Social Question

DigitalBlue's avatar

Can you help me to pick my poison?

Asked by DigitalBlue (7072points) November 19th, 2012

I’m really not much of a drinker, but I do drink socially a few times a year. I’m 30 years old, but I never know what to order at a bar or what to ask someone to mix for me if I’m at a party.
I’m wondering, perhaps if I give a few of my preferences, if the collective can help me to find my “go to” social beverage.

-I like to have a beer occasionally.
I like a glass of wine (though I don’t care for sweet wines), I also like fruity mixed drinks.

-I do not like whiskey or rum. I do like tequila and some vodkas, (it tends to vary by brand, with vodka). I’m not really sure if I like gin, I don’t remember ever having tried it.

-I’m looking for something that is not going to be a hassle to order in most bars, that is not sickeningly sweet but I also don’t want to feel like I’m drinking a glass of rubbing alcohol.

Any suggestions?

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38 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Margarita should be available everywhere, and will feed your tequila love. ;)
I had an awesome apple shot at a bar a couple of years ago, let me see if I can figure out which one it was.

Okay, it was a Washington Apple Shot. It has whiskey in it, though.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@augustlan I do love margaritas, but they are also too sweet. I enjoy them, I just can’t drink them very much. I am thinking, which I should have put in the original post, that something with a seltzer might be up my alley. I’m not sure.

Half of the reason that I wanted to ask this is that when I do drink with friends, I end up doing shots because I can’t settle on an actual drink. I went out to eat somewhere, maybe it was Applebees, and they had a light margarita. I really liked that, I would order something like that all of the time, because I enjoyed the taste and it wasn’t like drinking pure sugar.

augustlan's avatar

A lot of people seem to like J├Ągermeister (which I can’t stand), because it’s flavorful but not sweet. Tastes like black licorice, to me.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I like Jagermeister. I also like Ouzo and Sambuca. I’m not sure what to mix any of them with, though, because Redbull seems to be the go-to mixer, and I don’t like Redbull.

augustlan's avatar

I sent your Q to a cocktail expert. Hopefully, he’ll have some good suggestions for you!

Bellatrix's avatar

Try a Gin and Tonic in a tall glass with lots of ice and lemon. It’s not sweet, but it is quite refreshing and it lasts for a while so you don’t (well I don’t) drink so much. I love Long Island Iced Teas too… but they are very strong and after one I am feeling quite happy – two is my total limit.

zenvelo's avatar

A beer or a wine are always something you can nurse for a while if you want. From what you’ve said, most cocktails are not for you.

@Bellatrix‘s suggestion is good if you are oaky drinking gin, gin being a bit of an acquired taste. Or a Vodka Tonic, the tonic water will cover any taste of the Vodka.

And, you don’t have to have alcohol, or, you can alternate between a drink and a sparkling water or soft drink. Believe, me, half an hour into the party no one will notice at all.

Seek's avatar

Do not, I repeat, do NOT order a “gin and tonic”. By law, all well gin is evil turpentine based substances that will give you a hangover from hell.

Order a “Sapphire and tonic”. With lime. And you will thank me. They taste like magic and love.

bookish1's avatar

You don’t like whiskey, and you want us to help you pick out a cocktail?? Stick with beer.

Kayak8's avatar

Vodka tonic with lime . . . it is not sweet, but more astringent . . .

LuckyGuy's avatar

Back when I was just learning I used to order a strawberry daiquiri. I loved the taste until someone told me it sounded a bit effeminate and no woman would ever date a guy who asked for a drink like that. I switched to water and the excuse that I was the designated driver. That turned out to be a very attractive option.

I still have a strawberry d about once per year – when nobody’s looking.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Second @Seek_Kolinahr ‘s suggestion of Bombay Sapphire with tonic.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@bookish1 I don’t understand what you’re suggesting? Why is it necessary to drink whiskey in order to find a (non-beer) drink that I like? I don’t think my issue is so much that I dislike alcohol, I don’t think I like most of the things that it’s typically mixed with, but I can’t possibly be the only person on the planet that likes a happy medium between liquid dessert and glass of straight liquor.

@LuckyGuy my husband is like that. He isn’t a drinker, but he likes the fruity flavored stuff every now and then. I like it too, I just can’t stomach much sugar.

@Seek_Kolinahr and @Tropical_Willie what is Sapphire? I’ve never heard of it. I’m definitely leaning toward the tonic suggestions.

Seek's avatar

Bombay Sapphire. It’s my favourite gin. Probably my favourite alcoholic substance on the planet.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I also like a chocolate martini. It looks so classy with shaved semi sweet chocolate bits on top. But I know you don’t care for chocolate.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I disagree with the people trashing gin and tonics. It’s my preferred before dinner cocktail. But I usually get it in places that have decent house gin, usually Beefeaters or something along those lines. If you want a real treat try Boodles gin. That is so so good. And potent. It’s not something I would drink all night long though. For one it’s not cheap and I’m guessing the hangover might be a little rough.

blueiiznh's avatar

It really comes down to what your palate says. This is going to be quite the process if you only drink once or twice a year.
Ask to take a sip of everyones drink next time you go out – Hi, my name is @DigitalBlue and I am trying to pick a new drink. Can I try yours? I promise not to backwash much.”. You may find one you like (drink and person) and it is a good way to see who is OCD about germs.

wildpotato's avatar

I recommend the Moscow Mule: not too sweet, packs a punch without tasting like it does.

PupnTaco's avatar

Ignore any advice about bad gin in the well. Many bars use Beefeater, a solid and great-quality product that happens to be affordable. Bombay Sapphire was created as a gin that appeals to vodka drinkers (by reducing the amount of botanicals to soften the flavor). Remember gin is just flavored vodka, after all.

The current state of the bar scene will be your challenge staying away from sweet drinks. Many bars that haven’t caught on to the current “craft” movement still make drinks the way they did in the ‘80s: artificial sour mix, no fresh juices, heavy on the sweet. Balance is what you’re after.

If you like a little bitter with your sweet (think coffee) try a Negroni. It’s a hard one to screw up, as long as the ingredients are fresh.

Keep your mind open and you’ll find your new favorite drink.

PupnTaco's avatar

You might also like a Tom Collins if you can find someone to make it for you without sour mix. You can always experiment at home using those little airplane bottles if you don’t want to invest in a full portion. :)

More info at and

gailcalled's avatar

Hey, Dave; Nice to see that familiar logo again.

PupnTaco's avatar

Cheers! Nice to pop back in now & again.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@PupnTaco thank you for the sites, that’s a huge help.

Anyone up for a tasting party?

Jeruba's avatar

I’d offer you a glass of a chilled and not-too-sweet white wine such as chardonnay, but I suppose that’s not a very masculine drink. Does that matter to you?

On the rare occasions when I order a mixed drink, I usually opt for a bloody mary. Like you, I dislike the taste of alcohol, but unlike you, I can’t handle tequila. I have yet to understand the appeal of beer.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Have you tried an amaretto sour? Pretty tasty but not sickeningly sweet. I like a good bloody mary now and then, and sometimes a poinsettia, which is like a mimosa but mixed with cranberry juice instead of orange juice. You get the fruitiness but not as much sugar.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Jeruba not sure why I’d necessarily prefer a masculine drink, as I’m female, but no, it doesn’t matter to me. :)

@WillWorkForChocolate I have had an amaretto sour, but it has been such a long time, I can’t remember what it tasted like. I want to say that I liked it, I’ll have to order one next time I’m out and refresh my memory.

Thanks for all of the suggestions, folks.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh—sorry, @DigitalBlue, I’m not sure where I got that idea. In that case, here you go.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Jeruba no problem. I think I would get the same impression from my username/avatar (though I’m not even sure that I can pinpoint why.)
Thank you!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@DigitalBlue How about swigs of vodka right out of the bottle? I did that one time with one of my buds.Part way through he shakes his head and said “Now I know why those Russians are so friggin tough”

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe that’s essentially what it comes down to, when I’m drinking. I can’t pick a drink, so I end up doing shots (and yes, sometimes I will drink straight from the bottle. On a slightly unrelated note, I am 100% convinced that the ability to do that sort of thing is genetic, because I really do only drink once every couple of months, and that’s the only explanation that I can come up with. Haha.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@DigitalBlue Have you ever tried White Russians? Or Bailey’s Irish Cream?

DigitalBlue's avatar

Yes, and I do like them. I like the majority of the things listed here, they just aren’t the sort of thing I can sit around drinking all night. My aversion isn’t to the alcohol, it’s to the sugar.

I am thinking the gin & tonic responses are on the right path. I like @PupnTaco‘s suggestions as well, and I could get behind a lot of these. In any event, I think taste testing is in order.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Maybe try a light white wine. I like a chablis, a reiseling, or a pinot grigio. They’re fairly light on the palette without too much sugar. A chardonay is too heavy for me.

Adagio's avatar

@Bellatrix I would also try gin and tonic with ice, a slice of lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice, not much, probably just 1 teaspoon per tall glass.

kitszu's avatar


Dsg's avatar

How about an espresso martini? If you like the taste of vodka and coffee, I think you will like this. What’s in it: coffee liquor or kahlua (regular flavor or coffee), vodka (can be espresso, vanilla or plain) and bailey’s cream. The best part of this drink is that you can have it fixed to your taste. What I mean is that if you don’t like kahlua, you can use a generic coffee liquor. If you don’t want the full taste of coffee/espresso, you can use a plain vodka. Give it a try the next time you are out at a restaurant, and you can test it beforehand. If you are interested in a recipe, I can get it for you. Its really yummy! Mmmm. I want one now!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh, that sounds delicious!

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