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Feb 21, 2012 08:17 AM

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

I need some help finding a GREAT SOLID drink for a man (not kid). Heres the deal during college it was easy to get by with some well vokda and whatever (mainly redbull) .. After college I got more into a craft beer scene... However I need a good solid cocktail to order when out with clients or dates etc..

Please try to keep the suggestions realistic, meaning nothing rare or exoctic that won't be available at a typciall lounge.


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  1. Assuming that as a craft beer drinker you are accustomed to a certain level of bitterness, I'd say that a Negroni would fit the bill. It's equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth if you want to try making them at home first.

    18 Replies
    1. re: TongoRad

      +1 on the Negroni. It is, in my opinion, close to a perfect drink:

      - Tastes fantastic
      - Sweet enough to be easily approachable
      - Bitter enough to be sophisticated
      - Low enough alcohol to work as an aperitif
      - Enough alcohol to work as a digestif
      - Nice color
      - Can be served equally well either up on on the rocks, depending on mood, bartending skill, and so on
      - Requires no garnish, but garnish would totally not be out of place
      - Easily made, almost impossible to screw up (*almost! -- if your bartender doesn't know how to free pour, insists upon free pouring, and screws up the ratio it will be less than stellar. But even out of balance it's still totally drinkable)
      - Generally possible to get just about anywhere (alas, some bars don't carry Campari, but most do)
      - Easily tweaked, fun to experiment with

      ... I think that about says it all. Happy drinking!

      1. re: davis_sq_pro

        I like a Negroni, but I have found that a lot of places don't carry Campari. Even a few higher end restaurants have surprised me by not stocking Campari.

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          Yup, lack of Campari is one problem. Stale vermouth is, possibly, a bigger problem. As JMF mentions below, if you're in a beer place, order a beer. But I kind of thought that was obvious :-)

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            Maybe it's a regional thing, but I tend to see Campari everywhere these days. What's even nicer is that in the past decade or so I'm also seeing a lot more Averna, Ramazotti and the like.

            I also see nothing wrong with getting a beer, though. Heck, SNPA is common enough that you'll find it in non-beer places, and I'd be happy with one of those any day of the week.

            1. re: TongoRad

              My husband told me a Negroni is a girly drink, anyway. Men drink beer or single malt scotch, at least according to my husband.

              1. re: jeanmarieok

                I'm officially emasculated. Truth be told I usually drink red wine in business situations. Or beer, depending on the establishment / situation.

                1. re: jeanmarieok

                  your husband is wrong, to say the least.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      My husband is a man's man, for sure. Says him, a Negroni isn't a man's business drink because it's fussy. He runs a successful tech company, and has business dinners all the time, in the US and the UK. The most successful people he deals with drink scotch, beer, wine, or no alcohol at all. In that order.

                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                        I agree with his list, based on my own experience. But it's important to not confuse correlation with causation.

                        Those are the most common and accessible drinks usually available, so it's no surprise that they're quite popular equally among both successful people and not so successful people. That doesn't mean that other choices of beverage are telling. We could drill a bit further and look at, e.g., the beer drinking population alone, and perhaps focus on those who primarily drink American light lagers. Comparing that list to, say, people who frequently order a Negroni, would be quite interesting -- and I suspect would tell an entirely different tale.

                        Anyone have a source for this data? :-)

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          Doing the field research could be fun.

                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          Well, if your husband's idea of a manly beer is something like Miller Lite then I'll just have to put that in the "taken under advisement" file.

                          1. re: TongoRad

                            I thought Miller Lite was tripple hops brewed...hahah

                            I really did not want to start a MANLY drink argument, I just wanted to try some new drinks out.

                            1. re: Augie6

                              Yeah- I got that you were looking for something a bit more, how to put it, 'mature'(?) than your college days experiences, but not necessarily mui-macho.

                              I'd bet that a lot of this thread was put out there with a bit of a wink and a nod (like that last post of mine), but sometimes these things do take on a life of their own.

                              Bitters (and amari) as well as single malts tend to be a real natural step for craft beer drinkers, so hopefully you've gotten some useful suggestions so far.

                              1. re: Augie6

                                Miller lite is triple hops brewed to a whopping 7 IBUs! The threshold for humans to detect hops is about 12 and the minimum for true Pilsner style is 25 or 35.

                    2. re: davis_sq_pro

                      I agree with everything that you've said here, except the low enough alcohol part. I mean, it has 3 ingredients, and all have alcohol.

                  1. Man's drink? Character? 7&7 (seagrams 7 and 7up or a variation is the presbyterian, half 7up half soda), maker's mark and water (or on ice), gin and tonic, and what's simpler, manlier and more classy than chivas or dewars on the rocks? NOTHING! Even a martini is appropriate, a REAL martini, not a tarted up, snooki-like, overly sweetened chic drink. Leave the negroni and the skirt for your sister. What do YOU like? In the end, you have to enjoy your cocktail

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                      Okay, Archie Bunker, enjoy your highballs. I'll be over here sipping my girl drink and chatting up your daughter.

                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                        I think Archie was a strictly a beer guy, no? I don't think any lady would take seriously a guy drinking appletinis. Whether right or wrong, it is an inconvenient and bitter truth that others are judged by how they look, their clothes, their drink, etc. So when out with a client, it's not their job to distill the "inner me." If I want their business, it's my job to blend, and present a professional persona. I want to be remembered as the guy who closed the deal, not the guy who ordered the fuzzy navel

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          I second the dewar's (only with a splash, not on the rockks, for my winter drink; G &T for summer (some upscale gins give us yet another asrgument or discussion...I like Sapphire

                          1. re: betsydiver

                            HA! that reminds me of a phenomenon I noticed once in Boston, the homeless guys seemed to prefer Listerine and we heartlessly joked of one dismissing the mint flavor, growling: "ahhh that's a summer drink"

                            1. re: betsydiver

                              yup, a nice G&T is a taste of summer, nice in the winter once in a while to chase away the cold weather blahs

                              1. re: betsydiver

                                My Summer gin drink is a Gin Buck, although I wouldn't turn down a G&T ...

                          2. re: BiscuitBoy

                            Well that's, like, your opinion, man.

                            There's a pretty huge difference between the appletinis, fuzzy navels (or white Russians, if you will) of the world and the negroni, and I don't recall anybody in a skirt ever ordering one around me. It's usually guys like Luca Brasi and Clemenza.

                            1. re: TongoRad

                              Clemenza maybe, he was always a little on the flamboyant side, (or "shpakone' in the dialect)...I more picture Luca ordering a grappa

                          3. Order a drink based on the type of place you are in. If they specialize in beer, order a beer. If they are a wine focused place order a wine. If it is a fine cocktail place, read the cocktail menu and order what strikes your fancy. Don't let yourself be pinned down, develop your own tastes, try new things. Talk to the bartender or server to get a read on the place. If they are clueless, then get something real simple like a gin and tonic or bourbon on the rocks. I say, don't let a date or business meal dictate what you order.

                            Oh, and "A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character" is nonsense. Your character tells volumes about your character.

                            34 Replies
                            1. re: JMF


                              There isn't a client or woman anywhere on the planet who bases their opinion of you solely on your drink.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Not solely, no. But to say that your choice of drink -- be it a shot of whiskey or a glass of milk -- doesn't say *something* about you (and perhaps quite a bit) is clearly not the case. I agree with the OP that it's not appropriate to order a Red Bull at most business meetings. At least, not at the kinds of meetings I'm forced to attend. If your experience differs, I'd love to know if your company is hiring!

                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                  there are those who, for various reasons, don't drink alcohol at all. They are not obligated to tell anyone why they are not drinking --it could be as simple as avoiding interactions with prescription medication, keeping a clear head during important negotiations, or as complex as a recovery from the depths of alcoholism.

                                  If the information as to *why* someone ordered what they ordered isn't offered up, it's not for anyone else to ask, second-guess, or judge.

                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                    You guys are jumping on davis square like he's an idiot for suggesting that what you order says something about you. Of course it does...or at least it can. This is planet earth...we are human beings...people make all sorts of assumptions about people based upon what they eat, drink, watch, do for hobbies, etc etc etc (rightly or wrongly). If you're out to a business dinner and you order a Shirley Temple...sorry...that is DEFINITELY saying something about you...

                                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                        Nobody says you can't giggle a little (privately, please) at a Shirley Temple...but as above -- you probably shouldn't assume anything, as we all know what assume does.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          As a female bartender, I will absolutely judge any man or woman that orders a Long Island Iced Tea.

                                          1. re: karma belle

                                            Karma: And what do you judge them as .... ? LOL

                                            1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                              yeah, i get the irony of that one! But it does pose an interesting question... After years of being unjustly judged by others, maybe I chose a vocation in which I can also unjustly judge others simply using their food and drink choices as criteria.

                                              But seriously, a Long Island Iced Tea has no discernible flavor profile other than booze, booze, and more booze, with a little citrus and cola for color. It was voted as the drink most deserving of being buried at last year's Tales of the Cocktail Conference in New Orleans. There was a funeral procession through the French Quarter leading to the cemetery.

                                              1. re: karma belle

                                                Karma: If I ordered a gin buck at your watering hole, then what does that say about a 42 year old man from the Upper Midwest? Just curious (and further think your response might be funny) ....

                                                1. re: karma belle

                                                  Yeah, this is good...we can use you...

                                                  I just ordered a Sazerac. Thoughts?

                                                  1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                                    Favorite cocktails: a) Sazerac; b) Negroni.

                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                  A lot of ra-ra for Negroni's but I find they can be awfully strong to drink in a business situation. Particularly in a bartenders hands who doesn't make them often. What's wrong with Campari & soda? Hope the bartender throws in a lime slice (don't want to have to ask) and it's light and easy to sip and conduct business. I've drank them for 20 years since bartending in Europe & the mid-east. Is it too pink? Only if you're insecure enough to think so. And if you need image it's very European.

                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                          i don't judge someone's character based on their drink of choice (or their choice NOT to drink at all), but i confess that i *will* immediately write off any guy as potential dating material if he orders something ridiculous like an apple martini or cosmopolitan. i like my men masculine :)

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            I didn’t say that I judge each and every guest at my bar by what they drink. If you truly enjoy the flavor of an apple martini, then order it with conviction and stand by your choice. My brother in law drank cosmopolitans because he really liked how they taste. Then, someone made fun of him for drinking “Sex and the City” panty droppers and he stopped ordering them. I mention the LIIT because its only purpose is to get you drunk, as I have yet to hear anyone convince me of how much they enjoy the way bottom shelf rum and citrus liqueur co-mingle with grain alcohol masquerading as vodka and botanical laced crap gin topped with soda gun mixers. Yeah, sure, you can make top shelf LIIT, but what’s the point of mixing good liquor in that fashion?

                                            On that note, I also judge people that order Grey Goose with Red Bull… why mix good booze with sugar and “taurine” laden mixers?

                                            But I digress. Bottom line - order what you want, and do so with a straight face and an even stare. Same brother in law also orders his steaks well-done and covered in ketchup, but he has never once apologized for that. Why should ordering a drink that you actually enjoy be any different?

                                            To answer your direct questions, hawkeyeui93, I would congratulate you for not succumbing to every Austin visitor’s preconceived notion that you simply have to go to 6th Street to get a drink, and I would mix your gin and lemon with pride as I told you about all the other amazing bars you should try while in town (Congress/Bar Congress, Peche, Eastside Showroom, Haddingtons- which is actually on 6th, but further to the west of the usual 6th street scene). MidCoast, Sazeracs are awesome, definitely a “classic drink in the now,” what with the cocktail revival scene nowadays, and was it made with real absinthe, Pernod, Herbsaint, or something of the like?

                                            I fear that the phrase “real absinthe” may spark another age-old debate but oh well…

                                            1. re: karma belle

                                              "Bottom line - order what you want, and do so with a straight face and an even stare."

                                              shit yeah. get a scotch rocks and demand an umbrella. order a pousse cafe with a beer back (Schlitz?).

                                              it is the sincerity and assuredness that are mostly registered. or screw it and get a G&T

                                              1. re: hill food

                                                Years ago, a 300 lb member of Lil Bow Wow's entourage walked up to my bar and ordered a strawberry margarita with a peach schnapps floater without batting an eye.

                                                Sometimes, the heart wants what it wants.

                                                1. re: karma belle

                                                  and I'm guessing nobody in the room said anything about it, either.

                                                  If a real estate salesperson sat across from me and ordered a Shirley Temple or a Mai Tai with an is too short to spend my time or energy worrying about what someone else wants to drink.

                                                  (a blow-job shooter would be an issue -- not because of the booze, because if you were to order the same stuff in a cocktail glass straight up or over ice, nobody would blink -- it's because shooters, and in particular the way that bjs are consumed -- that would raise eyebrows. THAT becomes more of a behavior-related issue, and considerably less of a what's-he/she-drinking issue.)

                                              2. re: karma belle

                                                @karma belle, you do realize my post wasn't directed at you...? it was a response to sunshine's remark, "There isn't a client or woman anywhere on the planet who bases their opinion of you solely on your drink."

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  You're free to define your own dating rules however you like.

                                                  I've dated some very masculine men who not only just preferred sweeter drinks..but were assured enough of their own masculinity to drink whatever they felt like ordering.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    Please tell us honestly that you wouldn't bat an eyelash if this man you are with on a first date orders blowjob shooters. Or if you are a business owner looking to potentially do business with this man sitting across the table from you. Honestly.

                                                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                                      it's because shooters, and in particular the way that bjs are consumed -- that would raise eyebrows. THAT becomes more of a behavior-related issue, and considerably less of a what's-he/she-drinking issue.

                                                      If you poured Amaretto and Bailey's over ice and finished it with a splash of cream, nobody would blink.

                                                      If you poured it into a cup of coffee, several other people might order the same thing.

                                                      Plucking the glass from between the legs of the bartender with your lips? That has nothing to do with what's in the glass.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        You can order a blow job cocktail, without going through the silly process of the frat girl drinking ritual.

                                                        Hello barkeep, may i please have a blowjob cocktail served in a highball glass?

                                                        Just the ordering of that drink, by that name, should disqualify you as a a potential mate or client.

                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                      i ended my comment with a smile to indicate a lighthearted tone...which obviously didn't translate. people seem to be taking this thread more personally than i would have expected.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        throwing up my hands wasn't directed at you, ghg -- in this particular sub-thread, I've sort of lost track of which comments are replying to which comments, even with the re: references!

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          heh :) i know - this time i was addressing your reply to me about defining dating rules...and just making an additional general observation about the sensitive reactions throughout the thread.

                                                  2. re: karma belle

                                                    Gray Goose is expensive booze but not necessarily good booze. Good marketing? You bet!

                                                    1. re: karma belle

                                                      karma: Liked your answer. I haven't been to Austin in a while (in fact, my last visit was in 2006), but I used to enjoy going there about six times a year when I lived in West Texas ....

                                                      1. re: karma belle

                                                        "why mix good booze ..."

                                                        You say that as if Grey Goose is "good booze".

                                                  3. re: JMF

                                                    Agree with this also.. you should worry more about ordering the wrong kind of drink for the establishment. My standard is a good Irish whiskey with a splash of water if they have a good selection- if not, a gin and tonic. Simple, classic, and not at all froofy.

                                                  4. How about an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. Do you like Scotch? Either order a scotch you like on its own or in the alternative, a Rob Roy ...

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                        I'm with you...order a single malt on the rocks and nobody will question your masculinity.

                                                        Though...when does it stop being a "cocktail" and start becoming a "drink"?

                                                        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                                          Order a single malt on the rocks and someone is liable to question why you're "ruining" it with ice. There is no escape!

                                                          When does it stop being a cocktail? Historically, when it no longer contains bitters. Today, it's a much tougher question. But I work around the issue by simply putting bitters in anything and everything.

                                                          1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                                            "Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters."

                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                              is it just me or do I feel twisting and binding occurring in my undies?

                                                              if my post is still up tomorrow I'll report me myself. within this strict approach one would dare not sit down (ouch).