The phrase “mixed drink” opens the door to a seemingly-endless number of concoctions. Do you like whiskey? There are dozens of cocktail variations you can order around just that single spirit. Is rum more your speed? Then how about a Daiquiri, Mojito, El Presidente, Papa Doble, or Ron Coco? What we’re saying is that it can be a little intimidating and modern menus are deep. Figuring out your favorite is often a matter of taste, mood, and location.
Over at Ranker they asked their users to pick the ten “best” mixed drinks. Remembering that this is essentially a popularity contest, this list seems pretty solid. There are some heavy-hitting classics and a well-rounded representation of styles from tiki to old-school. Plenty of would-be Ron Swansons will be bummed that the Old Fashioned didn’t make the top ten, and the Negroni was ranked at 22 (which — come on — learn to love the bitterness, people), but still… you couldn’t go wrong mixing yourself one of these on a Friday afternoon. Or just “noon.” Or mid-morning.
Brazil’s signature drink comes in at number ten. This is mix of dark sugar, fresh lime, and Cachaça (a South American rum that’s grassy and more “raw” tasting) is the perfect summer elixir to transport you to sunny beaches.
9. MAI TAI
This is a stone-cold classic that helped launch the Tiki craze back in the 1950s. Whether you drink Trader Vic’s version or Don The Beachcomber’s version, you’re in for a treat of white and dark rums, orange liqueur, citrus juices, and the deep, almond-y lusciousness of Orgeat.
The first Cuban mainstay on the list is one of the most refreshing drinks on the planet. The holy trinity of fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and white rum shaken over ice and served straight up is Havana’s answer to the Rio’s Caipirinha.
The Martini is one of America’s greatest inventions. The subtle mix of dry gin and white vermouth brings out a botanical wonder that stands the test of time and has spawned a laundry list of variations on the theme. It’s as close to perfection as you can get in a cocktail glass.
6. WHITE RUSSIAN
Often thought of as a dessert drink until The Dude made it cultishly famous in the 1990s, the White Russian is a juggernaut of a drink. The mix of Mexican coffee liqueur, Russian vodka, and heavy cream hits a soft spot for both fans of 90s nostalgia and lovers of dessert in a glass.
Another banger right here. The mixing of whiskey (preferably Rye) with a dark and sweet vermouth and a dash or two of bitters is a smooth, smokey, silky trip to the big city.
4. BLOODY MARY
Sterling Archer once prayed, “Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails.” Damn straight. The Bloody Mary is a deeply satisfying concoction of tomato, vodka, Worchester, lemon, spice, and more spice. Add in a few dashes of celery salt and maybe from freshly grated horseradish and you’ve got yourself a cocktail that can beat any hangover. Just go easy on the “garnishes.”
3. LONG ISLAND ICE TEA
This is a knockout drink. And it’s oh-so-good. This big, American brawler features equal parts vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, and triple sec, topped off with lemon juice, gomme, and a dash of Coca-Cola. Once you start ordering Long Islands strap in for a wild, drunken night (likely with Karaoke involved at some point).
Heading back to Cuba, the Mojito’s popularity doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. The drink features mint muddled in dark sugar with a hint of lime, then topped with white rum. Sounds good, right? Sounds like Friday.
That simple mix created one the most refreshing drinks on the market and transports you straight to the music-filled streets of old Havana.
“Five Ingredients: Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, ice, and kosher salt!” Sterling Archer knows his margs. It’s hard to fathom a more popular drink heading into summer 2017. The mix of citrus and liquor over ice sounds like the perfect way to end a hot day while posting up on a beach somewhere majestic… or on your back porch next to a barbecue… or sitting at your local dive bar… or…
It’s a versatile drink that works everywhere! Enjoy!