You walk into a bar, go up to the bartender, and...draw a blank. So many bottles, so many options, but what do you want? *Definitely* not that Malibu and pineapple juice you've been falling back on since 2001. No, you want these:
Actually created for sailors as a way to prevent scurvy, this drink was later seen as an old person's cocktail—until its revival right about now. The drink is one part sweetened lime juice to four parts gin, so it's slightly sweet but packs a punch. And if you're already asking for limes in your G&T, consider this your new go-to.
Contrary to popular belief, a true daiquiri isn't anything that comes out of a frozen slushy machine. A shaken cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, the drink was often served in a frosty glass or over crushed ice (hence the slushy reimagining you see today). The more modern take is to serve it straight up in a cocktail glass.
Refreshing, tequila-based, and easy to make—this is the best alternative to ordering a margarita. (And please don't ask if it comes frozen.)
A Tom Collins is reminiscent of spiking a lemonade with gin. (Not that that's a bad thing.) It's honestly the easiest way to add some interest to your gin and soda order—and all bartenders should know how to make them. (Otherwise, run far far away.)
The drink was created in 1915 in New York, and we don't really know what else to say other than look at the ingredients. Gin and champagne? Be still our hearts.
The sidecar came to prominence in the '50s, and while whiskeys and cognacs are completely different spirits, they both ferment in a barrel and both tend to be a bit smoky in flavor. That, mixed with the sweetness of the triple sec and lemon, makes for a good strong drink.
These drinks are what put vodka on the map here in the States. Their bright taste (and the fact that they're easy to drink) make them a favorite for many—especially when served in their (correct) copper cup.
Long Island Iced Tea
This is a wild one, and definitely not for the weak. If you've lived out your college days mixing anything and everything you could find, consider this cocktail the sophisticated way to say, "I'll have everything behind the bar."
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Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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