Man Lab: Ten Manliest Cocktails 2013

Don’t look now but snow is starting to stay and that means that office Christmas parties (or holiday parties for the overly politically correct) are soon to be underway. And since it’s still slightly frowned upon to down beer after beer at suit-and-tie social functions like your Christmas party, we’re here again to help non-cocktail drinkers choose fancy drinks for their parties.

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.

#10 Screwdriver

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Orange juice

In his autobiography, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan tells a story about Andre The Giant on a flight. He said that Andre got on the plane, sat down and asked for a Screwdriver. The stewardess actually came back with a screwdriver but not the drink. Andre said to her something like “What would you have gotten me if I asked for a Bloody Mary?” So if Andre drank them, so can you.

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 bit bog standard and you’re looking at this list to stand out from the crowd. Besides, I’m not a huge Jack fan so I’m going to say that you should cut Jack with the Coke. By the way, I know a guy who will drink Crown Royal and Coke but that’s not manly. That’s closer to sacrilege. Don’t be that guy.

rusty-nail#8 Rusty Nail

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

I don’t know if mentioned this before but I’m a bit of a scotch fan. Scotch should stand on its own but since this is a list of cocktails, I have to list scotch mixed with other things to get it on the list. Anyway, 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 aren’t going to look manly if you’re spending the evening answering questions about what you’re drinking. Then again, that happens all the time regardless of what I drink so maybe that’s a poor criterion.

#7 Sidecar

  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Lemon juice

This drink was originally created in Paris during World War I. That explains the French liquors involved in this one. While you mostly consider the French to be wine drinkers, they do make a mean cocktail. Just hold the fruit is you plan to order it.

gin-and-tonic#6 Gin and Tonic

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

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 than drinks and liquors of the moment if you ask me. As you get down the list, you’ll see a lot more timeless classics that everyone’s heard of.

scotch-and-soda#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 proper quality scotch required 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.

old-fashioned#4 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’ve been told that I have to watch it but I have a list of close to a dozen shows to catch up on) 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.
vesper#3 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.” That’s not how you heard Daniel Craig order it in Casino Royale but that’s how it originally appeared in the 1953 novel Casino Royale. Interestingly, in the novels, Bond only orders the Vesper in Casino Royale but he’s consumed them more frequently in the film series since the Casino Royale reboot.

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

Last year’s #1 stays atop the list this year. Until there’s another crappy Bond movie, I can’t see me rushing to drop this down the order. You can make a martini with either gin or vodka but if you go vodka, like the version preferred by one James Bond, get it stirred rather than shaken. Shaking bruises the vodka. With gin, shaking is encouraged.


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