Whether you’re going on a date, taking a business meeting over drinks, or simply hoping to treat yourself to a little sophistication, it helps to know which cocktails are considered classy and which are more on the trashy end of the spectrum. There is, after all, a huge difference between a Long Island Iced Tea and a Negroni crafted with the best Spanish gin and the finest vermouth.
To ensure you’re always comfortably ensconced in the classy end of the cocktail spectrum, consider adding the following drinks to your order:
1. The bartender’s cocktail: Negroni
A classic Negroni is ideal for impressing business partners, clients, and the bartender who serves you. Famous for being a bartender’s favorite, this cocktail was also loved by famous literary figures like Ernest Hemingway, so you’ll be in good company.
The cocktail is a fragrant blend of high-quality gin, vermouth, Campari, and orange peel. It’s perfect for those who adore old-fashioned class but who don’t particularly like darker liquors.
2. Tropical class: Paloma
Perfect for beachside bars and summer in general, the Paloma is a beautiful blend of refreshing zestiness and relaxed elegance. Made with tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and soda, you can think of it as the classier cousin of the Margarita.
3. Channeling the 1920s: Sidecar
The only thing classier than brandy on the rocks in a classic snifter is the elegant nostalgia of the Sidecar. This cocktail is a velvety-smooth blend of Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, and its citrusy notes make it a true treat for the senses.
4. The name says it all: Old Fashioned
Perfect for whiskey lovers, the Old Fashioned feels classy from the moment those words slip out of your mouth. A delicious blend of sugar, bitters, and whiskey or bourbon, the Old Fashioned is traditionally enjoyed with a cherry or a curl of orange peel.
5. Zesty and refreshing: Whiskey Sour
The Whiskey Sour is a delectable blend of whiskey, sugar, lemon juice, and frothy egg white. Don’t let the egg white throw you off – the drink doesn’t taste eggy in the slightest. On the contrary, the whisked egg white creates a soft, whipped texture that beautifully balances the sourness of the cocktail. If you’re still not a fan, you can always order it without the egg white.
6. The Gatsby classic: Mint Julep
Though F. Scott Fitzgerald was more of a Gin Rickey fan, his aristocratic characters in The Great Gatsby adored Mint Juleps. Another cocktail dripping with 1920s vibes, the Mint Julep is a refreshing blend of bourbon, water, sugar, shaved ice, and fresh mint. It’s ideal for Gatsby-style gatherings with friends but is just as comfortable relaxing with you poolside at a resort.
7. Southern charm: The Sazerac
Believed by some to be the oldest cocktail in America, the Sazerac is the picture of southern charm. Originating in New Orleans, it features a potent blend of whiskey, sugar, Peychaud’s Bitters, Cognac, and absinthe. Though the Sazerac is pure class, it’s best to sip it slowly!
8. Another New Orleans classic: The Vieux Carré
Vieux Carré literally translates to “old square” but that’s hardly what you’ll look like if you order one. This “old square” actually refers to the French quarter of New Orleans, and with its blend of whiskey, sweet vermouth, cognac, Bénédictine, and Peychaud’s bitters, this drink is dripping with old-world charm.
Try any of the cocktails above for a sophisticated afternoon or evening of drinks. Just remember that the best way to stay classy is to take your time, consume alcohol in moderation, and avoid drinking and driving. Salud!