So what drink do I order tonight?

I’m new to this whole bar thing, but due to some strange circumstances I’ve been having weekly trips to the local bar. I’m very interested in looking sophisticated and exotic, fairly interested in a good strong drink (I’m a girl, but at home I sip my vodka neat, so little grosses me out except the Campari orange juice I ordered once- blech!) and most definately interested in trying something new, but I don’t want to piss off the bartender too much by ordering something bizarre.

I’m not a big fan of whisky type things, but I’m cool with gin. I always appreciate seasonality, so a fall type drink would be good. But really it is all good.

So far my bar adventures have involved:

Tom Collins- yum, tastes like plants!
Gin and Tonic- Yum, tastes like fizzy plants!
Cosmopolitan- Blech, tastes like vomit.
Apple Martini- Yay, tastes like jolly ranchers!
Whisky Sour- Ewwww. Yuck.
Long Island Iced Tea- Yum. Ummm. Opps. Can’t walk straight.
Margaritas- Yum. Yum. Yum.
Tequila Sunrise- Better after a couple margaritas, but good.
White Russian- Yum, I feel like the Big Lebowski.

Last time, I ordered a Singapore Sling. The whole adventure went something like this:

“I want a Singapore Sling” I casually say to the bartender, trying to look as exotic and sophisticated as possible. He looks at me funny. Damn.

“Well, now, havn’t had that one for a while. I reckon I havn’t made one of those since nineteen ninty-two” He mutters as he starts pulling mysterious bottles out from the darker recesses of the bar. He holds them up to the light, turns them, sighs, and puts them back. He starts pulling out strange metal impliments, and opening drawers that give forth clouds of dust. The other patrons at the bar start looking impatiant as he matters and walks back and forth across the room. “Used to be a time when everybody would order Singapore Slings. I’d make fifteen, maybe twenty of them a night! Oh yes, the Singapore Sling. I ought to remember how to make them…”

Amazing. To think, there once was an unsung golden age of the Singapore Sling. And I’m treading on it’s nearly forgotten grave.

After a lot of controvery, a near fist fight with the other bartender, and a final consultation with “The Book”, the bartender pours some stuff, shakes some stuff, and hands me a tall red drink topped with a cherry. It tastes like Cherry Seven Up. He looks at me expectantly.

“It’s perfect!” I say, as if I’ve been slinging back Singapore Slings since I was twelve.

I’ve never had one in my life. I only ordered it to look cool.

So what is it tonight folks?

Keep it simple. Stone cold top-shelf gin in a martini glass.

I can’t offer you many specific drinks since I’m only 19, and as such can’t go to bars here in the US of A.

However, I was in Australia over the summer (great place. recommend it to anyone and everyone) and one night (well, LOTS of nights, but one particular night) we were in a bar. It was a Thursday, I believe, and there were about ten other people there, all of whom were playing pool or talking to each other, so the four or five of us were the only people at the bar. We started talking to the bartender, he asked what we wanted, someone said something to the effect of “I don’t know, what would you recommend?” and he started mixing up all kinds of weird shots. Anyhow, most of them were damn good, but I don’t remember any of their names. So, if the bar’s fairly empty, that’s a decent way to try a variety of drinks.

Of course, since all of the drinks you mentioned were cocktails, and my lengthy anecdote was about shots, so it might not really be all that helpful, but who knows. Gin and Tonics and White Russians are good, you’ve already tried them though. A drink which is quite good, but has no name as far as I know, is a screwdriver with a bit of cranberry juice. Not particularly manly, but since you’re a girl, that’s not a big deal.

Single malt scotch, neat.

Highland Park is nice, so is Glen Livet. I like Talisker, and Lagavulin, but they’re not really popular, but if you’re feeling adventurous…

Or maybe a Black Russian?

Or try these Classic Cocktails.

Suddenly I want to try a Whippet Gimlet. I have no idea what it is, but I want one.

I say order what you drink at home. Ice cold vodka neat. Ask for a vodka martini, no vermuth (sp?). When you order, request the best vodka by name. Many dopers here will tell you whats good in the vodka line. The bartender will be impressed (as much as they ever are) when you request a top shelf brand vodka and since it should be served in a martini glass you will look elegant and sauve with said glass sitting in front of you. If you need a garnish, ask for a lemon twist. Just the skip the James Bond line “shaken, not stirred”. Your style factor will drop right off the table. Here’s looking at you.

I suggest something with a smoky Caribbean flavor to it;

How about a hickory daiquiri doc?

Sea Breezes are good…I think its 1 pt vodka, 1 pt grapefruit juice and 2 pts cranberry juice (the mixer may be the other way round).

when I’m trying to be classy (note the word “trying”) I go as simple as possible. Vodka on the rocks in nice and easy (Danzka’s grapefruit vodka is easy to drink straight).

If its slow enough to get some personal time from the bartender, I definitely recommend a Scotch Old Fashioned. I’d ask for extra bitters and maracino juice. Its really yummy and has a very Rat Pack feel to it, IMO. THough when I say “yummy” I don’t mean to imply that its a girlie drink. It is not.

Why are you drinking to look cool? It’s that fairly fake? Why not just drink what you like, and to hell with what people who are shallow enough to judge you based on what you drink think?

That said, I like to drink martinis. And drinking them seem to make me very, very cool. People respect martini drinkers. Or, at least that’s what I think after five of them. :smiley:

OTOH, I definitely admire your willingness to get right in there and taste a lot of stuff you haven’t tasted before. Good show. Much better than sitting down and asking for a Bud Light because that’s all you’ll drink.

AFA vodka goes (like for a vodka “martini”), one of the new boutique vodkas is Hangar One. You probably won’t find it anywhere yet, but you can gain style points for asking for it. Very good stuff. As a second, you can ask for Grey Goose.

BTW, I love your desciption of a gin and tonic.

I’m a fan of Gran-Mar myself.

You like gin, go for a proper gin martini. Though a couple might put you on your backside.

Gimlets are quite nice, just gin with lime. Vodka gimlets work too.

Something softer, I like fruit flavored vodka with 7-up, goooood stuff.

I’d order a blue lagoon, or a golden Cadillac or a Caesar.

Play the “Surprise Me” game with the bartender! Back in my youth, I’d tell them something like “Make me something involving chocolate” or “Make me something with Baiey’s Ircish Cream.” When they’d asked if there was a particular drink along those lines I wanted, I’d just say “Surpise me!” I’ve been disappointed only once.

Patty, Who Now Wants a Mudslide!

The whole strange situation is an exersize in poser-dom and most assuredly calls for trying to look cool in the most geeky and ironically unironic way.

Unfortunately, I have a reputation as a cheap date to keep up, so the top shelf is way out of reach. And while sipping Winner’s Cup vodka straight is fine at home, I’m not sure if it’s something I’d subject myself to on a special occasion, so simplicity isn’t really key tonight.

I’m still not sure what to get, but you guys gave me some good ideas. Thanks y’all!

That is called a madras (spelling is optional) I think. Pretty tasty.

You might want to have a colored drink night. Go out with a bunch of folks to a bar with a friendly bartender and order drinks by color, as in, “I’ll have a red one.” I’ve found some neat drinks that way. Also, ask the bartender if they have any specialty drinks. (I’ve found this only works in smaller, less crowded bars where the staff isn’t constantly working.)

Although you’re on a budget, if you want to splurge, try some Van Gogh Wild Appel (not a typo). I think you’ll like it.

I keep meaning to try Courvosier, but never gotten around to it. Usually I get pints of Guinness or gin-and-tonics, but I also like good vodkas.

I really really like screwdrivers. Yes sirree I do. and when I’m not feeling cheap, I like them with Grey goose. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I don’t have any money. Just graduated from college.

Try a vodka tonic… think of it as a sorta G&T light, if you don’t like that fizzy plants taste.

If you want to try a shot that won’t kill you, a red snapper looks cool and tastes fantastic.

This is all remarkably sound advice, Dopers! Coming straight from The Bartender herself. :wink:

The one question I would suggest you NOT ask is, “So…what’s your best drink?”

I get this frequently, and it drives me nuts.

a.) People say I make a heavenly martini, for instance, but I myself hate martinis, so that’s not what I would say is “my best drink” because I don’t drink them. But if you like martinis, and you’re waiting for me to give you permission to order one from me, I’ve just totally lost you.

b.) It implies that I have inferior drinks. (Yes, that’s a nitpick, but dammit, after awhile you start nitpicking!)

c.) If I just go with it and say, for instance…“Well, my margaritas are kickass!” they inevitably say something like, “Oh, I don’t like margaritas/I wanted something stronger/I wanted something blue/I like sweet drinks, etc., etc., etc…” Which means there is no right answer and we’re not GETTING ANYWHERE.

So please do not ask me that. Or any other bartender, b/c I’m sure they all get it.

Tell the bartender what kind of drink you like (strong, sweet, sour, fruity, creamy, blue, red, orange, on the rocks, straight up, etc.) and tell them to make you whatever they want. This always results in tasty beverages if the bartender’s worth a shit b/c their pride is on the line. They want you to like their “concoction” or “invention,” so they’ll put extra care and trouble (and liquor) into it.

It works on me, anyway. :smiley:

If you want, you could also try these for a kick of flavor and coolness:

Long Beach Iced Tea (Long Island with cranberry and Sprite)
Vanilla chocolate martini (self-explanatory, and tell 'em to throw in some butterscotch, too…sluuurp)
Kahlua and Tuaca, on the rocks (This is one of my favorites)
White Russian with Bailey’s instead of cream (this is a Mudslide on the rocks but a lot of people don’t know that)
Brandy Alexander
Harvey Wallbanger (this is a classic that gives the bartender a chance to dust off that bottle of Galliano back there and it’s fun to say!)

And there are others, but that’s a “starter list.”

Have fun and tip well!