Man Lab: Ten Manliest Cocktails 2011

It’s time for Christmas parties around the world. One thing is consistent among all parties: Everyone but the DD and the wait staff is drunk. However, it’s not exactly in fashion to down beer after beer. Unfortunately, beer is the staple of male alcoholic beverage consumption.

So it’s back to our Man Lab to help you figure out what you should drink at your fancy Christmas functions. Following up on our list from last year, here is our updated list of the top ten manliest drinks that aren’t beer or wine.

#10 Jack and Coke

  • 2 oz Jack Daniels
  • 10 oz Coca-Cola
  • Ice

Normally, I would suggest that any hard liquor pair with Coke isn’t all that manly. However, this isn’t your bog standard Rum and Coke. There’s nothing special about Rum and Coke, even if you go with a spiced rum. Most guys get a pass for mixing a whiskey with their Coke. A good whiskey is farther up the manliness scale than rum. But a Jack and Coke is at the bottom of this list for a reason. It’s a warm-up drink and nothing else.

#9 Screwdriver

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Orange juice

We’ve got a new Man Lab rule for hard liquor: Since vodka (at least the good stuff) doesn’t really taste like anything, I don’t think I can call it terribly manly. Liquor has to taste like liquor for it to be manly. Hell, I’m only allowing the Screwdriver on here because it was one of Andre the Giant’s warm-up drinks. Then again, everything was a warm-up drink for Andre.

#8 Brass Monkey

  • 1/2 oz Rum
  • 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 4 oz Orange juice

A slight step up in the alcohol department from the Screwdriver is the Brass Monkey. I’m sure that my dad would find the humour in me recommending a drink called “monkey.” Anyway, this is has vodka and orange juice like a Screwdriver but the Brass Monkey also adds in rum for that extra kick. Using the time-honoured philosophy of more alcohol is better, the Brass Monkey finds its way ahead of the Screwdriver on this list.

#7 Zombie

  • 1 1/4 oz Lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Grenadine
  • 3/4 oz Blood orange juice
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 3/4 oz White rum
  • 2 oz Dark rum
  • 3/4 oz Dark 151 proof rum

This drink is mostly rum. Properly, it’s 3.5 ounces of rum in a 6.25-ish ounce drink. Add in the cherry liqueur, it’s better than two-thirds alcohol. The problem is that it’s mostly rum. After the last twelve months, I’m not as sold on rum and vodka as hard liquors for men. That being said, because of the amount of alcohol in this drink, the Zombie cracks the top ten. Now good luck finding a bartender who can make it.

#6 Gin and Tonic

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 5 oz Tonic water
  • 1 Lime wedge

There’s nothing wrong with a nice simple drink being considered a manly cocktail. I’m sure many women would describe men as simple… Anyway, the G&T is the sort of drink that can work for both men and women but there’s something about gin that makes it a proper manly liquor. While gin doesn’t carry the same X-factor that other strong liquors do, it’s definitely a classic that every man should drink.

#5 Scotch and Soda

  • 2 oz Scotch
  • Club soda

Normally, I would insist that a scotch is drunk either neat or on the rocks. But I don’t think you’re going to get the right quality scotch to drink it neat when you’re at your standard bar or restaurant. That’s why cutting it with club soda is perfectly acceptable. That and a Scotch and Soda keeps the scotch coolness without making you look like a hard drinker.

#4 Martini

  • 1 1/2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Olive

Dropping the Martini two spots from last year will cause a bit of controversy. After all, the Martini is the classiest drink you can at a classy function. But it loses some of its cool/manly factor without a recent James Bond movie. Note that I’ve updated the recipe to have both gin and vodka. It’s important to remember that a gin martini can be shaken but a vodka martini should be stirred (not shaken) so you don’t bruise the vodka. Actually, just skip the vodka and go for the gin.

#3 Rusty Nail

  • 1 1/2 oz Scotch
  • 1/2 oz Drambuie
  • 1 twist of Lemon peel

If this list was alcohol you can drink straight and look manly doing so, scotch would be at the top of the list. However, as a cocktail, I don’t really think it hits the top of the list. If more people drank Rusty Nails, I would think it would be in a higher spot. While the manliness of the drink is important, you can’t look manly if nobody knows what you are drinking. And that’s why it only scores third.

#2 Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Blended whiskey
  • 1 cube Sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 slice Orange
  • 1 Maraschino cherry

If Don Draper drinks them then so can you. I’ve never watched Mad Men but Jon Hamm seems pretty cool. And nobody could blame you for wanting to drink what Don Draper drinks. Fun fact about this drink: It’s believed to be the first drink to ever be called a cocktail. Hence why it’s called the Old Fashioned.

#1 Manhattan

  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 1/2 oz Blended Bourbon
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • 2 or 3 Ice cubes
  • 1 Maraschino cherry

How can a drink not be tops on the manly chart when the mixer is vermouth? Your bourbon has at least 40% alcohol. The vermouth has at least 15%. Enough of these and you won’t need your coat after you leave the office Christmas party because you won’t be feeling much of anything. And as I mentioned last year, this is the unofficial official drink of the Mafia. If the Mafia endorses this drink, who are we to say no.


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