From being completely confused about wine to not knowing the difference between a Margarita and a Martini – when out drinking, we generally just settle with what we know. So how can we stop resorting to ‘another vodka and coke’? Bethany Fisher (soberly) reports.
You’ve been queuing up for what seems about forever until you hear the famous words ‘What can I get you?’ Does a sudden blank come to mind followed by ordering the same drink you have religiously bought since you turned 18? Don’t worry, you’re in the majority! However a life isn’t a life at all if you’re having after work drinks in a swanky bar, and still ordering what you did at college.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a simple rum and coke, but it’s always great to have variety. After all, you wouldn’t just own one pair of shoes would you?
Therefore I decided to do some drinking in a bar – for your benefit (obviously)! After testing out a selection of different drinks I would then master up a simple out of five rating for the taste, strength, price and overall look of each drink. After a fish and chip tea, my stomach was well-lined for the evening ahead.
My favourite drink of all time is a simple gin and tonic, but for you ladies I decided to do some experimenting. Mark Gill, cofounder of the London Cocktail Society said that if I liked gin, then I would most probably like a Negroni, Aviation, or a Tom Collins. Considering one is made up of three strong liqueurs and the other sounds like an old man, I decided to order a classic Negroni. At £8 it is expensive for a drink, but quite fair for a cocktail. The zingy orange taste mixed with sweet vermouth and gin was to my surprise, delicious, and a perfect drink to start off with (even if it did look like oil).
For this gin-inspired cocktail I would give it
Taste – 4
Strength – 3
Price – 4
Look – 1
Next I wanted to try one of women’s favourite spirits – vodka, but mixed with something other than coke or lemonade. Mark said that white spirits and fruit juice work best together, as well as with carbonated drinks. After seeing what fruit juices they had on offer, I finally ordered a single vodka and cranberry juice for £4. Although vodka isn’t my favourite spirit, I was delighted they went really well together, as well as getting one of my five a day!
For this (slightly) healthy drink I would give it
Taste – 4
Strength – 4
Price – 5
Look – 3
I was then stuck on what to choose next. Mark informed me that if you are ever clueless about choosing drinks, then you should just ask the advice of the bartender. After all, they are the experts. Mark also said that the most popular drinks are classic cocktails. So after asking the bartender’s advice, I settled with a very glamorous strawberry martini. Priced at £6 it was quite reasonable and looked fabulous in its tall glass with strawberry decorations on top. It was sweet and fruity and reminded me of summer holidays with the girls. I ended up ordering two after completely forgetting where I was – or what important work I was supposed to be doing.
For this strawberry sensation I would give it
Taste – 5
Strength – 3
Price – 4
Look – 4
I asked Mark what his favourite drink was, and he said it was an Old Fashioned because it is so simple and easy. When the bartender asked if I wanted it shaken or stirred I panicked and picked the latter. The dash of bitter and whiskey mixed with sugar, cherries, orange and lemon was extremely strong, but different – in a good way. That was until I got to the bottom, and sipped pure whiskey. I should have gotten it shaken. On a good note – I can’t wait to order my whiskey-cocktail when I’m out with my lad mates next. They will think I’m a drinking genius!
For this bitter beauty I would give it
Taste – 4
Strength – 5
Price – 4
Look – 4
Although the London Cocktail Society’s motto is “One martini is all right, two is too many, three is not enough”, Mr Gill recommends that you should drink in moderation if you are on a diet. Not like my evening then!
Although most of the drinks I found were not ridiculously priced, for those of you burdened with student debt, my advice would be to order spirits with soda and lime as it always keeps the cost down. However, while vodka soda and lime was lovely, gin and soda should be avoided like the plague!
There are also a few terms that helped save me during the evening when choosing my drinks. When the bartender asks if you would like it ‘on the rocks’, it simply means having your drink poured over ice. A chaser is a drink taken immediately after another drink, and something ‘straight up’ is a drink that is chilled in a cocktail shaker and strained. Oh and some personal advice – always ask for it to be shaken, not stirred.
If you are looking for further inspiration, check out the favourite drinks from the glamorous, rich and famous:
- Jennifer Aniston likes to let her hair down with a Margarita
- The Queen happens to enjoy a Gordon’s Gin and Tonic (with three slices of lemon)
- Johnny Depp relaxes with a Bourbon Sour
- Kylie Minogue likes a Lychee Martini
- Marilyn Monroe adored a classic Champagne (…with aspirin)
- Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell are often seen sipping Champagne Cocktails
- Paris Hilton parties with Tequila
- Julia Roberts enjoys a Scorpino (vodka and lemon sorbet!)
- Renee Zelweiger likes a Cosmic Messenger
- Will Ferrell kicks back with a Corona
- Christina Ricci choses Chardonnay
- Kate Hudson likes to choose between Tequila or wine
- Barrack Obama enjoys a very American Bud Light
- Madonna drinks Pomegranate Martini’s
- Eva Mendes loves a Screwdriver (Vodka and orange)
- Vince Vaughan likes Vodka and Red Bull
- Anne Hathaway often orders a Skinnygirl Margarita (Tequila, lime and Cointreau)
- Dita Von Teese is lucky enough to have a cocktail created for her – The Cointreau Teese
- Mary Kate Olsen likes to chill out with a white wine spritzer