Whether it be food, music, or clothing, trends come and go like the wind. However, there are classics that will never go out of style. The same can be said for alcoholic beverages. These timeless drinks will always be bar favorites regardless of the occasion.
1. Beer – The Most Consumed Alcoholic Drink in the World
Beer is one the oldest alcoholic drinks that is enjoyed by people from all over. It comes in so many varieties that it’s not far-fetched to say that there might be a kind of beer for every person. There’s light and dark beer, as well as sweet beer with fruity flavors.
Beer’s relatively low alcohol-by-volume percentage, which hovers at around 3-15 percent, makes it easy to drink and popular in many social settings. Bar owners can’t go wrong if they add a good local beer to their menu.
2. Whiskey – The Water of Life
The word “whiskey” originates from a Gaelic word that means “water of life.” Popular varieties—identified by their country of production—include Scotland’s Scotch, the U.S.A.’s bourbon, and Ireland’s Irish whisky.
People enjoy drinking whiskey neat, on the rocks, with water, and in cocktails, such as Whiskey Sour. Serving whiskey has also become quite innovate over the years with accessories, such as whiskey stones, an alternative for ice, becoming more popular. Regardless of the way whiskey is drunk, it will always be a great addition to the menu because of its well-loved distinct taste.
3. Tequila – Everyone’s Favorite Shot
Tequila remains one of the most popular drinks out there. Commonly served and drunk in one go along with salt and lime, it has earned a reputation as a party drink. It’s even used to make a well-loved cocktail, the margarita.
Misconceptions about the tequila worm are still prevalent, but the worm isn’t actually used in making the drink. Tequila is distilled from the blue agave plant, which can be found in certain Mexican states.
Bar owners should only get pure and clear high-quality 100 percent agave tequila, not only because it tastes better, but also because its low content of hangover-inducing congeners (impurities produced during the fermentation process) means there’s less of an awful mess to clean up after the party.
4. Wine – Elegant and Classy
Wine, which comes in red and white varieties, is traditionally made from fermented grapes. Pairing wine with food is an important consideration for all restaurant owners as it lends a refined ambiance to the place. For bar owners, wine is also a must—especially if they have clients who enjoy the drink.
Stocking up only on expensive wines, however, can be a bad idea. A well-planned list of wine options, from inexpensive to expensive, that fits in well with the profile of the restaurant or bar’s target market is essential.
5. Brandy – A Tranquil Drink for Relaxation
By definition, brandy is a spirit which has been distilled from wine or a fermented fruit juice. It comes in many varieties, including the better-known Cognac and Armagnac.
Among the popular brandy cocktails are the sidecar and the metropolitan, both made from Cognac. Regardless of its form, brandy’s usual clientele enjoy a slow and enjoyable drinking experience because of the wide variety of delicate flavors and aromas, making the drink a huge favorite in upscale bars.
6. Vodka – The Versatile Alcohol
Vodka is a neutral spirit without a distinctive taste, scent, or color – making it a versatile drink for use in various mixes. Because of this, it is sometimes made with flavors that can be drunk neat or on the rocks.
There are many popular cocktails made with vodka, such as the vodka martini—a drink popularized by James Bond—as well as the Bloody Mary and the cosmopolitan. Because of how it can be used for so many cocktail and mixed drink variations, vodka will never go out of style.
7. The Mojito – Minty and Refreshing
Out of all the cocktails made from rum, the mojito is a staple drink that is enjoyed by men and women alike.
A classic mojito contains lime, soda, and sugar, as well as the highlight of the drink, mint leaves, mixed together with crushed ice and rum, to make a refreshing drink that’s beloved to many a customer. The fresh mint leaves give the drink a burst of aroma and flavor that has customers coming back for more.
8. The Daiquiri – Simple and Delicious
Another popular rum-based cocktail is the daiquiri. It has a simple but delicious taste that is loved all over the world. It contains white rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and crushed ice.
Not only is it easy to make, but its fresh citrus taste and rum kick makes it a great drink to serve at any bar.
This list of drinks should serve as a starting point for many new restaurant and bar owners. Keep in mind, however, that it is important to choose drinks that fit the bar’s theme, not just because they are on this list. Also, part of the charm of being a bar owner is being creative and experimenting with all sorts of concoctions.
Art is the current executive content director for Project Macro. He has covered health care, lifestyle trends, and business for more than 10 years for different publications. Born and raised in NYC, he enjoys biking around the city and traveling the world searching for the next mountain to climb.