5 cocktails when you don't know what to order at a bar

If you're tired of your usual, then this could help. You don't have to drink from the gallon jug of Yellowtail. A GREAT Cosmo or mojito is a celebration of life, but you need fresh juice and a bartender who really cares (is that where you're at?). Here are a few suggestions if you feel stuck on feeling for a drink.
  1. NETHERWORLD
    1.5oz vodka, 1.5oz Dubonnet (gorgeous on its own), 0.5oz simple syrup and fresh lime juice, and 2-4 drops of Campari (or Aperol if you can't stand the stuff). Shake/up/thick, wide orange twist. The way a gimlet can "beat the pants of a martini any day" this one can whoop a Cosmo. Pairs with in-laws and your boss when you need to impress but not get loaded, silent movies, and and anyone with a sexy accent.
  2. VERA
    1.5oz scotch, 1oz sweet vermouth (a grossly underrated item behind the bar) and 0.5 dry vermouth, 0.5oz Cointreau (the greatest liqueur ever made—it's vodka strength), and 2oz tonic. Build/Collins/lemon twist. This is a scotch cocktail for people who don't love scotch. It's summery; when was the last time someone said that about a scotch cocktail. Goes with anything.
  3. A VESPER
    Proportions are different that Ian Fleming's version in his book. 2oz Chopin vodka, 1.25oz Tanqueray Ten gin, 0.5oz Lillet blanc, and a dash of Regan Six orange bitters. Shake/up/big orange twist. TIGHT! Don't let the Lillet fool you—this will still please a dry-cocktail fan. Balanced as a Thorazine drip. Pair with David Bowie and family who laugh when you're tipsy.
  4. SHIFT-ENDER
    2oz well balanced bourbon (I adore Wild Turkey), 1oz Aperol, 1oz sweet vermouth. Build and stir/up or rox/I prefer a grapefruit twist but go with orange or lemon if you want. This will end your night, fast. Two is ok, but if you want a third then just make up with your parents or forgive someone or something to pull yourself together. Pair with a taxi home and an early bedtime. G'night.
  5. FRENCH 75 (always include with a classic)
    1.25gin, 0.5oz fresh lemon juice and simple syrup or agave nectar, and 3-4oz champagne. Stir the first 3 with ice andpour into a chilled flute, then add champagne and finish with a lemon twist. If you feel fancy, then muddle with either a couple raspberries or strawberries and by God you'll want to strain it before adding the bubbles—believe it (the fruit muddled in is different than the above recipe which goes back to World War One.) Pair with a date who's out of your league and Peter Gabriel.
  6. THE HULK
    (Warning: make things right with whomever you've slighted before drinking one of these things and never, ever drink more than three unless you have trusted people to lock you up like you're a lycanthrope.) 2oz brandy or cognac, 0.5oz Jäger Spice (or regular Jägermeister), 0.5oz apricot liqueur by Luxardo or Rothman&Winter or some good brand. Stir/up/lemon twist. It's actually delicious. Pair with Tom Waits album, and your court appointed lawyer waking you with a warning to say nothing.