Teach me to drink alcohol like an adult
April 22, 2015 7:28 AM   Subscribe

After over 15 years of abstaining from alcohol, I want to order an occasional drink when out with friends. I don't like beer or wine. I pretty much despise the taste of alcohol. What should I drink?

I'm a 40 year old woman. When I was in high school and university, I drank typical stuff like wine coolers and long island iced tea. I stopped drinking soon after graduating. Now, after more than 15 years, I'm interested in having an occasional drink when out with friends or coworkers. The problem is, I don't know what to drink. I don't like beer or wine. I like sweet. I want fruity drinks that don't scream "amateur". I recently tried gin and tonic with lots of lime, and that was pretty good. Any other suggestions would be welcome. Also, please teach me how to order it, if additional instructions are required! Thank you!
posted by puppet du sock to Food & Drink (72 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mimosas
Jack and Cokes (maybe with grenadine? Tastes delicious)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:31 AM on April 22, 2015


Sangria is a safe bet if it's on the menu.

If you like sweet, this is easy. Bars and restaurants have cocktail menus. Anything that references any kind of fruit will be sweet - "lemon drop", "pomegranate martini", anything like that.

If there is no reference to a fruit, it is unlikely to be sweet though of course there are exceptions. But the cocktail menu will list out the elements.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:32 AM on April 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I share your tastes, and enjoy hard cider. YMMV.

Gin and cranberry, gin and grapefruit, OJ and vodka (a screwdriver) are all acceptable depending on your level of enjoyment of bitter.
posted by contrarian at 7:34 AM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't like beer but I do really like cider.
posted by alligatorman at 7:37 AM on April 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


Vodka & Cranberry; a Cape Cod Cooler is similar but has gin and and a couple citrus flavors in addition to the cranberry. They're both reasonably adult drinks that are sweet and don't have much alcohol flavor, that don't scream "I'm a teenager drinking to get drunk!"

It's also a drink where you can tell them "lots of cranberry, just a little vodka" and nobody else can really tell.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:37 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you like coffee at all, White Russian. Sweet, but in a different way, opposite of fruity.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:38 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hi, you're me. My standard orders are either hard cider, or cranberry juice and vodka. And saying "cranberry and vodka" is sufficient to order the latter (sometimes I also ask that they "go easy on the vodka").

I also quite like plain daquiris if they can make them - not FROZEN daquiris, which smack of the whole frat-party thing, but a plain daquiri is just lime juice, sugar syrup, and rum. If it seems like you're in the hands of a good bartender, try that (and you shouldn't have to tell them how to make it if the bartender knows his stuff; in fact, if you ask for a daquiri, and they ask you what's in it, just give up and switch to cranberry and vodka).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:40 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


How about a margarita on the rocks? When made at a good bar that isn't going to use awful pre-made mixers, they are delicious, a little tart and a little sweet.

As other mentioned, you almost certainly will enjoy hard cider.
posted by mmascolino at 7:40 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Reach back to the classic cocktail lexicon for sweet drinks. Other gin-based cocktails that are on the sweeter side include the Aviation (gin, lemon, Maraschino liqueur, creme de violette) and the Bee's Knees (gin, honey syrup, lemon). Classic tiki drinks will also be very sweet (and they're popular right now!) - look for drinks with pineapple juice and orgeat syrup.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:40 AM on April 22, 2015


"Designer martinis" are almost always sweet. They usually list the ingredients on the drink menus. Look for ones that use juice. There are also some alcohols that are very sweet used in drinks like that, such as sweet vermouth, Rumplemintz, Goldschlager, St Germaine, flavored vodkas, etc, etc.
posted by slogger at 7:40 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


anything that's called a smash is usually pretty sweet. they are usually made with bourbon or whisky and some sort of sweet or citrus. a strawberry smash barely tastes like bourbon at all!

a gin rickey is a bit sweeter than a gin and tonic, usually has simple syrup in it as well. (simply syrup is just sugar water)

tom collins might float your boat. it's kind of like lemonade with alcohol.

mojitos are yummy this time of year... even the nonblended ones are not super boozy tasting as rum (good rum) is pretty easy on the palate.

stuff with Malibu rum is gonna be fairly sweet... a rum and coke with malibu would be awesome.

sangria! doesn't taste like wine. pretty much just grown up fruit punch.

i find that ordering a better quality of liquor makes it taste better. Jaoquin or Bankers Club is cheap for a reason. and it guarantees to make me have a headache. ugh.

learn the names of the mid-level booze, your friends can probably help at the places you go until you get the hang of it. i like gin. Hendrick's, Bombay Sapphire, and New Amsterdam are great ... barely taste like gin at all, as opposed to Tanqueray which is disgusting. You may not need as much lime with those.

Ordering tip: when ordering in a drink like an X and soda/tonic, you can ask for it in a pint glass instead of the rocks. you'll get more mixer to spread out any booze flavor. Say you'd like a single but in a pint a glass. Once you're familiar with a place and/or the bartender, you probably don't need to say single anymore... just say you want it in a pint glass. Some places do doubles in pint glasses, but not all, hence the need to clarify!

I'm not sure on the good coconut rums, but perhaps someone else could post about those?
posted by sio42 at 7:41 AM on April 22, 2015


I also love hard cider, especially if you're at a bar that serves it on tap.

I'm curious that you emphasized liking sweet drinks, but then said the specific drink you like is a g&t with lots of lime. Which I would not consider sweet at all as limes are tart and there's no added sugar. So I would think about where you fall on the sugar spectrum when it comes to cocktails, as some will basically just taste like sweetened fruit juice (which is fine, if that's what you like! But very different from a cocktail that simply isn't overly alcohol-tasting).

If you're at a regular bar with no specific cocktail menu, I'd go for a vodka cranberry -- I think it will hit many of the same notes as that lime-y G&T you liked. If you're at a spot with a fancy cocktail menu, I'd say to the waiter "I like sweet, fruity drinks - what would you suggest?" I do this a lot (although I ask for fruity, not-too-sweet drinks), with great results. I think many waiters/waitresses at upscale places enjoy being asked their opinion and they will be quite knowledgable.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:42 AM on April 22, 2015


Pimm's cup! I hate liquor but man, I love a Pimm's cup.
posted by something something at 7:44 AM on April 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Amaretto sour or Malibu with pineapple juice.
posted by gatorae at 7:45 AM on April 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oooh, yes, seconding Pimm's cup.

Coffee and Bailey's is also good if you're looking for something warm.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:45 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Depends on the place, but maybe order from their menu - there's probably a few specialties, maybe with fresh or unusual ingredients . If one sounds good try it: if you like it or if you don't it is a testament to your adventurous spirit and you don't get stuck trying to communicate a very specific and un-achievable special order to the bartender.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:46 AM on April 22, 2015


Ctrl+F "moscow" ... ?!

You might want to try a Moscow mule, imo the most delicious of all adult beverages. Vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, served on the rocks in a nifty copper mug. It's sweet, tart, spicy, fruity, and impossibly refreshing.
posted by divined by radio at 7:46 AM on April 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


You can't beat a Campari and orange on a hot day (the orange juice mitigates Campari's bitterness).
posted by HandfulOfDust at 7:48 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pint o' Pimms. Well, maybe not a pint.

The Algonquin cocktail is fruity and vintage and fun and grown-up. Classic tiki. Possibly a gin-gin mule.

Honestly, if you're anywhere decent and cocktaily, just ask for recommendations. They won't judge you.
posted by holgate at 7:49 AM on April 22, 2015


Whiskey and ginger ale (often ordered as a 'call' drink with Jim Beam as a "Jim and ginger") can be quite mild, especially if you order it with extra cherries, which implies extra maraschino syrup. It's something you can order in a bar without looking like a 14-year-old, IMO.

Hard ciders are getting increasingly popular and socially acceptable to drink in place of beer, and many of the commercially-made ones are stupendously sweet.

Mojitos and margaritas can run the gamut from pretty tart to very sweet, depending on how they are made; most places make them pretty sweet. I think they are both pretty uncontroversial summer drinks in most places. (Though in some bars, ordering a margarita will get you a really gross concoction made from sour mix and tequila and not much else; I'd probably not order one at a place that doesn't profess to do them well.)

And yeah, a G&T is not really something that I'd think of as "sweet". So maybe it's more like you just don't like the taste of alcohol rather than you are looking for something sweet?

One general piece of advice is to stay away from cheap 'well' booze if you don't like the taste of alcohol. This may seem counterintuitive, because if you don't like alcohol why would you want to pay extra for it? But the rotgut stuff used by many (cheap) bars as their 'rail' selections will taste much stronger than what you'll get if you specify. I'd say this is particularly true with gin and whiskey, a bit less (although still) true with vodka, and extremely true with tequila. When in doubt, if you aren't horribly cost-sensitive, specify a brand.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:50 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you like almond cakes and such, you might like drinks with Amaretto. For example, a Toasted Almond has Kahlua (coffee flavored), Amaretto and milk. Similarly, try drinks like mudslides (Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream and Vodka).
posted by carmicha at 7:50 AM on April 22, 2015


Other gin-based cocktails that are on the sweeter side include the Aviation (gin, lemon, Maraschino liqueur, creme de violette)

I'm just gonna warn you that I've had these at fancy classic cocktail bars and they were basically a chilled cup of very slightly flavored gin. Tasty, but maybe not what you're looking for, unless those G&Ts you enjoyed were super strong.

If you like ginger beer:

MOSCOW MULE: Vodka, ginger beer, lime

GIN-GIN MULE: Gin, ginger beer, lime, mint leaves (invented by the Pegu Club in NYC, not every dive bartender is gonna be able to make this as easily as a vodka cran)

BOURBON BUCK: Bourbon, ginger beer, lime
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:52 AM on April 22, 2015


I'm not sure if you don't like all wines, or if you might like wines that are sweeter. If you'd like to try sweeter wines, look for whites that say 'late harvest' or ask your server for something 'off-dry', which is the way of saying 'I like sweet wines' without sounding like a rube. At least that's what I tell myself when I'm asking.

You can also look at dessert wines like ports and ice wines, but some of those will be nearly syrup, which might be more sweet than you had in mind.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:52 AM on April 22, 2015


Clarification: the gin & tonic was not bad, but I'd prefer something sweeter.

I find wine and mild beers tolerable, but definitely not preferable.

I like the idea of chocolatey/coffee flavoured drinks as well...mudslide, white russian, etc. sound interesting!
posted by puppet du sock at 7:56 AM on April 22, 2015


Nthing the cider recommendation.

Also nthing anything that's "such and such sour," as anything mixed with sour mix basically doesn't wind up tasting like alcohol. My father more or less didn't drink, but he loved a Cointreau sour. Ameretto sour, which someone suggested above, also tastes like a soft drink, imo; I drink them when I'm not in the mood a gin and tonic, my usual drink.
posted by Button-down sock at 8:00 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's been a while since I had one, but I remember a sidecar as being on the sweet side. The glass is rimmed with sugar, at least.

Probably endemic to Wisconsin, but a brandy old fashioned can be ordered sweet or sour. I've only had sour, but it was still pretty sweet to me, and I really didn't care for the one bourbon old fashioned that I've had.
posted by LionIndex at 8:01 AM on April 22, 2015


Have you tried a gimlet (gin + lime juice cordial + fresh lime juice) before? It recently became my favourite drink containing gin.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 8:02 AM on April 22, 2015


I almost never ever drink but when i do, it's cider. if you are in the uk i suggest brother's toffee apple cider.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:04 AM on April 22, 2015


Ooooh, another suggestion if you find a place that has it (not everywhere does) is a Lindeman's framboise/raspberry lambic...although technically a beer, it tastes pretty much exactly like raspberry soda and is AMAZING.
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:04 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pomegranate sours (or any fruit sours) are deliciously tart and refreshing, served in a martini glass, with a delightful egg white foam on top (like a cappuccino!). When made correctly they do not taste alcoholic.
Have you tried Baileys Irish Cream and milk on ice (think sweet iced coffee with a kick)? Also consider Singapore Slings, and cocktails with melon liquor Midori (eg. Japanese Slipper).
posted by travellingincognito at 8:05 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rum & Coke, with a lime twist. You can be fancy and order it as a "Cuba Libre" (pronounced COO-ba LEE-bray), but 7 times out of ten you'll have to explain that it's a rum & Coke.
posted by donajo at 8:05 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Crème de Mint and soda water. Bonus: very minty taste that can freshen your breath.
posted by Colonel Sun at 8:09 AM on April 22, 2015


Amaretto and coke
Captain and cranberry
posted by beccaj at 8:18 AM on April 22, 2015


I'm a big fan of dark and stormys (stormies?) - rum and ginger beer.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:26 AM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Cointreau and Amaretto are for you. They're both liqueurs. Cointreau is intensely (!) orange flavored, and Amaretto is almond flavored. Very sweet and very tasty.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:27 AM on April 22, 2015


Try a "whisky sour" or a "rye and ginger."

I like sweet stuff too but these also really work for me.

+1 for COO-ba LEE-brays :)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:30 AM on April 22, 2015


Martini bianco with a slice of lemon.
posted by hz37 at 8:30 AM on April 22, 2015


Oh, yeah, for sure, like travelingincognito said, Bailey's Irish Cream. It's gooooooood.
posted by Button-down sock at 8:35 AM on April 22, 2015


Seriously, what you want is hard cider. Ever had Martinelli's? The mass-market hard ciders (except maybe types marked "dry") taste like that. A lot of them I honestly wouldn't be able to tell they had alcohol in them if I didn't know.

You order by brand name -- it seems like most bars in urban areas have at least one cider in stock at this point. A bonus is that if you're at a bro-y sports bar/other place you don't really trust the cocktails to be any good, you don't have to rely on the bartender.
posted by ostro at 8:38 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


What kind of gin did you have in your G&T? There are sweeter gins that you may enjoy.

Gin base: Gimlet, Southside
Gin based with egg whites: Ramos Gin Fizz, White Lady

You may also enjoy Lillet on the rocks: it's a French aperitif wine that's sweeter and has more viscosity than wine. Wikipedia says "Aromas of candied oranges, honey, pine resin and exotic fruits. Full and fleshy on the palate." Very smooth.
posted by JackBurden at 8:38 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not sure what the cider selection is like in the US, but pear cider is generally even sweeter than apple cider.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:42 AM on April 22, 2015


There is almost certainly added sugar in a G&T. They don't taste very sweet thanks to the quinine and citrus, but tonic out of a gun or bottle is often made with high fructose corn syrup. If you make your own (which I recommend HIGHLY but it's a more 201-level move), you'll be using simple syrup, and in my experience it'll taste sweeter than you get out of a bottle of Schweppes. In the meantime, yes, go for a gimlet or a rickey, those will be refreshing like a G&T but sweeter.

But really I came here to second the recommendation for St. Germain. I think gin or vodka cocktails with St. Germain and maybe some champagne or soda will be maximally pleasing to you. I have a major sweet tooth and I'm obsessed with it. It's elderflower liqueur and the flavor's like grassy pear and lychee. You might also like drinks incorporating Aperol and citrus juices.
posted by clavicle at 8:48 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another hard cider fan here. The only mixed drink I really like is a Midori sour.
posted by candyland at 8:49 AM on April 22, 2015


Yes to pear cider. Fox Barrel is a US label that's all pear ciders with various other fruit flavors.
posted by clavicle at 8:50 AM on April 22, 2015


Apple cider, yes. Angry Orchard is everywhere lately and is my favorite of what is widely available.

Seconding: lemon drops, Moscow mules, raspberry framboise (does not AT ALL taste like beer), mojitos, scratch margaritias (some margarita bars have ones that are even sweeter, mine has one with a prickly pear base that's delightful), and most importantly my time-honored strategy of going up to a (not-busy) bartender and telling her you'd like something with X characteristic and X flavor and X alcohol, what can she make that is interesting. So: I'd like something sweet and fruity, no bitter flavors, with vodka that doesn't taste like vodka, surprise me, and see what happens.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:51 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


This sounds like me. When I want something liquor-y, I order rum and cokes, white Russians, screwdrivers, vodka/cranberry, orange juice and amaretto.

When it's a beer/wine level affair, I go with hard cider. My personal fave is Angry Orchard, but Woodchuck and MacKenzie's will do in a pinch.

(My absolute favorite favorite alcoholic beverage is Mike's Hard Blood Orange. It does not taste like alcohol AT ALL. Unfortunately, it's seasonal (January-March usually))
posted by Lucinda at 8:54 AM on April 22, 2015


Seconding gimlet (a gin rickey should be gin and lime and soda water and is deliciously refreshing and fragrant but not sweet), Moscow mule, and the dark and stormy.

A sweet drink I like when I want to go easy on alcohol is a dry and dry - ginger ale and dry vermouth in roughly equal portions (may be an Australian thing? I was introduced to it in Melbourne and have not had any luck with American bartenders recognizing it by name). Can have a squeeze of lime added to good effect.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:56 AM on April 22, 2015


Another vote for sours, ciders, and dark&stormy.

Southside (gin, mint leaves, lemon juice, simple)

Shandy (beer and lemonade, basically)

French 75 (gin, lemon, champagne, simple)

Champagne cocktail (champagne, sugar cube, angostura bitters) obviously need to like champagne for this.

Brown liquor OK? Scofflaws are wonderful (rye/bourbon, vermouth, grenadine, lemon, orange bitters). This may be slightly obscure depending on where you are.

Like absinthe? Absinthe Collins (tom collins but with absinthe instead of gin). Again, may be obscure (and obviously need to have absinthe. This is the cocktail that is getting me to appreciate absinthe)

Vermouth on the rocks can be refreshing, same with cocchi Americano or lillet (provided its a good bar that has enough volume so they don't go stale).

You can also usually ask for something to be on the sweeter side too (like with the aviation, scofflaw, or French 75). And talk to the bartender (as long as they're not slammed) about what you like, different gins or bourbons etc. will have different flavor profiles that can make a huge difference.

You may find that as you indulge a bit more, that alcohol taste becomes less apparent and you can venture out of your comfort zone and enjoy it (so a drink is more meh, but glad I tried it rather than yuck! Waste of money if it winds up being not your cup of tea).

Or just make friends with a cocktail/beer/wine enthusiast and try a sip of their drinks and figure out what you like. :-)
posted by ghost phoneme at 8:56 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


if you like grapefruit juice, that and whiskey goes really well together.
posted by monologish at 9:16 AM on April 22, 2015


It really depends on where you are. If you're in a cocktail bar, order a French 75. If you're in a dive bar, gin and tonic or amaretto sour are probably your best bets, unless you like cider and they have some.

Personally, I like to belly up to the bar and loudly proclaim that I want something purple in a tall glass with egg-whites on top.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:18 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Others have mentioned ginger beer as a mixer, but it's also excellent (and sweet, and doesn't taste like alcohol) on its own. I know it has "beer" in the name, but it really tastes nothing like beer.

I'm a fan of Crabbie's, which is intended to be served over ice with a squeeze of lime or lemon. They also make nice varietals, like spiced orange, that you might really enjoy.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:25 AM on April 22, 2015


Summer is coming, if you are in the northern hemisphere, which means it's time to drink seabreezes! (Vodka, cranberry, grapefruit).
posted by gaspode at 9:31 AM on April 22, 2015


I will be damned if I can remember the name of it, but I once had an excellent drink that was basically simple syrup, lime juice, mint and alchohol. The very nice bartender made it with water rather than soda for me, but I'm pretty sure the original has some sort of carbonation.

I know this is a pretty standard drink, but the name is escaping me. It was delicious, though, and I normally hate alcohol.
posted by Tamanna at 9:40 AM on April 22, 2015


Nthing Cider. A Magner's on ice really truly is a deliciously refreshing drink on a hot summer day.
posted by rdnnyc at 9:42 AM on April 22, 2015


Before experimenting with any of these concoctions you'll want to familiarize yourself with the definitive cautionary tale on the matter:
Girl Drink Drunk ("Kids in the Hall" sketch)
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:18 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I will be damned if I can remember the name of it, but I once had an excellent drink that was basically simple syrup, lime juice, mint and alchohol.

That would be a mojito.

Also good in the same line, and wonderful on a hot summer day, is a Caipirinha, which I prefer to a mojito. You need to be in a place with a slightly expanded liquor list, though, because not every place has cachaça.

And yeah, a few other people said this, but if you liked the G&T with lime, definitely try a gimlet. I'll often have one if I'm looking for something refreshing and sweet but not too sweet.

Also, if you like brown liquor, a well-made Manhattan can be surprisingly sweet and without the alcohol burn. The "traditional" Manhattan is made with rye whiskey, but it would be sweeter if you order it with bourbon. (A lot of places will make it with bourbon by default, anyway, because rye has only recently become more popular after a long time in obscurity.) If you want to water down the alcohol a little bit more you can ask for heavy on the vermouth and still keep the basic concept.
posted by jammer at 10:50 AM on April 22, 2015


Try really sweet wines with class. Sauternes comes to mind. Nobody will look down on you if you order one of those.
posted by Namlit at 11:11 AM on April 22, 2015


Another vote for hard ciders--and there are apple ciders as well as pear ciders, a whole range.

Crabbie's makes a nice ginger beer.

Guinness has always tasted very chocolatey/coffee like to me (and mild) instead of like a beer.
posted by blue suede stockings at 11:14 AM on April 22, 2015


Another vote for Amaretto sours and Pimm's cups. Or, a mai tai (rum-based, like a fruit punch with a kick), or a piña colada (rum/coconut/pineapple), or a Godchild (amaretto & cream), or a mudslide (chocolate milkshake-like) or a Dirty Arnold Palmer (lemonade with sweet-tea-flavored vodka, very nice in warm weather), or a classic screwdriver (orange juice and vodka), or a Greyhound (grapefruit juice and vodka).

Basically, look to rum, vodka, or liqueurs. And since you like Tom Collinses, other gin-based cocktails might interest you, too: a gin rickey (you'd specify gin, as the drink can also be made with bourbon), a gin fizz, a gimlet (and the summer staple Pimm's cup is based on an herbal liqueur and gin).

Signed,
Another woman in her forties with the palate of a six-year-old, reading this question with great interest.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:35 AM on April 22, 2015


Third-world or fourthing the original Tom Collins with gin but also a Vodka Collins. Is a Shirley Temple with vodka a thing because that sounds pretty good.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:51 AM on April 22, 2015


Is a Shirley Temple with vodka a thing

I'm finding varied recipes, but an alcoholic Shirley Temple is generally called a Shirley Temple Black, after her married name.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:57 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seconding (thirding? fourthing?) a gimlet, but something I strongly recommend if you can find it -- try a gimlet with barrel-aged gin, it takes it to a whole new level. Ransom's Old Tom is probably the easiest to find, Corsair and St George are also worth checking out. My very favorite is Rusty Blade, hard to find outside of the San Francisco area but so good if you can put hands on it. The aging mellows the gin and brings out notes of vanilla and cinnamon you don't often find in gin; mix that with some simple syrup and fresh lime (or Rose's, if you're a traditionalist) and it's an amazing drink. A Rusty Blade gimlet is the one thing I know I can put in front of just about anybody, even people who don't really like gin or liquor in general, and know they're going to enjoy it.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:06 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you want something simple like a Gin & Tonic but sweeter order a Tom Collins. That's Gin & a Sweet/Sour soda kind of like Squirt. You can buy a bottle of Collins mix at the grocery store and try it by itself to see if you like it.

Other basic drinks that you might like are: Tequila Sunrise, that's orange juice, tequila and grenadine, they are floated one over the other. Not too boozy tasting and it looks pretty.

Rum & Coke with a lime twist, 7&7 is Seagrams 7 and Seven Up. Both of those can also be done with diet soda if you wish. Mimosa is champagne & orange juice, that's pretty refreshing.
Don't totally discount beer, there's a relatively new beer on the market called Blue Moon that tastes much lighter & has an orange effervescence to it and is much better than it sounds. Most people that don't like beer do like that one.
posted by IpsoFacto at 12:40 PM on April 22, 2015


Rum is sweet, so Rum & Coke is pretty easy if you like Coke. Or try 7 Up or ginger ale. OJ and vodka is a Screwdriver. A screwdriver with Rum and orange juice is a "Cuban Screw" or "Scurvy Medic".

I used to drink white wine, ginger ale, and lime, orange slice, cherry, and the bartender named it 'fruit salad'.
posted by theora55 at 12:46 PM on April 22, 2015


Rumchata is a liqueur that tastes like liquid snickerdoodles. Cinnamon and cream and a hint of coconut.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 2:32 PM on April 22, 2015


Chiming in with those recommending cider, altho avoid anything with "dry" in the name, and also with the person who recommended getting a higher quality liquor.

Here's an odd suggestion: I came into possession of a really nice bottle of "white dog" whiskey a couple of years ago and started mixing my own drinks with juices, simple syrup, shrubs, sparkling water, whatever, and have developed my own tastes for what I like to the point where I actually keep a couple of bottles of good booze on hand. So maybe just get a bottle of good gin & try mixing it with stuff?

(Also seconding the recommendation to watch Girl Drink Drunk; on of my fave KITH sketches!)
posted by epersonae at 4:27 PM on April 22, 2015


I love a drink made from passionfruit-infused vodka (I like the X-Rated brand) and pineapple juice. I always have to ask them NOT to put Sprite in it though, it's gross that way. Hubby likes Grey Goose & pineapple.
posted by vignettist at 4:38 PM on April 22, 2015


Nthing dark and stormy (dark rum - not spiced!- and ginger beer)
To stay on the sailing kick, I also recommend the painkiller (gold rum, cream of cocanut, pinapple juice and nutmeg.
Finally, the best blender drink ever, the Bailey's banana colada (bailey's, dark rum, banana liquor, a banana, cream of cocanut and ice)
posted by natasha_k at 6:38 PM on April 22, 2015


Lol you have quite a few suggestions already but... seconding the Sidecar. Classy, sweet but not too sweet. Just be careful they'll sneak up on you.
posted by pyro979 at 6:50 PM on April 22, 2015


Yes, definitely ciders. Pear ciders tend to be the sweetest out of ciders, in my opinion.

Yes, seconding lambics, which I guess are beers brewed with fruit? Or something? But they don't taste like beer at all.
posted by tickingclock at 8:38 PM on April 22, 2015


Simple, an Americano (Campari and Martini pure and simple). If you like sweeter drinks, pour in the Martini rosso first and slowly add the Campari until the combination makes your taste buds go "yeah!".
posted by guy72277 at 7:35 AM on April 23, 2015


A good bar should also be able to make you sherry cobblers...sherry, sugar, citrus, crushed ice...so easy to drink.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:24 PM on April 23, 2015


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