9 Classic Cocktails to Know (and Order) to Sound Like an Adult

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iStock

There comes a time in every drinker’s life when combinations of booze and soda no longer cut it. To help you through this time—and to help you make a good first impression on, say, a date or during a business dinner—we’ve put together a list of cocktails that sound fancy, but are probably only a step outside your comfort zone.

1. OLD FASHIONED

These days, pretty much every bar has a signature Old Fashioned, and many seasoned drinkers use this whiskey cocktail to size up new bars and new bartenders. But the drinks that fall under this name range from austere, whiskey-heavy drinks to sweet, fruit-laden spectacles. If you like straight whiskey or whiskey and soda, you may have just found a new go-to. 

2. WARD 8

If you like Whiskey Sours, you’re in luck: The Ward 8 is a just a hop, skip, and a jump away. It’s made with grenadine (but not too much), and the citrus sets it apart from the suite of (sweet) drinks that fall under this name. 

3. TOM COLLINS

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a Tom Collins on a warm day. Though it’s named for a 19th century prank, it’s a simple, delightful drink that’s been compared to boozy lemonade.

4. FRENCH 75

Love champagne and are OK with gin? The French 75 puts them together to create an easy-to-drink cocktail. Drink responsibly: The libation was appropriately named after a canon for its substantial kick. 

5. MOSCOW MULE

It may have been created as a marketing ploy (and started the craze for vodka), but the Moscow Mule is undeniably delicious. With a bit of spice from the ginger beer and a nice kick from the vodka, it’s perfect for pretty much any drinking occasion.

6. HARVEY WALLBANGER

If a Screwdriver is your go-to, step up your game with a Harvey Wallbanger. To make a Harvey Wallbanger, add a float of Galliano (an herbal Italian liqueur) to your Screwdriver. Et voilà.

7. CUBA LIBRE

Love rum and Coke? Add lime and you’ve got a Cuba Libre—a drink with a much more storied history.

8. DAIQUIRI

Luckily for us, the classic Daiquiri isn’t a slushy sugar bomb. Instead, it’s a super simple mixture of lime, sugar, and rum: Perfect for beach—or for reminiscing about warmer times. 

9. PALOMA

Though the Margarita was the cocktail that popularized tequila, the Paloma is a slightly subtler blend of grapefruit soda (or grapefruit juice and soda water), lime, tequila, and a touch of salt. 

Trick Your Friends Into Thinking You’re a Sommelier With This Wine Pairing Towel Set

Wine pairing towels on sale at UncommonGoods.
Wine pairing towels on sale at UncommonGoods.
UncommonGoods

One of the most stressful parts of cooking a delicious dinner is figuring out what kind of wine would be the perfect complement to your meal. What goes with steak? Salmon? Pizza? Opinions and palates will always differ.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet. Behold this lifesaving wine pairing towel set, which is available on UncommonGoods for $28. These nifty towels show you which wines—both white and red—go best with certain foods. And they don’t skimp on the options, either. They feature 68 common wines and 56 different foods (that’s 3808 possible combinations).

Each bottle is ranked against each food, and the pairing quality is listed as either excellent, good, or avoid. And as a bonus, they also feature notes about each wine’s acidity, tannins, body, and sweetness. So if you don’t want to ask Alexa about the wine you’re drinking, you can just sneak a peek at these towels while everyone else is praising you for your amazing pairing skills.

Great for wine novices, wine snobs, and everyone in between, these towels are the perfect resource for anyone who needs a little extra help when it comes to choosing the right bottle for dinner. Learn some more fun facts about wine here.

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Party Like a Hobbit at Chicago’s Lord of the Rings Pop-Up Bar

Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Replay Lincoln Park

One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one does simply walk into The Lord of the Rings pop-up bar in Chicago—as long as you’re at least 21 years old, of course.

Replay Lincoln Park, known for elaborate themed pop-ups for Game of Thrones, South Park, and other entertainment franchises, has transformed its premises into a magical reproduction of Middle-earth aptly called “The One Pop-Up to Rule Them All,” open now through March 23.

Inside, you’ll be able to crouch under an outcropping of tangled tree roots while one of the dreaded Nazgûl lurks above you, high-five a grimacing Gollum, and snap photos with all your favorite Lord of the Rings characters.

nazgul at the lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Nazgûl like to party, too.
Replay Lincoln Park

You might want to skip elevenses to make sure you have plenty of room for a Hobbit-approved feast during your visit. The menu, catered by Zizi’s Cafe, features items like Fried Po-tay-toes, Lord of the Wings, Beef Lembas, and Pippen’s Popcorn.

ent replica at chicago's replay lincoln park pop-up bar
Say hello to a friendly Ent while you munch on "Pippen's Popcorn."
Replay Lincoln Park

According to Thrillist, there will be three different counters in the bar, each with its own specialty drinks. Head to The Prancing Pony for a second breakfast shot (maple whiskey, bacon, and orange juice), or take a trip to Minas Tirith to toss back a palantir shot, made of silver tequila and passion fruit purée. If you’re in the mood for a little dark magic, you can trek over to Mordor and try a “my precious” shot, a fusion of dark rum, orange liquor, and Cajun seasoning.

lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Eye of Sauron is watching you order another round of Mordor shots.
Replay Lincoln Park

For those of you who are happy to accompany your Tolkien-obsessed friends to the pop-up but aren’t exactly tickled at the sight of a moss-covered Ent replica yourselves, take heart in this added bonus: Replay Lincoln Park also boasts more than 60 free arcade games and pinball machines.

[h/t Thrillist]

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