If you’re going on a first date, here’s a quick rule of thumb: no fruity, frozen drinks. I’m sorry, but unless you’re on a beach in the Caribbean, you shouldn’t be ordering a strawberry piña colada at a nice restaurant. The only exception is ordering a margarita at a Mexican joint because a night with fresh margaritas and dank tacos actually sounds like the formula for a fun first date.
But the most important rule about ordering a drink is to know what you like. If you know you prefer vodka to whiskey or rum to gin, then it makes the game a helluva lot easier. A person’s “drink of choice” says a lot about them. Make the right first impression with one of these classy drink orders.
There’s a reason James Bond drinks these. A martini is one of the great American inventions that wins time and time again. You don’t need to have it shaken, not stirred. There are many different ways to order your martini based on your preference, such as a dirty martini made with a splash of olive juice and garnished with an olive. However you prefer it, a martini is always a classy and impressive choice.
Though it may be popular with our generation thanks to Mad Men’s Don Draper, the Old Fashioned dates back to the late 1800s. A typical Old Fashioned is made with a sugar lump, water, an ice cube, bitters, whiskey and garnished with either a lemon-peel or maraschino cherries. Knowing your preferred whiskey only makes ordering this cocktail even sexier.
The Moscow Mule is a perfect choice for a lighter drink that’s still well respected. The Moscow Mule has vodka, ginger beer, lime juice and is often garnished with a slice of lime and mint. Plus, when it comes out in the drink’s classic copper mug, your date will surely be impressed.
Dark & Stormy
Take the Moscow Mule and swap the vodka for rum and you got yourself and Dark & Stormy (rum=dark, ginger beer=stormy, get it?). This is another easy cocktail that should be available everywhere, but saying the name will make you sound cool and mysterious when you order it.
This is one fruity drink you don’t have to be shy about ordering. The Bellini is a newer official cocktail, originating in the mid-1900s in Venice, Italy at Harry’s Bar. The recipes calls for peach purée and Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. If you happen to live in New York City, you can even go to the second Harry’s Bar to try a Bellini from the experts. Or, if you’re first date is a picnic, you can grab a bottle of Bellini by Cipriani at most grocery or liquor stores.
Gin and Tonic
This drink is probably one of the most simple drinks to make so you know every place will have it. With just gin, tonic water, ice and a lime to garnish, this classic drink will leave your date thinking you’re a laid back, dependable person.
Put down the keys and enjoy a smooth ride from the Sidecar. Said to have originated in Paris, this drink is made up of Cognac (a type of brandy), orange liqueur and lemon juice. It’s a mildly sweet drink with a little punch to it. The Sidecar is a great cocktail to order if you’re newcomer to darker alcohol.
Originating in one of the coolest American cities, New Orleans, the Vieux Carré gets its name after the French Quarter of this lively city. However, while this cocktail is “big” in flavor, it’s not so “easy” to make. Ingredients include rye whiskey, Cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine liqueur, bitters, ice and either a lemon twit or cherry for garnish. The complexity of this drink will prove your knowledge and sophistication, but if the bartender is unable to make this drink, pick another instead of trying to explain it to prevent sounding like an arrogant show-off.
If your date is at any other restaurant than a pub, wine is always the best option in my opinion. Word to the wise: study up on your favorite varieties as well as food pairings before you look at the wine list because many times they are extensive and confusing. Also, never be afraid to ask the waiter or sommelier (that’s a fancy word for wine expert) for some advice. But also, it’s really easy to look like a pretentious d-bag when ordering wine. So please don’t try to “show off” with the knowledge you learned from your parents or semester abroad in France.
The fun doesn’t have to stop after the main course. A great after-meal cocktail is the White Russian, made with the coffee flavor liquor Kahlua, vodka and cream. This drink is sweet, fairly strong and, most importantly, my personal favorite.