I'm a bartender. Here are 3 of the best and 3 of the worst cocktails to order._freckle removal gun

Emily Anderson·4 min read
Bar of alcohol on shelves and several different kinds of cocktail glasses on the counter
Certain cocktails are consistent hits, while others are usually misses.Ken Felepchuk/Shutterstock
  • Even though each bar is different, some cocktails are safe bets, while others often miss the mark.

  • Negronis and martinis are classic and simple to throw together at nearly any bar.

  • Bartenders generally don't enjoy preparing some drinks, like a Long Island or Ramos Gin Fizz.

I'm a professional bartender, so I can tell you that the only cocktails that are sure to be good at every bar are simple two-part washes, like a vodka cranberry or rum and Coke. But even those combos can be risky at certain dives.

Every bartender has their own unique personality, strengths, and weaknesses, and each bar has its own customer base, inventory, and brand identity — so most cocktail experiences aren't going to be uniform. When in doubt, see what other people are drinking and the menu, or even ask the staff for recommendations.

That said, there are a few tried-and-true orders that are universally delicious, and some that typically don't hit the mark.

The classic Negroni is a great cocktail to order at practically any bar

Negroni on napkin on orange tile bar with oranges in the background
Negronis are very simple.Arián Krakov/Getty Images

With no fresh fruit or shaking required, the Negroni is a quick build that packs a boozy punch.

Even if the bartender doesn't know the recipe, it's easy enough to explain. Just stir equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth over ice.

Order a daiquiri if you're feeling more of a vacation vibe

Many bartenders add their favorite variations to this classic sipper, all of which are delicious.

Frozen or shaken and with fresh fruit or herbal tinctures (concentrated extracts), this combo of rum, sugar, and lime is hard to mess up.

A martini is a staple cocktail and another solid choice at almost any respectable bar

Hand putting a stick of olives into a martini
Hand putting a stick of olives into a martini

Martinis are great to order when the bar is busy.vm/Getty Images

Not a fruity or a French martini,but an extra-cold, dry-gin classic hits the spot every time.

You only need one to catch a buzz, too, so this is a great drink to order if the wait is long or if the bar is busy.

Just be specific when ordering so the bartender doesn't have to ask multiple follow-up questions, or worse, wing it.


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