Men’s Guide What Drinks To Order At Any Type Of Bar

A men's guide to what drinks to order at any type of bar

James Bond may have looked cool walking up to high end cocktail bars in fancy casino’s before playing cards, escaping death or kissing women and ordering his martini shaken not stirred… but he was being a tool.

James Bond doesn’t know how to order a martini, but a martini was a good fit for the establishments he was in.

In your life you will end up in a lot of different bars, restaurants, clubs, patios, resorts and lounges and you need to know how to drink appropriately.

First a quick note on manly drinking:

The defaults are beer, red wine, and whiskey and manly drinks are rarely overly sweet.

If you don’t follow this guide and try to switch it up now and again you are going to appear overly pretentious or pedestrian and basic.

manliest drink to order in a dive bar

Slumming It – Dive Bar Style

Find yourself in a dive bar where the bartender has an eye patch and you half the constant feeling like you might get stabbed?

Stick to bottled beer, don’t get fancy, choose whatever popular lager you are comfortable with.

The reason:

This bar is not clean, you don’t want their ice, you don’t want their glassware, you don’t want anything from their gun.

You don’t want to pick the one craft beer they stock that the local biker gang never drinks it’s been there forever.

Worst case scenario it’s not particularly cold… Best case you have a cold, easy drinking beer that keeps you in line with the environment.

You aren’t trying to be fancy you are just one of the guys… plus you may need the bottle as a weapon.

Suck it up princess you are slummin it!


what should a man order to drink at a family or chain restaurant?

Chain Style Restaurant

So you got suckered into drinks at an Applebee’s or it’s ilk. If it’s truly an Applebee’s that was your first mistake.

Your second would be to assume they’ll make you a good old fashioned or a reasonable whiskey sour.

Beer is always a safe choice, and because of high turnover even the draft options become available.

None the less the manly play here is to order a whiskey rocks.


The reason:  

These restaurants thrive on appealing to the masses, most of their mixed cocktails will be over the top sugar drinks, their cleaning habits could go either way, and the bartenders consistency or knowledge is going to be questionable.

Avoid most of their cocktail menu unless you want diabetes and stick to manly drinks that they can’t mess up.


If you can see their whiskey selection and actually pick your poison, all the better.

Otherwise just let the ice dilute whatever their bar rail is, it’s a no nonsense sipping beverage you can slam back fast when you are free of whatever social obligation put you in this hell hole!


Drinks with dinner in a nicer place? Men choose wine.

Decent to high end restaurant

It’s an upper scale chain or a local italian place. It doesn’t matter… you are eating and they have a wine menu that don’t all come from a box? Done.

Wine with dinner is a tradition as old as time, if the restaurant is decent they’ll have a selection where you’ll recognize something you like, if not by name than by varietal.

You can choose a white in specific situations or because of specific meal choices… but unless you know your shit, it’s easier to choose a red and still appear a man of taste.

The reason:

If you are going to eat, wine makes a safe and delicious choice.

The place is clean and you can probably trust the cocktail to be made with reasonable care, but ordering a bottle of wine that pairs with your meal is a confident move and you can drink as you eat and talk without fear of melted ice or too much clutter.


Hip cocktail bars and martini bars are where any man can experiment a little with more interesting cocktails

Higher End Lounge or Cocktail Bar

This is where things really open up. If you happen to be in a martini bar, a whiskey lounge, or a hip cocktail bar… ordering a Budweiser looks lame.

The lager of survival in the dive bar is the beverage of the boring in a cocktail bar.

You can fall back on the safety of whiskey, rocks or up… but this is where you can mix things up. A Tom Collins made properly (Gin, rocks, lemon juice, touch of sugar and soda water) is refreshing, a little sweet, and still a damn stiff beverage that looks good in a rocks glass.

If you want to stick to whiskey because we all know it’s the manliest drink… the old fashioned is very much in fashion!

If it’s a martini bar specifically… you can’t miss with a dry gin martini, a classic manhattan, or my personal favorite, a burnt martini – where the glass is splashed with scotch before pouring the martini.

The reason:

You finally have a competent bartender who has the right tools and ingredients to get it right.

Beer in this environment is much too basic, wine doesn’t suit the mood, and while you can order your safe strait alcohols… you’ll look and feel more worldly picking something a little different. 


Beach bars mean light and sweet alcohol drinks, you are on the beach, live it up.

Beach Bar Or Resort Drinks

When you are on the beach the most manly drinks start to seem a fair bit too heavy, while a gin martini no longer makes any damn sense.

The answer is… it’s time to try some of the lighter sweeter cocktails. Your bartender may hate you for all the work he has to put in… but a mojito fits the bill nicely.

If you want to stay simple, a gin and tonic (I’d go gin and tonic + soda to cut the sweet personally) just became a perfectly acceptable manly drink.

The reason:

You are on a beach! It means martinis are cumbersome, and you need something a little lighter, more refreshing, and easier to drink throughout a sunny afternoon.

Resort bars, beach bars and swim up pool bars know this. Depending on the area of the world they’ll be well prepared to make a fast delicious mojito for you. Or if you want to stay quick and dirty get the gin and tonic+soda rolling.

The bartender will appreciate the speedy beverage and you’ll enjoy a not too sweet way to stay loose all day.


Drinks at night clubs involve yelling at bartenders, so keep it simple!

The Club


The bass is booming, the lights are flashing, lasers in your eyes and the bartender can barely hear you. Highballs my friend!

I’d go rye and ginger, but in these dim lights you can go vodka cran, rum and pepsi, or whatever you want. Stick to short rocks glasses!

The reason:

In a club, speed is the name of the game. Your drink should be alcohol + mix.

This isn’t an environment for strait whiskey (unless it’s in shot form) and while a bottled beer is the safest drink not to spill, it somehow looks encumbering in this environment.

A rocks glass, with a single liqueur and mixed item you can shout over the rabble is the way to go.


Each environment, venue, and company demands a different approach…

Don’t scoff at the wine selection in a dive bar. Don’t order a boring ass beer in a cocktail lounge, and for gods sake try something other than a strait whiskey when lounging on the beach!