Food & Drink

These Are the 10 Most Popular Drinks to Order at a Bar

It's time to learn the bar basics.
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Unless you're still an undergrad, it's time to move on from ordering rum and Cokes or vodka sodas at the bar. After all, you're a grown-up, and you should be drinking grown-up drinks. Especially if you want that busy bartender to take you seriously. Here are the 10 most popular bar drinks from last year, according to Drinks International—beer and wine not included—which every person with a love for good booze should know. Each is as tasty as it is sophisticated. 

1. Old Fashioned 

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The Old Fashioned is as classic as they come, and perfect for anyone who likes their whiskey drinks on the sweeter side. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey 
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters 
  • 1 sugar cube (or 1/2 tsp. loose sugar) 
  • club soda 

Directions 

Place sugar in an Old Fashioned glass. Wet it down with Angostura bitters and a splash of club soda, then muddle. Add a large ice cube and whiskey. Stir, then garnish with an orange twist.  More on the Old Fashioned here. 

2. Negroni 

IMAGE: Getty Images - Craig Barritt
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The Negroni is the epitome of summer drinking: sweet, sun-kissed, and refreshing. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 oz. London dry gin 
  • 1 oz. Campari 
  • 1 oz. vermouth rosso 

Directions 

Shake ingredients well with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish was an orange twist.

3. Daiquiri 

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Speaking of summertime cocktails, the Daiquiri is a citrusy sweet marriage of rum and lime. 

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Ingredients 

2 oz. white rum  1/2 tsp. superfine sugar  1/2 oz. lime juice 

Directions 

Squeeze lime into a shaker, stir in sugar, then add rum. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  More on the Daiquiri here. 

4. Manhattan 

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While quality whiskey is important, the key to a great Manhattan is the sweet vermouth. So always ask for Carpano Antica. Trust us, it will make all the difference. 

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Ingredients 

  • 2 oz. bourbon or rye 
  • 1 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters 

Directions 

Stir ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist or maraschino cherry.

5. Whiskey Sour 

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For those nights when you want to cleanse your palate, opt for a puckery whiskey sour. Specify bourbon for this one. 

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. bourbon 
  • 2/3 oz. lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar 

Directions 

Shake ingredients well with cracked ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon wedge. 

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6. Dry Martini

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A classic martini technically should be made with gin, although if your prefer vodka that's no sin either. Order it up and stirred, not shaken (sorry 007). 

Ingredients 

  • 4 oz. gin or vodka 
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth 

Directions 

Stir vermouth and gin with cracked ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an olive. 

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7. Margarita 

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The Margarita is the workhorse of summer. It's best made with a splash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier, but if you like it a little sweeter, ask your bartender to add agave syrup. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz. silver tequila 
  • 1 oz. Cointreau 
  • 1 oz. lime juice  coarse salt for the rim 

Directions 

Rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with lime juice and dip in coarse salt. Shake tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and ice in a mixing glass, then strain into the salted glass over ice. 

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8. Moscow Mule 

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Russia may be a heated subject right now, but this cocktail is crisp and refreshing, and good for any season. Plus it (usually) comes in a cool copper mug. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz. vodka 
  • 4-6 oz. ginger beer
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice 

Directions 

Squeeze lime juice into a Moscow Mule mug, then drop in spent shell. Add 2-3 ice cubes and vodka, then fill with ginger beer.  More on the Moscow Mule here. 

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9. Mojito 

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This the drink Ernest Hemingway made famous. It tastes damn good, whether you're stateside or abroad in Cuba. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz. white rum 
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice 
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar 
  • 3 mint leaves 
  • club soda 

Directions 

Muddle lime juice with sugar in a Collins glass. Add mint leaves, mushing them against the side of the glass. Fill glass 2/3 with cracked ice, add rum, then top off with spent lime shells and club soda. 

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10. Sazerac 

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The Sazerac combines all good things—rye whiskey, absinthe, and a punch of bitters—into a hell of a whiskey cocktail. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 oz. rye whiskey 
  • 1 sugar cube 
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • absinthe (or Pernod)
  •  lemon peel

Directions 

Muddle sugar with a few drops of water in a cocktail glass. Add a few small ice cubes, whiskey, and both bitters, then stir. Coat the inside of a second glass with absinthe, then strain the mixture into it. Garnish with a lemon peel. 

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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