Much ado has been made of “girly drinks” recently. Things with umbrellas, or if you’re not near the beach, something that starts with Skinny. Guess what? There are those of us that don’t drink those concoctions: never have, never will. But what if you’re new to whiskey, and can’t decide what to order?
For the Love of Books & Alcohol is here to help! Here are some tips and drinks to get you started.
Tips & Ideas
What if you’re on a first date, and are already nervous – and now you’re looking at a cocktail menu with a million unfamiliar choices? Having a “go-to” drink that can be found most places is a good idea. A drink with relatively few ingredients is even better – if your date bombs, you can make friends with your bartender by not annoying them with a complicated drink.
Sweet but not Girly
A bourbon Old Fashioned or a Manhattan is an easy choice, though be prepared for substitute ingredients (I’ve had them made with sugar packets, at a hotel bar) or different brands of whiskey. The taste shouldn’t vary too much and you can get back to being utterly fascinating to your date. You can also substitute rye whiskey in the Manhattan, for a drink that’s little less sweet.
If you like something a little tart, check out a Whiskey Sour. Depending on what bar you’re in, some may make it with egg white. The egg white will give it a foamy top, and a little bit of a thicker texture. Delicious! But if you’re allergic or otherwise opposed to eggs, make sure to ask your bartender if they use egg whites.
A little fancier (say, if you’re in a craft cocktail bar)
Scofflaw – yes, it’s pink(ish), but it’s not what you think. You can use either bourbon for a little sweeter drink, or rye to give it a little more bite. Named for the folks that laugh at the law, there’s nothing girly here.
If all else fails
Sometimes, you’re not in a bar that can (or will want) to make any of these drinks. But all is not lost! A Kentucky Mule can be made pretty much anywhere. Not every bar will have actual ginger beer/ginger ale, but a combo of cola/sprite is what they’ll use. Not a bad option, though you’ll likely want to make sure the lime’s in there.
By Jeanne Runkle
Jeanne Runkle lives here, and sometimes there. Her favorite spirit is whiskey, be it bourbon, rye, or American. You can even take out the e, and give her Scotch. Check out her other whiskey musings at PancakesandWhiskey.com. Cheers!