Best Classic Cocktails to Order in a Pub

Best Classic Cocktails to Order in a Pub

Welcome fellow pub enthusiasts, casual socializers, and tourists and travelers! If you’re anything like us, you’re always on the lookout for the best classic cocktails to enjoy during a night out at your favorite pub. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve put together the ultimate guide to the best classic cocktails to order in a pub. So, whether you’re a beer aficionado, or just someone who enjoys the occasional cocktail, this article is for you.

Table of Contents:

  • Old Fashioned
  • Mojito
  • Whiskey Sour
  • Martini
  • Negroni
  • Margarita
  • Daiquiri
  • Pina Colada
  • Bloody Mary
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Manhattan
  • Tom Collins
  • Mint Julep
  • Dark ‘N’ Stormy
  • Sidecar
  • White Russian
  • Gimlet
  • Ramos Gin Fizz
  • Caipirinha
  • Boulevardier

Old Fashioned

Let’s kick off our list with the timeless classic Old Fashioned. Every true cocktail enthusiast should be familiar with this cocktail that combines whiskey, sugar, bitters, and just a touch of orange zest. The Old Fashioned is known for being both strong and satisfying, making it a favorite of whiskey lovers everywhere.

When ordering, specify your whiskey preference. Many prefer bourbon, but others might choose rye or scotch. The best Old Fashioneds are made with a single large ice cube, which allows the drink to stay cold without diluting it too much. This drink is perfect for those who appreciate a well-crafted, classic taste.


For the rum lovers out there, the Mojito is a delightful cocktail choice for a warm summer evening. With its refreshing mix of rum, lime, mint, sugar, and soda water, this drink is a staple at pubs worldwide. But beware – not all Mojitos are created equal. To enjoy the best possible concoction, make sure the pub is using fresh mint and squeezing limes, rather than pre-made mixes.

The Mojito is incredibly versatile, as well. Try ordering it with a flavored rum or adding fruit, such as strawberry or peach, for a delicious twist on the classic.

Whiskey Sour

Another whiskey-based classic on our list, the Whiskey Sour, is for those who prefer their drinks to have a bit of a kick. Featuring whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar, it’s an excellent option for those who enjoy a tangy, refreshing tipple with a hint of sweetness.

Many versions of the Whiskey Sour come with a dash of egg white, which creates a creamy and frothy texture while smoothing out the cocktail. Don’t knock it until you try it – the velvety mouthfeel is a total game-changer.


When someone mentions cocktails, the Martini is probably one of the first that comes to mind – and for good reason! This legendary concoction usually features dry gin (or vodka, if preferred) and dry vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist or olive. The perfect Martini showcases its elegance in simplicity, highlighting the quality of the spirit used.

The world of Martinis is vast and filled with personal preferences – from wet vs. dry, shaken vs. stirred, and everything in between. The key is to discover what works best for you and make sure to communicate your preferences to the bartender to receive your ideal Martini.


For those who appreciate bitter notes in cocktails, the Negroni is the choice for you. This Italian classic combines gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, presenting a harmonious balance of strong, bitter, and sweet flavors. Served on the rocks with an orange twist, the Negroni is often enjoyed as an aperitif, stimulating the appetite before a meal.

The boldness of the Negroni might not be everyone’s cup of tea, making it something of an acquired taste. However, if you’re searching for a strong, complex cocktail with an interesting flavor profile, you simply can’t go wrong with a Negroni.


Another world-famous cocktail, the Margarita is an excellent choice for those looking for something refreshing and tequila-based. This zesty delight is a mix of tequila, lime juice, and an orange liqueur like Cointreau or Triple Sec, often served in a salt-rimmed glass. You can have it on the rocks or blended into a frozen treat.

There are countless variations of Margaritas, with fruity options like strawberry, mango, and watermelon adding even more character to the original. It’s an essential go-to for anyone looking to enjoy a bright, festive cocktail with a punch of flavor.


With a similar profile to the Mojito, the Daiquiri is another rum-based cocktail that’s perfect for warm weather. A blend of rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, the Daiquiri is a delightfully simple recipe that showcases rum’s versatility. This shaken cocktail is typically served strained in a chilled glass, with the option to serve it up or over crushed ice.

The Daiquiri also has various fruity versions, with the strawberry Daiquiri being a particularly beloved alternative. This concoction is perfect for anyone who enjoys classic flavors brightened by the taste of juicy, fresh fruit.

Pina Colada

If pina coladas and getting caught in the rain are your idea of a good time, then this tropical concoction is the answer. The Pina Colada is a delightful blend of rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice. This smooth, creamy cocktail is often served frozen, whisking you away to a beach vacation in each sip.

Perfect for a hot day or a tropical-themed pub night, the Pina Colada is not only delicious but also provides a sense of escapism through its flavors and presentation.

Bloody Mary

A popular brunch and hangover remedy, the Bloody Mary is for those seeking a savory cocktail experience. This vodka-based concoction features tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, and various spices like black pepper and smoked paprika. All of these flavors combine to create a bold and complex drink full of depth.

The best part about a Bloody Mary is the potential to get creative with the garnishes. Many pubs offer outrageous toppings like bacon, shrimp, and even mini cheeseburgers. For a meal and a cocktail in one, a Bloody Mary is always an entertaining choice.


A perennial favorite among female pub-goers, the Cosmopolitan is a delicious blend of vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and Cointreau – often credited to its popularity on the television show Sex and the City. This beautifully-crafted pink cocktail is an approachable option for those looking for a fruity and refreshing libation.

The Cosmopolitan is best appreciated when made with freshly squeezed lime juice and quality cranberry juice, so make sure the pub you’re visiting has these ingredients on hand.


The Manhattan is another classic whiskey cocktail, featuring whiskey (preferably rye), sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. This pre-Prohibition cocktail is typically served in a chilled coupe glass with a cherry or citrus twist for garnish.

A well-made Manhattan showcases the whiskeys’ complex flavors and deepens the overall taste with each ingredient’s harmony. Like the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan is another must-try for whiskey enthusiasts.

Tom Collins

If you’re seeking a refreshing, easy-to-drink cocktail, the Tom Collins should be at the top of your list. The simple character combines gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, making it a fizzy delight. The garnish typically consists of a lemon slice, maraschino cherry, or both.

The Tom Collins is a classic highball, meaning it’s served in a tall glass with ice, often accompanied by a straw. This drink is great for those who enjoy a lighter, zesty, and carbonated cocktail after a long day of work or while catching up with friends.

Mint Julep

Few things scream “Southern hospitality” like a classic Mint Julep. A combination of bourbon, sugar, mint, and crushed ice, the Mint Julep is another perfect cocktail for a warm day. Traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup, the drink should be held by the rim to prevent the cold from transferring to your hands.

This bourbon-based drink is associated with the Kentucky Derby, so if you’re a fan of American traditions or horse racing, it’s an absolute must-try.

Dark ‘N’ Stormy

Another rum-based gem on our list, the Dark ‘N’ Stormy is a simple yet satisfying cocktail. Combining dark rum, ginger beer, and a squeeze of lime, this drink showcases a harmonious play of robust and spicy flavors.

Typically served in a highball glass with ice, the Dark ‘N’ Stormy is a go-to for anyone who loves ginger beer and is looking for something a little different from the regular Moscow Mule.


For anyone who loves citrus and cognac, the Sidecar is a fantastic choice. This classic cocktail combines cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, creating a balanced blend of sour and sweet. It’s typically served straight up in a sugar-rimmed glass, adding a touch of elegance to your pub visit.

The Sidecar is an excellent choice for those looking for a classy cocktail with a complex flavor profile, dating back to the early 20th century.

White Russian

Turning our attention to The Dude of cocktails, the White Russian, we find a delightful combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream (or milk if you prefer) served over ice. This dessert-like drink is perfect for those with a sweet tooth and an affinity for coffee-based beverages.

No “The Big Lebowski” movie night would be complete without sipping on one of these classics, and neither should your pub visit if decadent, sweet concoctions are your thing.


If you’re looking for a straightforward, yet refreshing drink, the Gimlet is a top choice. Traditionally made with gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, this drink offers a delightful, zesty flavor profile. You can also opt for a vodka Gimlet for a slightly different twist.

The Gimlet’s origins date back to the British Navy officers of the 19th century, making it an interesting cocktail with a rich history. This drink is perfect for those who enjoy a good story alongside a classic cocktail.

Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz is not only a delicious cocktail but also an impressive display of bartending skill. This concoction consists of gin, lemon and lime juice, simple syrup, heavy cream, egg white, orange blossom water, and soda water. It’s a complex drink with a creamy texture that requires proper shaking and technique to achieve the perfect frothy finish.

The Ramos Gin Fizz is ideal for those seeking a luxurious and decadent cocktail, but remember to give your bartender some extra appreciation for their hard work when ordering this drink!


As Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha shines the spotlight on the country’s signature spirit – cachaça. Made with cachaça, lime, and sugar, this simple cocktail is similar to a mojito, but with a unique character of its own. The Caipirinha is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a refreshing and slightly exotic cocktail experience.


Last but not least, the Boulevardier is a fantastic option for fans of the Negroni who prefer whiskey over gin. This cocktail combines rye whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari in equal parts. Though it’s a lesser-known classic, the Boulevardier is perfect for anyone who likes a strong, bitter, and complex drink.

So, there you have it – our ultimate list of the best classic cocktails to order in a pub! With 20 cocktails to choose from, you now have an impressive repertoire to explore during your pub visits. Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or a casual socializer, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new – you might just find your new favorite drink. Cheers to your next pub adventure and happy sipping!

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