The Best Classic Cocktails at the Gay Bar

The LGBTQ community has always set the trend when it comes to drinking culture. Even in the days of morality laws and oppression, secret gay bars boasted a variety of pale ales and light beers to wet the appetite and distinguish a man from a gentleman. As time and acceptance progressed, gay bars started to create cocktails that involved more style, sophistication, and well...booze.

The Cocktails We Know and Love!

These gay bar classic cocktails are always strong, difficult to make, and never fail to fill you with the passion you need to have a great night out:

  • Long Island Iced Tea - notorious for their massive amount of alcohol and the speed at which one can be ordered, drank, and re-ordered - started a trend in iconic cocktails that have influenced movies, tv, and become the branding for many celebrities around the world.

  • Cosmos, the fabulously sweet martini that became super popular in gay bars around the world after the hit of “Sex and the City” held the title of iconic gay drink for decades.

  • The Mojito, a sweeter, mintier, and-way-more-complicated-to-make-than-the-Cosmo, found its way into the Gay Hall of Iconic Drinks after the Cosmopolitan. This drink looks cool, involves muddling (which is basically thrusting a big wooden stick deep into a glass over and over), and requires fresh mint leaves to make. It really is a Diva of a drink!

Cocktail Culture is Changing!

Times are changing and so is the culture. With LGBTQ issues becoming more mainstream in the news, television, and movies, it is no longer just the “gays” going to gay bars. With the addition of new clientele, gay bars are starting to see a new trend in drinking that allows for the satisfaction of the palate, the projection of style, and the refinement of the senses.

Gone are the days of fun, sweet, and fruity drinks.

Here is to the newest iconic gay drink: The Classic Cocktail.

What is so great about a classic cocktail?

These cocktails are a throwback to a time of mystery, intrigue, and excitement. And if we learned anything from watching Mad Men, it is that a classic cocktail can make you look strong, handsome, and charming. Who wouldn't want that?

Order these classic cocktails on your next gay night out to distinguish you from the pack, class up your bar game, and amplify your taste and refinement.

  • The Sidecar Cocktail

    The Sidecar is a classic cocktail that has a sweet cognac base and an orange citrus kick. While many disagree on who originally created this vintage World War 1 era cocktail, the general consensus is that it came from somewhere in Europe as an homage to an American Captain who always rode in the sidecar of a motorcycle. The Sidecar is pretty simple for a bartender to make and comes “Straight Up” (without ice) in a cocktail glass. If the bartender doesn't know how to make it just tell them the following:

    • 2 shots of Cognac

    • 1 shot of Orange Liqueur (we like Triple Sec!)

    • 1 Shot of Lemon Juice

    Shake all of the ingredients together over ice and pour out into a cocktail glass. Traditionally The Sidecar is garnished with a small piece of orange. Pro Tip- If you want to add a bit of sweetness to the experience, have the bartender rim the glass with a bit of sugar.

  • The Manhattan Cocktail

    Photo by Alem Sánchez from Pexels

    The Manhattan is traditionally made with American Rye Whiskey. This classic cocktail is perfect for a night throwing shade with your best friends. The recipe is rather simple and can be created in a variety of ways depending on type of whiskey, vermouth ratio, and garnish. In the 1860’s this classic cocktail was created using:

    • 2 shots of American Rye Whiskey,

    • 1 shot of Italian Vermouth,

    • A sprinkle of Angostura bitters.

    • Cherry to Garnish

    In the age of mixology and gastronomy, variations have grown to include brandy, tequila, and Scotch Whiskey (commonly known as a Rob Roy) as a base for the cocktail.

  • The French 75

    The French 75 blends the style of gin with the excitement of champagne and is a classic cocktail that is sure to get you noticed. The original recipe calls for:

    • 1.5 shots of gin

    • A little under a shot of lemon juice

    • A few dashes of simple syrup

    • And the rest is champagne.

    This classic cocktail is crisp, refreshing, and full of booze! Alternatives include a Tom Collins, which is the same recipe but substitute carbonated water for the champagne.

  • The Moscow Rule Cocktail

    Photo by Andrea P. Coan from Pexels

    The Moscow Mule originates the same way that every classic cocktail story originates - nobody knows! The common theme in the stories is that it was invented by bored people in a bar. Whether you want to believe that it was some guys messing around with Vodka and Cock and Bull ginger beer in the 40’s or some dude who just wanted to get rid of product to make room in his cellar, one thing is for sure - this drink will definitely kick it up a notch on your next gay night out. The Moscow Mules ingredients are pretty simple:

    • 9 parts vodka

    • 24 parts ginger beer

    • 1 part lime juice

    The trick is that for it to be an ACTUAL Moscow Mule, it MUST be served in a copper cup. Nothing will attract more attention to you at the gay bar than sipping this powerful cocktail from a striking copper cup. Interesting fact: Because of the high pH content of the drink, the FDA mandates that anyone who sells this drink must do so in a copper cup that is plated on the inside with a metal that can stand up to the pH level.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things!

Classic cocktails don't have to be the boring drinks that your grandpa used to have. Don't be afraid to customize your classic cocktail to match your taste and style. Ingredients such as pomegranate juice, raspberry liqueur, and even straight tequila can be added or substituted to give your classic cocktail your own personal signature.

So next time you are having a night out at the gay bars, ditch what everyone else is having and order a classically stylish classic cocktail!