Sometimes, a guy wants a cocktail that isn’t super fruity, or layers of chocolatey goodness piled into martini glasses. While the trends and ideas about enjoying cocktails have changed, there are still some drinks out there that more men prefer. With that said, we curated this list of manly drinks that taste good with everyone in mind. Great taste in drinks knows no gender boundaries!
So guys, gather your favorite group of friends, a special someone, or just sit back and enjoy one of these tasty cocktails in the decadence of a little downtime for yourself.
The Manly Classics
1. Dirty Vodka Martini
When it comes to the best manly drinks, it doesn’t get any more classic or simpler than a dirty martini. This martini recipe is timeless, featuring the classic martini ingredients of vodka and dry vermouth. Gin can be used instead of vodka if you prefer. What makes this martini, so “dirty” is the addition of a great flavorful olive juice or brine. Serve this dirty martini, either shaken or stirred in a nice, chilled martini glass. Don’t forget to garnish with olives or a lemon peel.
The classic Manhattan has a rich, slightly sweet flavor to it with just a few undernotes of cherry. This is thanks to the masterful blending of bourbon or rye whisky with high-quality sweet vermouth. This recipe for this favorite classic cocktail takes things up a couple of notches, adding a combination of bohemian bitters, spiced cherry bitters, and classic orange bitters for a nice depth of flavors.
3. Old Fashioned Cocktail
What would a list of manly drinks be without adding the classic old-fashioned to the list? The old-fashioned is one of those drinks that is rich and smooth, a bit strong, but also mellowed by a bit of sweetness. It’s a wonderful sipping drink that also goes great with a nice cigar.
This old-fashioned by Simply Recipes uses bourbon or rye whiskey, simple syrup or a sugar cube, angostura bitters, and then an orange peel or maraschino cherry for garnish. You can also make a variation on the prep for this drink and muddle the sugar, cherry, and bitters in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass before adding the ice and other ingredients. Either way, this cocktail looks gorgeous in traditional old-fashioned glasses.
4. Rob Roy
By Serious Eats
The Rob Roy is another classic that can fall under the “drinks for men” category, but we think this tasty cocktail doesn’t discriminate based on gender. The Rob Roy is a variation of the classic Manhattan, except instead of bourbon or rye whiskey, the Rob Roy is made with scotch whiskey instead. Try using a good quality sweet red vermouth in this cocktail, and serve in your favorite old-fashioned glass or cocktail glass.
5. Classic Gibson Cocktail
The Gibson is a close relative to the gin martini. All you need for this manly drink is some gin, dry vermouth, and cocktail onions to garnish. This cocktail is made the same way that you’d make a martini. Pour the ingredients, including an ice cube or two, into a cocktail shaker and give it a shake or a stir. Pour into a well-chilled martini glass, garnish with cocktail onions, and enjoy.
If you’re not familiar, a gimlet is a deliciously limey gin cocktail that’s a refreshing drink, especially in the summer. The ingredients for the classic gimlet are simple. All you need are gin, simple syrup, and some lime. This recipe keeps it extra simple by combining just the gin and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and garnishing with a nice chunk or wedge of lime.
If you’re like us and like your gimlet with an extra dose of lime, use a sweetened lime syrup, like Rose’s Lime, instead of simple syrup. The gimlet can also be made with vodka instead of gin and served over ice or shaken.
7. Lu’s Bloody Mary
By NYT Cooking
You might not automatically think of a bloody mary as being a manly drink, but what guy doesn’t like a really good bloody mary, especially if it’s garnished with a bunch of good stuff?
We like this bloody mary recipe that we found at NYT Cooking, and apparently, so do lots of other people since it has so many great reviews. This bloody mary starts off with a base of tomato juice and then has lots of good stuff added, like Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, lime, celery salt, horseradish, and of course, the vodka! Keep the garnish as simple as you want, or go crazy over the top.
8. Tom Collins
The Tom Collins is another refreshing cocktail that will go over well with most guys. It’s simple and has a balanced sweetness that offers a nice change from typical “manly drinks” without being too frilly.
For the basic Tom Collins, you’ll need your favorite gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, club soda, and some lemon or other type of citrus for a garnish. You can take the Tom Collins in several other directions by infusing it with herbs, adding cucumbers, or using various flavored spirits.
9. Best Whiskey Sour
A whiskey sour is nice because while it’s a stiff drink, it’s also a little sweet, tart, and full of flavor. They’re also a classic summertime drink that will also be quite enjoyable going into the fall. For this cocktail, all you need is your favorite bourbon whiskey, fresh lemon juice, pure maple syrup, and an orange peel to garnish.
10. Cuba Libre
Some think that a Cuba Libre is just a fancy name for a rum and coke, but there’s one feature that makes the Cuba Libre a the addition of lime. You can make your Cuba Libre anyway you want, but we suggest a higher-end rum, a true Coca-Cola (try Mexican Coca-Cola if it’s available in your area). We like to squeeze the lime right into the drink and then garnish it with another wedge.
11. Black & Tan
The Black & Tan is a classic beer drink that layers a pale beer with a super-rich stout for an unmistakable presentation. The Black & Tan is one of those drinks that are popular on St Patrick’s Day but should also be enjoyed all year round. The black & tan is also nice when you’re craving a stout but don’t want all the heaviness that goes along with it.
The classic Black & Tan is made with a pale beer, with Bass and Harp Lager being the two most popular. Start by filling half a glass with the pale ale. Then take a good stout beer (Guinness is the way to go here), and hold a spoon over the glass to pour the stout. This is key because the dark beer poured slowly is what creates the iconic layered effect.
Distinguished and Sippable
12. Normandie Old Fashioned
If you’re a fan of the classic old-fashioned, you’re going to love this variation with lots of warm notes with just a hint of sweetness and fruit. The Normandie version features coconut-infused bourbon (this is super easy to make yourself), apple brandy, spiced almond syrup, and angostura bitters. Add all of the ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir. Strain this manly deliciousness into your favorite cocktail to enjoy.
If you’re of the mind that beer is a man’s drink, we suggest you try the Steamroller the next time you’re in the mood for a manly cocktail. The Steamroller starts with a mixture of whiskey, elderflower liqueur, and cherry liqueur and adds lemon juice before the star of the show makes an appearance. The Steamroller is then topped off with a pale beer. Serve this surprisingly refreshing cocktail with a kick in a tall glass garnished with lemon.
14. Rusty Nail
The Rusty Nail has been called the king of all scotch cocktails. It’s a sophisticated drink that fits in the manly cocktail category, with smooth undernotes that make it the perfect leisurely after-dinner cocktail.
The Rusty Nail is a combination of scotch and a liqueur called Drambuie, which is made from scotch, honey, and a variety of herbs. Serve this perfect partnership over ice in your favorite cocktail glass.
This is another smooth, sophisticated scotch cocktail. Once you take a sip, you’ll understand 100% why it has earned the name of the Godfather. This is a simple cocktail to make. All you need are equal parts of your favorite scotch and Amaretto. Add them together in a cocktail shaker with ice, and give it a couple of shakes. Serve over fresh ice in your “manliest” cocktail vessels.
16. Black Russian
While “The Dude” from the “Big Lebowski” almost always had a White Russian in his hands, we chose to include the version without the cream on our list of great-tasting manly cocktails. Besides the taste, we love the Black Russian for its simplicity.
With high-quality vodka and a coffee liquor such as Kahlua, it’s hard to go wrong with this drink. The vodka cuts through the thick sweetness of the coffee liquor and creates a marriage made in heaven.
17. Brandy Sidecar
The Brandy Sidecar sounds like a complex cocktail, but it really isn’t. This recipe includes lemon juice, orange liqueur, and cognac or brandy, all mixed together and served over ice. Don’t forget to garnish this one with a nice fat slice of orange peel to enhance the orange flavors in the drink.
18. Dark & Stormy
By Food & Wine
Legend has it that the Dark & Stormy was created more than one hundred years ago by a Naval Officer’s Club. If you haven’t tried this cocktail before, you’ll be glad it has stood the test of time after your first sip.
The Dark & Stormy is a mixed drink that includes Gosling’s Rum and ginger beer. The secret to a really good dark & story cocktail is to find a craft ginger beer that has a nice, gingery bite to it. No garnish is necessary, but a lime compliments this mixed drink nicely.
19. Smokey Cokey
By The Takeout
An exquisite smokey scotch is considered by some to be an acquired taste and considered by others to rank among the manly drinks. Even if you’re not a huge fan of a smokey scotch, the Smokey Cokey could turn you into a believer.
To make this cocktail, add an ounce and a half of your favorite smokey scotch over ice. Fill the glass with cola, then stir, sip, and enjoy.
By Serious Eats
In our opinion, the Sazerac has to rank among the best manly drinks. As a New Orleans original, the Sazerac is steeped in history and made with a combination of boozy elements that might have you buzzy enough to be questioning your life decisions after just one drink.
The Sazerac is made with Sazerac Rye (but any good rye whiskey will do), Absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters, a sugar cube, and a few drops of water to dissolve the sugar before crafting this drink. Garnish with a lemon peel, and prepare to lose your inhibitions.
By the Cocktail Hammer
Fans of James Bond, who have seen Casino Royale (or read the book!), will recognize this movie-famous drink right away. The Vesper is a style of martini and one that should be on every list of manly cocktails. To make James Bond’s signature drink, you’ll need both vodka and gin, along with an aperitif called Lillet Blanc. You can choose to have yours shaken or stirred, but served in a chilled martini glass with a lemon twist is a must.
When they say that Penicillin can cure anything, they’re talking about this drink. The Penicillin features a base of blended scotch and then is enhanced by honey-ginger syrup and lemon juice. This recipe by Casual Foodist also adds in a bit of peated scotch, which mellows some of the sweetness and gives the drink a bit more of an earthy bite.
23. Mamie Gilroy
By Mr. Boston
The Mamie Gilroy makes it onto our list of manly cocktails, but honestly, this is one of the mixed drinks that will taste good to anyone. A far cry from your standard gin & tonic or vodka & soda, the Mamie Gilroy starts with a nice blended scotch and is then enhanced with fresh lime juice and ginger ale. We like this one served over a bit of crushed ice. You can also lighten this up a little with a splash of tonic or soda water for a crisper taste.
24. The Presbyterian
The Presbyterian is another one of the great manly cocktails that’s great for sipping during the summer or when enjoying casual drinks with friends. It’s refreshing but strong, with a base of either scotch, bourbon, or rye whiskey. To lighten this up, equal parts of ginger ale and club soda top it off. Serve this one in a tall highball glass on a summer day.
Manly Aperitif Cocktails
25. Classic Negroni
The classic Negroni is a cocktail that features an Italian aperitif called Campari. The Campari is combined with sweet vermouth and gin over ice, with the preferred garnish being an orange peel.
To some, the Negroni might seem like a slightly bitter drink, but the hints of fruitiness from the Campari and depth from the sweet vermouth mellow out any bitterness quite nicely. The secret to a good Negroni is to use the best quality gin and vermouth that fits your budget. Lower-end gin and vermouth just don’t offer the nuances that this wonderful drink deserves.
26. White Negroni
The White Negroni is a variation on the classic Negroni, except instead of Campari, this version is made with an aperitif called Lillet Blanc. Lillet Blanc offers flavor notes that are slightly herbal and floral with just a hint of citrus. The Lillet Blanc is combined with gin, and some also add in white vermouth. A slice of grapefruit or lemon peel makes the perfect garnish for this cocktail.
27. The Diplomat Cocktail
By Mr. Boston
The Diplomat cocktail dated back a hundred years and was at one time considered a gentleman’s cocktail. The Diplomat is a nice cocktail that’s full of distinguished flavors without being too heavy on alcohol content. The Diplomat is made with sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, angostura bitters, and maraschino liqueur. Stir with ice and then strain into a glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and lemon peel.
28. Toronto Cocktail
This is a sophisticated and very sippable manly cocktail that we’ve seen a couple of different variations of. It starts out with rye whiskey, that’s then blended with a simple sugar syrup, angostura bitters, and an aperitif called Fernet Branca, which is herbaceous while being just a tad sweet and spicy. Variations on this use pure maple syrup instead of simple syrup.
29. Fernet Con Coca
Fernet Con Coca is an Argentinian cocktail that your manly self is going to fall in love with. This cocktail is super easy, with only two perfect ingredients. You need about two ounces of herbaceous Fernet Blanca and four ounces of coke. Serve over ice in a highball glass and give it a swirl. No garnish is necessary, but a little lemon or lime would go nicely.
30. Lillet French Aperitif Cocktail
We classify this one in a category of distinguished gentleman manly cocktails. Lillet is just so perfect on its own that you don’t really need to add much, if anything, to it. This cocktail recipe takes advantage of that perfection and combines equal amounts of Lillet Blanc and club soda. Garnish with an orange twice or leave it plain. It’s perfect either way.
31. Tour de France Aperitif
Bonal is an herbaceous aperitif that’s made with gentian, quinine, and other herbs that are native to the Grande Chartreuse mountains. Bonal was also an early sponsor of the Tour de France. Bonal is the main ingredient in this cocktail named after the famous cycling race.
Bonal is combined with dry vermouth, orange liqueur, and orange bitters. Perfect for sitting back and sipping on while watching the Tour de France.
32. Artichoke Hold Cocktail
We love this drink for our list of manly cocktails because it has just the right amount of sophisticated complexity mixed with a touch of quirky edginess that makes it irresistible. The Artichoke Hold is made using elderflower liqueur, Jamaican Rum, Cynar, Orgeat, and lime juice. We know the combination sounds a bit funky, but trust us, it’s delicious.
33. Aviation Cocktail
Did you know that purple is the hottest, trending masculine color? At least when it comes to the Aviation cocktail, it is. The Aviation features gin, Creme de Violet, Maraschino Cherry liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. Sip on this one and prepare to take flight.
34. Vieux Carre
Vieux Carre translates to “old square,” which makes perfect sense considering this strong aperitif cocktail originated in New Orlean’s French Quarter. The Vieux Carre blends rye whiskey, brandy, Benedictine, vermouth, and bitters. There’s no question that this one will warm up even the manliest spirit.
The Name Says It All
What’s more manly than taking your average beer and turning it into a super cool cocktail? Ok, we say this with jest, but the Snakebite is a great way to change up the way you drink your typical brewski.
The Snakebite is nothing more than a light beer (think along the lines of your favorite lawnmower beer) that’s mixed with a crisp hard cider. The final drink is super sippable, so be careful with this one!
36. The Mustache
If you’re looking around at the brunch tables and see everyone sipping their mimosas and are thinking of trying one yourself but want something a bit more “manly,” the Mustache by What Should I Make for Dinner is exactly what you’re looking for.
Coined as the manly mimosa, the Moustache has the classic mimosa ingredients of champagne and orange juice, but then it gets kicked up some notches with the addition of vodka, orange liqueur, and wheat beer.
37. The Confident Man
The name of this drink is everything you need to know about how you’ll feel. The Confident Man starts with 1.5 ounces of quality vodka. Then add in equal parts of St. Germain and Aperol. A bit of fresh grapefruit juice finishes it off before shaking it well and straining it into a nice, wide rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit, and you’re all set.
38. Blood & Sand
We just love the unexpected combination of scotch and fruit juices in the Blood & Sand. Start with a really good scotch (this recipe suggests Dewars 12-year scotch), then add in sweet vermouth, cherry brandy, and freshly squeezed orange juice. For extra depth of flavor, add in a little peaty scotch. Add all of this to some crushed ice in a cocktail shaker and toss it around. Strain into a glass, and say cheers.
39. Grumpy Old Man Drink
We’re not really sure why this is called the Grumpy Old Man, but we can guarantee that you won’t feel grumpy at all, no matter what your age, once this cocktail hits your lips. The Grumpy Old Man is the perfect combination of bourbon whiskey, freshly squeezed lime juice, and ginger ale.
40. Man O War
The rumor is that this cocktail is named for the Kentucky Derby racehorse by the same name. With all the flavors in this cocktail, we can totally see the appeal in sipping on this cocktail while watching the Kentucky Derby and cheering on your pick. The Man O War is a blend of bourbon, orange liqueur, sweet vermouth, and lemon juice. Top it off with a garnish of a brandied or maraschino cherry and a lemon peel.
41. Drunk Uncle
By Serious Eats
We’re not entirely sure how this drink got its name, but we like to think that there’s a really good story behind it. Even if there isn’t, you can always make up a tall tale about a drunk uncle when drinking it! To make the drunk uncle, you want to use a good peaty scotch to add some earthy, woodsy notes to the cocktail. Combine this with Cynar and Bianco Vermouth, and finish with a garnish of grapefruit.
42. 100-Year-Old Cigar
By Serious Eats
The 100-Year-Old Cigar is another one of the best manly drinks on our list that takes advantage of the smokey earthiness of good peated scotch. If you think about a really high-quality cigar, many of the same flavor notes can be found in this cocktail. While the scotch adds noticeable flavor, the main alcohol in this drink is an aged rum. Benedictine, cynar, angostura bitters, and Absinthe add additional layers of flavor to this gentleman’s cocktail.
43. Tender Knob
If you love mixed drinks with brown liquor, the Tender Knob is bound to be one of your new favorites. The name stems from the Knob Creek that’s used as the main boozy component. The bourbon is then muddled with an apple slice, along with hard apple cider, agave nectar, and a pinch of cinnamon for a little extra spice. Mix up a few of these when tailgating in the fall.
44. Irish Car Bomb
There isn’t a local bar or pub around that’s not familiar with the Irish Car Bomb. This is one of those drinks that both look and sound unappealing, but once you actually taste it, you’ll immediately want another.
The Irish Car Bomb is Guinness and Irish Cream. Pour about a half glass of Guinness Stout, and then drop a shot glass full of Irish Cream right into the center of it. Don’t wait too long to drink it up. This isn’t a sipping drink. It is meant to go down quickly, but you might want to pace yourself a little when chugging.
45. Four Horsemen
You’ve got to have a strong constitution and a strong stomach for the Four Horsemen, but if you’re up for the challenge, you might as well toss all the other mixed drinks off the table because they’ll be meaningless to you after this.
The Four Horsemen is equal parts Jack Daniel’s, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jim Beam Bourbon, and Johnny Walker Scotch. Pile the four guys into a cocktail shaker with some ice, and strain into a lineup of shot glasses for you and your friend.
46. The Green Iguana
Ok, we don’t know if this one really qualifies as a manly cocktail, but we liked the name, so we snuck it in here. With a mixture of coconut rum, vodka, blue curacao, cream of coconut, orange juice, and pineapple juice, the Green Iguana would be just as much fun turned into a shot.
47. Undead Gentleman
The Undead Gentleman is a variation of the more famous Zombie cocktail. There is so much to this drink that it’s hard to know where to even start when describing it. You’re going to need a lot of rum, equal parts lime juice and grapefruit juice, bitters, cinnamon syrup, and more. Just trust that this one is like nothing you’ve tasted before.
48. Old Money
You might know what old money looks like or acts like, but do you know what it tastes like? You will after you try this Old Money cocktail. Filled with rich, nearly decadent ingredients, the Old Money is a slow sipper. To taste Old Money, combine bourbon, Aperol, Walnut Liqueur, and bitters. Garnished with orange, this is one rich drink.
We would technically stick this one in a category of after-dinner drinks for men (or anyone), but the name is edgy enough that we will put it here. The Revolver is the masterful blend of bourbon and coffee liqueur with orange bitters. This one is meant to be sipped slowly to enjoy all the nuances that the coffee flavor and bourbon create together.
50. Long Island Iced Tea
This king of mixed drinks really needs no introduction. Most people recognize it by the name alone. However, if you’re not familiar with the Long Island Iced Tea, make sure you have a designated driver before you take the first sip. Not only is the Long Island Tea delicious, but it’s also really strong.
Everyone seems to have their own formula for the Long Island Iced Tea, but the basic version is light rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and triple sec. Some add a splash of cola. Others jazz it up with the addition of juices, like cranberry juice or pineapple juice, and all versions are perfect for enjoying while sitting on a patio or grilling on a summer day.
Who Says a Shot of Whiskey Is the Only Manly Drink?
Manly drinks can come in all flavors and varieties, without any pretense about what a masculine drink should be. We enjoy every cocktail on this list for the depth of flavors and unique combinations they offer. So, fill up your glass and say cheers with one of these great drinks for men (or anyone!) in your hand.