The Life Guide to Cocktails: 50 Drinks Perfect For Every Conceivable Situation

Friday, December 14, 2007 at 2:16am by Site Administrator

There is nothing that can ease social awkwardness, boost confidence and settle nerves like a good cocktail. With thousands of options, it can be hard to know what to choose, especially when your choice will be judged by those around you. As unfair as it may be, no one wants to be the one ordering the wussy drink when you’re at a business lunch that requires playing hardball. Here are a few cocktails we’ve come up with for just about every imaginable situation.


  1. First Date: Love Bite- This drink is aptly named for those who are hoping to get that "love bite" on your first date. Whether it’s meant to be or not, this cherries and cream drink certainty can’t hurt.
  2. Anniversary: Heavenly- This fruity drink can help you celebrate your years together whether you’re at the paper anniversary or golden one, with a mix of pineapple, and white wine to take you back to your honeymoon days.
  3. Honeymoon: Sex on the Beach- Whether you’ve just moved out of your parents homes or been living together for years, the honeymoon is the time when you finally get to be alone and make romance happen. Why not toast to it with an aptly named tropical drink?
  4. Valentine’s Day: Strawberry Kiss- Chances are good that if it’s Valentine’s Day you have a kiss on the mind, so start things off right with this creamy and delicious cocktail. Almost more like a dessert than a drink, it will leave your Valentine kissably sweet.
  5. Proposal: Bellini- You could celebrate your love with plain Jane champagne or you could spice it up a little with some Bellinis. This champagne cocktail adds a dash of Peach Schnapps to the mix to make toasting to your happily ever after even sweeter.
  6. Morning After: Mimosa- Ever the traditional brunch staple, it can also be a good way to treat your sweetie after she or he has shacked up at your place. If you’re feeling really thoughtful, you can accompany it with some waffles.
  7. Romantic Night In: Orgasm- If you’ve decided to spend the night in cuddling with your sweetheart instead of out on the town, then try out this delicious cocktail. While it may not exactly deliver on its name, it will certainly satisfy your desire for a good, but sweet cocktail.
  8. Break Up: World’s Strongest Cocktail: There’s nothing like a good binge to wipe the memory of your beloved right on out of your mind and this eight shot drink has enough booze in it to knock out a donkey. It should suffice to erase your puny human memory– at least for the night.


  1. Birthday: Birthday Cake- What this drink has to do with birthdays or cakes we’re not sure, but regardless it sounds delicious and the name alone is enough of an excuse to order up a round for the birthday boy or girl.
  2. Wedding: Kir Royale- This drink sounds just as classy as it is and it’s a perfect addition to the traditional champagne you’ll have for toasting. Originating in France, this drink mixes black currant liqueur with the zesty bubbles of champagne for a formal and delicious drink.
  3. Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: Mind Eraser- After the kind of debauchery that will likely ensue at your party you may want a few of these to do just what the name suggests. Who are you kidding, you probably won’t need any help. But you can still enjoy this delicious drink, meant to kill your brain cells even faster by being drunk through a straw.
  4. New Job: Ruby Celebration- Why not toast to your success with a little champagne and a little something else to boost? This drink mixes the classic celebratory champagne with a twist of vodka and cranberry.
  5. Graduation: The Graduate- By graduation, we of course mean college graduation, and you can reward the intrepid graduate, or yourself, as the case may be, with this fruity and sweet concoction.
  6. Wake: Funeral for a Friend- Everyone knows that funerals can be rough to get through, either because you knew the departed well or because your family irritates you to no end. Either way, you can toast to the deceased with this minty but deceptively strong drink.
  7. Retirement: Piña Colada- This Caribbean drink is the perfect send off to those soon headed to the warmer climes of Florida to retire.
  8. Bridal Shower: Daiquiri- A bridal shower is the perfect place to serve a fruity sweet drink like a daiquiri. Because there are so many flavor options, the most popular being strawberry, however, you can mix it up and have a little bit of something to please everyone.
  9. Housewarming: Bronx- One of the few cocktails invented before the advent of prohibition, the Bronx is a delicious orange twist on the perfect martini. It’s a great and classy choice for toasting to your new digs, and less likely than many other cocktails to stain your new carpet.


  1. Bowling: White Russian- Let’s be honest, this drink itself has absolutely nothing to do with bowling, yet you can’t possibly drink one without thinking about "the Dude" and his love of both the White Russian and bowling. Have one mixed up for you the next time you hit the lanes.
  2. Golfing: Golf Cocktail- This simple variation on the martini can be a great way to wrap up 18 holes in style. Just make sure you aren’t driving the cart after having a few of these.
  3. Gambling: Singapore Sling- Served for free on Singapore Airlines, this drink can also be a delicious addition to a night of gambling at the casino. A favorite of quirky journalist and novelist Hunter S. Thompson, hopefully your consumption of them won’t leave you as muddled in Vegas as the characters in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  4. Poolside: East India Cocktail- This prohibition era drink is a perfect addition to your next pool party. Light and fruity with loads of pineapple, it certainly won’t leave you thirsty while you’re showing off that new swimsuit.
  5. BBQ: Mojito- A favorite of both cantankerous writer and Cuban emigre Ernest Hemingway and James Bond, the mojito is a great drink for summer BBQs. The refreshing combination of mint and lime will help quench your thirst after all those hot dogs.
  6. Ice Skating: Irish Coffee- Brought to the US in the 1950s, this drink has enjoyed several different incarnations that vary the ingredients slightly. No matter how you choose to make it, it’s a great way to warm up after a twirl around a frozen pond or your local ice rink.
  7. Girls’ Night Out: Cosmopolitan- Boosted in popularity by the women of Sex in the City, this drink is the perfect choice for a girls’ night out. Not to mention it’s delicious and you’ll look sexy drinking it.
  8. Watching the Game: Touchdown- While beer is usually the drink of choice for sports aficionados, for those looking for something a little fancier, this aptly named cocktail can be a delicious alternative of bourbon, lemonade and iced tea.
  9. Summer Evening: Mai Tai- This fruity drink is perfect for warm summer evenings, though it contains a long list of ingredients. With a name coming from the Tahitian for "the best" you can’t really go wrong.
  10. Garden Party: Pimms Cocktail- The Pimms Cocktail is the ultimate garden party drink, whether you’re playing croquet or just lazing about on the veranda. It’s designed to be give you a bit of a buzz but "weak enough to be drunk all afternoon"
  11. Beach: Kiwi Whiskey Sour- Give this classic drink a summery twist by adding a hint of kiwi, making it a perfect choice for sipping while sitting under your umbrella or soaking up some rays.
  12. Watching the Races: Mint Julep- This drink is a southern classic and one that no horse race could do without, especially not the biggest one, the Kentucky Derby. So whether your favored horse wins or loses, you’ll still get to enjoy this delicious and refreshing drink.
  13. Hitting the Slopes: Dreamy Winter Delight- Why settle for regular hot chocolate when you can have this hot cocktail instead to warm you up after you’ve come in from the snowy slopes? The additions of Irish cream and Amaretto liqueur keep this drink a sweet treat for those post slope cuddles by the fire.


  1. Work Party: Black Russian- This cocktail owes its name to the Cold War, but it won’t leave you cold when you drink it. This mix of vodka and coffee liqueur is a great after dinner treat for mingling with coworkers.
  2. Business Lunch: Dirty Martini- The three martini lunch used to be compulsory for those in the business world back in the day. While it’s doubtful that you could get away with that today, having one won’t hurt, and the olive juice might even be good for you.
  3. Happy Hour: Manhattan- The Manhattan is an old-school classy drink, originally created in 1874 at the Manhattan Club in New York. After its invention, it became the most popular pre-dinner drink in the United States, after the martini of course, so have a few as appetizers the next time you’re out with coworkers.
  4. Sealing the Deal: Bourbon Highball- This drink is essentially bourbon straight up, which is perfect for celebrating making a big deal. Plus it looks super cool and confident to drink.
  5. Networking: Whiskey Sour- Part of the larger class of sour drinks, the whiskey sour is sweet enough to let you have a few to loosen up but sour enough so you won’t end up three sheets to the wind.
  6. Meeting with Clients: Gin and Tonic- This drink sounds simple, but is incredibly easy to screw up, just like meeting with clients.
  7. Schmoozing the Boss: Old Fashioned- Inspired by Colonel Pepper of Kentucky, this drink is a great complex blend of the kick of bourbon with the fruitiness of orange, embodying the both the strength and spunk you need to impress the boss.
  8. Business Conference: Tom Collins- This classic cocktail is a great choice for impressing and maybe intimidating your competitors at your next business conference. It’s also a great refreshing and sour treat for you after listening to all those boring presentations.


  1. St. Patrick’s Day: Emerald Isle- This minty gin cocktail is a great choice for St. Patrick’s day revelers who want something a little different than the standard green beer.
  2. Halloween: Zombie- While this drink may be sweet, it’s not for the weak, and may have you staggering around like a zombie yourself by the end of the evening. Drink with caution or you might need a Corpse Reviver the next morning.
  3. New Years: Champagne Cocktail- Instead of ringing in the New Year with the old standard champagne, mix it up a little with a champagne cocktail. Toast your friends with this classy mix of champagne and brandy, but make sure the champagne is the extra dry kind, as it’s key to the integrity of the drink.
  4. Holiday Party: EggNog- While you could just buy some pre-made eggnog at the store, it won’t be nearly as good as when this cocktail is homemade. The ultimate classic holiday drink, it’s great for just about any party and can bring back some serious Christmas nostalgia.
  5. 4th of July: Americano- While this drink has a patriotic sounding name, it actually originated in Italy. It was named as such for its popularity with American tourists during those annoying booze-free years of Prohibition. Celebrate the end of prohibition and British tyranny with this sweet and sour drink.
  6. Memorial Day: Caipirinha- The Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil, and for that reason makes it a great choice for marking the start of summer. White rum, lime and sugar make it light and breezy, but also strong.
  7. Thanksgiving: Cranberry Margarita- The staples of Thanksgiving include turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberries, but only one of those would make a delicious cocktail. This icy treat is perfect for sipping while you lie around in your post meal coma.
  8. Mardi Gras: Sazerac- A product of the bayou culture, the Sazerac is the quintessential New Orleans cocktail and one of the oldest known cocktails. Originally made with Cognac and absinthe, today’s version uses Pernod and Rye Whiskey or Bourbon. Order one for Mardi Gras to drink like a native in the Big Easy.


  1. Hangover: Bloody Mary- If you had a bit too much the night before, help ease yourself back into the land of the living with a Bloody Mary and a greasy breakfast.
  2. Waiting at the Airport: The Aviation- This used to be one of the most popular cocktails back in the early days of aviation, supposed named because of its similarity to early flight– a risky venture not for the faint of heart. Bring it back the next time you’re hanging out in an airport on a lengthy layover.
  3. Feeling Sick: Hot Toddy- Drinking may not be the first thing you think of when you get sick, but southern mothers have been swearing by this drink for ages and there are infinite variations on the recipe. Even if you’re not sick, it’s also great for warming up after being out in the cold.
  4. Taking a Cruise: Sea Breeze- The mix of vodka, cranberry and grapefruit juices makes this a light and tasty drink for hanging out on the decks of a cruise ship. Just don’t drink too much and take a tumble overboard!

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  1. This is a great list. I really like it!

    Comment by Mike — December 19, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  2. Love this list. Although, do we really need and reasons to drink? It helps to have a reason sometiomes.

    Comment by keith — January 11, 2008 @ 2:07 am

  3. Christina Laun, I like the life guide to cocktails, great article. Another date would be May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, and may I recomend A MuchoTE Margarita, MuchoTE Sunburn, MuchoTE Paloma or just MuchoTE Tequila. MuchoTE Gracias!

    Comment by Will Elger — February 5, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

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