Man Lab: Ten Manliest Cocktails 2012

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. As we do every year, here is our list of the top ten manliest drinks that aren’t beer or wine that you get away with drinking at a formal function.

mojito#10 Mojito

  • 2-3 oz Light rum
  • Juice of 1 Lime (1 oz)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2-4 Mint sprigs
  • Soda water

Someone told me that the mojito is the “it” drink of 2012. I didn’t know that but let’s just assume he didn’t steer me wrong and people still drink mojitos. Sure, a clear drink with crushed mint leaves doesn’t seem too manly but if you go on vacation to a Mexican or Caribbean resort, you’re likely to have a mojito. If you can have one there, why not here?

jack-and-coke#9 Jack and Coke

  • 1 oz Jack Daniels
  • 5 oz Coca-Cola
  • Ice

Mixing anything with Coke should be considered in this spot in the list. However, Jack and Coke makes this list because Rum and Coke is just too bog standard and I’m a fan of bourbons. I know that Jack Daniels is marketed as a “Tennessee whiskey” but it’s a bourbon under a different name. I do know a guy who will drink Crown Royal and Coke but that’s not manly. That’s closer to sacrilege.

americano#8  Americano

  • 2 oz Bitters
  • 2 oz Vermouth
  • Soda water
  • 1 twist of Lemon Peel

Quick: What was the first cocktail that James Bond ordered in Fleming’s Casino Royale? It wasn’t the famous Martini or Vesper. It was the Americano. Mind you, Bond doesn’t much care for the Americano but if the James Bond movies can make a comeback, maybe the Americano can as well.

scotch-and-soda#7 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 restaurant, banquet hall or where ever your Christmas party is. 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.

rusty-nail#6 Rusty Nail

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

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m a bit of a scotch fan. Like I said before, since I think scotch should stand on its own, I won’t put scotch cocktails too high on 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.

gin-and-tonic#5 Gin and Tonic

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

The G&T is another occasional Bond drink. Mind you, any drink is likely to have been a Bond drink. He may be one of the best secret agents in the world but he definitely has the best liver in the world. Anyway, the G&T’s manly quality comes from the gin. It’s not the “it” liquor of the time but it is a classic liquor. Classics are more manly that drinks and liquors of the moment.

vesper#4 Vesper

  • 3 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Kina Lillet

“Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.” You must know that order. That’s how it appeared in the 1953 novel Casino Royale. Interestingly, in the novels, Bond only orders the Vesper in Casino Royale but consumed them far more frequently in the rebooted film series.

old-fashioned#3 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 (I know, I’m a terrible person) but the internet seems to love Jon Hamm so 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. That how it earned the name the “Old Fashioned.”

manhattan#2 Manhattan

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

There’s nothing wrong with a good stiff drink. That’s exactly what the Manhattan is. The mixer is vermouth which is 15% alcohol. It’s mostly bourbon which is 40% alcohol. A few of these and it’ll make that office Christmas party go by quite smoothly. It’s also important to note that this is the unofficial drink of the mafia. Who are we to argue with them?

martini#1 Martini

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

I dropped the martini last year because it didn’t have James Bond championing it in a recent movie. Well, if you hadn’t noticed from the rest of this list, the Bond effect shook up this year’s list. That included bumping the martini to the top spot. You can make a martini with either gin or vodka but if you go vodka like Bond, get it stirred rather than shaken. Shaking bruises the vodka. With gin, shaking is encouraged.

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