What Is a Respectable Drink to Order at a Bar? Classy Guide

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

When you step into a bustling bar, the choices seem endless, and the pressure to order the right drink can be overwhelming.

We’ve all been there, trying to decipher an extensive cocktail menu while feeling the scrutiny of fellow patrons and the judgment of the bartender.

So, what is a respectable drink to order at a bar? Allow us to share some drinks, based on our experience, that will surely please anyone’s taste buds.

Top 10 Respectable Cocktail Drinks To Order At A Bar

1. Dry Martini

Glass of Dry Martini

Drinkability Score: 10/10

Why We Order It: Classic and timeless, the Dry Martini exudes sophistication with its crisp, clean taste.

“Martinis are the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.” – H. L. Mencken, American Journalist 

This simple cocktail, made from dry vermouth and gin (with lemon peel and olive juice), is a go-to choice for those who appreciate the elegance of a well-balanced cocktail.

2. Daiquiri

Pouring Daiquiri on a Glass

Drinkability Score: 9/10

Why We Order It: Simple and delicious, the Daiquiri is a crowd-pleaser. Made with rum, lime juice, and a touch of sweetness, it’s a refreshing choice for anyone looking for a well-crafted, easy-to-enjoy cocktail.

3. Esteban

Drinkability Score: 9/10

Why We Order It: The Esteban is a refreshing drink that’s low in alcohol, featuring mezcal and herbal liqueurs. It’s an excellent choice if you want to savor a cocktail without feeling overwhelmed. But do you know what you shouldn’t order at a bar?

4. Paloma

Glass of Paloma Cocktail

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Order It: The Paloma is a Mexican classic featuring tequila and grapefruit soda (or grapefruit juice).

It’s one of our favorite drinks for its citrusy notes that are easy to sip – perfect for warm evenings.

5. Sidecar

Person Holding Glass of Sidecar Cocktail

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Order It: The Sidecar is a classic sour cocktail that never goes out of style.

With its balanced mix of brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, plus an orange twist garnish, it’s a tangy, refreshing option that’s sure to please.

6. Caipirinha

Bartender Making Caipirinha Drink

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Order It: The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, and for good reason. Made with cachaça, lime, and sugar, it’s a refreshing and slightly sweet choice that’s sure to please your palate.

7. Jungle Bird

Bartender Making Jungle Bird Drink

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Order It: The Jungle Bird surprises with its exotic blend of rum, Campari, and tropical juices, like pineapple juice. It’s a conversation starter, perfect for trying something unique and delicious.

8. Stinging Vesper

Stinging Vesper Cocktail Drink

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Order It: If James Bond can order it, so can you. The Stinging Vesper is a gin-based concoction with a hint of vodka and Lillet Blanc.

It’s one of the best drinks if you like your cocktail strong and sophisticated.

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9. Pain Killer

Pain Killer Cocktail

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Order It: Transport yourself to the beach with a Pain Killer. This tiki classic combines rum, coconut cream, pineapple, and orange juice.

It’s a vacation in a glass, perfect for unwinding after a long day.

10. Manhattan

Man Drinking Manhattan Cocktail

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Order It: With a blend of sweet vermouth, rye whiskey, and Angostura bitters, it exudes an aura of urban refinement.

“Sip elegance with the Manhattan – a timeless cocktail masterpiece.” – Liquor Laboratory

It’s a beverage that transcends time and trends, making it an excellent choice for those who appreciate the classic elegance of a well-balanced cocktail.

Note: Based on a blind taste test, the Drinkability Score measures how easy it is to sip multiple servings of the cocktail in one sitting, again on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 indicates “difficult to sip more than one” and 10 indicates “easy to sip several.”


What is a normal drink to order in a bar?

A normal drink to order in a bar varies depending on your preference and the bar you’re in. Classic choices like beer, wine, vodka, bourbon whiskey, or classic cocktails like a Margarita, Moscow Mule (with ginger beer), Old-Fashioned, or Whiskey Sour (with egg white) are typically safe bets.

What is the most ordered drink at bars?

The bar’s most ordered beverages often include classics like a beer, vodka soda, or a simple gin and tonic. However, this can vary by location and the bar’s specialty cocktails [1].

What is the best drink for a girl to order at bars?

The best girl drink to order at a bar includes a classic choice like a Cosmopolitan (with cranberry juice), a refreshing cocktail like Mojito (with club soda or tonic water), or a glass of wine.

Final Thoughts

The best cocktails to order at bars is the one that aligns with your taste and preferences. However, if you’re looking for a universally appreciated choice, the classic Dry Martini [2] stands out.

Its timeless elegance and balanced flavors make it a sip that never goes out of style.

So, the next time you find yourself at a bar, order with confidence and remember that the most important thing is to enjoy your beverage. Cheers!



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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