Party Life

15 Classic Bar Drinks You Can Order Anywhere And What’s In Them

If you’re no longer a freshman in college, I hope you’ve moved on from ordering vodka sodas at the bar. The bartender probably doesn’t take you seriously. Here’s a list of 15 classic bar drinks you can order anywhere and earn the respect you deserve; or you could just order these classic cocktails and impress your friends.

1. Martini

If you are a sophisticated girl like Carrie Bradshaw, then this is the drink for you. It’s usually made with gin but it pairs nicely with vodka as well. Ask for a “dirty martini, stirred, not shaken.” If you want it dry, there’s less vermouth. If you order it dirty, there’s additional olive juice added into the mix. Ordering a martini perfect has equal amounts of vermouth and gin in it. If you get it with a twist, you’d rather have lemons in your drink over olives.


Vodka or gin


Garnished with an olive

2. Old Fashioned

If you are a whisky-lover, then an Old Fashioned is something you should be ordering regularly at the bar. This is a drink with some serious force. This is a sweet yet tasteful cocktail.


Bourbon or Whiskey


Club Soda


Muddled Cherries and Oranges

3. Manhattan

Talk about a classic whiskey cocktail not to be fucked with. This sweet cocktail is always great after a long day of work to unwind. These cocktails are severed straight up in a cocktail glass and garnished with a Maraschino cherry. They’re shaken, not stirred and strained into a chilled glass. This is a seriously business-esque drink. Basically you work on Wall Street if you sip this cocktail.


Bourbon or Rye

Carpano Antica vermouth

Angostura Bitters’

4. Sidecar

This is the only good cocktail to emerge during America’s worst nightmare; prohibition. Picture jazz filled nights and a seriously suave ambiance. A sidecar is perfect for this type of occasion. It’s a great introduction to brandy if you aren’t already a fan. These cocktails are made with Cognac, but sometimes with bourbon. Order one and you are going to look like one sly chick.



Lemon Juice


5. Dark and Stormy

This drink isn’t too impressive but it’s always fun to say. You definitely have had a combination of it in one form or another. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but you’ll get used to it, especially if you like rum.


Ginger Beer

Dark Rum


6. Mind Eraser

The name is fitting. If you are looking to have yourself a night, your go to is right here. This drink is served usually served in a glass or as a shot. What’s it taste like? Coffee! It very well might just keep you going all night. Although it’s only three ingredients it’s bound to get you rocked.




Club Soda

7. Mojito

Looking for something a bit more refreshing? A mojito can do you no wrong. This is a pretty simple drink that can’t really be fucked up. If you love lime and mint, this is your calling. It’s a cocktail that tastes more on the crisp side and is downright tasty.


White Rum


Soda Water



8. Cosmopolitan

Another classy as fuck drink. This drink is the lovechild of the Cape Codder and the Sidecar. Thanks to Sex in the City, you all know this classic cocktail… or should. Feeling fancy on a GNO (girls night out)? A cosmo is sure to shake things up for you.


Vodka Citron


Cranberry Juice

Fresh Lime Juice

9. Whiskey Sour

This drink is a classic bar drink that will have bartenders questioning if you truly are 21. No offense if this is your go-to. It’s essentially a drink that plays it safe and very sweet. People claim it’s a balanced drink but it’s not. It’s essentially amaretto and sour mix. If you are in the mood for a cocktail that’ll have you puckering, go for the whiskey sour. Tip: sip-slowly.



Fresh Lemon Juice

Simple Syrup

Angostura Bitters

Egg White

10. Mai Tai

In the mood for a seriously fruity and playful cocktail? The Mai Tai is sweet and a classic bar drink favorite. This is more of a beachy drink that goes well in tropical settings. It’ll make you want to throw on a leigh and have yourself a party. It’s served over ice and stirred and usually comes in some sort of a funky glass.


Bacardi Light Rum

151 Rum

Orange Curacau

Lime Juice

Orgeat Syrup




11. Negroni

This is a pre-meal drink that originated in Florence Italy. This is drink has a serious zing after-taste. It’s a simplistic drink. It may look sweet but it is strong and bitter. Don’t expect syrup to mask any flavors in this one. This drink is perfect before a large meal. Seriously, drink it before a large meal, not some sort of snack.




See Also

Sweet Vermouth

Orange Twist

Prosecco (optional)

12. Pisco Sour

In the mood for a light classic bar drink? A Pisco Sour is exactly what you would expect based off the name. It has a sweet aftertaste with hints of grape or apple. If you are looking for a casual sip, this classic bar cocktail is the one you should be ordering.


Peruvian Pisco

Lime Juice

Simple Syrup

Egg White

Angostura Bitters

13. Mint Julep

This drink has a smoky taste to it. Don’t know what I mean by this? Then maybe you order it. A mint julep, like its name suggests, has a minty taste to it but is combined with a liquor we know to be a bit more harsh: bourbon. If you are looking to make this drink a bit less sweet, ask the bartender to throw in some lemon juice. They are rich and syrupy and decently delicious.


Mint Leaves

Bourbon Whisky


Powdered Sugar

14. French 75

This is a combative and deceptive cocktail. While it looks dainty and fizzy like a mimosa, a single drink can give you a nice buzz. Word on the street is taking a sip of a French 75 is like getting shelled by a French 75mm gun. Intriguing right? If you’re in the mood for a boozy and bubbly cocktail, this will do the trick. You might even feel a bit like Ella Fitzgerald. How classy. This is a better and more interesting take on the classic bar drink we all sip at brunch: a Mimosa.



Lemon Juice


Simple Syrup

15. Long Island Iced Tea

It’s a classic, but definitely low on my list of drinks to order in a bar. In fact, it’s the at the absolute bottom of my classic bar drinks to order. If you are in the mood for a drink that dates back to the 70’s perhaps this is your go to. No it doesn’t taste any tea, but it’s got a similar taste. It’s got an eclectic number of ingredients in there. This drink reminds me of the Jersey Shore honestly. Heads up: bartenders usually use the lower-shelf stuff. Order yourself a Fiji Island Iced Tea instead.






Triple Sec

Sweet and Sour Mix


What are some other classic bar drinks you love?! Drop us a line!!
Featured Image Source: Lauren Ross Photography



Hi, I'm Leah, a Los Angelino living in Boston! I'm a grad from Northeastern University with a Bachelors from the College of Arts, Media and Design. I'm obsessed with going on adventures, photography, writing, being a Taurus and finding hidden gem restaurants, musicians and places to travel. I live for tacos and you can't keep me away from a cute farm stand. I also live for Instagram ... oops!

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