Classy or Trashy? What Your Cocktail of Choice Says About You

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When it comes to alcoholic drinks, everyone seems to be partial to a particular poison. The libation that most speaks to you may actually give insight into how your day was, what kind of mood you’re in and even your general personality. And no one knows this better than the bartenders, mixologists and cocktail experts making these intoxicating creations. That’s why we’ve consulted the pros to learn what popular boozy beverages might reveal about the people who order them.

Dirty Martini

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Whether you take yours shaken or stirred, a martini lover is usually “someone who knows what they want and how to get it,” says Diana Pantoja, bartender at Randolph’s Bar & Lounge in Manhattan.

But a dirty martini comes with a bit of a twist, if you will. According to Feisser Stone, founder and creative director of bar consulting group Barlingual, someone who orders a dirty martini is ready to have a good time and can fit into any group of people. Because of this, the drink is popular with those looking to loosen the reigns and light up the town. “Nobody drinks a dirty martini alone,” says In Good Company Hospitality cocktail curator Will Benedetto. “You either know the people you’re with really well — or you just swiped right.”

Long Island Iced Tea

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Popular with younger crowds, this potent mix of gin, vodka, tequila, rum and triple sec — with a splash of cola thrown in for good measure — will likely leave indulgers feeling its effects the next morning. Pantoja says that when someone orders this cocktail, they are usually on a mission and want to get there fast. “I find these drinkers young and new to the game,” she says. “They care less about the taste of the drink (and quality of the booze). They’re just in it for the buzz.”

For Josh Cameron, head bartender at New York City’s Boulton & Watt, the drink holds nostalgia, but that’s about it. “Ah, the good old Long Island. We definitely had some wild times,” he says. “However, I don’t want old me at my bar.” Word.

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Pitcher of Light Beer

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The people who order pitchers are usually easygoing. “They are likely at the bar to socialize and care more about who they are with than what they are drinking,” says Dave Whitton, owner of Prank Bar.

Their palettes are usually less refined (or fussy) than those who prefer to sip IPAs, and their bank accounts probably aren’t ready to foot higher bar tabs just yet. “The first-year sales guys and the just-signed-up-for-their-first-improv-class crew drink pitchers of beer — any kind of beer — as long as it’s in a pitcher,” Cameron says.

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Tiki Drink

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If you’re the type who prefers to drink out of a coconut or pineapple, you’re probably also responsible for giving your social media friends major FOMO — which is exactly what you were going for. “Most people who order tropical or tiki drinks are in their early to mid-20s and order for the sake of Instagram,” Stone says. “They want cocktails that have flames or big garnishes, and they want to record a Boomerang while the bartender is pouring the drink.”

That said, you may just love the fruity taste of a mai tai or piña colada. “You probably dream of slower, warmer days with your toes in the sand and — OK, I’ll say it — Jimmy Buffet playing,” Cameron says.

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Margarita

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Speaking of Jimmy Buffet, if you’re ready to take a trip to Margaritaville every time you order a drink, you’re probably a pretty fun person to be around. “You’re turning this night into a party, and everyone’s invited,” says In Good Company Hospitality cocktail curator Will Benedetto.

Margaritas are versatile drinks (on the rocks or frozen, spicy, sour or sweet), meaning that you are likely adaptable in different situations and personable with all sorts of people — the type who can make friends anywhere you go.

Scotch on the Rocks

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Often dubbed the “dad drink,” this beverage is usually ordered by “someone who really lives by the ‘work hard, play hard’ rule,” Stone says. Or they might be really big fans of the TV show “Suits,” which has popularized this drink with the 20s and 30s crowd. “Whenever the characters are drinking in their office, they always pull out a bottle of Macallan,” he notes.

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Red Wine

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It may not be a popular order at a bar, but for some people it’s the only option. “Red wine drinkers are classy and enjoy the finer things in life,” Whitton says. “They’re often looking to wind down after a long day at work and will always choose to drink red wine, whether they are at the bar or home on their couch.” Depending on the establishment, however, they may regret their decision if they see the bartender pull a dusty, cheap bottle off the shelf.

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Old-Fashioned

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If this sipper is your go-to, you’re sure of yourself and not one to chase the current trends. “From millennials to baby boomers, Old-Fashioned drinkers are timeless and sophisticated — you won’t find them ordering Frosé,” Whitton says. “They are opinionated, strong-willed traditionalists.”

Benedetto adds that this type of patron tends to be more mature and no fuss, or at least that’s the idea. “They want everyone in the bar to know that they are a seasoned, mature drinker who isn’t bothered by a cocktail menu or emasculated by stemware,” he says. In other words, total fancy-pantses.

Read more: The Health Benefits of Whiskey

Shots

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There’s always one person at the bar who is going hard and not going home anytime soon. Ordering shots instead of full drinks signals that a person is ready to be out until the wee hours of the morning — if they don’t pass out first.

“Shot takers often have a little too much fun,” Whitton says. “They’ll always volunteer to go first at karaoke and will definitely lose their friends by the end of the night.” But they usually find new buddies when they start buying shots for everyone else around them.

White Russian

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According to Stone, people in their very early 20s are typically the ones to order this drink, usually because it’s a cool classic that they’ve heard of before (often thanks to “The Big Lebowski”).

“It is a very sweet drink with an almost milkshake consistency, which most people over the age of 25 will never order unless as a nightcap,” he explains. “With that said, if this is your drink at, say, 6 p.m., I will question if you are of legal drinking age.”

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What Do YOU Think?

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What’s your go-to cocktail? Do you think boozy drinks reveal something about the people who drink them? What’s the strangest drink you’ve ever ordered?

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Overview

When it comes to alcoholic drinks, everyone seems to be partial to a particular poison. The libation that most speaks to you may actually give insight into how your day was, what kind of mood you’re in and even your general personality. And no one knows this better than the bartenders, mixologists and cocktail experts making these intoxicating creations. That’s why we’ve consulted the pros to learn what popular boozy beverages might reveal about the people who order them.

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