Culture

On The Rocks

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
I met Lorne Michaels, who became perhaps the most important producer in my career. He suggested that I do a TV series with Tina Fey. They both changed my life.( Alec: June 2011.) | Alec Baldwin, Snl, Icon, Actor, Drink,

The Art of Drink Ordering

There was a time when ordering a Cosmo sounded sophisticated, probably due in no small part to the original Sex and the City T.V. series. Then came the Pom-Tini. Then the craft beer craze. Then the classic cocktail revival. Undoubtedly, some drink fads are missing from said list, but the picture is clear: one minute you're holding a pink drink in martini glass and the next you're holding a highball without much awareness of it yourself. Get off the trendy bar treadmill; put the elaborate drink menu down. Find yourself a signature.

What is a signature, you ask? It's a shaken, not stirred. It's a glass of scotch, neat. It's a pink champagne aperitif. It's with a twist. A signature is walking up to a bartender and asking for a drink without tripping over your order: no stammering, no eyelash batting, no trying desperately to pronounce cacha?a. Most importantly, it's a drink you enjoy, not one you order to sound in the know, sophisticated, or pretentious.

Signatures will save you time stressing over a bar menu and, potentially, save you money. You'll also finally get to be that elusive, enigmatic figure at a bar that strides directly to the bartender and orders a drink like Humphrey Bogart.

I love whiskey and I love champagne, though usually I end up drinking "sparkling wine," for those of you who prefer geographic specificity. I try not to drink the whiskey before I've eaten anything. I have a couple of standby brands or vineyards I like to drink, mostly discovered through trial and error. I order an old fashioned if I'm in the mood for a mixed drink, or just a hint of sweetness. And that's it. Sure I'll order margaritas on my birthday and cheerfully drink beer at barbecues, but the majority of the time when I'm out to dinner or at a bar I rely on my signature standbys.

I'm sure there are tons of other drinks out there to try, and, when a friend orders them I'll try a sip. And they're good, don't get me wrong. But they aren't what I love. What I love is sipping on a glass of whiskey and having the bitterness coat my tongue, or feeling the champagne bubbles tickle the roof of my mouth. Someone might have a drink that's newer, more exotic, and potentially tastier. But that drink isn't better for me. I think some girls look amazing in tube tops, but I gave up trying to squeeze my chest into one in middle school.

On the monetary front, I'd rather enjoy one glass of a drink I love than four of one I find tastes merely alright. And on the ordering front, nothing feels better than assertively ordering what I want from the bartender, like a woman in charge of her destiny, at least for the night.

At the end of the day, I know it's just a drink. Ordering what I want doesn't save children from army slavery, give me my reproductive rights back, or help a woman in a developing nation gain economic agency. But, then again, with all of the horrors in the world, why should I waste any of those little moments of pleasure in my life imbibing a drink that I don't honestly enjoy? That's what I thought.

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Updated May 6, 2017 6:00 AM EDT | More details

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