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10 Cocktails Bartenders Actually Order

    10 Cocktails Bartenders Actually Order

    When it comes to choosing a cocktail, who better to trust than the people who make them for a living? Bartenders, with their extensive knowledge of spirits, techniques, and flavor profiles, often have unique preferences when it comes to their personal drink choices.

    Here, we delve into 10 cocktails that bartenders often order for themselves, revealing a mix of classic elegance, sophisticated simplicity, and undisputed quality.

    A timeless classic, the Negroni is a favorite among bartenders for its perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and strong. Made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, this cocktail is not just simple to make but is also a testament to the harmony of its ingredients.

    Bartenders appreciate its bold flavors and the way it showcases the gin’s botanicals.

    Old Fashioned
    The Old Fashioned is a cocktail that allows the spirit to shine. Traditionally made with bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus rind, this drink is admired for its simplicity and depth.

    Bartenders often order this to appreciate the quality of the whiskey and the skill with which it’s mixed.

    Far from the frozen, overly sweetened versions commonly found, a true Daiquiri is a thing of beauty and simplicity. Comprising just rum, lime juice, and sugar, this cocktail is a favorite for its clean, crisp flavors. Bartenders often respect the craft of making a perfect Daiquiri – it’s all about getting the balance just right.

    A Manhattan is a sophisticated cocktail that offers a complex flavor profile. Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, it’s a drink that demonstrates the bartender’s ability to balance strength with sweetness.

    Many bartenders admire the Manhattan for its versatility and the way different vermouths can change the drink’s character.

    The Martini is an iconic cocktail that comes with a lot of personal preferences. Whether it’s gin or vodka, dry or wet, shaken or stirred, the Martini is a canvas for expression.

    Bartenders often order Martinis to appreciate the quality of the spirit and the precision in its making.

    As one of America’s oldest cocktails, the Sazerac holds a special place in many bartenders’ hearts.

    Made with rye whiskey or Cognac, absinthe, sugar, and Peychaud’s Bitters, it’s a drink with a rich history and a complex flavor. Bartenders respect the ritual of its preparation and the unique taste profile it offers.

    A well-made Margarita can be a revelation. Unlike the slushy, overly sweet concoctions often found, a true Margarita made with quality tequila, fresh lime juice, and just a touch of agave syrup or Cointreau is a testament to balance and freshness. Bartenders often enjoy this classic for its bright, crisp flavors.

    Moscow Mule
    The Moscow Mule is favored for its refreshing qualities. Made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, served in a copper mug, it’s a simple yet flavorful drink. Bartenders appreciate the Moscow Mule for its thirst-quenching properties and the spicy kick of the ginger beer.

    French 75
    Combining gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne, the French 75 is a bubbly, elegant cocktail. It’s favored by bartenders who appreciate its sophistication and the way the Champagne effervescence elevates the gin and citrus.

    Whiskey Sour
    A classic Whiskey Sour, made with whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. When made with fresh ingredients and perhaps a dash of egg white for smoothness, it’s a cocktail that bartenders order to enjoy a harmonious blend of sweet and sour.

    Why Bartenders Choose These Cocktails

    The common thread among these cocktails is the focus on quality ingredients and the balance of flavors. Bartenders, with their refined palates, often gravitate towards drinks where the individual components are harmonious and can be distinctly tasted.

    They also appreciate cocktails that are not overly complicated but require skill and knowledge to execute perfectly.

    Quality of Ingredients

    For bartenders, the quality of the ingredients is paramount. Freshly squeezed juices, top-shelf spirits, and homemade syrups or bitters can transform a good cocktail into a great one. This is why they often opt for cocktails where these elements play a central role.

    The Art of Balance

    Another reason bartenders prefer these cocktails is their balance of flavors. Whether it’s the bitter-sweet interplay in a Negroni, the sour-sweet contrast in a Daiquiri, or the strong-smooth dichotomy in an Old Fashioned, these drinks are all about finding the perfect equilibrium.

    Personal Preference and Experimentation

    Finally, bartenders often have a personal connection to these cocktails. They might have a fond memory associated with them or appreciate them for their history and the stories they tell. Moreover, these drinks allow room for experimentation and personal twists, making them favorites among the bartending community.


    The cocktails bartenders choose to drink themselves are a mix of classics and modern staples, each with its own story and character.

    They are drinks that showcase the art of cocktail making – where quality ingredients, balance, and skill come together to create something truly special.

    So, the next time you’re at a bar and unsure what to order, consider one of these bartender-approved cocktails for an experience that’s both enjoyable and enlightening.

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