On special occasions, the right celebratory beverage can elevate an already extraordinary moment. Connoisseur-level cocktail knowledge is not required. From intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, the world of alcoholic drinks offers an incredible array of options to suit every palate and mood. This list pulls together the classics, which have stood the test of time for a good reason – so that every Houstonian can enjoy for the special moment.
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Best 10 Alcoholic Drinks To Order Right Away
Champagne is a classic and timeless choice for nearly all types of celebrations. The iconic sparkling wine, hailing from the Champagne region of France, is renowned for its effervescence, elegance and rich history. It is typically produced using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties and is fermented twice—hence the delightful fizz upon pouring and the nickname “bubbly.” Depending on your budget, Prosecco or sparkling wine are similar alternatives to Champagne.
Originating in Mexico, the Margarita is perhaps the most versatile and widely beloved cocktail. It is a trustworthy choice for celebrations and relaxed occasions alike. The perfect Margarita is a combination of tequila and the zesty citrus notes of lime juice, balanced with the sweet orange liqueur. It tastes amazing blended or severed on ice. Plus, it’s in a state of constant innovation, with fruit or chili-infused variations always added to the catalog.
The Martini, shaken or stirred, is the personification of sophistication and elegance. It is typically made with gin or vodka and, known for its simplicity, only two other ingredients: vermouth and an olive or lemon twist garnish. The Martini’s appeal lies in its crisp and clean profile, with the perfect balance between the spirit and the aromatics of vermouth. It has also evolved over the years, with variations like the Dry Martini, Dirty Martini and Espresso Martini, offering something for every taste.
4. Whiskey Sour
A Whiskey Sour may not be everyone’s favorite, but it still has its place for special occasions. It combines the warmth of whisky with the sharpness of lemon juice, offset with a touch of simple syrup for balance. It’s tangy but not overly sour, it’s versatile and it’s timeless. There are many variations and modifications of this classic cocktail—if you’re brave, you can add egg whites for a “Boston Sour” or red wine for a “NY Sour.”
5. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a historic cocktail dating back to the early 19th century. Made with just a few fundamental ingredients—whiskey, sugar, bitters and a twist of citrus peel—the Old Fashioned showcases the rich, complex flavors of the whiskey itself. It is a representation of simplicity and sophistication, the perfect drink for a toned-down, unflashy celebration or special occasion.
The lively Mojito, with its Cuban origins, is a fresh and rejuvenating cocktail recognized for its flavorful combination of mint leaves, lime juice, sugar and white rum. This tropical delight exudes a refreshing and citrusy zing, making it the perfect choice for warm summer days or festive gatherings. When made correctly, this now-classic cocktail is garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. Served over ice, the Mojito is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour and herbal flavors.
Sangria, a Spanish classic, is a delightful wine punch brimming with fruity goodness. Typically made with red or white wine, it’s infused with fresh fruits like oranges, apples and berries, along with a touch of brandy for depth. Sangria is a versatile and sociable drink, ideal for sharing with friends on a sunny afternoon or as the centerpiece of a Mediterranean-inspired celebration. Its vivacious colors and fruity medley offer a taste of the Mediterranean spirit in every sip.
8. Pina Colada
The Pina Colada is a now-infamous cocktail of Puerto Rican origin, partly thanks to the 1979 song “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).” The creamy and indulgent cocktail transports you straight to a tropical paradise, making it an excellent choice for summer celebrations. Featuring coconut cream, pineapple juice and white rum, the Pina Colada is a sweet, velvety beverage. When properly made, it is garnished with pineapple slices and a maraschino cherry.
The Negroni—sbagliato or traditional—is an iconic cocktail that has invigorated taste buds since the early 20th century. This Italian classic is a true masterpiece of simplicity, composed of equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, garnished with a twist of orange peel. The Negroni’s deep crimson hue, reminiscent of a vibrant sunset, hints at the rich, multifaceted flavors that await. It is a serious cocktail that means business, perfect for a deeply poignant special occasion.
10. Craft Beer
Craft beer represents a dynamic and diverse segment of the brewing industry, known for its emphasis on quality, flavor, and innovation. What sets craft beer apart is the commitment to pushing boundaries and experimenting with ingredients, resulting in a wide spectrum of beer styles and flavors. From hoppy IPAs and rich stouts to sour ales and barrel-aged wonders, craft beer caters to many tastes and preferences, offering beer enthusiasts a world of exploration.