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Best Drinks to Order for Other People at the Bar


It’s better to give than receive. Even if you aren’t magnanimous enough to believe that’s true, you should still step up and buy a round of drinks every now and again. But depending on who you came with, how many are in your group and how well you know everyone, you may not want to take individual orders. You can streamline the process by ordering the same thing for everyone, but that can be tricky, too. So we recommend avoiding cocktails that lots of people can be finicky about or have special calls for, like Martinis and Manhattans. You should also forgo anything too complicated in case the bar is missing some of the ingredients. But your fellow bar goers will thank you for the orders below, which will work for a variety of purposes.  

Mark Kelly
Good for: Making you seem cooler than you are
The alluring pink hue of this drink, from several dashes of Angostura bitters, belies the fact that it’s so simple. It’s just as quick to make as a G&T, but can give the impression that you have a wide breadth of cocktail knowledge—even though you essentially just ordered a glass of gin.

The Essentials

Mark Kelly/Supercall
Good for: Playing it safe
There is no bartender who will be confused by this order and no drinker who hasn’t had a Cuba Libre, aka a Rum & Coke with lime. If you know little to nothing about the people you’re with, you won’t get into any trouble bringing back a round of these.

The Essentials

Lime Juice
Mark Kelly/Supercall
Good for: Ordering for a crowd
If you have a lot of people in your group (or you’re extra flush with cash and ordering for everyone in the bar), you can do the bartender a favor by ordering something that is easily batchable. The easiest drinks to scale up are the ones that involve nothing but shaking and straining, like a Daiquiri.

The Essentials

White Rum
Demerara Syrup
Lime Juice
Mark Kelly/Supercall
Good for: Impressing your buddy
If your drinking buddy is just getting into the cocktail scene, they may still be in full-on Negroni mode. Bring over a Boulevardier, a Negroni that swaps in rye for gin, to gently nudge your friend into broadening their cocktail experiences.

The Essentials

Sweet Vermouth
Mark Kelly Supercall
Good for: Session drinking
Hopefully if you’re buying the first cocktail, someone else is buying the next (and somebody else is buying the one after that). A refreshing, low-ABV cocktail like an Aperol Spritz is a drink you and your friends can throw back round after round for an enjoyable afternoon-long drinking affair.

The Essentials


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