There's a time and a place for everything, and a night out at the local watering hole is no exception.
If your drinking spot of choice has a floor covered in peanuts and games on the TV, then feel free to swig 2-for-1 Natty Light from a can -- but if you've just waited to get past the velvet rope and rub elbows with a classier crowd, you need a drink to match.
Unfortunately the world of cocktails is a dangerous one, filled with less-than-masculine mixtures that won't win you any style points. So put down that fruit garnish, take the umbrella out of your straw, and sip in style with these drinks that guys shouldn't be afraid to order.
This is a simple, yet classic and still popular, cocktail, typically made with two ounces Scotch and one ounce of the honey-sweet scotch whiskey Drambuie. Usually this one is served on the rocks, and has a slightly warm, biting taste that can be made sweeter or less so by changing the amount of Drambuie added. It's easy, classy, and great in the wintertime -- and you don't even have to get it with the traditional twist of lemon on the glass if you prefer not to.
Black & Tan
Here's the beverage for the beer drinker that wants more variety than a typical American brew. The black & tan has been around as long as beer itself, and exists in countless variations and names. For the traditional recipe, you can't go wrong with a pint consisting of half Bass ale and half Guinness Stout layered on top. Its delicious, its not overly fancy, and it'll satisfy the guy who's not in the mood for liquor.
When in doubt, you can't go wrong with this old standby that will simply never go out of style. It was a favorite of Frank Sinatra's, and if that's not good enough for you, then maybe you should just stick to apple juice. There are more variations than you can count and the debate still rages about whether rye or Canadian whiskey is the best, but as long as there's whiskey, everybody wins. For the sake of simplicity, stick to the recipe found in the classic drinking tome "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks:" five parts whiskey, one part vermouth and a dash of bitters shaken over ice and strained into a cocktail glass. Whiskey-to-vermouth ratios change from bartender to bartender, but either way, this strong-yet-simple drink is a true classy man's beverage.
This fine concoction is one of the undisputed kings of cocktails, and perhaps one of the first cocktails period. Walk around clutching one of these, and people might actually think you've got taste and class. If you're really lucky, they'll forget about your hidden love for Jell-O shots. Muddle a sugar cube and dash of bitters together in a glass, add ice, soda and a couple ounces of bourbon, stir, and find out why true gentlemen have been ordering these since the 1800s.
Flaming Dr. Pepper Sometimes you just have to get back in touch with your beer-chugging college side. When the urge hits, you can either be like everyone else on Earth and go for the cliché Jäger bomb, or you can be a little more adventurous and go with this ode to pyromaniacs everywhere. Fill a shot glass ¾ with Amaretto, then layer a high-proof liquor such as 151 rum on top. Light the shot on fire and let it burn for a few seconds. Drop it into a glass of beer and chug -- and if you did things right, you'll swear you're drinking a Dr. Pepper soda. If you did things wrong, you'll probably need a Sharpie to draw your singed eyebrows back on.
Don't let the look fool you -- this national drink of Brazil appears to be a mojito, but has a potency and taste to keep a guy happy. And few people on Earth party better than Brazilians, so take their advice and mix one up for yourself. It's made with the increasingly popular Brazilian liquor Cachaca, which like rum is made from sugarcane, giving the drink a sweetness that makes it perfect for summertime sipping. Simply pour cachaca over rocks, add a pinch of sugar to release the flavoring, mix in some limes, and stir. It's manlier than a mojito, and it takes a lot less time to make!
Jack & Coke, Gin & Tonic, Etc.:
These choices are about as conventional as Bud Light, but they'll always be around -- and that's what makes them an acceptable last resort. You can never feel bad ordering one of the classic liquor and soda concoctions. Just don't dare ask for something where the mixer involves juice or fruit of any sort, or your friends might mistake you for someone who still tries to find Zima in the grocery store. Experimentation is also key here, as the combinations of liquor and carbonated mixers are limitless and, oftentimes, surprisingly delicious.