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The Embarrassing Drinks That Bartenders Love

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Very few drinkers turn 21 and immediately start sipping Old Fashioneds and Gibsons. When you’re young, sweet and smooth is always more appealing than strong and boozy—and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a rite of passage for folks with even the most refined palates. We certainly had our fair share of sugary indulgences, and our bartender friends have enjoyed some guilty pleasures as well. So we asked our favorites to spill about their most beloved embarrassing drinks, and we can totally relate.


“The degree to which I enjoy Spritzes could potentially be seen as embarrassing. The amount of club soda I consume with my alcoholic beverages might be a little absurd. Campari/soda, blanc vermouth/soda, Aperol Spritz, Bonal/soda, Lillet Blanc/soda—I even drink my mezcal tall with soda and a jalapeño. I essentially take all of the lowest ABV things you can find and dilute them even more with soda water. Maybe I should be embarrassed by this, but I’m not. I love it!” — Matt Seigel


"I'm a sucker for a frozen Banana Daiquiri, but I’d only order it at a beach place. If there is a Mojito on the menu, I will order it. Oh man, and Lunchbox Bombs and Bulldogs—I love trashy drinks. I am from New Jersey after all!" — Alyssa Kempinski, The McKittrick Hotel


"When it comes to imbibing, my biggest guilty pleasure is probably a White Russian. Growing up, this was my mom's drink of choice and I always tried to sneak a sip or two. Perhaps I indulge in a White Russian for nostalgic reasons. Perhaps, I indulge because it's just undeniably delicious." — Mike Jones, Sable Kitchen & Bar


“I’d have to say Dickel and Miller High Life. It isn’t an embarrassing drink by bartender standards, but it can be for a Portlander. Here in the land of craft beer and cocktailing, you can get a raised eyebrow or two for ordering a lowbrow Boilermaker outside of a dive bar. Regardless, it’s my go-to.” — Brandon Lockman, Red Star Tavern


“I have lived in the Florida heat for most of my life. When I was a kid, I used to order virgin Strawberry Daiquiris from restaurants all the time which, in itself, is a bartender's worst nightmare. Well, I never grew out of that love for Strawberry Daiquiris! I prefer them to be made from scratch rather than from a mix, which is even more of a pain to make. I will order them anywhere, especially living in Florida. Nothing is better than being poolside with a frozen Strawberry Daiquiri! Sshhh—don’t tell anyone!” — Morgan Zuch, Datz


“My guilty pleasure is most definitely an Amaretto Sour. For some reason, despite all the unique culinary-inspired creations I mix up at The Bar, that drink really sticks for me, and I have to admit I’ve actually paid for a few myself. I made one for a guest about a month ago, and as I do with all cocktails I don’t make that often, I tasted a bit with a straw to ensure it was perfect—that moment truly reinstated my love for them. My other love is a nice cold Piña Colada. It sits right in my wheelhouse and if I close my eyes, it takes me back to my Virgin Island days with every sip!” — Allen Lancaster Jr, The Bar at The Spectator Hotel


"Piña Colada, definitely. I know a lot of people don't want to admit that they actually enjoy this magical mix of rum, coconut and pineapple, but can you even imagine a pool party without this frozen deliciousness, or a hot day at the beach bar without sipping it slowly from a coconut shell? On the other side, there are still so many of us out there, trying to convince our friends and coworkers that that drink is so out of date when we have so many choices in this Art of the Craft era. Instead of pretending like you accidentally took someone else's drink when your friend sees you holding a glass garnished with colorful umbrellas and a pineapple, don't lie to people, don't lie yourself. Just order it, lean back and enjoy the sun! " — Goran Ilisic, A Fish Called Avalon


“When I’m not drinking liquor neat, I do order Cape Codders (aka Vodka Cranberries) from time to time. They go down as quick as shots.” — Andrew Call, Bacchus Bar

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