Cocktails for Men: Bar Drinks Guys Shouldn’t Be Ashamed to Order

“Shaken, not stirred.”

There aren’t many alcoholic beverages manlier than an ice-cold beer. In the explosion of craft brewing in the US, there is no limit to the amount of trendy, hop-fueled, session ales and Belgian-inspired Trippels. The same goes for the fans of domestic beers. Grab a twelve pack of Miller, Coors, Budweiser, Pabst or whatever you like and your manhood surely won’t come into question.

But what about the grown men who don’t automatically order the local, popular brew when they step into their neighborhood watering hole? Do we take away their man-card just because they have different tastes than us? Do we tell them that they are not worthy to grow a Paul Bunyan-esque beard just because they don’t like sipping a frosty lager? Do we fire them from their job at the auto body shop because they don’t appreciate a West Coast IPA? No, we let them order whatever they want because it’s 2015, a free society, and we don’t care what you drink. Well, we care a little bit.

A man should never feel ashamed when ordering cocktails at a bar, especially if it’s a bar known for cocktails. In that instance, you would look like a chump if you even considered ordering a beer. Cocktails for men aren’t easy to come by. You can go ahead and order a cosmopolitan, a sloe gin fizz, a lemon drop, a fuzzy navel or a sex on the beach. Just know that we will make fun of you. If you’re okay with that, go right ahead.

Manly Drinks to Order at a Bar


This is one of the most classic cocktails ever conceived. It’s a fairly simple combination of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. When you visit your local cocktail bar, the odds are they have their own variation of this drink. If you don’t trust their use of orgeat or would rather not have bacon infused whiskey, order a basic, classic Manhattan and prepare to enter a world of whiskey and magic.

Gin & Tonic

The gin and tonic is another classic cocktail, the perfect double act. It is a quintessential British drink that dates back to the 1800s when it was first invented by the British Army in India. “Quinine, the crucial tonic water ingredient, is a potent antimalarial and the British soldiers stationed in the Indian subcontinent were ordered to drink quinine water to ward off disease,” says Fever Tree Co-founder Tim Warrillow. If it’s good enough for British soldiers, it’s good enough for you.

Old Fashioned

Similar to the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned is one of the most classic, manly drinks to order at a bar. The differences lie in the core ingredients. The base of the Old Fashioned is still whiskey (usually rye), but instead of vermouth, it has simple syrup paired along with angostura bitters. Also like the Manhattan, cocktail bars usually have their own variation. Try whatever they list, I’m sure they know more about it than you. 


Any cocktail that is good enough for James Bond (see above) should be good enough for any man. Even if you aren’t a secret agent, you can appreciate the balance between gin and vermouth. You can change it up in a number of ways: exchange gin for vodka, dry (popular in 1920s and made with dry vermouth), dirty (a splash of olive juice) and a perfect martini (equal parts sweet and dry vermouth).

Whiskey Sour

A poorly made whiskey sour is a horrible drink. The cloyingly sweet, tart sour mix that you can pick up at your local grocery store just won’t do. Before you order one at the bar, ask if they make their own sour mix. If they don’t, move on to a different drink. If they do, you’re in for a treat, especially if they have their own take on the whiskey sour using unique, interesting ingredients.


There’s a big different between a strawberry daiquiri and some, overly sweet, frozen monstrosity than an actual, authentic daiquiri. The basic daiquiri is rum, simple syrup and lime juice and it’s a perfect drink for the summer. You can even feel secure ordering the house variety as long as it isn’t one of the aforementioned cloying, frozen eyesores.

Other Cocktails Guys Shouldn’t Be Ashamed to Order:

Cuba Libre, Mojito, Margarita, Long Island Iced Tea, and White Russians.