These Gateway Drinks Will Up Your Cocktail Game Dramatically

Staring down the menu at a cocktail bar can be an intimidating prospect for the uninitiated. What’s the difference between “Martini” and a martini? What’s an old-fashioned no. 1 versus a no. 2? What makes a daiquiri a daiquiri exactly? And it never helps that every bartender in the country makes their own variations of classic drinks with (often) superfluous ingredients.

This post isn’t here to teach you the finer arts of mixing a cocktail — that takes years of practice to perfect. We’re here to give you a gateway into the world of cocktail menus: what to look for when ordering, how to spot an over-wrought recipe, and a general introductory syllabus to help you get into the world of mixology. Enjoy!