Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Feb 15, 2012 10:39 AM

Help finding a ubiquitous cocktail for a booze hater

I am a scotch and bourbon drinker and will always happily drink some variety of those beverages on the rocks or a Rob Roy. My girlfriend, however, does not have a taste for hard alcohol, though weirdly she does like specialty cocktails from various bars and restaurants. More specifically, she does not like the flavor of the booze itself (martinis, gin and tonics) to be the primary flavor of a drink. She does like a variety of drinks such as a dark-and stormy where the ginger takes the primary flavor. But, when you go to a new place and try some specialty cocktail, it is often 50-50 on how good it is, and whether or not the primary flavor is the booze and whether she actually likes said drink. Thus, getting a drink with her can be pretty hit or miss depending on the establishment. So, my question is: what drinks would people recommend that are A) ubiquitous enough to be able to order at any bar? And B) whose primary flavor isn’t just the booze itself?

My first thought is something along the lines of a negroni. Where the flavor comes from the aperitif, and isn’t overwhelmed by the fire of the gin. Any other suggestions besides a screwdriver?... Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A cosmopolitan is probably a safe bet, the cranberry and orange flavors should be stronger than the vodka.

    I can't recall the name of the drink, but 2 parts sambuca to 3 parts of coffee liqueur, served over lots of crushed ice is amazing... if you like coffee and licorice, of course.

    1. Maybe a grasshopper or a white russian.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        The Dude seconds the white russian

        1. re: scubadoo97

          If you are going to go with a creamy drink there are several that are very good, though they tend to be sweet. Brandy Alexander or Brandy milk punch are two I like, but are definitely very dessert-like.

          Or this one - tastes much better than it sounds

      2. If she likes the ginger flavor of a Dark and Stormy, she may also like a Moscow Mule or possibly a Pimm's Cup.

        4 Replies
        1. re: karma belle

          I've found it tough to get a decent Dark & Stormy or Pimms. Most places try and pass off that disgusting soda gun ginger ale for Dark & Stormy and precious few bars have the right ingredients on hand for a Pimms Cup. Both are pretty seasonal too, not my first choice in the colder months.

          Gin-based I know but I'd recommend either an Aviation, French 75 or a Fitzgerald. If any of these are made right, they won't taste strongly of alcohol at all.

          1. re: Pedr0

            Sorry, I live in Austin and I forget that other parts of the country experience winter. Luckily, there is a crazy cocktail scene here and many bars make their own ginger beers/ales etc.

            I will second the Aviation or French 75 suggestions. Those are my go-to drinks when I try to convince the "I'm not a gin drinker" types to try something new that doesn't taste like gin.

            1. re: Pedr0

              My SO likes a well-made gin buck ...

              1. re: Pedr0

                Also recommend a French 75, or any Champagne cocktail. Or for that matter, just a glass of Champagne!

            2. A Negroni is booze, booze & booze, how about an Americano if you think she would like Campari.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                Campari is definitely riding the bike without training wheels ...

              2. how about a kava bowl or rum keg (trader vics and/or beachbum berry)

                Probably couldnt order those out but could make them at home with not a ton of effort and you already know she likes rum since the dark and stormy is a winner