Food & Drink

13 Bartenders Reveal the Forgotten Drinks They Wish Were More Popular

There are a ton of cocktails out there that bartenders believe are underrated—some are popular, and some are libations you’ve never heard of before. And while many old timey classic cocktails are now experiencing a renaissance, there are still notable drinks that have sadly been left in the dust. So we asked 13 bartenders about the forgotten drinks they wish were more popular right now. From the controversial Cosmo to sweet tropical tipples, make one of these classics the next time you want to change up your happy hour.


“For me, that would be a Cosmopolitan. Simply put, they’re perfect—light, refreshing and universal. No matter if you’re at a dive bar or a high-end cocktail bar, bartenders can make you the same awesome beverage without blinking an eye.” - Cat Cannon, Federal Galley

“The Cosmopolitan is a classic full of potential, but unfortunately often overlooked. There are so many possibilities. I love to add additional ingredients and play around with them until I have something unique and flavorful. The other day I made a Cosmo with fresh grapefruit juice, and it was spectacular!” - Eunice Figueroa, Thompson Playa del Carmen

Rusty Nail

"I yearn to make a Rusty Nail again. Hands down the unsung hero for a scotch cocktail. Mezcal is a crazy good modernization, but I wish the masses would bring back the classic." - Dre Nunez, Barcelona Wine Bar Brookline


“I'm not sure how forgotten it is these days given sherry's revival, but the Adonis is always a favorite of mine to order or to serve. Dry sherry, sweet vermouth, orange bitters—perfection.” - Tim Garso, Galley Group

Champagne Cocktail

“The Champagne Cocktail is such an underrated drink. I find the best drinks are usually the simplest, and this is a great example. Champagne, bitters and a sugar cube. Perfect before a big meal.” - Brad Nugent, Porter House Bar & Grill  


"Although there are many drinks that I wish were more popular, right now I’m a huge fan of Aviations. I recently started making them for gin drinkers who wanted to try something different. I’ve been using Barr Hill gin, which adds such a beautiful floral note to the cocktail; it’s always a hit!" - Catherine Larkin, Barcelona Wine Bar Stamford


“I'm not sure if it’s a forgotten drink, but I really like the Brooklyn and wish people would order it more often. The spirits in the Brooklyn are whiskey, dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur with a dash of Angostura bitters. At La Loncheria, we have a glass-aged version, in which I replaced whiskey with Sotol Fabriquero but still use the maraschino liqueur and dry vermouth. It's called El Broucklyn.” - Oscar León Bernal, La Loncheria


“The Alaska: three simple ingredients that are defined by the chosen gin, but no matter what gin, the drink will be approachable. Two parts gin, a half part Yellow Chartreuse and two dashes of orange bitters. It’s a luscious cocktail full with flavor that stands the test of time.” - Chris Gaspar, Péché

Tiki Drinks

“I wish the Painkiller and its spinoff cocktails were more popular. The combination of lots of rum, a lil pineapple, OJ and some coconut cream is so good on a hot day at the beach. You can have a lot of fun changing out different rums, juices and even types of coconut to make a great cocktail.” - Morgan Hurley, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

“The original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai recipe from 1944 is a forgotten recipe for a fantastic drink that has been ruined with juices and syrups by countless hacks behind a bar since it was popularized as a tourist drink in the 1950s. The original is a fantastic balance of flavors like almond, light cake and citrus fruit, without being cloyingly sweet.” - Marshall Emerson, Volcano Rabbit


"In general, I think that a Caipirinha is an amazing cocktail that very few people order, or have even heard of!" - Meghan LeMoult, Barcelona Wine Bar Fairfield


“It’s tough to say just because it depends on the clientele, but I would say the Martini. Not because nobody orders them, but nobody orders classic Martinis with gin and vermouth or some sort of variation. A lot of our guests believe a Martini to just be chilled vodka in a Martini-style glass. We usually offer at least one cool Martini variation on our menu at Kettner, and it’s always incredible but just never gets ordered as much. We hope we can start swaying people to try classic Martinis though. We won’t give up!” - Steven Tuttle, Kettner Exchange

Corpse Reviver #1

“The good news is that a lot of classic cocktails are back—like Old Fashioneds, Negronis and Manhattans. But you never see drinks like the Corpse Reviver #1 anymore. It’s a Cognac-based cocktail with two parts Cognac, one part calvados or apple brandy, and one part sweet vermouth.” - Andreas Rahn, Noir at The Charles Hotel