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We know the most popular cocktails — Try these underrated drinks instead

Try some alternatives to the most popular cocktails

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Recently, we wrote an article about the 10 most popular cocktails in the US. Not surprisingly, it was littered with classic drinks like the Mojito, Margarita, Old Fashioned, and Moscow Mule. But drinking cocktails isn’t a popularity contest. Just because many people seem to enjoy Espresso Martinis doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking your classic Dirty Martini.

But, if you take a moment to peruse the list of the 10 most popular drinks, you might see a few you like and others you aren’t sure about. That’s okay. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. That’s why today we’re all about the underdogs.

Instead of drinking your way through the top 10 list of drinks everyone loves, why not give the slightly less beloved (but equally delicious) cocktails a chance? We’re talking about the underrated cocktails you should try if you enjoy all (or any) of the 10 most popular cocktails in the US.

What makes a drink underrated?

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If a drink is popular at all, it’s probably not underrated. It’s just that, compared to some of the most popular drinks, it might not get as much attention as it deserves. Many underrated cocktails are still household names. It’s simply that you might not order them, instead opting for a more well-known mixed drink. If you do this, you’re doing yourself a disservice because you’re missing out on some amazing, nuanced, complex cocktails.

The 10 most popular cocktails and underrated options

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We recently wrote about the 10 most popular cocktails based on NielsonIQ polling. Not surprisingly, there are many well-known classic cocktails as well as some more contemporary picks. While there’s nothing wrong with drinking your way through this list, if you already like these drinks and want to try something new, there are complementary options available. Keep scrolling to see the best, underrated cocktails to drink if you like the 10 most popular mixed drinks.

10.)French 75 instead of a Bellini

French 75
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While a Bellini is known for its sweet peach flavor that pairs well with Prosecco or any other sparkling wine, we think a great option to drink instead is the French 75. While not as sweet as the Bellini, it ticks the sparkling wine box and also has gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

9.) Harvey Wallbanger instead of a Mimosa

harvey wallbanger
Cyrus McCrimmon/Getty Images / Cyrus McCrimmon/Getty Images

If you like a Mimosa in the morning, you might enjoy a Harvey Wallbanger. Popular in the 1970s, this take on the Screwdriver is made with vodka, Galliano (a sweet herbal liqueur), and fresh orange juice. It doesn’t have Champagne, but the booze and fresh orange juice should hit the spot.

8.) Aperol and grapefruit soda instead of Spritz

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While you might enjoy the effervescence of a great Aperol spritz, it’s likely the bittersweet flavors that bring you back for more. This is why we suggest imbibing a simple drink of Aperol and grapefruit soda. Yes, it is as simple as that.

7.) Rum and Cola instead of Long Island Iced Tea

Rum and cola
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The iconic Long Island Iced Tea might taste like boozy iced tea, but it gets this flavor from a ridiculous number of ingredients. The list includes gin, vodka, white rum, tequila, cola, and more. Instead, opt for a simple rum and cola. It’s easy to make and less likely to give you an epic hangover the next day.

6.) Southside instead of a Mojito


If you enjoy the fresh, clean, herbal, minty flavor of a well-made Mojito, you’ll love a classic Southside cocktail. It’s very similar to the Mojito, except it swaps out rum for gin. The rest of the ingredients include lemon juice, simple syrup, and, of course, mint.

5.) Vieux Carre instead of Old Fashioned

Vieux Carre
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When it comes to classic whiskey-based cocktails, it’s difficult to beat the appeal of an Old Fashioned. But if you want to try something similar, we suggest a Vieux Carre made with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and Peychaud’s bitters.

4.) White Russian instead of Espresso Martini

white russian cocktail
Dan Baker / The Manual

While it doesn’t have the same caffeine kick as an Espresso Martini, if you enjoy the indulgent, dessert-like aspect of the drink, you’ll enjoy a classic White Russian. This favorite of Jeffrey Lebowski is made with vodka, fresh cream, and coffee liqueur.

3.) Penicillin instead of Moscow Mule

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Who doesn’t love a refreshing, spicy, sweet Moscow Mule, right? Well, if you’re looking for something different that still has the ginger spice element, we suggest Penicillin. A little more complex and complicated than a Moscow Mule, this drink is made with blended Scotch whisky, fresh lemon juice, honey ginger syrup, and peated single malt Scotch whisky.

2.) Martinez instead of Martini


The classic Martini is simple, boozy, and elegant. It’s difficult to find a suitable replacement. But, if you’re looking for something slightly different, we suggest a Martinez. This richer and most robust version of the iconic cocktail is made with gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino cherry liqueur, and Angostura bitters.

1.) Caipirinha instead of Margarita

cachaca caipirinha cocktail
Paulo Leandro Souza De Vilela Pinto

We completely understand why the Margarita is the most popular cocktail. When made with fresh ingredients, it has tequila sweetness and tart, sweet citrus working in perfect unison. A tremendous complementary cocktail is a Caipirinha. The national cocktail of Brazil is made with Cachaça, sugar, and lime wedges.

Bottom line

Godfather cocktail
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Branch out and try something different. There’s nothing wrong with liking what you like, but it’s always a good idea to broaden your palate by trying something new from time to time.

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Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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