5 Manly Cocktails Women Should Be Drinking

by Susan Russo
Print Email

manlydrinkA few months ago I was at a bar where the hip, mustachioed bartenders were touting their selection of superlative old-school cocktails. So I ordered a Manhattan. My husband turned to me and said, “You know a Manhattan is a guy’s drink, right?”

“No, man, that’s fine,” the bartender interrupted. “You’ve got a woman who knows what she wants.”

Yup, I do. Sure, I like a refreshing mint mojito and a champagne sparkler just like the next gal, but there are times when I crave something stronger, more muscular, like scotch or bourbon.

Since that night I've ordered many a manly drink. I've also asked many a manly man what he thinks of women who imbibe traditional men’s drinks. Everyone I spoke with was OK with it, and many thought it was sexy. But most were quick to add this caveat: “Just not on the first date. You might scare us off.”

They also agreed: Don’t go too masculine too quickly. Want to order an Old-Fashioned? Don’t. Too Don Draper. A Rusty Nail? Too Bob Villa. A Godfather? Too Michael Corleone.

If your current drink of choice is a fruity Cosmopolitan, then don't switch to a bitter Negroni. You might not recover from the shock.

So why not be adventurous and try a bolder manly cocktail such as a classic Manhattan or a Tom Collins?


Here are 5 more traditional men’s drinks that women can safely order:

Sidecar: The mixture of cognac and cointreau creates a sexy amber color and leaves a sweet taste on your mouth. You know, just in case he’s got nice lips.

Gin Martini: Ask for a martini, and most bartenders will assume you want vodka. So specify gin and whether or not you want it dirty or with a twist.

Whiskey Sour: As far as sour cocktails go, a whiskey sour is eminently drinkable. Plus, a classically prepared whiskey sour should come with a slice of orange or lemon, and a maraschino cherry which lends a flirty touch.

Salty Dog: If you’re out for brunch, skip the mimosa and order the more playful Salty Dog, a mouth-puckering combo of vodka and grapefruit juice, spiked with salt.

Sazerac: Sazerac is to New Orleans cocktails what gumbo is to New Orleans cuisine. Made with rye, Peychaud's Bitters, and Angostura bitters, this is a heady, spicy cocktail. Purists insist New Orleans is the only place to find an authentic Sazerac, but you can buy Peychaud's Bitters and Herbsaint online. So drink up.

So what do you think about women ordering classic men’s drinks? Do you?

Makes 1
Printable recipe.

The Manhattan was conceived with rye as its essential component, but the consensus is that even if you don't use rye, Manhattans should be made with American whiskey, such as a good bourbon. --Rob Chirico, author of Field Guide to Cocktails.

2 ounces straight rye or bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Dash of Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry

1. Stir the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters in a pitcher half filled with ice, or shake them with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


Susan Russo is a free lance food writer in San Diego, California. She publishes stories, recipes, and photos on her cooking blog, <Food Blogga and is a regular contributor to NPR’s <Kitchen Window. She is also the author of  Recipes Every Man Should KnowEdible Red Corn on the Cob and The Encyclopedia of SandwichesEdible Red Corn on the Cob.

Add comment

Security code

Restaurant News

LA Food Trucks Tour
Los Angeles
by Terry Wunder

stlouisstyleribsandbakedbeans.jpgWhen I originally conceived of taking a self-led tour of the LA food trucks with some friends it was to see who was trying to capitalize on the success of Kogi BBQ, the crossover Mexican-Korean...

Via Alloro
Los Angeles
by Annie Stein

FrontofGrillWhen relatives come for the holidays in the words of the Eagles, it can be “heaven or it can be hell”. In our case it was delicious!

My favorite Aunt and Uncle escaped the blistering cold of NYC...

Fredy's in Monaco
by Laura Johnson

ranierkelly.jpg I have been a news junkie since I was a child, probably because we only had one TV with rabbit ears. Every night after supper, I sat with my dad and watched the CBS Evening News with Walter...

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Los Angeles
by Fredrica Duke

wolfsheeptableWhen I first met my husband, I told him that I’m part Native American. I’m also half Jewish. This is when he said to me, “You don’t live on a reservation…you make them.”

I’m sorry, but you will...