Everyone has an opinion when it comes to cocktails. Some may be straightforward, others a little bizarre, and some might even be considered controversial. But no matter where they fall, everyone is entitled to their personal thoughts on the contents of their glasses.
Given that the internet is a breeding ground for unpopular opinions, we thought we’d offer our two cents on the topic we know best: drinks. From fancy craft cocktails to dive bar drinks, VinePair staffers have tried them all and come to a few conclusions along the way. Controversial? Perhaps. Debatable? Absolutely.
Here are our most unpopular cocktail opinions.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Bloody Mary can and should be consumed in the evenings, not just at brunch. Its savory, spicy appeal makes it perfect for pairing with everything from BBQ to seafood platters.” — Katie Brown, editor
“A Tommy’s Margarita isn’t a Margarita because it’s not a daisy. Daisy cocktails are made with a spirit, liqueur, sugar, and citrus. More specifically, I always learned that when making the syrup for a daisy it should be 1 part simple syrup and 1 part Cointreau.” — Emily Arseneau, director, brand sales and partnerships
“Bloody Marys are gross. I’d rather be hung over than have to drink one.” — Sylvie Baggett, branded content editor
“I firmly believe there’s never a bad time for a good cocktail. Frozen Marg in the middle of January? Absolutely — sign me up! There’s no shame in enjoying a peppermint White Russian outside of the holiday season, either, if that’s what you’re craving. As long as you love what you’re drinking, expect no seasonal side-eye from me.” — Nicolette Baker, news writer
“When it comes to Martinis, I think the dry or dirty options are the most popular choices and a hot order at the bar these days. But lately, I’ve been going with a sweet Martini (sweet vermouth instead of dry) with a little lemon.” — Bobbie Thorn, account manager, brand partnerships
“I’m just going to say it: The Negroni is wildly overrated. Sure, it’s a tasty cocktail and I get that it’s quite magical that three complex ingredients work so well together when mixed in equal proportions. But what’s all the fuss about beyond that? The difference between a bang average Negroni and a perfectly executed version of the drink is minimal, and ultimately it’s pretty boring either way. Don’t even get me started on the supposed “origin” story.” — Tim McKirdy, managing editor
“My unpopular cocktail opinion is quite simply that Mimosas need to go. It’s obviously fine if someone really fancies them, but when the aim is to either recover from a night out or keep the party going all day, a combination of sugar and cheap Champagne doesn’t do us any favors.” — Dario Foroutan, social editor
“Whiskey and Scotch are generally served neat or with a slow-melting cube, but sometimes I prefer to have a handful of crushed ice. For certain brands, crushed ice feels nostalgic and makes me remember the first time I stepped into my local neighborhood Scotch bar.” — Jessica Fields, assistant editor
“I am of the opinion that the Manhattan should only be made with rye. If you want bourbon, that’s fine, but the original calls for rye, and the spiciness of the liquid holds up much better to the sweet vermouth. Make it with bourbon and you get a much more cloying drink. So it’s rye for me, or please make it again.” — Adam Teeter, CEO and co-founder
“All cocktails should be the same serving size, regardless of the amount of alcohol in them. Martini and highball: same volume. Sazerac and spritz: same volume. Long Island Iced Tea and lychee cobbler: same f*cking volume. ‘But people will get too drunk!’ First of all, what do you think we’re doing here, really? Do you think that everyone in the cocktail bar is just a tippling dipsh*t beguiled by the sublime joy of mysterious elixirs? Preposterous. Also, no one said they had to all be bigger, although now that we’re talking about it, yes, that is what I’m saying: Make all cocktails bigger. Second of all, personal choice, individual responsibility, yadda-yadda. We pretend people are capable of evaluating risks and their own limits in many facets of life where they most certainly are not. Gambling, home-buying, fireworks, and so on. It’s all a sham! Give people full-size Zombies and let them make mistakes! Most importantly, it’s a personal irritation of mine to order a full-priced cocktail only to receive three sips and a gargantuan ice cube in return. I can’t be alone in this. Standardization is progress! Embrace homogeneity (in this one very specific, low-stakes instance)! Humongous Hemingway Daiquiris for all!” — Dave Infante, writer at large
“I’m about to sound like a Yankees fan claiming the media never gives us enough credit — alas, I am a New Yorker. We all know America’s so-called cocktail renaissance started in New York. We all know most of the pioneering bars were likewise here — it’s been written about ad nauseam. For the first 15 years of this modern cocktail thing, New York bars would dominate lists, awards, and accolades. Today, now…nothing. Only three New York City bars made the most recent The World’s 50 Best Bars list (and only six made the extended top 100). I’m ecstatic about the rise of incredible cocktail scenes in, say, Mexico City or Singapore, or even Denver. But New York is still cocktail mecca, and I think many of you have forgotten that.” — Aaron Goldfarb, writer at large