Food & Drink

These Are Bartenders’ Favorite Drinks to Drink Alone

There’s certainly nothing wrong with drinking alone, especially if you know how to do it well. But some cocktails are better than others for solo imbibing. To get some inspiration, we asked 15 bartenders what they love to drink when drinking alone. Look to their favorite pours and cocktails the next time you’re looking for some solitary enjoyment.


“I would definitely go with a nice pour of Crystal Head Aurora on a large single rock of ice with a zest and twist of lemon.” - Alejandro Acasio, Valanni Social


"Fernet-Branca is my go-to. You can always count on it. Folks might think it's no longer exciting because of all the new amari hitting the market, but Fernet-Branca is still hands down the best utilitarian two ounces out there for post-meal recovery—works every time. Strangely for me, it wasn't an acquired taste, but intriguing and inviting from the very first sip.” - Danny Ronen, Academia

Gin Martini

"I spend so much time tasting wines and experimenting with cocktails that when I finally get a chance to sit down at a bar by myself for a drink or two, I find comfort in the refined simplicity of a classic Gin Martini. When done correctly, this uncomplicated two-ingredient cocktail is zen-like and ethereally refreshing—the botanicals of the gin and vermouth coming together in a cohesive balance that is somehow more than the sum of its parts. London Dry gin is traditional, but if a bar has Greenhook or Barr Hill, that’s currently my jam." - Ian Morrison, Left Bank


“I am a huge fan of solitary imbibing at home, and my drink of choice is almost always a bottle of wine I’m super interested in trying. I think it’s important to choose something you actually want to savor (and probably aren’t willing to share with friends) instead of something to get you inebriated quickly because you’re the only one responsible for cutting yourself off." - Taylor Vaught, Selamat Pagi


"When I'm home after a long day I want simplicity. I don't want to bother with egg whites or clarified juices or garnishes. For me, the best cocktails to make at home are three or four ingredients, on ice, that I can sip while I'm cooking or relaxing while watching a movie. My go-to will always be a Negroni. I like an easy, refreshing gin—Brooklyn is solid. Add in Campari and a vermouth of your choice (mine is Punt e Mes, a woodier Italian vermouth) and finish with a few dashes of Regan's orange bitters. Serve with a big ice cube if you have it." - Percy Rodríguez, SECOND

"My quick answer is a Negroni—classic, deceptively easy and perfectly refreshing for summer." - Carlos Garcia, Le Fanfare

“Because I’ve recently been working on different variations of the Negroni, I have kind of been on a gin and herbal liquor kick. Negronis, Campari and Aperol are all very refreshing drinks for the season, and some would say because of the herbal liquor, they have medicinal qualities to help open your appetite and digest food better during the hot months. We currently have three different variations of the Negroni at Torali bar: our take on the classic, a Negroni Bianco (made with Dolin white vermouth), and the extravagant L'aristocratico, which we are producing with Nolet’s The Reserve and Antica Carpano for a luxurious, rich experience.” - Leo Enriquez, Torali Italian — Steak

“I love the classic Negroni because the main ingredients are all bar staples and easy to play with, but it offers versatility with easily-swapped spirits. For example, I love unwinding on a rooftop in summer with a Negroni Sbagliato, which swaps the gin for Prosecco. But [you] can easily swap gin for whiskey and make a Boulevardier, perfect to enjoy by the fireplace during the winter.” - Felicia Chin-Braxton, Nitecap

Last Word

"When it comes to my beverage of choice whilst imbibing alone, I go for either a Negroni or a Last Word or (as is most often the case) both. A Negroni after a long day in the liquor trenches resets my reality immediately and goes down waaaayyyy too fast. Then it's time for a palate cleanser, so I stay on the gin train and order a Last Word. It’s akin to an ancient potion that is a cure-all for just about everything that ails you, and leaves you bright eyed and bushy tailed to frolic with the rest of the night owls ‘til it's time to head home." - Fred Jones, Barano

Old Fashioned

“When someone goes to a bar by themself, most of the time they’ll order something ‘fast’—a beer, something neat, a Gin & Tonic, a Vodka Soda. But a classic cocktail is always the main choice for a person out alone enjoying a nightcap or stirring something up at home. Grab a bottle of bourbon and some Angostura bitters and, just by adding some sugar (white or brown), you have your own Old Fashioned in the comfort of your home! That’s my go-to move.” - Matteo Bassani, Epistrophy


"My favorite spirit to drink neat during these moments is from the Bahamian John Watling's Distillery located in Nassau. Their Buena Vista Rum is aged for five years and pairs perfectly with a fine cigar." - Derrick Blackmon, Baha Mar 


“I’d say that after a long shift, I love sitting down with a mezcal and a beer. One mezcal in particular that I love is Real Minero. Really, the beer just helps relieve the palate while sipping through the mezcal. So like a beer and a shot but with nuance." - Sara Barr, De Maria

“My solo go-to has got to be cider and tequila. It is a nice simple break from the constant stream of making and tasting cocktails throughout the week.” - Beau Kelly-Fontano, Acadia


“I have a not-so-secret mezcal infatuation. After a long day at L’Artusi, I can often be found sipping something that matches my mood: a bright, grassy mezcal with citrusy or tropical fruit aromas for when I feel like I’m conquering the world and deserve a refreshing treat. Or a brooding, earthy, heavily smoky mezcal to soothe my soul when I’m feeling a little deflated. Tasting through various editions made by the same mezcalero, you come to know the finesse and influence of his or her hand, and to note the differences of vintage or batch. It is a fantastically complex subject. And though I might just be imbibing to wind down my day, when I’m sipping on mezcal, I feel as though I’m always learning.” - Anncherie Saludo, L’Artusi


“I love to drink chilled sweet vermouth up or with a big rock. I fell in love with that after visiting Madrid and learning of their old ‘hora del vermut’ tradition, so I always keep a bottle in my fridge.” - Maria Pottage, Amara at Paraiso