Do you have a signature cocktail? You should have a signature cocktail. Few things feel as brilliantly smug in this world as casually ordering exactly what you want while your friends hopelessly peruse the menu in some bar, trying not to ask for something crap.
But which to pick and make your own? It depends on your tastes and the occasion, of course, but as with everything in life it's useful to consider what everyone else is doing.
Drinks International surveyed 100 bars around the world to find our what the most popular cocktails on the planet are, and the results are in.
The most popular spirits were whisky and gin – no surprise there, perhaps – but which made the top spot?
Here's the top ten in full.
9. Moscow Mule
6. Whisky Sour
5. Dry Martini
1. Old Fashioned
Call it the backend of the Mad Men affect (Don Draper can't get enough of them), call it a certain attraction to sadism (it takes longer for your bartender to make than any other cocktail on the list) but the Old Fashioned is top of the pile for the second year in a row.
And for good reason - robust (thanks to the bourbon or brandy) yet delicate (thanks a twist of citrus rind and usually a cherry), it's a classic that packs and punch and, unlike many others, feels substantial in the hand. 75% of bars put the Old Fashioned in their top ten most regularly ordered.
Elsewhere the list is equally predictable - and we use that word positively for once - although British drinkers may be surprised by the absence of the hangover-curing Bloody Mary (remember: we drink more than most of the rest of the world), which nevertheless still came in at a respectable 11th.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to drinking cocktails is that you ought to be familiar with - and confident in ordering - all of the above, giving you a broad range of classics to draw on depending on your mood. After all, there's only so many pints of lager a man can drink.
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