cary Grant being the closest thing to the Ultimate Male that the world will ever produce. Your model may be more along the lines of Fred Astaire, or Clint Eastwood, but the question still rings the same way.

                                                                                                                              I think Clint's more of a beer guy, but Fred Astaire once recited his recipe for the perfect martini on a record album, and Cary Grant is known to have enjoyed Gibsons, though the cocktail named after him is a dreadful-sounding coffee-liqueur and lime concoction.

                                                                                                                              1. re: fnarf

                                                                                                                                Yes, you are such a lovely writer.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fnarf

                                                                                                                                  Actually, I would think that Clint Eastwood is more of a whiskey guy. Shots. Straight. How do you think he got that cool voice?

                                                                                                                                  As for Cary Grant being the Ultimate Male (and I am a fan ever since "North by Northwest") see what his "roommate" Randolph Scott has to say about that.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                                                    Randy Scott would probably have agreed with the 'ultimate male' assesment.

                                                                                                                                2. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                                  "what's the point of pre-assigning personalities, stigma, gender..."

                                                                                                                                  Well,, the point is that it answers his question.

                                                                                                                                  He did not ask for help finding a cocktail he would enjoy. He specifically is thinking in terms of the the image of the drink. That is his question. The point of replying in that context is that it is responsive to the poster.

                                                                                                                                  I'm not suggesting for a moment that someone who likes sidecars should not order sidecars. Just as I'm not suggesting that if he'd wanted a Midori Sour, he shouldn't order one.

                                                                                                                                  But when someone asks for help coming up with a drink order that conveys a classic, suave image because he wants to get away from his Dark n' Stormy since he fears it plays as too juvenile, your response should deal specifically with a drink's image. Because that is the whole point of the discussion! : )

                                                                                                                            2. A sidecar is trying to hard but a greyhound or negroni arent?

                                                                                                                              And for heaven's sake please order white russians, cosmos or midiori sours. Drink what you like.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                If he'd said, "My drink of choice is a Midori Sour (!) but I refrain from ordering it out of fear that I'll be labelled a fop!", then I would probably agree that he should just order what he likes. But he has posted looking for specific help, a classic cocktail that supports the suave gentleman image he chooses to cultivate.

                                                                                                                                If English attributed gender to nouns the three drinks mentioned are most certainly chick drinks, in fact they're dopey chick drinks! : )

                                                                                                                                You do have me wondering about the Negroni - maybe that could seem affected, depending on where you live. But the Greyhound has got some staying power as a drink chosen by successful men who don't feel compelled to drink scotch.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Kater

                                                                                                                                  My reply was simply meant, it doesnt matter what a man drinks, drink what you like.

                                                                                                                                  Personally i enjoy a midori sour now and then.
                                                                                                                                  When i want to get drunk, i will drink straight hard liquor. Neither is to please anyone else. In my opinion a real man's drink is anything a man is drinking.

                                                                                                                              2. You want a real mans drink, try a Russian Imperial Stout. Doesnt get much more manlier

                                                                                                                                1. A true story:
                                                                                                                                  Years ago my BIL was a crewmember on a yacht. At some seaside bar, he ordered a Cape Codder (vodka, cranberry juice, slice of lime or lemon). Some local louts started to hassle him. "Hey pretty boy what's that pink drink..."
                                                                                                                                  Thinking fast, he said "It's a Jimmy Dean Koolaid and that's his yacht right there."
                                                                                                                                  "The old singer?"
                                                                                                                                  "The sausage guy?"
                                                                                                                                  "They're the same guy and this is his drink, OK?"
                                                                                                                                  All the jamokes in the place tried a pink drink that night.

                                                                                                                                  It is one of my favorites. Sadly, bars use HFCS cranberry juice "cocktail" At home I make it with unsweetened cranberry juice and maybe a dash of triple sec.

                                                                                                                                  I say drink what you like and have a wisecrack ready if somehow you need to defend your masculinity. Yes it really was Jimmy Dean's yacht and drink.

                                                                                                                                  1. These are my stand-by's:
                                                                                                                                    Cold Weather
                                                                                                                                    1. Scotch and soda (Dewars, Johnny Walker Red)
                                                                                                                                    2. Scotch on the rocks or with just a splash of soda (Chivas, or Johnny Walker Black)
                                                                                                                                    3. Bourbon and soda (Makers, Jim Beam)
                                                                                                                                    4. Martini straight up with an olive (Beefeater, Bombay)

                                                                                                                                    Warm Weather
                                                                                                                                    1. Gin and Tonic (Beefeater, Bombay, Tanqueray)
                                                                                                                                    4. Martini straight up with a twist (Beefeater, Bombay)

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: wontonton

                                                                                                                                      I second this list, but would like to add the ti punch to the summer list. Also when drinking scotch (rail) and soda I'll have a dash of bitters with it. So far no one has offered the true man's drink, a good vodka, neat, and none of this ice cold BS, I'll take it warm.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: saintfirky

                                                                                                                                        Ti Punch definitely NOT a girlie drink.

                                                                                                                                    2. I guess image is more important than taste? If a drink is needed to assert masculinity then one must be very insecure in it.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: RBCal

                                                                                                                                        There's nothing wrong with the taste of any drinks listed here.

                                                                                                                                      2. some others i found online and seem interesting, but haven't tried yet:

                                                                                                                                        pegu club cocktail
                                                                                                                                        pimm's cup


                                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                          Pimms is a great warm weather drink - refreshing.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                            The Pegu is a wonderful, wonderful drink. The combination is perfect for summer, when the dryness of the gin and tartness of the lime combine to make a perfect antidote for even the most intense summer heat. It's only natural, since the cocktail was created at (where else?) the Pegu Club, where British Navy officers in the 1920s would go for a respite while in Burma. It made its way to the Savoy in Britain in the 1930s, and faded into obscurity shortly thereafter. I'm thrilled to see it's making a well deserved comeback. Now to work on bringing back the Monkey Gland...
                                                                                                                                            Pegu Club Cocktail
                                                                                                                                            2 oz gin
                                                                                                                                            1/2 oz triple sec
                                                                                                                                            1/2 oz fresh lime juice (about half a lime)
                                                                                                                                            2 dashes Angostura bitters

                                                                                                                                            Shake very well (until you think your hands are stuck to the shaker), strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with a twist of lime.

                                                                                                                                            And since I mentioned it...

                                                                                                                                            Monkey Gland
                                                                                                                                            2 oz gin
                                                                                                                                            1 oz orange juice
                                                                                                                                            1/4 oz grenadine
                                                                                                                                            1/4 oz Pernod (or other absinthe substitute. Or real absinthe, if you're so lucky)

                                                                                                                                            Ingredients note: There is some debate over the proper liqueur to use for an authentic Monkey Gland. Some (including master mixologist Gary Regan) prefer Pernod, others (including master mixologist Dale DeGroff) prefer Bénédictine. I leave it up to you.

                                                                                                                                            Shake very well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. NB: Pernod will dominate a drink if given a chance. It may be a good idea to rinse the ice with Pernod, tossing the excess.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                              That Monkey Gland sounds interesting, but also like a completely different drink made with Pernod OR Benedictine. I wonder what it would be like with grapefruit or blood orange instead of orange juice?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                It would be a very different drink either way, yes. I tend to favor Pernod just a wee bit. I'd imagine it would be very good with grapefruit, but I'd add more grenadine to offset the tartness of the grapefruit.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                I'm a big fan of the Pegu Club but as your post mentions the Pernod/Benedictine Monkey Gland debate I thought I'd mention that most Pegu recipes I’ve seen call for orange curaçao rather than triple sec and, also, most recipes call for the dash each of Angostura and Peychaud's bitters another poster mentioned rather than Angostura only in your recipe.

                                                                                                                                                Of course, given that good orange curaçao is hard to find in the US a good triple sec like Cointreau, Luxardo, or Marie Brizard is a more than acceptable substitute. I'd argue, though, that a brandy-based orange liqueur like Grand Marnier, Gran Gala or Gran Torres would be a slightly more accurate substitution for orange curaçao.

                                                                                                                                                Personally, I find Pegus made with any good quality orange liqueur to be excellent. With Marie Brizard they're a little more dry, with Gran Gala they're a little richer but certainly not too sweet. I will state definitively, FWIW, that using both Peychaud's and Angustura makes for a better drink than Angostura alone.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: kvltrede

                                                                                                                                                  You are correct on the une of curaçao in the Pegu. I think I've just become so tired of inept bartenders giving me a blank stare when I ask for orange curaçao that I just ask for triple sec anymore. Peychaud's is about as rare as hens' teeth around here; I've received blank stares from high-end distribution reps on that one.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                    People, I really don't mean any offense here, but I have to say, if you insist on requesting such complex concoctions from your bartender, you are just going to annoy the hell out of him/her. Ordering any classic man's cocktail should require no such explanation as is suggested here.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gina

                                                                                                                                                      A bartender who's worthy of the appelation should know how to make a Pegu Club, which is a classic cocktail if ever there was one. And if they're "annoyed" by somebody having the temerity to order one, they should go back to working the keg and mixing the jungle juice at the frat house.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Poindexter

                                                                                                                                                        While I agree with the essential sentiment, Poindexter -- great bartenders should know how to make the great old cocktails -- I think you take it a little too far.

                                                                                                                                                        There are three tiers of bartending talent in Boston where I live. The kind that know how to make a Pegu Club without looking it up, and actually know something about the history of the cocktail, account for fewer than 1%.

                                                                                                                                                        A large second tier of bartenders, maybe 10%, have reasonable chops: they can make decent shaker drinks, but aren't cocktail historians and/or don't work in the sort of bars that carry the necessary obscure ingredients (Peychaud's bitters, for example, is still rarely seen here). These folks are serious professionals who understand the hospitality as well as the technical aspects of bartending, and they still deserve respect.

                                                                                                                                                        The vast majority fall into the third tier: the draft pullers and highball builders who haven't a clue about proper cocktail construction. They serve a purpose, too, even if the demands of their jobs are more workmanlike, less worthy of the term "artisan".

                                                                                                                                                        I think it's just as much the serious-minded drinker's responsibility to have a sense of appropriateness of place and occasion, and not make demands on the staff that their training or resources can't reasonably meet. You can be upset if the bartender at Pegu Club can't mix a Pegu Club, but only an obnoxious aesthete walks into the corner bar and thinks the staff are idiots for not being able to make one.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                          Touche. My response was a bit over the top and was more a colorful reaction to the suggestion that it is incumbent on the patron not to "annoy" a bartender by asking for a drink that might not be in their repertoire, which is ludicrous, IMO. It never hurts to ask. That guy in the corner bar may be a true libational artist who is just waiting to show he can do more than Cosmos and 7&7s.
                                                                                                                                                          And I do think you're a bit too forgiving of the third tier. Anybody doing a job ought to take a bit of pride in it, especially when the barriers b/t Tier III and Tier II are, let's face it, rather low.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Poindexter

                                                                                                                                                            You are right: quality bartending can show up in unexpected places. The guys behind the stick at Deep Ellum, a beer-snob-oriented hipster hangout in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, have no business making great vintage cocktails, and yet they do.

                                                                                                                                                            Meanwhile, many bartenders in nice venues who should know better still can't make a proper Negroni, a pretty simply cocktail -- pouring 1:1:1 must be harder than it sounds. That reality is the bane of my drinking existence. You never know.

                                                                                                                                                            (Maybe I'm more sympathetic to those Z-grade bartenders because I was one myself for a while before graduating briefly to that second tier. Working in college bars and saloons favored by young drinkers is back-breaking and often thankless and low-paying work, a job for the young and restless.)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                              I find that a lot of the problems with "third tier" bartenders can be traced to a reluctance to use the right tools, in this case a jigger. No shame at all in measuring instead of counting when the ratios really make the drink. I do agree wholeheartedly about recognizing the place and time when choosing a drink to order. I'm spoiled with the San Francisco cocktail culture as there are a great many restaurants mixing up all kinds of good things all over town here. Didn't know about that when I moved to town a year ago.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                The resistance against 1:1:1 negroni's runs pretty deep -- even Toby Maloney's negroni is 3 ozs gin, .5 oz campari, and 1 oz sweet vermouth with a few dashes of orange bitters and a carmelized orange twist.


                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ceb

                                                                                                                                                                  No disrespect for Mr. Maloney (I love many of his bar's other concoctions), but that's my nightmare idea of a Negroni, as out of balance as the kind made by rookie bartenders who think every shaker drink should have dry Martini proportions. To each their own, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                  Pimm's Cup is a good choice, but definitely a summer drink. Plus, a lot of bars don't carry Pimm's.

                                                                                                                                                  Pegu is great, but while the ingredients are straightforward, few bartenders know how to make it. It's easy enough that if the bar is not crowded, and you get rapport with the bartender, maybe you can explain it to them. You can give them JK's recipe above. (I make mine with one dash orange and one dash Angostura, but either way is good.) Tip well!

                                                                                                                                                  Vesper: I used to drink this all the time. But, again, you'd be surprised how many places don't have Lillet. Also, going back to your original concerns, this is as strong as a traditional martini. Even the Pegu is dang strong.

                                                                                                                                                  You're in Boston, right? I've stated above that many bars don't carry certain ingredients or the bartenders won't know how to make them. You can be fairly certain they will have everything and know how to make them at: B-Side, Eastern Standard, Chez Henri, probably Silvertones, Anise (new entry), probably Union, possibly Lucky's (depends on bartender). Several other places like that. Green St. A few others.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                                                                    yes, i'm in boston. actually, funny that you mention ES. their wonderfully vintage cocktail menu is what prompted this whole search. well, theirs and cuchi cuchi's.

                                                                                                                                                    now i know which ones AND where to order!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                      if you're in Boston, it's hard to top No.9 Park for cocktails

                                                                                                                                                3. Sazerac

                                                                                                                                                  1 sugar cube
                                                                                                                                                  4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
                                                                                                                                                  2 ozs. rye whiskey (I like Pikesville Supreme)
                                                                                                                                                  1 dash of Herbsaint or Pernod
                                                                                                                                                  Lemon twist

                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                                                                    Ooh yes. I only just recently discovered the sazerac and love it. As manly as a Manhattan, I'd venture to guess.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: adampaul

                                                                                                                                                      Agreed. Anything with rye automatically qualifies. When is this classic whiskey going to make its big comeback?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                                                                        It seems to be doing that here in SF - I've seen Sazeracs on several bar menus lately, and had never heard of it 6 months ago.

                                                                                                                                                        What other tasty drinks involve rye? I just have Jim Beam Rye now, as it was all I could find at Molly Stone's. It's alright, but I'm sure others are better.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: adampaul

                                                                                                                                                          Use rye in a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. Rock & Rye: (not the liqueur) 2oz rye, chunk of rock candy, juice of one lemon - stir until candy dissolves.

                                                                                                                                                          Wild Turkey rye is not bad. Anything from Van Winkle deserves a try and their rye is one of the best.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                                                                      I just wanted to say, after stumbling on this thread almost a year later, that I've tried and loved many of the suggestions given here, but by far my new favorite is the sazerac. what a fantastic, complex drink!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                        Sazeracs are excellent made with rye; made with cognac, however (a historically accurate variant, I believe) they are truly exquisite.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bat Guano

                                                                                                                                                          The Sazarac was originally made with cognac and was named after the brand of cognac it was made with. In the 1830's or 40's cognac became more expensive in New Orleans and Rye was used as a substitute.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: davebough

                                                                                                                                                            Yes! Sazeracs with rye or bourbon never did anything for me. Then a friend had a Sazerac tasting night to coincide with her absinthe score. The Sazeracs made with cognac were truly delicious.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Up With Olives

                                                                                                                                                              Sazerac with cognac?? Hmm... that could work really well. I'm glad I came back into this thread.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                                                                                I strongly prefer the rye version, but the Cognac version is also good. I love this drink, I wish that it was in every bartender's vocabulary -- especially now that Absinthe is back in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alpha_ori

                                                                                                                                                                  sazerac with absinthe at imbibe on hawthorn has been a good drink.

                                                                                                                                                    3. My father's drink was a manhattan made with Wild Turkey. I have no idea what is in a manhattan except the Wild Turkey - whatever that is. And he was...

                                                                                                                                                      1. I've since graduated to martinis, but for a while my "man's drink" was a screwdriver. If it's man enough for Ordell Robbie, it's man enough for me.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Scotch with ice. - Single Malt Scotch - Blended if it is aged at least 12 years, preferably 18.

                                                                                                                                                          Bourbon with ice.

                                                                                                                                                          Martini up, with Olives (ok, onions are acceptable). Gin or vodka with vermouth. Nothing else. These trendy flavored "martinis" are not martinis. A martini is not a martini just because it is served in a martini glass. Also, martinis should be served so cold that your teeth hurt.

                                                                                                                                                          Cognac - XO and above only - served in a snifter. Warm it with your HANDS, no other accessories needed.

                                                                                                                                                          Any of the above should suffice a gentleman.

                                                                                                                                                          Yes I know the original poster said "nothing too stiff" that's why we add the ice... and I know some will consider these drinks are stiff... but if you don't want a stiff drink, why are you drinking?

                                                                                                                                                          1. Reading this thread made me remember the time my husband, a girlfriend and I were at Cafe Atlantico in DC. He was (very lightheartedly) teasing the two of us for ordering something girly and then the drink he had ordered came out with a big ball of cotton candy in the glass! (It was designed to act as the sugar in the drink - the chef at Cafe Atlantico has a little thing for cotton candy.) Of course, being a sophisticated gentleman he downed it with aplomb and made it look plenty manly.

                                                                                                                                                            The liquor-based favorites of my cosmopolitan mid-30's guy? Sidecars, Margaritas on the rocks (which, when made properly, don't seem at all overly sugary,)the occasional Caiparinha, single-malt scotches and the occasional anejo tequila, neat.

                                                                                                                                                            1. As a thirtysomething female, I can tell you that I find it attractive when a man is comfortable enough to order and enjoy a "girly" drink (as long as it isn't a glass of white zinfandel, which seems both girly and eighties).

                                                                                                                                                              To promote her event coordinating business at a trade show, my friend served Pink Panty Pull-Downs, aka Cosmopolitans. Try bellying up to the bar for one of those! :0) LOL

                                                                                                                                                              1. When I was a twentysomething female, looking for a not girly cocktail for work functions (law) a scotch and soda always does the trick. The scotch has a little sweetness on its own. A gin and tonic is another classic, and nice for summer. Manhattan may be a bit stiff but they're always good...

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                                                                                                                                                  For you new Sazerac lovers: Many feel it was the original cocktail and gave us the name "cocktail" from the french name for the egg cup Peychaud served it in at his drug store.

                                                                                                                                                                  For a manly drink I would vote for a "Dean Martini"; Absolut on the rocks with a Lucky Strike regular.

                                                                                                                                                                2. probably 80% of the bars a 20something goes to don't have lillet, galliano, oranges and a sugar cubes for muddling, so we can't give our guy those tips (though those are good drinks). i'm 31, these are recent memories.

                                                                                                                                                                  Makers Mark Manhattan is fine. Or rye if they have it. The cherry is all the sweetness you need. Do not get sweet vermouth (most bars err on the side of dry vermouth).

                                                                                                                                                                  Also, dark and stormy's are not juvenile. In fact, I know a place in philly that imports random artisanal unlabeled ginger beer (sometimes infused with different fruits) and the staff will lift you on their shoulders as a hero if you bring in a good bottle of rum (it's byo too).

                                                                                                                                                                  All bars have wild turkey. Do not drink it as a shot. Drink it neat. It oozes character. The dearly departed Michael Jackson once said in response to, "What do you do if you walk into a bar that only serves Bud and Miller?" He responded, "I order a Wild Turkey." He's right. Every bar in this nation has it. I'm from the midwest and can vouch for this.

                                                                                                                                                                  martinis are not stiff. if it's a classy place, hendricks with a twist, all other places, beefeater with 3 olives. it was good enough for winston churchill and julia child.

                                                                                                                                                                  In general, your drink should match the establishment. If it's a dive, go for wild turkey or a simple gin and tonic, good place, go for manhattan. never order a captain and coke.

                                                                                                                                                                  also, bourbon is a good magic bullet. good ones taste sweet after awhile. experiment.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: joypirate

                                                                                                                                                                    joypirate, i'm spending a lot of time in philly these days and would love to know the name of the dark and stormy establishment

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                      Jamaican Jerk Hut. Some guy comes in once a week with a load of homemade ginger beer. Bring in a dark rum and the BYO rules are a-ok with someone bringing in a bottle of dark rum and they'll even mix it for you. If you care, this is the place featured in 'In Her Shoes.'

                                                                                                                                                                      Come to think of it, the homemade flavored ginger beers aren't at Jamaican Jerk Hut, they're at Caribbean Delight, also on south, they're the ones that are infused. I've never BYO'd there but probably no trouble. Jamaican Jerk Huts are just straight ginger beer, could be made by the same guy actually.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: joypirate

                                                                                                                                                                      I used to resist the sweet vermouth in a Manhattan as well, but I find that it's essential for a balanced drink. Bourbon or Rye and dry vermouth can get pretty harsh. The original Manhattan is made with sweet vermouth and the "Perfect" Manhattan with equal parts sweet and dry vermouths. Neither result in a "sweet" drink if the proportions are right.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. Caipirinah!

                                                                                                                                                                      Not only do look well traveled, but you teach the bartender something in the process.

                                                                                                                                                                      Viva Brazil!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. i've been drinking since I was ten and I stole a bottle of champagne from a church wedding and drank it in the parking lot with a friend. My drinks seems to go in cycles and I lean towards vodka, but here it goes.

                                                                                                                                                                        I spent three years ordering cape cods- most people don't order them and I never got any weird looks although almost everyone asked what they were.

                                                                                                                                                                        bourbon or scotch on the rocks or in a short glass with a glass of water.

                                                                                                                                                                        vodka straight-

                                                                                                                                                                        and for some reason whenever I order a kamikaze esp around my friends (or strangers) they smile cause they know I'm ready to get lit. Not sophisticated, but everyone likes someone who's willing to party.

                                                                                                                                                                        I would like to add that having a margarita on the rocks makes almost any tourist trap Mexican restaurant almost tolerable.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. A Manhattan made with Makers Mark

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. A real man drinks whatever the hell he wants, and doesn't give a damn about what the image-obsessed or the narrow-minded have to say about what he's drinking.

                                                                                                                                                                            My advice is to find a really great bartender, someone schooled in cocktail lore and history, who knows how to make proper drinks from every school of drinking since cocktails were first invented in the mid-19th century. (I think you're from Boston, which has several clusters of these talents: No. 9 Park, Eastern Standard, the B-Side, and Green Street, for starters). Talk to them about what kind of liquors you currently like, and let them give you an education in the form of a tasting course over several nights (or even better, a few quiet afternoons).

                                                                                                                                                                            Find a few cocktails that really appeal to you, and drink those. Patronize bars that are capable of making them. Don't immediately write off a bartender if s/he doesn't know how to make your favorite, but consider drinking elsewhere if they can't make a reasonable version after you've explained how to make it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Don't assume that sweet ingredients mean "girly", though obviously supersweet drinks get cloying fast. Good cocktails have balance, combining sweet, sour, bitter, and sometimes salty elements into an integrated whole.

                                                                                                                                                                            Learn a little about wine, enough to navigate a by-the-glass wine list without having to rely on the house wines, which are often pretty bad. A great glass of wine has charms to equal or better those of a well-made cocktail, and learning about wine is a lifelong pursuit that yields more dividends the more you put into it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Have a few fallback drinks -- simple highballs that any numbnut can make, like a gin and tonic with lime or an Americano -- so that you're not stuck drinking beer or bad wine in a bar where the staff's mixology chops are limited. You'll start to develop an instinct for whether a bar is capable of making a serious drink, but good bartending also crops up in unexpected places.

                                                                                                                                                                            Keep exploring and educating yourself -- try a new drink or at least a new liquor brand on a regular basis. It's great to have an Old Reliable, but you don't want to dig a rut for yourself, either. Spend some time on cocktail blogs like www.drinkboston.com ; these are loaded with tips on cocktails, bars, and commentary from star bartenders and like-minded lovers of serious drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                            Be respectful and a good tipper to great bartenders, and give them your regular custom. Be the patron the bartender wants to educate, to share interesting new cocktails and ingredients with. And go home before you're worn out your welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                              "A real man drinks whatever the hell he wants, and doesn't give a damn about what the image-obsessed or the narrow-minded have to say about what he's drinking."

                                                                                                                                                                              Best advice on the thread.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'd go with a Manhatten or stick with your Dark 'n Stormy.

                                                                                                                                                                                If any woman is going to reject you because you drink a DnS rather than whatever her litmus test drink is, well that is a woman to be avoided anyway. A calculated air of suaveness pales in comparison to actual confidence and being comfortable with yourself (and your drink).

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Another guy in his late 20's perspective for the classic drink (echoing what most have already said here):

                                                                                                                                                                                  If the bartender knows what they're doing, get an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Gin and Tonics (if they have Hendrick's gin, there's nothing better in the summer, IMO)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Gimlets (Sapphire is my go-to for this)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Johnny Walker Black with a cube or two of ice
                                                                                                                                                                                  Basil Hayden's bourbon also with just ice (not too 'stiff', only 80 proof, I think)
                                                                                                                                                                                  I personally love Dark & Stormy's and don't find them too juvenile, just fun...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Not sure how "classic" or sophisticated this is, but my go-to (when I don't want to think about ordering) is a Jack and Ginger; much less syrupy than a Jack and Coke and hard for even bad bartenders to screw up...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. This was posted about a year ago, so not sure if "cookie" would still be reading this. I liked reading everybody's response to what a "man's drink" would be though. My thoughts on it:

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Number one for a man is confidence and knowing who you are. Any drink ordered is gonna look "manly" when ordered with confidence.
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm 31 now and not as interested in the bar scene. I've mainly switched to wine for a variety of reasons. You want to try out your confidence, go into a bar and order a wine. The other night i was in the mood for champagne and got all kinds of looks from the beer-swilling hipsters. Again it's a confidence thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                    3. In my twenties I was more of a whiskey and beer drinker. People seem to think those are manly drinks, although I was just drinking them because that's what I liked at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ok but if you want the stereotyped man's drink I'd have to say anything whiskey - either neat, on the rocks, or with water.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Bourbon and water - classic. No ice, just bourbon and water.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Power's and water - Irish whiskey with just a little water to "wake it up". Big in Dublin.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Scotch - probably the ultimate man's drink, maybe more for older guys though. I don't think it will ever go out of style.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Gimlets are tasty. Gin gives me crazy heartburn though.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. i am most definitely still reading this thread, rife as it is with great ideas. i think the ambiguity of my OP invited a lot of psychoanalysis, which has been fun to read. i'm not looking to captivate women with my drink choice, nor to impress colleagues. i don't disagree with the "drink-whatever-the-hell-you-want" sentiments, but i do believe one's drink projects an image. i was simply curious what a modern-day cary grant (not that i fancy myself one) would nurse after a long day, and i think the responses have been terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad to see you are still with us. Great post by the way. And now that you mention "Cary Grant" I get the idea. Classic, sophisticated, etc

                                                                                                                                                                                        So let me turn the question on you, if I may. What drinks fit the bill? What have you been drinking in the past year since your original post? What sorts of sophisticated-but-manly concoctions can you share with us?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Budget Palate the Second

                                                                                                                                                                                          i've really taken to the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                          - sazerac
                                                                                                                                                                                          - negroni
                                                                                                                                                                                          - gimlet
                                                                                                                                                                                          - variations of the gin flip
                                                                                                                                                                                          - caipirinha, mojito or pimm's cup if the weather is right and i'm in a festive mood
                                                                                                                                                                                          - in strange lands with iffy bartending, i stick to an uninspired vodka tonic. i'm working on acquiring a taste for manhattans and proper martinis.

                                                                                                                                                                                          and i still drink dark and stormies.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                                            A great and fine list indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                            If you can get it where you are, give Vya vermouth a try in your Manhattans and Martinis. Both the sweet and dry. My wife described them last night as "revelatory." They really are. We use Knob Creek and Plymouth respectively but, honestly, any decent bourbon or gin is going to be seriously enhanced by these vermouths. I was really shocked at the difference having never paid attention to vermouth before. As soon as I took my first sip of a Manhattan made with Vya sweet vermouth I thought "of course someone was making great vermouth, I should have thought about this years ago."

                                                                                                                                                                                            My back up "not sure about the bar" drink is a Dewers and Soda, by the way, if you like Scotch.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                              I tried to like manhattans but they all came across as too syrupy/sweet to me. Then I recently read that the original manhattans were made with rye. Rye was knocked out by prohibition but is making a comeback.

                                                                                                                                                                                              It makes sense that the bitterness of rye would balance the sweet vermouth/cherry and make a great drink. So now I am on the lookout for a bar that serves the manhattan made with rye.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I have never been to a bar that serves a gin 'flip" but I want to try one.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Try a Brandy & Soda Highball - a gentleman's drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. For me, it depends on the season...
                                                                                                                                                                                          winter: Old Fashioned or Manhattan
                                                                                                                                                                                          spring: Mint Julep
                                                                                                                                                                                          summer: Vodka Gimlet
                                                                                                                                                                                          fall: Rye / Scotch / Irish Whiskey on the rocks and I know you said cocktails, but I really like seasonal beers in the fall (Oktoberfest beer + college football = happy times)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. You can't go wrong, as far as cocktails go, with either a martini,or a vodka martini, or with a good brand of whiskey (scotch or bourbon) on the rocks. You mentioned the martini wasn't what you were looking for, and if that's the case the "on the rocks" will probably be too strong as well. If so, just ask for scotch (or bourbon ) and water. For your request - a "gentleman's drink", the above list is basically it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            For a "good brand" ask around, and see what you like--don't try right away to buy some rare, really expensive stuff. for example--Johnnie Walker Scotch, Old Grand Dad Bourbon, Smirnoff Vodka, Beefeater Gin--they're available everywhere, and they're fine. You can branch out later

                                                                                                                                                                                            Good advice in some of the below posts as well-drink what you like and do it with confidence--you're smart, though, in trying to do your homework. Figure it out, then make it a natural part of you. Don't make it stilted or pretentious, and never stop learning.That's the key.

                                                                                                                                                                                            One poster said he had drinks for different times of the year-that's a good thing. Different occasions lend themselves to different drinks at times, although, again, do what you think proper. A good dark n' stormy at sunset when you're at the shore is hard to beat.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I vote for a Jameson on the rocks. That's my go-to drink when I'm put on the spot at a bar. Simple, tasty, not overly complex for an under-skilled bartender, and you won't feel like a prat asking for something overly complicated with 50 ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Depends a lot on the bar too. Too "gentlemanly" in a bad bar and you feel like a goof, not gentlemanly enough in a good bar and you can feel like a goof.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Be sure to take the stirrer out of the glass before drinking wherever the bar is.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. oh, hell, subvert the dominant paradigm and get a flirtini. all the girls will want to talk to you. manly men are a dime a dozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. old fashioned in the winter(not as alcoholic as my winter fave, a good manhattan) and G&T in the summer(same idea instead of a martini or negroni). But these are my likes. go with what you like

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Old fashioned, made to your liking with as much muddled fruit and bitters. I also favor a rum and tonic in the summer with a lemon wedge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Gin and tonic or Jack and Coke. Perfect for a guy like you. But since your original post was made 1.5 years ago, I'm guessing you're either married and drinking wine at home now, or a reformed alcoholic ordering ginger ales or classic cokes by name...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MichaelG

                                                                                                                                                                                                      OMG I have to start reading these dates.........................

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jspear

                                                                                                                                                                                                        don't feel bad; i still check this thread every once in a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Not too far from a 20 something but here are the drinks I go with if I am at a bar I have confidence in (I like Bourbon):

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Manhattan with Bourbon (on rocks if you can't handle it in a stemmed glass)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oldfashioned with bourbon
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Brown Derby
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mint Julep - this one I only order at a couple of places, it needs the right cup too
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bourbon Sidecar

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Places that I have never been to or just don't give off the good drink vibe, I usually go with a Manhattan or order a beer

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. When I was growing up, "gentlemen" drank whatever they liked. I don't recall that anyone was *ever* going to reproach Cary Grant, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, or David Niven about whatever cocktail they chose to drink, i.e., whatever I drink is by definition a 'man's cocktail" and that includes cosmopolitans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you went into a blue collar "working men's" bar, you could never go wrong however, with ordering a boilermaker or as I liked to use them, a depth-charge. Get your favorite shot of whiskey, drop it (with glass) into a nice pint of ale or bitters, and chug it. There you go, a manly man's cocktail.... Have 8 or 10 and get back to me......

                                                                                                                                                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fussycouple

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A French 75 strikes a great balance for a manly drink- the champagne (or sparkling wine, more likely) says that you aren't afraid of what might be considered an effeminate ingredient, but the general kick of the thing and the fact that it's named after a WWI-era weapon means nobody can really argue with you. French 75, all the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Two parts gin
                                                                                                                                                                                                          * 1 1/2 Ounces of Simple syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                          * juice of half a lemon
                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Champagne

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You'd better be able to hold your booze though- you won't believe the hangover you'll get after a night of these.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: romanvirtues

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is not a manly drink... no way, no how.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I sadly have to agree. It is a glorious cocktail, but not something I would put in the "manly" category if you're drinking them these days. The recipe culled from Wikipedia is terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 ounces gin
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 ounce lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 generous teaspoon superfine sugar (or 1/4 ounce simple syrup)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shake with ice, strain into a goblet with crushed ice, top with 4 ounces champagne.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My impression is that the 75 is not stirred or shaken with ice but rather stirred undiluted in the champagne flute then topped with champagne and lemon twist. That version packs a wallop (hence the name), which is why some people say it's a manly albeit sophisticated drink. I do like them but don't feel particularly manly with a champagne flute in my hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Icantread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In my cocktail references I have three different ways. It looks like you could go with build and brief stir, or shake and strain over ice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It could always be served in a cocktail glass instead of a flute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: romanvirtues

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This recipe is nonsensical: gin is in "parts", simple syrup in ounces. If that's supposed to be 2 oz of gin, this drink would be horribly oversweetened with 1.5 oz simple. No comment on its manliness: as I've said here before, you should drink whatever the hell you want, other folks' perceptions of it be damned, but this is a lousy cocktail recipe.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree that the whole concept of wanting a "manly drink" is a bit silly, drink what you like. But the OP wanted one, and the French 75 sure ain't it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know: the French 75 is gin-based, strong, was named after a piece of artillery, has an old-school flavor (the Champagne topper is a real Golden Age touch), and according to David Wondrich, was favored by the Lost Generation, so if you think Hemingway or Virginia Woolf, that's pretty manly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like this drink, have had good versions of it at Les Zygomates and Eastern Standard in Boston. Now, the Dirty Vodka Martini, that's an effete drink.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know that it is name after a gun, but anything with a champagne float is just not the manliest thing out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heck you want Hemingway, have a real Daiquiri straight up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do like real Daiquiris, though I suspect Hemingway came to them long after he left Paris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I believe the cocktail with a Champagne float dates to a time when women weren't allowed in many bars that served cocktails. Their early adopters must have been manly men.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, yes, yes, but just for the sake of being argumentative, this is 2009 and we are in the USA not on Montparnasse trying to perk ourselves up before a late lunch after a horrible bender the night before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No champagne floats, and anyone caught wearing a beret today looks a little silly too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          should have read through to the end here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you ever had a Ti punch? I make mine actually much like a daquiri, with added sugar (2/3 - 3/4 oz simple syrup) and a half oz of lime juice. Using Clement canne, it makes for quite a tasty drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Icantread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yah, first in the french caribbean. Done properly, no ice, they bring you a bottle of overproof cane rum, some lime, and cane syrup and you help yourself. That is manly to the point of dangerous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the coolest food vacations I have had on a tiny Island called Marie Galant. We'll have to discuss...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. like other posters, i'd recommend the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Old Fashioned
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sazeracs - these are good

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In LA, the Edison,Varnish make good Sazeracs. I know it sounds odd but banderas on wilshire makes an awesome OF

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another drink:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jameson Whiskey; tincture of cinnamon (yes, just a little); ginger beer (or pureed ginger); and honey...little sweet but a damn good drink

                                                                                                                                                                                                            amigo room in palm springs calls it Whiskey Ginger...its part of th Ace Hotel chain...very cool place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. So many opinions. Some good some bad. Here's my 2 cents:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Any good Scotch (Glennfiddich 15/18 yr, Chivas, Famous Grouse) or Bourbon (Jim Beam Black, Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey Rare Breed) on the rocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * A good brandy (VSOP or XO, some brands: Hine, Remy Martin, Hennesy).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Gin & Tonic

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Black Russian - Vodka & Kaluhua

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Godfather - Scotch & Amaretto

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Three Wisemen - Scotch, JD, Bourbon

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Quality Beer:
                                                                                                                                                                                                              You don't need a shot to go with your beer to make it manly. And sure you can order a Bud, but I'd save it for a sports bar or pizzeria (and even then I'd probably get something else). Don't get some trendy beer like Heineken or Pabst. Guinness is great but so typical. A lot of people also think Guinness is a strong beer, but it's a low alcohol stout only 4%. If you like lager try Pilsner Urquell, Michelob, Spaten, Grolsch. These are just ones that you'll find everywhere. For Ale - Stone IPA or Arrogant Bastard, Sierra Nevada, Fat Tire, Newcastle, any Belgian, any microbrew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Avoid any cocktail on a cocktail menu at a restaurant, or any blended cocktail or any cocktail that comes with fruity garnish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Martini's are classic, but too sophisticated for my tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              people that think Rum & Coke is girly are crazy, nothing wrong with rum and coke. If you want to make it more manly just ask for a double. BTW Bacardi sucks, ask what else they have if you get a rum and coke. Cruzan is a good alternative if they have it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And lastly.... real men shouldn't really care what anyone thinks, order whatever you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rayen99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cruzan is a lovely light rum indeed. Better than Bacardi by a country mile, and it costs much less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you'd like to try a wonderful variation on the Black Russian, try a Brave Bull some time. It's just the same, only with tequila blanco in place of the vodka. The herbaceous notes of the tequila pair surprisingly well with the Kahlúa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. A single malt with two ice cubes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                A Fuzzy Navel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. "- nothing too stiff (e.g. a martini)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - nothing too sugary (e.g. a margerita)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - something with character or sophistication (e.g. a sidecar?)" ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A "perfect" Manhattan ... insist on rye ... go with a *twist*.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Casual summertime ... cultivate a taste for bitters ... easy in ... Campari & soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (BTW ... there's nothing "juvenile" about a dark n' stormy with a sharp ginger beer).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree, a Manhattan is a classic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dark and Stormy also excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Campari and soda, not super manly, but a great drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      how about a Cornwall Negroni

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cornwall Negroni
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Created by Phillip Ward, Pegu Club, New York, 2005.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 ounces Beefeater gin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 ounce Campari
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 ounce Punt e Mes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 dashes orange bitters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 orange twist, as garnish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or Jamie Boudreau's Cobblers Dream http://spiritsandcocktails.wordpress....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: barleywino

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A tad elaborate for all but the most sophisticated bar tenders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          simply a matter of finding a bar with (or willing to get) the ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps the "man"-liest of things is being able to size the occasion ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and choose accordingly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd say that falls into the category of "gentlemanly", as opposed to "manly", which though I wish otherwise are often two very different things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I stick by my original assertion, which is that the manly thing is to drink whatever the hell you want, other people's opinions be damned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The gentleman will do so with a sense of the venue and the occasion, e.g., he won't: order a Whiskey Smash at the local shot-and-a-beer joint, drink Mind Erasers at an affair of state, pound 17 beers at the company holiday party, or avoid drinking at least one of (and complimenting) the host's elaborate and awful original specialty cocktail.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Further on that note, one of my favorite dumb gags, if I have had enough for the evening, and a friend is pressuring me to have "just one more" is to order a Shirley Temple. Never fails to get a laugh out of the bar tender.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              try ordering a "dirty shirley" --a shirley temple with extra maraschino juice instead of the cherries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lulubelle


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A dirty shirley, there's a manly drink if ever there was one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or maybe she's a character in a blue movie...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "The gentleman will do so with a sense of the venue and the occasion",
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                perhaps in spite of the fact that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "the manly thing is to drink whatever the hell you want, other people's opinions be damned."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A "basic" safety ... never brood in a dance bar, never dance in a dive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've done both, and I'm still alive to talk about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      so have I ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and I have the tooth count to prove it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The perfect old fashioned drink is the Old Fashioned if made correctly. The most important aspect of this drink is the first two ingredients. It starts with sugar, one single sugar cube. The second critical aspect is the bitters. They must be Angostura bitters. Enough Angostura must be used to totally saturate the sugar cube. When the sugar cube starts falling apart enough bitters have been added. Tell your barkeep this and make sure it is done. They hate doing this as the Angostura is a lot more expensive than the whiskey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You do not need expensive whiskey in this drink, rye will do as the dominate taste will be the Angostura. Do not have this drink with the muddled fruit. The fruit is only there for decoration.and gives you something to do with your hands after the drink is gone. If you happen to have a female companion, she might like the fruit which may lead to doing other things with your hands later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hate fruit and there is no companion in sight? Just order Angostura and whiskey but make sure they do the first two steps correctly. Make sure it is in an old fashioned glass with water full up. You will be a happy camper, especially the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Greyghost

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bar tenders just love being told exactly how to make a drink. Best way to win them over is to be VERY particular and tell them how to do their job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also you comments about women are charming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Greyghost

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There's "correct", and there's "hidebound by some weird idea of canon". Your recipe borders on fundamentalism, which I don't think most craft bartenders would agree to be constrained by. There are good rules, but your recipe seems to include a lot of bad ones, plus some misinformation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't think bartenders are under cost-control pressure with the bitters. By volume at wholesale, Angostura costs about as much as a mid-tier whiskey (maybe $40 for 750ml), and is used far more sparingly. The issue is that many bartenders just don't know what to do with bitters, couldn't conceive of a drink like the Trinidad Sour, which has twice as much Angostura as whiskey in it. I don't see the bosses leaning over their shoulders telling them to husband the Angostura like it's beluga.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also disagree with the notion that any whiskey will do, and the implied slur against rye as a second-tier spirit.. I prefer American straight rye, would point out that the original Old Fashioned was made with it, and in this drink would use a better one, a Baby Sazerac or Rittenhouse at least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm of the camp that believes in no muddled fruit at all in an Old Fashioned. But I'm not fanatical about it; if you like fruit in yours, I won't tell you that you worship the wrong cocktail god. But the comment about feeding fruit to a female companion, as though no man would eat fruit, is just kind of creepy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Water full up?" Does this mean you top off the glass regardless of its size? If so, that is just crazy talk.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. How about the tropicals? A strong Navy Grog or Zombie is not a girlie drink. These are the places to get them:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  California - Tiki Ti, Trader Vic's, Forbidden Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Las Vegas - Frankie's Tiki Room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Florida - Mai Kai

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. How about a girl scout cookie? Or a grasshopper? Or an orgasm? Anything with lots of kahlua or creme de menthe just screams manly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jaredbronski

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      *All* these work ... if you're slick as an eel from the scalp down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Am I the only one here who has absolutely no idea what you're talking about, Lefticle?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have no idea either, and have a slight feeling that Jared... was joking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took it that "if you're slick as an eel from the scalp down" meant "a woman" ... slick meaning no hair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. lately i've been making old pals at home:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1.5 oz rye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          .75 oz dry vermouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          .75 oz campari

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          probably fits the bill of the original request, not sure it is something most bartenders are likely to know, despite its long history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. This thread is awesome, some great ideas for cocktails I've never heard of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here is my list:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glenlivet or other single malt Scotch and water on the rocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Manhattan (I usually drink these on the rocks, though)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Original daiquiri
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gin & Tonic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Classic whiskey sour:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ¾ oz oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 tsp superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serve on the rocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also really enjoy a Tom Collins in the summer. Not sure how manly that is, maybe more gentlemanly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpyg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A Tom Collins is certainly manly in the summer! As is, for that matter, a Pim's cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As I understand, a "manly" drink should be clear or brown, so no blue curacao or other colored liquors. You should also be able to taste the liquor in the drink... so don't drown the flavors in juices/colas/a myriad of ingredients. Beyond this, it should be easily explained in ONE sentence, so it can't be too complicated or involve too many ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My personal favorite is "bourbon on the rocks, with a dash of water" Classy, classic, brown, and simple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. In Canada a Bloody Caesar has been popular for 20 years. We taught a bartender in Hollywood Beach, Florida how to make them & they became a local hit. They MUST be made with Mott's Clamotto Juice prefferably "The Works" flavor. An Old Fashioned glass is rimmed with lemon & then celery salt. 11\2 oz. voldka over cubes & top with Motts. Add a shot of Worcestershire sauce & enjoy. The womans version gets a cellery stick garnish & a tall slim glass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lindsaycan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I forgot the essential lemon wedge in the above recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lindsaycan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Canada it's easier to find Clamato Juice, but in the U.S. it's all about the regular Bloody Mary's. A different twist is a Bloody Maria using Tequila.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do miss my friend's Bloody Caesars. I remember the twenty years ago in Canada...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. This is now an out-dated question, and I'm sure that you've found your drink. I'm am going to give a couple of suggestions anyway. If you like strong but sweeter cocktails maybe trying a Rob Roy with a good scotch or an Old Fashioned. Having a GOOD bartender always helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Try to find a bar with all of those ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Continuing my rye whiskey education, I have been introduced to an alternative to the Sazerac I usually order.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Red Hook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 oz rye whiskey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 oz Carpano Punt e Mes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 - 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur (I like the lesser amount)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. If you like a Red Hook, you'd probably like a Little Italy, too:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Little Italy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 oz Rye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 oz Cynar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 brandied cherries skewered on a stick; flamed orange twist, Stir,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Straight Up, Cocktail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Like a manhattan on steriods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had not heard of Cynar and just checked it out on Campari's website. Very interesting. If I can't find a place that carries it I will buy some myself and try this cocktail at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Many thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you like Campari and Punt e Mes, you're going to love Cynar. I like it as much as Campari, and that' saying something. On the rock with, perhaps, a squeeze of lemon -- fantastic, and quite low in alcohol. Unless you live in a rural area, you should have no trouble finding Cynar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mother has heart condition which is exacerbated by alcohol. She switched from Martinis to Campari and Tonic. I can't wait to bring her some Cynar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An Americano (very popular in Venice, the recipe there seems to be equal parts campari, punt y mes, soda water)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just got this (as-yet-unnamed) Cynar beauty from Boston Apothecary on eGullet:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Boston Apothecary 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz Reposado Tequila
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz Cynar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz Vermouth (Rosato)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz Lime juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 ds Peychaud's Bitters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used 50/50 Carpano Antica / M&R Bianco in lieu of the M&R Rosato.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like Cynar plain with ice. Not sure I would want to cocktail it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. A classic man's cocktail is bourbon or scotch (preferably single-malt). If you don't care for those, you're not looking for a classic man's cocktail, you're just looking for a cocktail. Try a Rusty Nail or a Rob Roy. But seriously--develop a taste for Scotch. It's well worth it. Start with something sweet and easy like Dalwhinnie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: seiun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Much as I love a glass of whisk(e)y, it's not a cocktail. By definition, cocktails are **mixed** drinks - you've got to have another flavor besides the liquor involved. Whisky is an ingredient in many great cocktails, but by itself it's just whisky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. It seems like the more "manly" drinks usually have no more than 2 or 3 ingredients. You know, like 7 & 7, Rum & Coke, Gin & Tonic, etc. Nice, simple names that are easy to articulate when you're seriously ripped. Try to say "Sazerac" when you're really drunk and you're bound to get cut off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That said, I'd like to recommend a few concoctions:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bloody Mary: only if the bartender really, truly knows how to make it. Can look OK in your hand during breakfast, lunch, dinner or after midnight. And you get your vitamin A and C to help head off that evil hangover the next morning. Getting too wasted for the occasion? Ask the bartender for a Virgin Mary where the booze is left out. They'll never know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Margarita: not the atrocity from a blender, but a more original version made with tequila, straight (hopefully fresh) lime juice and triple sec or cointreau. Absolutely no sugar. Shaken and strained into a salt-rimmed glass. Tart, refreshing and there's that vitamin C one more time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chimayo Cocktail: previously obscure, but now becoming popular to the point where Emeril Lagasse has published his own version made with calvados (heresy!). Apple cider, tequila, lemon juice and a tiny amount of creme de cassis served on the rocks. It's amazing how good tequila and apple taste together. A good conversation starter with the ladies, and occasionally good for a free drink after the bartender goes, "what's that?" and you show him/her how to make one. I drink most of my liquor neat, but this cocktail is amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I would add to the list the Negroni Cocktail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz Gin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz sweet vermouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 oz Campari Bitters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you like Manhattans this is a nice change and a great way to set up a meal. I think that much the bad rap that vermouth gets both dry and sweet is the use of very low grade vermouth that has been opened too long. It doesn't keep at all unless refrigerated and then only a week or two. It doesn't have to be expensive, just freshly opened. The trend away from a martini being cold gin and an olive is very welcome. Not that I don't like very cold gin but it isn't as much fun as finding a well made cocktail with really good ingredients. Surprisingly few bar owners take pride in their work these days. Cocktails are a craft, in my book that is masculine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  By the way when you order a Manhattan you might want to specify Rye Whiskey, its usually dryer, a little acidic, and makes the best Manhattan in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Old Overholt neat in a dirty glass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or a paper cup. "You know, it just happens that I've got a bottle of pretty good rye in my pocket. I'd rather get wet in here."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Always loved that scene: pretty racy for the Hays Code era. I like the fact that Bogart's character drinks rye, which I suspect Chandler intended to mark him as kind of old school. Prohibition put America's once-dominant rye producers mostly out of business, so it was probably more work, more expensive, or maybe just more old-fashioned for Philip Marlowe to drink rye rather than bourbon at that point.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wonder, though, whether the reference might be to Canadian whiskey. Huge amounts of the stuff flowed south during Prohibition (the Big Sleep was published in 1939), and it still sometimes gets referred to as "rye."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you are probably right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looking at some Dale DeGroff history on whiskey in the US after Prohibition, I must conclude you are correct. Blended Canadian was the whisky that Americans longing for rye turned to when Prohibition killed domestic rye production.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's conceivable that Marlowe's "pretty good bottle of rye" was Seagram's 5 Crown or the nicer 7 Crown, which between them had a big chunk of the post-Prohibition whiskey market in the US until the 1950s, when bourbon gained more prominence.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I still prefer to think it was Rittenhouse (or at least Old Overshoes). It might not be historically correct, but sometimes revisionist history is the best history of all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not to hijack the thread, but was 7 Crown ever anything other than faintly whiskey-flavored vodka?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think you could charitably say that a lot of Canadian whisky lacks character. Which may be the point.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Ray Milland character in The Lost Weekend drinks rye, too. I thought it interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Manly cocktails?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A real man drinks what he likes, doesn't give damn what others think and is not trying to impress anyone with his choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jbuttitta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you're about five years late with this sentiment, but ... thanks?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, for the record...what's your poison these days, coookie? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the sazerac! but anything with rye whiskey, really. gin, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know this is a few months late but have you ever had an Old Pal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 ounce rye whiskey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3/4 ounce dry vermouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3/4 ounce Campari

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's "kind of" a variation on a Negroni

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The fun part is that mixology has evolved so much over the last five years. I agree that a "real man" drinks what he likes. But recent years have brought many new / old things to try and like (or not) that this thread continues to have legs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe you were drinking Aviations and Corpse Revivers and Boulevardiers in 2006. If so, you're far cooler than I can ever hope to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe I'm weird, but I do find most of the old-school cocktails, despite the norms of the time in which they may have been invented, distinctly feminine in practice. An Aviation...a Boulevardier...a proper Mint Julep...all seem to have a delicate interplay of floral, herbal, spicy and seductive notes that seem more reminiscent of Lauren Bacall than Humphrey Bogart.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What does it say about me that when I think of manly drinks, I think simple and strong? Daiquiri, salty dog, scotch and soda.... ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You may be right, but I'm certainly not going to complain - Bacall is far more appealing to me than Bogart ever will be. But that may just be the hormones talking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Complexity need not be feminine. And a good simple drink like a daiquiri (or a proper margarita) doesn't strike me as inherently masculine. Frankly, a good drink is a good drink, and gender is no excuse for a woman to order some girly crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Like I said, "what does it say about me"...I guess it says I like my men strong and (deceptively) simple. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess my point was more about delicacy than complexity. I mean, I find straight bourbon deliciously complex, but I wouldn't call it delicate. And while I would never find someone less manly for having some mint and simple syrup with that bourbon...I would definitely think he is more likely to understand me than if he just threw back a shot of it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess it's not so much what you drink, but how you drink it. I enjoy "masculine" drinks, and I enjoy "feminine" drinks, but I have no use whatsoever for "girly" or "manly" drinks. While I enjoy a beer and a shot as much as the next guy, I do sip both more demurely than most...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If points are awarded for being simple, I'm ahead of the game already...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hear what you're saying. A good whiskey sipped neat is a thing of beauty. But a cocktail is inherently a more complex thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well said alanbarnes. I've lost track of how many times I've been told by barmen "you don't order drinks like other women" all because I don't like sweet, "girly" drinks and tend to prefer classic cocktails. I've also been told by barmen that I can consume a remarkable amount of alcohol and come across completely sober...which is not exactly something to be proud of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sazerac, Manhattan, Martinez, pretty manly and old school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jbuttitta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Further, worrying about what "real men" do is not a marker of manhood. Be yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I personally don't see what is "juvenile" about a dark'n'stormy - dark rum and spicy ginger beer, made with a good one like Reed's it is not overly sweet and I like it quite a bit.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And by "dark rum", I'm sure you mean Gosling's Black Seal(R). And by spicy ginger beer you mean Goslings Ginger Beer (R). ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You gotta admit that a DnS lacks some of the je ne sais quoi of a Martini, no?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To be honest, I am not a huge fan of a regular martini - but I did try a sweet martini (I think it was called), with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth and liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dark and Stormy is an all time classic, and plenty manly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's very manly and quite delicious. But it's hard to get in many places. Most bars barely have ginger ale, never mind ginger beer, or dark rum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think it's more of a regional thing? They're not an everyday sight here in New York, but I think they're more popular in the New England area?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sanjacinto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess it depends upon where you go in NYC. I see them on bar menus all the time, and hear them ordered on a regular basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting. Just when you think you know a city...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sanjacinto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Over the past few months I have seen a variation of the dark and stormy on just about every fine cocktail bars menu. It's actually getting a bit overdone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            this is true. they were far rarer when i first posted this in ... 2006. good god.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. My future husband will drink anything, any time, but he will prefer drinking liquor straight, and he will lean toward classic whiskey-based cocktails.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like a sufficiently manly future husband, nice catch ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Although you are almost thirty now, here's a drink from the 1940's that I really enjoy ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gin Buck [in highball glass]:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 shots of gin [preferably one you wouldn't die penniless if you drank it regularly]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Half of fresh lime or lemon squeezed (into glass)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fill glass with ice (and shake)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Top off with ginger ale ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coookie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I drink them at least twice a week ... My favorite reasonably priced gin to use is either Boodles or regular Bombay [not the Sapphire].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hmm, maybe try a variation with Hendrick's if you have a juicer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Juice x amount of cucumber (not sure how much that would be) and put that in instead of the lime or lemon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure if the ginger ale would mix ok with that - but it sounds good to me in theory at least

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I read the entire thread. Drink some "Lion's Milk" for a manly drink and google it for more history(example only: ever wonder how the lion in the movies got his name, 'Aslan'). You can drink this powerful liquor made from anise by just adding a little water; it will make the liquor turn cloudy like milk. Raki from Turkey, Ouzo from Greece, and Arak from Jordan are all examples. Another one which was mentioned was the boilermaker. I do not like boilermakers, but you wanted a manly drink. By the way, I see absolutely no problem with champagnes, cavas, proseccos, constantias, sparkling wines, red/white wines, etc, etc. They are and can be manly. It takes a man(or woman) to understand the vast differences in these wines and their histories which is a very pleasurable experience. My buddy used to make mimosas(OJ & champagne) when we used to visit for wiffle ball games. It is a very good drink. I would choose a Tokaji wine(Hungary) from a 1990's vintage year or a vintage port from my year of birth(1970's) anytime over a shot dropped in a beer, but the choice is yours(and again, I don't like boilermakers//I can drink pretty much anything but I guess I am a wuss when it comes to them - maybe I should try again as it has been some years since then as I don't mean to put the solid drink down).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: creamsherry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wow, you really don't like boilermakesr, do you?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember the wiffle ball/mimosa crazE!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We played using tire irons w/ a strict release-on-contact rule.