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The 35 Best Manly Drinks, What Makes Them Masculine & Must-Know Secrets

Looking for something manly to order at the bar? Check out this essential list of manly drinks, and learn what makes them so masculine.

Manly Drinks

What is it that makes a manly drink? Is it a cool name? A lack of pretentious flavorings? Or, is it the drink’s raw ability to turn the drinker into a crawling, incoherent heap after the first shot? Most would agree on the latter, but every man will pick his own poison.

If you want to seem like a manly man, you need to know which drink to order next time you’re propping up a bar. You need to find drinks that aren’t pink or fruity, with a strong robust flavor and a sleek, cool look. You need drinks that fit your image.

So, this feature will show you the essential manly drinks. We’ll break down what’s in each one, famous drinkers in pop culture, and what makes them so masculine. Let’s get drinking! [Read: What is masculinity? 46 traits women love – and love to hate]

What makes manly drinks so manly?

The majority of cocktails can come across as girly in the wrong context. Imagine a big, bearded lumberjack ordering a Cosmopolitan, or a sharp-suited gentleman asking for a Strawberry Daiquiri. Doesn’t sound right, does it?

But what is it that makes those drinks girly, and other drinks manly? Let’s take a look at the three factors that make a drink seem more masculine or feminine: look, taste, and alcohol content.


Firstly, how the drink looks. Some drinks are made to look pretty. They have bright colors like pink, yellow, and blue, or use accessories like mini umbrellas and glace cherries. They might even have a gimmick like dry ice or a sugared rim.

In general, the more elaborate a drink looks, the more girly it is. This is because *stereotypically* women tend to care more about appearances than men.

Girls are much more likely to order a drink that’ll match their outfit on their Instagram feed, so people associate pretty drinks with women. [Read: How to become more manly, without being aggressive]


Sweeter drinks come across as more feminine. Popular girly drinks – like a Tequila Sunrise or Sex on the Beach – feature fruity flavors and sugar syrups that cover the taste of alcohol. They’ll also often be based on sweet liquors, like schnapps in an Appletini.

This is because, in general, being an alcohol connoisseur is seen as a masculine trait. The majority of whiskey clubs are all-male, and women are usually much less likely to care about the complex flavor profile of a barrel-aged rum.

Many women just want something that tastes good and masks the bitter flavor and burning sensation of alcohol. So forget the whiskey, bring on the Malibu! [Read: Girly drinks galore – 24 cocktails every girl’s gotta know]

Alcohol content

We often see endurance as a sign of masculinity. That’s why many men consider being able to shotgun a super strong drink as a hallmark of manliness. If a guy can stand the burning, stinging taste – and still stand up once it goes to his head – he’s a real man!

Manly drinks usually have a higher alcohol content. On top of this, they won’t use sweet flavors to mask the taste. Instead, they’ll use bitter mixers like tonic, or ones with a slight burn like ginger ale. These intensify the effect of the alcohol. [Read: Happy hour – what your favorite drink says about you]

Manly drinks in pop culture

Some drinks aren’t just manly because of their look, taste, and alcohol content. These cocktails became manly through their association with famous icons of manliness. There are lots of well-known male drinkers in pop culture, let’s find out what their favorite tipples are.

1. Martini – James Bond

His name is Bond, James Bond. And how does he like his martini? Shaken, not stirred. James Bond is one of the most famous masculine cocktail drinkers and opts for a sleek, classy mixed drink.

A regular Martini uses gin and vermouth, but Bond favors vodka instead of gin. It’s garnished with a single olive – usually stuck through with a cocktail stick – or a lemon twist.

As for the “shaken” part, shaking a drink introduces air bubbles into the mixture, and can chip off small pieces of the ice. This gives the drink a unique cloudy look. [Read: The ultimate home bar essentials every guy needs]

2. Blue Margarita – Breaking Bad

Although Jesse Pinkman and Walter White usually drink whiskey, this drink is based on the stuff that made their names: meth. A bright Blue Margarita looks exactly like a beaker of meth and gives you a cool, edgy vibe.

This tequila cocktail features triple sec, Blue Curaçao, and fresh lime juice. It’s garnished with blue-dyed ice chips, and blue sugar on the rim of the glass. If you really want to look like The One Who Knocks, drink this one out of a lab flask!

3. The Adrenaline Shot – Pulp Fiction

The perfect drink to go with your Royale with cheese! Inspired by Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction – and her famous overdose scene – this cocktail will make you feel like Vince Vega. Just stay out of the shower…

The Adrenaline Shot cocktail features Red Bull, amaretto, and cherry vodka, and is usually served out of a syringe. If the bartender doesn’t know how to make this specific drink, ask for a vodka Red Bull – it’s the same thing, only less sweet. [Read: What to talk about when you’re drunk with your date]

4. The Old Fashioned – Mad Men

Sometimes, the oldies are the best. The Old Fashioned is one of the classic manly drinks. However, it became even more masculine after the series Mad Men aired in 2007. Hot-shot ad exec Don Draper is almost never seen without an Old Fashioned in hand! [Read: The types of women you can expect to meet at a bar]

You make an Old Fashioned by mixing sugar with water and then adding rye or bourbon whiskey. It’s traditionally served “on the rocks” – over ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Simple, classic, and masculine since the 19th century, this is one of the manliest drinks around.

5. The French 75 – Casablanca

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine… but only a man would order this cocktail. Rick Blaine, Humphrey Bogart’s character in the classic movie Casablanca, serves the French 75 cocktail in his bar. [Read: The most dangerous signs of an alcoholic that reveal a serious problem]

If you want to drink like Rick, order a French 75. This cocktail is made of gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and champagne, and served in a champagne flute. Although it might not seem manly, it’s the perfect drink for an old Hollywood-style gentleman. Here’s looking at you, kid!

6. Mai Tai – Elvis Presley

In his classic movie Blue Hawaii, Elvis drinks one-too-many Mai Tais and finds himself in a bar brawl, before being locked up for the night in the drunk tank. If you want to get into some crazy fun next summer, try ordering a Mai Tai!

This tiki-themed cocktail features rum, orange curaçao, fresh lime juice, and orgeat *a type of almond syrup.* Even though it tastes sweet, this drink will get you drunk fast. And who was more many than the King of Rock’n’Roll?

7. The Godfather – Don Corleone

This 1970s classic cocktail was inspired by the best mob movie of all time, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, and its protagonist Don Vito Corleone. American with an Italian twist features just two ingredients: whiskey and amaretto.

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur made from almonds and fruit pits and adds a subtle marzipan flavor to the richness of whiskey. If you really want to channel The Don, make sure you opt for an American whiskey, like bourbon, rye, or sour mash. [Read: Best movie drinking games – 26 movies that get better with booze]

The manliest drinks every man needs to remember

Now it’s time for the essential list of manly drinks. While some men prefer the raw punch of unadulterated alcohol, other guys want to get a little fancy. There’s no reason you can’t add a small manly garnish to your drink!

Other guys might want something sophisticated, something no-nonsense, or even something fun and crazy for a party. Here’s a list of manly drinks for different types of men.

Classy manly drinks for classy men

Ordering these drinks exudes class and taste. These are the types of manly drinks for men who know what they want and know how to enjoy it. Best imbibed while wearing a sharp suit and smoking an expensive cigar.

1. Whiskey

Whiskey is the definitive manly drink. Either served neat or on the rocks, this liquid gold is so manly that they even make cologne smell like it! The first famous type of whiskey is Scotch, made from malted barley. Secondly, across the pond, American ones are made from various combinations of other grains including corn.

There are also other mixed drinks out there that use whiskey as a cocktail base. However, real men know how to appreciate it as it is. [Read: Alcohol’s effects on your sex life and libido]

2. Martini

In its purest form, a Martini is a cold mix of gin and vermouth garnished with either olives or a lemon twist. A versatile and adaptable drink, a Martini has various forms.

Ordering a vodka Martini will get you a mix of vodka instead of gin. Tell the bartender “straight up”, and they’ll omit the ice. For an even more manly touch, you can ask for your Martini “extra dry.” This means there’ll be less vermouth and even less sweetness.  [Read: Fast working secrets to sober up fast and beat that hangover]

3. Classic Manhattan

This drink was popular during the Prohibition era, because it masked the taste of bathtub gin, and it was also Frank Sinatra’s favorite! If you want to steal Old Blue Eyes’ Rat Pack style, this is the cocktail for you.

Every bar has its own version of the Manhattan, but essentially it contains two ounces of rye whiskey and half an ounce of vermouth. It’s then finished with a dash of bitters, and an optional stemmed cherry. [Read: Drunk kiss – the meaning of a drunk makeout]

4. Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail calls itself a cocktail, but tastes more like a fist-fight. For this one, you take one and a half ounces of Scotch whisky, then dilute it with three-quarter ounces of Drambuie. Finally, top it off with some ice and a lemon twist.

Although the modern garnish looks pretty, legend has it that this drink got its name from rowdy Scotsmen stirring it with a rusty nail. If that’s not manly enough for you, then we don’t know what is!

No-nonsense manly drinks for the quintessential man

For the breed of men that abhors fancy cocktails served in fancy crystalware. The quintessential man’s drink is anything with ethanol in it. So, he won’t mind if he drinks it from a beat-up tin can or the sawed-off skull of his enemy. These are the ultimate no-nonsense manly drinks.

5. Beer

The most ancient and manliest drink of all, enjoyed by men from all social classes. Beer is jokingly referred to as a “liquid meal” by its most devoted drinkers. Truthfully, it does contain both alcohol and a good amount of carbohydrates, so it will make you feel more full than clear alcohol.

No red-blooded man should ever fear to chug this! [Read: Super fun drinking card games to get the whole party wasted]

6. Whiskey on Water

If you have a no-nonsense attitude, you won’t want any extra flavors messing up a good glass of whiskey. Whiskey on water is one of the most simplistic cocktails around, and can be made anywhere – even while sitting around a campfire with your fellow lumberjacks!

For a warming winter drink, mix hot water with your whiskey. This will enhance the natural burning heat of the whiskey, and bring out extra aromatic flavors.

7. Gin and Tonic

A classic drink that calls for a 1:1 ratio of gin and tonic water, finished with a slice of lime. In the 19th century, British soldiers in India created the gin and tonic to mask the bitter taste of cheap tonic water. The quinine in tonic repels mosquitoes, so getting drunk protected the soldiers from malaria!

This sounds pretty convincing, but we think their “medicine” was just an excuse to get sloshed. [Read: All the sober reasons why drunk sex is never a good idea]

8. Rum and Coke

As simple as the name implies, this concoction calls for a combination of cola and infamously high-proof Caribbean rum. Plus, a slice of lime gives an acidic accent to the dark, bitter, and crisp mixture swirling beneath.

Ordering this manly drink is sure to make you look and sound like a man – if you’re sober enough to speak after the first glass.

9. Mojito

The Mojito calls for two parts spiced rum and one part soda, along with a garnish of mint leaves, some lime juice, and crushed ice.

This drink gets its manly reputation from being the favorite drink of Pulitzer-winning author Ernest Hemingway. So, we think that this strong cocktail probably influenced him to say his famous quote: “Write drunk, edit sober.” [Read: The biggest factors that boost a man’s sexual market value]

Crazy manly drinks for the craziest of men

These are drinks born during desperate times, most are more of a health risk than a pleasurable sip. With these, taking a shot is like playing a game of Russian roulette with your liver.

So, here are the drinks that only the manliest can finish and stay standing.

10. Naga Chili Vodka

If vodka itself is not manly enough, why not add another dash of manliness by pickling Naga chili peppers in it? Just so you know, Naga peppers rank up at 250,000 units on the Scoville heat scale. This means every bottle bears an FDA warning sticker that reads “drink at your own risk.”

[Read: Hangxiety – what it is, all the signs, and how to deal with post-party anxiety]

11. Moonshine

Moonshine is any grain alcohol that doesn’t go through barrel-aging, or conforms to the health standards involved in normal alcohol production. It was made popular by bootleggers during the Prohibition Era, who made it in stills built from car radiators.

The resulting drink can be clear or cloudy, with very high alcohol content. There are still some craft distillers that produce this alcoholic drink – but modern moonshine always follows safety standards.

However, never attempt to make moonshine yourself. Homemade moonshine sometimes includes poisonous by-products, which can kill you. [Read: How to unleash your inner alpha male]

12. Everclear

If moonshine isn’t strong enough, try Everclear. This clear grain alcohol has a 190 proof alcohol content. What does 190 proof mean? It means that you’ll go blind if it gets in your eyes, and you can’t light a cigarette a few minutes after opening a bottle.

Seriously, the label of this drink says “don’t consume on its own.” So, if you want to prove something, dilute this first with a liter of water before consuming it. Otherwise, you’ll be waking up with the world’s worst hangover – if you wake up at all!

Other manly drinks for masculine guys

Still haven’t found your perfect manly drink? Try one of these other options next time you’re at the bar. Even if they’re not the best known, they’ll still make you look suave. [Read: The most popular alcoholic drinks – how to mix them and impress everyone]

13. Bloody Bull

The tough-sounding name of this morning cocktail makes it a much manlier option than a Bloody Mary. To make one, mix tomato juice, beef broth, vodka, lemon juice, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, celery seed, and pepper into a tall glass of ice. Perfect for beating a hangover.

14. Sidecar

Another OG classic cocktail invented in the 1920s. A Sidecar is traditionally made with cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice served in a martini glass. Like a Daiquiri, the Sidecar is a sour cocktail, but works perfectly as a more manly version of this typically girly drink.

15. Gold Rush

A Gold Rush uses bourbon, honey syrup, and fresh lemon juice. It has the sleek simplicity of all the most manly cocktails and an attractive golden color. The honey, lemon, and warming bourbon also make this a perfect cure for sore throats.

So, if you’re ever at the bar and feel yourself coming down with a cold, just order a Gold Rush! [Read: The most effective ways to prevent a hangover]

16. Snakebite

The snakebite comes from the UK – possibly the world capital of heavy drinking. Traditionally, it consists of a mix of lager and cider.

However, some creative Brits have also mixed in some blackcurrant cordial – known as Ribena – to darken the drink’s color. This variation is called a “Snakebite and Black” or a “Diesel.” Manly, right?

17. Irish Car Bomb

To make an Irish Car Bomb, drop a “bomb shot” of Irish cream whiskey into a glass of black stout. However, some Irish people find the name of this drink offensive, so instead, you can call it an Irish Slammer or Dublin Drop. Being respectful of other cultures is part of being a true gentleman.

18. Negroni

A Negroni is an Italian cocktail featuring gin, Campari *a bittersweet herbal aperitif,* and red vermouth in equal measures. The different red liquors in this drink give it a vibrant red color – like the blood of your enemies. [Read: The simple, effective ways to cure that pesky hangover]

19. Cuba Libre

The Cuba Libre is a classic Cuban cocktail with rum, cola, lime, and ice. The story goes that a Spanish-American War general mixed this drink for the first time in 1900, and toasted his Cuban comrades by calling out, “Por Cuba Libre!” Drink this one in the summer on a hot terrace.

20. Amaretto Sour

The Amaretto Sour is a sweet and sour cocktail, made with amaretto and lemon. However, the most notable aspect of this cocktail is the topping: whipped egg white. This is a perfect alternative Christmas cocktail, that’s much more manly than a traditional Snowball.

21. Fuzzy Navel

Sounds gross, we know! But it’s not as nasty as it sounds. The “fuzz” in a Fuzzy Navel is a reference to peaches, which feature in the cocktail as peach schnapps. Although this is a sweet cocktail, you’ll definitely get a laugh from your buddies just by saying the name!

[Read: Teetotal dating – how to date when you don’t drink]

In the end, real men would rather take a shot than argue whether a drink is manly or not. After all, real men drink whatever they want!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...