People are creatures of habit. We fall into our routines and we seldom try new things. The same can be said about our alcoholic beverage choices. We only drink red wine, or we stick exclusively to vodka and soda water. But friends, there is a whole exciting and awesome world of mixed drinks to choose from. So venture beyond the Jack and Coke or the Vodka Red Bull and try some other mixed drink standbys that are a lot less commonly ordered by college students but still very good. If you are newly 21 or just new to the bar scene in general, try some of these types of mixed drinks. Impress your friends with your newly found drink knowledge.

1. Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

Sam Howzit on Flickr

Made with bourbon or rye whiskey this drink is simple, slightly sweet and goes down smooth. It is served on the rocks and is garnished with orange slices and a cherry on top. 

2. Manhattan

Rum Manhattan with Maraschino Caviar

My Aching Head on Flickr

This drink recipe is over 100 years old and still continues as a bar mainstay today. It is related to the Martini but is made with with whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. It can be served with or without ice and can be garnished with a Maraschino cherry. It is classic and definitely strong.

3. Gimlet

Gin Gimlet with Fresh Basil

Numinosity (Gary J Wood) on Flickr

Originally invented as a way to prevent sailors from getting scurvy the Gimlet is a super refreshing way to enjoy gin. It's just gin, lime juice and simple syrup. Garnishes can vary such as basil, mint or even celery.

4. Moscow Mule

X Bar 002

L.A. Foodie on Flickr

Moscow Mules contrary to the name were actually invented in the United States in the 1940's. They have recently surged in popularity because they are super refreshing, easy to drink and are served in a signature copper mug that will keep your drink ice cold all night long. It is a mixture of vodka and ginger beer, then garnished with a lime.

5. Lynchburg Lemonade

ice, tea, lemonade
Samantha Albers

This drink was created in Lynchburg, TN home of the Jack Daniels distillery. It is also a great summer drink, its refreshing and sweet and is a great way to use Jack Daniels other than putting it in Coke. It's just lemonade with a shot of Jack, triple sec and lemon lime soda.

6. Gin and Tonic

Aarne Glassware

Didriks on Flickr

Gin and Tonics are a super classic cocktail. They are great in summer because they are also very refreshing but also have just the right amount of sweetness and also taste herbal. It's just gin and tonic water. Garnished with a lime or cucumber.

7. Tequila Sunrise

Tequila sunrise

Chris Benseler on Flickr

Most of us are familiar with Margaritas but the Tequila Sunrise is another tequila based drink that is great for a night at the bars or even an excuse to drink tequila in the morning. It is made with tequila, orange juice and a splash of gernadine syrup.

8. Paloma

Pamola por Mi Amante from above

ginsnob on Flickr

This drink is much more popular in Mexico than in the states but it deserves some props because it is super simple just tequila and grapefruit soda. But is a perfect combo and super refreshing.

9. Hurricane

cocktail, sweet, juice, ice, alcohol
Abigail Wilkins

Hurricanes are definitely the sign of a good time. A Bourbon Street favorite, they are made with three different rums, lemon juice and passion fruit syrup.

10. Long Island Iced Tea

Isn't that supposed to have Coke in it?

joannapoe on Flickr

There is a lot of value in ordering a LIT. The jungle juice of bar drinks it is typically made with tequila, vodka, light rum, triple sec and gin. Then topped off with a splash of Coke. They are super cheap and you'll be feeling lit pretty quick.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of  some of the types of mixed drinks that are out there but is a pretty good beginner's guide. Give some of them a try the next time you go out. Happy Drinking!