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How to order a drink like you actually know what you’re talking about

"Make it dirty, and make it snappy"

How to order a drink like you actually know what you’re talking about
15 February 2016

You’re stood at the bar, peering desperately at an esoteric looking cocktail menu that seems like it was written by the Engima machine itself.

Nonchalantly trying to figure out which drinks on the list have enough bite to make them seem manly while also containing enough fruit, sugar and fairy dust to make them palatable.

Suddenly, the crowd parts like a swaggering Red Sea made of limbs and intoxication as the spirit of McQueen, Bogart and Connery emerges in singular human form, slipping straight into the gap that you’d been eyeballing for the last ten minutes. Immediately grabbing the attention of the bartender, the phantom coolly reels off a list of exotic ingredients bookended with the words: “… and make it dirty.”

Your mind explodes with a movie montage of this hero of a man getting the girl and riding off into the sunset, cocktail in hand and a steely gaze of enlightenment etched firmly across his face.

Then you order a mojito.

Here’s how to turn the tables and flip your cool points right the way around by ordering a drink like the retro film god you always thought you’d grow to be.

(Images: AllStar)

On The Rocks

Your drink poured over small glacial cuboids known as ice.


Order a spirit, poured into one glass, twice. Drink it like a cowboy haunted by the death of his rosy-cheeked wife and children at the hands of those dastardly train robbin’ outlaw brothers down at Red Rock. Bonus points for i) asking for the bar staff to leave the bottle ii) them actually leaving it there.


One glass, one spirit, nothing else. Neat, like its name suggests. Couple it with a manly drink that makes the hairs fall from your chest and your face grimace with the world-weariness of a homicide detective who can only dream of boozing away the daily horrors of cop life.


Essentially the same as ‘neat’ only in a taller glass, for the man that likes to stare right the way down to the bottom as his dreams turn into a kaleidoscopic fuzz of booze and regret .


Martini glass, with a touch of vermouth to make you feel like James ruddy Bond.

With A Twist

Tall glass topped up with a drink of your choice and littered with a (preferably spiralled) peel of lemon or lime. If you can order this without sounding like Monica from Friends then you’re a better man than us.


Have the bartender fill your empty glass with ice to chill it to refreshing levels of cool. Then empty it out and strain your liquid of choice through yet more ice into the now empty vessel. The satisfaction of a drink on the rocks without the watery bullshit at the end but the weighted knowledge that your barman probably hates you.


Great big classy-but-flimsy martini glass with its slanted sides supporting olives garishly impaled on a cocktail stick, finished with a touch of vermouth. How all posh cocktails look according to every single film made between 1930 and 1988 before Tom Cruise and his snake-hipped glass-juggling ways made everything iridescent.

With A Soda Back

Familiar with the concept of a Wetherspoon’s Pint and Whisky Chaser? Turn the pint part into a spirit and the whisky chaser part into a tall soda with ice. Drink with decorum.


Formerly the beverage of hootin' and a hollerin' cowboys, now the espresso of alcoholics and students boozing on a budget.