Cocktail Horrors!...(And How to Avoid Them)

I hit a lot of bars. I’m pretty much Norm from Cheers status at at least one bar. The problem is they charge $14 per cocktail and this status may cost me my house….but priorities, right?

I don’t just hit the swanky places, I am an equal opportunity imbiber. And I like to test out the classic cocktail selection almost anywhere I go.

In my travels to great bars across the country (Seattle and Miami were particularly creative), I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying countless great cocktails. However, there are a few joints that need to Google the drinks they’re offering before charging a premium.

So, dear drinker, your friendly neighborhood cocktail mixer maker (that’s me), has put together some warning signs that the classic beverage you’ve just been served may be a horror story in a glass.

The Old Unfashioned from the Deep Lagoon

Not everyone can make an ice ball a centerpiece of the Old Fashioned. But if your drink looks like fruit salad, you have an unfashionable fail staring you right between the eyes. If there is any more of an orange than just the peel (minus the white pith, hopefully), head screaming for the hills.

As for the cherry... this guy says hard pass, though it’s not a disqualifier.

The Tossed Salad Mojito Massacre

I’ll be direct.

 If you’re mojito looks like a salad mixed with club soda, you should just order a rum and coke and hope for the best. Yes, mint is normal. No, it should not be the majority of what’s in your glass.

 Just a quick pass through a strainer should prevent this, and if they're not willing to take the care to do that, odds are that liquid they just put in your glass is the lowest rum on the food chain of rum.

 And look, if they’re adding any soda beyond club, (unless it’s a specialty mojito like the Elderberry mojito that might, for example, call for ginger ale), you should walk to the nearest toilet and pour that sprite-rum-salad down the drain.

The Monstrously Misshapen Mule

Believe it or not, I don’t critique harshly when I don’t get the copper mug. Is it cool? Does it make a mule a bit more experiential? Sure. But make the drink right and I couldn’t care less.

What should you object to? Usually the evidence is pretty clear-an over reliance on ginger beer and a severe drought of actual ginger ingredient, like syrup made from ginger root or even tasty, peppery, puree ginger root juice.

A great mule should taste refreshing, a bit limey, give you a sweet heat of ginger aftertaste, and not taste simply like ginger beer and vodka.

If all you’re getting is ginger beer, call a priest and exercise the demons from that copper mug

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