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5 easy drinks to order at a bar when it’s a really busy night

The drinks to order at a bar when it's really busy

Happy friends clinking glasses with fresh cocktails in bar
New Africa / Adobe Stock

For some, New Year’s Eve might be one of the only nights of the year you get to get dressed up and go out to cut loose. Aside from the obligatory safety precautions, we’d like to offer up a short list of fun and easy drinks to order at just about any bar that doesn’t consider an ATM as an ‘amenity.’

Forget the Long Island Iced Tea, or whatever canned cocktail nonsense your friend has been boasting about. These are five simple drinks that will make you look and feel like a cultured connoisseur and not tick off your bartender all at the same time. (And on any busy bar night, you want your bartender to be your friend.)

Hands toasting with moscow mules
Gary Meulemans / Unsplash

Moscow Mule

Simple, easy, and usually, you get it served in a fun copper mug. The Moscow Mule has been around for decades and, while it sounds complex, is just a proportioned mix of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. While not only being the traditional receptacle for the Russian drink, the copper also helps insulate your beverage, keeping it cold longer, and some report that it also enhances the flavors of ginger and lime.

Boozy Rum Dark and Stormy Cocktail with LIme.
Boozy Rum

Dark and Stormy

Debatably coined the “Jamaican Mule,” this swirling soiree of ingredients offers both the ginger beer and lime juice of the Moscow Mule, but adds dark rum in place of the tasteless vodka. When made right, the drink emulates its namesake and puts on a display of turbulent tides flowing around your glass like an angry (and delicious) lava lamp. If your Dark and Stormy glows in the dark, however, promptly return it and exit the building immediately.

negroni cocktail orange


Having seen a resurgence amidst the hipster generation of about a decade ago, we are proud to report that despite the wonderful decrease in excessively bearded 20-somethings wearing skinny jeans and riding unicycles, thankfully, the Negroni has carried over in the next generation. Remarkably bitter and dry, the Negroni is not for the faint of heart. But by its very nature, it is hard to drink quickly, resulting in a self-imposed speed limiter for what can typically be a long night of drinking. If, however, you happen to want to chug whatever beverage happens to be in your hand, despite its alcohol content, or the contortions it may cause your face to create, then perhaps it would be best to choose a different drink from this list.

Two glasses of Aperol spritz
Paul Hanaoka / Unsplash

Aperol Spritz

A light and simple drink that makes Italians everywhere happy. Aperol is a light orange-based spirit that, on its own, is relatively low in terms of alcohol content (11%). Combined with Prosecco and soda water, this refreshing beverage is perfect for counting down to watch the ball drop or sitting on the Amalfi Coast watching the sunset.

Cold cocktail with lime, lemon, tonic, vodka and ice on vintage background
Pcholik / Shutterstock

Vodka soda w/splash of whatever you like

If, however, you find yourself at a less than cocktail-oriented establishment for the holiday (or ever), then one of the safest routes to go when ordering a drink is to opt for a vodka and soda. If a little flavor is needed, then generally speaking, most bars will have either pineapple, cranberry, orange, grapefruit, or sometimes even guava or passionfruit juice.

The ideal way to order is to ask for a vodka and soda with a splash of whatever juice you prefer; otherwise, you run the risk of drinking what amounts to an adult Capri Sun. While sweet can be fun in the moment, the intense hangovers all that sugar can help cause will make you wish you opted for a shot of insulin instead of a fifth Green Tea. This drink is a fail-safe that even the most untrained cocktail-clueless bar employee can manage, busy or not.

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Lou Ruggieri
A lifelong lover of cars, Lou contributes to Motor Trend, Hot Cars, Auto & Truck Connection, and the PowerAutoMedia Group.
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