When it comes to first dates, there is plenty to contemplate. Between perfecting your date night makeup to coming up with a creative first date idea that will impress your future bae, the details can start to pile up. So we decided to take care of one very important decision for you: What to drink. We called up eight pros in the alcohol industry to give us their picks on what to order and what to avoid when you’re chatting it up at the bar.
1. Stephanie Wheeler, purveyor for Phillips Distilling Co. in Boston: “A Vesper is always a solid go-to. It’s clear, boozy, bold and comes with a great backstory for a conversation starter. Avoid egg white and cream-based cocktails until after you’ve eaten… and even then, keep it at one. These drinks are filling and do weird things to your breath.”
2. Fritz Brogan, co-owner of Mission and Hawthorne in Washington DC: “Get there early and make the bartender your ally. A large tip on your first drink goes a long way. They can control the flow of your date, the speed of your service and make you look like a VIP in front of your date. There’s nothing worse then awkwardly making small talk as you wait 15 minutes for drinks.”
3. David King, owner of Baldoria in Los Angeles: “Order something interesting. Order a booze-forward cocktail like a Manhattan or an old fashioned-based drink — most bars will have a variation of these on their signature cocktails. Even better, order a Negroni, because you want a drink that you won’t gulp down in 10 seconds due to nerves.”
4. Katie Cass, purveyor for Phillips Distilling Co. in Austin: “First dates hold a lot of expectations, especially when ordering a drink. My advice is to always go classic while maintaining simplicity. But there are also cocktails to steer clear of. One big mistake that men and women make is ordering boozy-stirred cocktails or shots. While it may loosen you up at first, you’ll most always regret it later.”
5. Chris Adams, principal of Ellis Adams Group: “Stay in your comfort zone. The more comfortable you are, the better the date will go. If you like to try new things, order something fun and new! On the other hand, if you are more reserved and like to stick with what you know, order what you know you like. The more comfortable you are, the more confident you’ll come off.”
6. Ryan Van Splinter, purveyor for Phillips Distilling Co. in Denver: “Think classic when ordering in front of your date for the first time. My recommendation would be a 20th Century Cocktail with Prairie Organic Gin — the timeless classic named after a limited train that ran from Chicago to New York starting in 1902. Classics are a conversation piece, whether you swiped right or not.”
7. Adam Seger, Master Mixologist at Tuck Room Tavern in Westwood Los Angeles: “Don’t order a mojito! Although I love this refreshing cocktail when it’s well made, there is nothing sexy about mint in your teeth on a first date.”
8. Mac Low, purveyor for Phillips Distilling Co. in Portland: “Drink what you like to drink. Don’t drink what Don Draper likes to drink, or what you think you look coolest drinking or what the bartender likes to drink. The best first date advice is always: Be yourself. So be confident in your cocktail preferences as well. A lot of guys think a coupe glass is effete, but it was good enough for James Bond, wasn’t it? He drank martinis, vodka even!”
Tweet us your first date drink picks to @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)