Take a look at any bar’s cocktail menu and
you’re faced with a dizzying array of choices. However, when it comes to mixed drinks, we’re
sorry to say it, but they’re not all created equal. Here are the ones you should avoid. Mojitos sound like the perfect choice for
bar patrons looking for a light, refreshing libation that still packs a boozy punch. Before you order your next minty drink, though,
consider this: cocktails that require fresh ingredients, like the mint for that mojito,
can be a risky order in many bars. Adam Levy of The Alcohol Professor has been
pretty straightforward in saying that generally, bars don’t serve enough mojitos to keep the
freshest mint on hand, so you could very well end up with week-old herbs in your cocktail. Everyone who’s ever sipped a mojito knows
that fresh mint is a must for a great one, and nothing will ruin a mojito faster than
wilted mint. There’s also a little matter of those spoiled
mint leaves potentially carrying bacteria. Hard pass on that. One more reason not to order a mojito: Your
bartender will probably hate you for it. That’s because they take significantly longer
to make with all the muddling and shaking involved, and, if you’re in a crowded bar,
they’re definitely on the do-not-order list. Some bartenders might flat-out refuse to indulge
your mojito whims, depending on the size of the crowd. Bartender Noah Esperas told SFGate, “Honestly, if I am slammed at 1 a.m. and someone
asks for four mojitos, I won’t make them.” Don’t be that customer. Make your mojitos at home instead. Another cocktail that goes on the “don’t order
anything with fresh ingredients” list is the White Russian. Sure, it’s a perfectly tasty after-dinner
drink, and you should definitely make them at home with fresh cream. But that fresh cream is where the problem
lies when you’re ordering this coffee-infused delight at a bar. As with the fresh mint, cream is one of those
ingredients that bars just don’t use a lot of, and, as a result, there’s a good chance
it’s more funky than fresh. Bartender Timothy Dunn says that there’s a
good chance the cream or milk you’re sipping in your cocktail is expired and possibly even
well on its way to going sour. Cream only lasts for about a week, after all,
and unless there’s a big run on White Russians, it’s unlikely that a jug is going to get used
in that amount of time. You’re better off just staying in your bathrobe
and making your own at home. “Hey, hey, hey! Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!” No drink makes you feel like you’re in a tropical
paradise more than the piña colada. They’re creamy and dreamy, sure, and those
super-cute mini umbrellas are hard to beat, but they’re also a bit of a sugar bomb. That tall 12-ounce frozen beverage you’re
sucking down faster than your bartender can make them? Yeah, your typical pina colada has around
84 grams of sugar each. The American Heart Association says that women
should limit their sugar intake to 25 grams per day, and men should have 37 and a half
grams at most. You don’t have to be a math whiz to see that
one piña colada is more than three days worth of sugar for the ladies. Is a piña colada really worth it? Here’s a little perspective. For as much sugar as you get from just one
of those coconut-y cocktails, you could eat eight glorious glazed doughnuts from Krispy
Kreme. Is that tropical drink really worth it? When you’re looking for dessert in cocktail
form, you turn to the mudslide, because there’s no doubt that this frozen drink is delicious. It’s got Kahlua, Bailey’s, vodka, chocolate
sauce, and, depending on which recipe you follow, it’s got milk, heavy cream, or vanilla
ice cream, and sometimes whipped cream. Like we said, it’s delicious. But all that decadence does come with a bit
of regret and it’ll vary based on your recipe, but you’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood
of 650 calories for that one drink. For the sake of comparison, that’s not too
far off the calorie count of a medium chocolate shake from McDonald’s. What we’re saying is, you probably don’t think
it’s a great idea to drink a Mickey D’s chocolate shake every day, so you probably don’t want
to drink a mudslide every day either. When you’re scanning a cocktail menu looking
for the so-called healthiest option, it’s understandable why you would stop at sangria,
but it turns out that sangria can be a bit deceiving and could have a lot more sugar
and more calories than you might expect from a wine-based drink. Registered dietitian Keri Glassman had this
to say to Fitness Magazine: “Don’t be fooled. Although I love the benefits of red and white
wine, sangria often has additional fruit juice, simple syrup, and table sugar mixed in, making
this cocktail very caloric.” Since bulk batches of sangria are likely already
mixed by the time you order your pitcher, it’s hard to know exactly how much of what
went into the concoction. That’s why, if you’re watching your sugar
intake, it’s probably best to skip the sangria, even though this can be a perfectly delightful
option to make at home. Can you think of a single night when Long
Island iced teas were the drink of choice that ended well? Probably not. There’s good reason a Long Island gets you
buzzed and fast: it boasts 3.75 ounces of alcohol. Considering a shot is 1.5 ounces, that means
you’re sucking down what amounts to two-and-a-half shots in no time flat. By drink number two, you’re well on your way
to doing things you’re probably going to regret in the morning. “What am I going to tell Melissa. I lost a tooth, I have no idea how it happened!” “You’re freaking me out, man. I have a massive headache. Let’s just calm down.” Extra booziness aside, Patrick Williams, beverage
director at Punch Bowl Social, says another problem has more to do with quality than quantity. He explained, “It’s a lot of booze, but usually the lower-shelf
stuff — the well products. It gets thrown into the glass with not a lot
of care or effort.” Then, there’s the calorie count, which could
easily top 780 for a single drink. But honestly… they are pretty amazing, right? So here’s a pro tip for anyone who’s going
to keep right on ordering them anyway: don’t ask for it to be made with no ice in the hopes
that you’ll get more alcohol. Says one bartender on Reddit, “You don’t get more booze, you get more sour
mix. Which is awful. Enjoy your heartburn.” Applebee’s trots out a new dollar cocktail
offering just about every month, and they’re tasty-sounding drinks, for sure. But the question is: Are these cocktails worth
even one of your hard-earned dollars? According to an Applebee’s insider, they decidedly
are not. Industry insider Darron Cardosa has received
plenty of evidence from an alleged Applebee’s bartender that proves these dollar cocktails
are pretty much exactly what you’d expect them to be. The bartender explains that, for example,
their margaritas start and end with a big bucket, one gallon of margarita mix concentrate,
one gallon of bottom-shelf tequila, and three gallons of tap water. For those of you keeping track, that’s one
part booze, 4 parts not booze. Yum. Can you get drunk on dollar cocktails? Apparently you can, around Long Island iced
tea number five. As strong as they typically are, it definitely
shouldn’t take five to feel a buzz. Brunch with bottomless drinks. It doesn’t get much better than that, right? Actually, it does. In what really shouldn’t be surprising news,
it turns out that bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys don’t stack up when it comes to alcohol
content or quality. Did you really think a restaurant was going
to serve you unlimited drinks for $15 and use the good stuff? According to Jordana Rothman, who penned “The
Complete Guide to Hating Brunch,” “The average bargain mimosa consists of a
half to two-thirds pour of OJ and a few glugs of bottom-rack sparkling wine to make the
thing foam up. The juice is mostly a mask for acrid, poor-quality
bubbly— and its added sugar content means that a late-day hangover is a lock.” There is absolutely nothing about that description
that makes these bottomless cocktails sound the least bit appetizing. They’ll only be adding to your sorrows, not
helping you drown them. A novelty, yes. But worth even the lowest price? Probably not. Moscow mules, served in those oh-so-trendy
copper mugs, are one of the easiest-to-drink cocktails around. The combination of ginger beer, vodka, and
lime can actually be a bit dangerous — before you know it, you’ve knocked back a few too
many and brunchtime suddenly turns into naptime. So what’s the problem with this light and
refreshing drink, other than its ability to sneak up on you? That trendy copper mug is the problem — or
it could be, anyway. In 2017, an advisory bulletin from Iowa’s
Alcoholic Beverages Division suggested that the Moscow mule’s serving vessel of choice
could lead to copper poisoning due to the fact that, foods that have a pH below 6 should
not come into contact with copper, and added that the typical pH of one of these boozy
favorites is, indeed, well below 6.0. The memo continued, “High concentrations of copper are poisonous
and have caused foodborne illness. When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact
acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food.” Snopes chimed in on the issue, reporting that,
yes, acidic liquids will reportedly cause copper to leach into your drinks in unlined
mugs, but it’s unclear how much it would take to affect a person or how long the drink would
need to sit in the mug for there to be a problem. You can avoid any risk whatsoever by skipping
the copper mug, especially considering it’ll still taste good in a glass. Mixed drinks just aren’t the place for the
priciest booze you can get your hands on, so you absolutely shouldn’t worry about picking
out something extra classy for your drink. Why not? Take it from this bartender of Reddit: “You don’t pay top $$ for good whisky to overpower
it with Coke. It’s like pouring ketchup and mustard on Kobe
beef steak. It’s simply … wrong.” “Whiskey, and one for Ahab there.” Another Redditor agreed, using a top-shelf
cognac to illustrate their point, saying, “Hennessy is a wonderful beverage. Smooth as silk, easy to drink, and like all
brandy […] it takes on the flavor of whatever you mix it with. So Hennessy and Coke tastes about the same
as just Coke. In which case why even order the Hennessy
instead of just well brandy? You’re just throwing an extra $4 at the drink
price because it’s top shelf now.” Top-shelf liquor is typically best enjoyed
on its own, without sickly sweet soda or overpowering citrus to mute its carefully crafted flavors. It’s a top shelf drink for the simple reason
that it can stand on its own, and mixing it with anything else is just a waste. It’s not going to make your drink any better,
either. As mixologist Ian Cox puts it, “As long as your bartender is making the cocktail
properly, there just isn’t a need for a higher-end spirit.” Can you waltz into a dive bar and order the
latest, trendiest mixed drink that consists of ingredients most people have never even
heard of, let alone know where to procure them? Sure. Will you get said craft cocktail placed in
front of you with a garnish of edible gold leaf and rose water mist? Not a chance. But that doesn’t stop dive bar patrons from
trying. New York bartender Will Benedetto recounted
a similar story to Food & Wine of a customer who tried to order a cocktail containing,
quote, “duck-fat washed gin, Vermouth caviar, and something called ‘sea foam.'” And here’s the important lesson to be learned:
know the room, what ingredients a place is likely to have on hand, and what’s not going
to get you laughed out of the joint. Benedetto asks, “Why would you think a dive bar has gins fat-washed
with exotic meats, caviar anything, or sea foam?” “You guys are drinking wine out of those cans?” “Oh, hell yeah.” “Can I have one?” “Yeah!” “And you will notice the advantages almost
immediately.” Basically, don’t be that customer ordering
a complicated craft cocktail when a bar clearly can’t accommodate it, don’t order a generic
beer in a craft beer bar, and don’t order a margarita in an Irish pub. No one will be impressed with the out-of-the-box
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