A well-made Manhattan is a test for any skilled bartender.
For some reason, many men find cocktails confronting. Let's be honest, when you're reading through the obligatory drinks menu at your favourite bar, craving the potential cocktail combinations, you also spare a thought for the way a drink might look, and more pressingly the way you will look holding it.
Who cares, I say. Feeling confident with your own manly masculinity is the first step towards consuming quality cocktail concoctions.
Secondly, and just as important, is having a great selection of butch & blokey drinks in your arsenal before getting carried away with a tropical layered drink garnished with a pineapple wedge and a complimentary paper umbrella.
Here are five that won't compromise your credibility on a lads' night out:
1. Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned by name, old fashioned by nature. That being said, it doesn't mean it isn't popular today. A subtle, yet potent, whiskey hitter with couple of dashes of your favourite bitters topped off with a twist of orange peel. The perfect classic drink for a night out with the boys.
2. Whiskey Sour
A perfect progression to the world of shaken drinks. The name says it all. Whiskey-based, with a good amount of sour lemon juice. It's balanced off with the sweetness of sugar syrup and, if you're on a bit of health kick, add some egg white to make it a meal.
For those finalising plans for the World Cup celebration in Rio, it's important to also get familiar with the Brazilian cocktail of choice. Caipirinha is a mouthful to ask for (pronounced Kai-Pee-Reen-Ya) and is packed full of limes, syrup and a rocket fuel of a rum known as Cachaça. An addictive and killer-strong summer-time drink, so beware.
A dark and seductive delight, the Manhattan is perfect for a date night drink. Sip it slow and take in the flavours of a well-aged whiskey, sweet vermouth and hint of fruit from bitters, all with a cherry on top. A well-made Manhattan is the test of any skilled bartender.
Nothing beats the suave sophistication of an ice cold Martini. Combine the herby aroma of a top-shelf gin and a generous splash of the infrequently used vermouth, pop in an olive on a stick and voila! Crystal-clear drink, instant gentleman. Oh, and contrary to 007's preference, stirred not shaken - unless you're looking for ridicule.
D'Marge is one of Australia's most popular men's style and fashion blogs.