You walk into a bar, go up to the bartender, and...draw a blank. So many bottles, so many options, but what do you want? *Definitely* not that Malibu and pineapple juice you've been falling back on since 2001. No, you want these:
For those who always order: a gin and tonic
What it's made with: gin, lime juice
Actually created for sailors as a way to prevent scurvy, this drink was later seen as an old person's cocktail—until its revival right about now. The drink is one part sweetened lime juice to four parts gin, so it's slightly sweet but packs a punch. And if you're already asking for limes in your G&T, consider this your new go-to.
For those who always order: rum and cokes
What it's made with: rum, simple syrup, lime juice
Contrary to popular belief, a true daiquiri isn't anything that comes out of a frozen slushy machine. A shaken cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, the drink was often served in a frosty glass or over crushed ice (hence the slushy reimagining you see today). The more modern take is to serve it straight up in a cocktail glass.
For those who always order: a margarita
What it's made with: tequila, grapefruit, club soda
Refreshing, tequila-based, and easy to make—this is the best alternative to ordering a margarita. (And please don't ask if it comes frozen.)
For those who always order: gin and soda
What it's made with: gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda
A Tom Collins is reminiscent of spiking a lemonade with gin. (Not that that's a bad thing.) It's honestly the easiest way to add some interest to your gin and soda order—and all bartenders should know how to make them. (Otherwise, run far far away.)
For those who always order: champagne
What it's made with: gin, sparkling wine/champagne, sugar/simple syrup, lemon (or some other citrus)
The drink was created in 1915 in New York, and we don't really know what else to say other than look at the ingredients. Gin and champagne? Be still our hearts.
For those who always order: whiskey gingers
What it's made with: cognac, orange liqueur (AKA triple sec), and lemon juice
The sidecar came to prominence in the '50s, and while whiskeys and cognacs are completely different spirits, they both ferment in a barrel and both tend to be a bit smoky in flavor. That, mixed with the sweetness of the triple sec and lemon, makes for a good strong drink.
For those who always order: vodka sodas
What it's made with: vodka, ginger beer, lime juice
These drinks are what put vodka on the map here in the States. Their bright taste (and the fact that they're easy to drink) make them a favorite for many—especially when served in their (correct) copper cup.
Long Island Iced Tea
For those who always order: all of the drinks above
What it's made with: vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix
This is a wild one, and definitely not for the weak. If you've lived out your college days mixing anything and everything you could find, consider this cocktail the sophisticated way to say, "I'll have everything behind the bar."