Popularized during the Prohibition Era to make bootleg liquor more palatable, mixed drinks are now a staple of Orlando nightlife and bars everywhere. Everyone has their go-to cocktail, but with hundreds of recipes to try, why stick with what you know?

At American Social, our bar staff can make a variety of drinks to your taste. Whether you’re out celebrating with friends, cheering on your favorite sports team, or just having a relaxing evening out, it’s the perfect opportunity to try something new.

Not sure what kind of beverage you’d like? We’ve curated the top 15 mixed drinks you can enjoy at American Social. There’s something for everyone during happy hour in Orlando.

1. Whiskey Sour

Are you a fan of sour citrus? Then you should try a whiskey sour. This drink is the perfect mix of sweet, tart, and smoky. The traditional recipe includes the following:

  • Bourbon
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Orange slice

If you find this beverage too simple but are still intrigued, there are a few variations:

  • Ward 8: This spin on the whiskey sour uses grenadine syrup instead of sugar and adds orange juice for a more intense citrus flavor.
  • New York Sour: After the drink is made, red wine is added to the top.
  • Boston Sour: Egg white is added to the recipe for a thicker consistency.

2. Daiquiri

The daiquiri is such a versatile drink that we could dedicate an entire blog post to it. A chilled cocktail, the daiquiri is perfect for warm summer nights. While it’s famed for its many fruit variations, the original daiquiri is quite straightforward:

  • Simple syrup
  • Light rum
  • Lime juice

It can be served in a chilled glass over ice cubes or as the popular frozen “slushy” with blended ice. Want a more exotic flavor? Order one of these daiquiri variations:

  • Strawberry
  • Mango
  • Grapefruit
  • Banana

You can also spice things up by requesting spiced or dark rum instead of light. Just be careful when you order a tropical daiquiri, as they tend to go down easy.

3. Margarita

If rum isn’t your cup of tea, but you want a drink that complements many different flavors, a margarita may be the way to go. Like the daiquiri, a classic margarita is deceptively simple with only three ingredients:

  • Simple syrup
  • Lime juice
  • Tequila

It’s usually served with a salt rim, creating a stunning and highly identifiable visual. While you can certainly request your bartender to hold the salt, you’ll miss out on the true margarita experience — not to mention you’ll probably catch a few strange looks from fellow patrons. The salt actually enhances the drink’s taste by taking the edge off the tequila’s bite, combating bitterness, and bringing the citrus flavor to the forefront.

4. Mai Tai

While the Mai Tai sounds exotic and tropical, it’s not meant to be fruity. Instead, this drink was invented with rum as the star. Rather than masking the taste of liquor, Mai Tais bring out all the nuances of the rum used.

The recipe is a little more extensive than the previous entries on this list:

  • Dark rum
  • Light rum
  • Lime juice
  • Orgeat
  • Orange curaçao

Traditionally, Mai Tais are served in a double Old Fashioned glass with a sprig of mint and a lime wheel. If you want something a little stronger, you can ask for overproof rum, a variation that was made popular by one of the inventor’s frequent customers.

5. Hurricane

In the mood for something bursting with flavor? The Hurricane is known for uncompromising sweetness mixed with a storm of tropical elements. This classic recipe pulls out all the stops with three different fruit ingredients:

  • Orange juice
  • Passion fruit puree
  • Lime juice
  • Grenadine
  • Simple syrup
  • Dark rum

Created in New Orleans, this drink is just as pretty as it is tasty. It’s traditionally served in a tall, curving glass with a preserved cherry and orange wheel. The color resembles fruit punch, and the intense sugar makes it more palatable for drinkers who aren’t fans of more bitter liquors. Though a popular cocktail in its own right, the Hurricane is technically a type of daiquiri.

6. Cosmopolitan

When you want to feel sophisticated but prefer a drink that’s easy to enjoy, the Cosmopolitan may be the perfect option. Pink and flirty, this cocktail gained popularity after being featured on Sex and the City. Its recipe is fairly simple, but still hits all the right notes with a splash of fruit:

  • Cranberry juice
  • Lime juice
  • Citrus vodka
  • Cointreau

The Cosmopolitan is a type of Martini, which means it’s on the stronger end of the cocktail spectrum. While the fruity flavor may tempt you to consume this drink quickly, it’s best to sip it slowly over the course of the evening.

7. Mojito

This Cuban cocktail may take a little longer to make, but the fresh flavor is worth the wait. You’ll need an expert bartender on hand for this drink, as it requires muddling, which can make or break the taste. Too light and the herbal flavor is weak; too heavy and the cocktail becomes bitter.

The traditional mojito recipe is deceptively simple:

  • Lime juice
  • Mint leaves
  • White rum
  • Simple syrup
  • Club soda

The mint leaves are strained out, and the remaining mix is typically served in a highball glass with a lime wheel and mint sprig. This particular cocktail has been perfected over hundreds of years and was favored by Ernest Hemingway.

8. Old-Fashioned

As the name implies, the Old Fashioned has been around for quite a while — 200 years, in fact. There are two ways this drink can be made and which you order is a matter of preference.

Bartenders that stick to the original recipe muddle sugar for a touch of sweetness. Since the sugar doesn’t completely dissolve, this lends the drink a slightly gritty texture. If you prefer a smoother sip, you can ask the bartender to substitute simple syrup instead.

In addition to a sweetener, an Old Fashioned contains the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Bitters
  • Bourbon or whiskey

Note that this beverage was created to showcase the whiskey used, so if you’re looking for something to mask the taste of liquor, search elsewhere.

9. Mudslide

Are you a fan of iced coffee? Do you wish you could put liquor in one? You may be pleased to know that someone already has: Welcome to the Mudslide.

More potent than its cousin the White Russian, the Mudslide delivers on both booze and sweets with three simple ingredients:

  • Irish cream liqueur
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Vodka

This cocktail can be blended with ice or served on the rocks. A tasty treat for hot weather, keep in mind that your waistline may suffer if you consume too many of these — they can pack a hefty calorie count compared to other mixed drinks.

10. Long Island Iced Tea

Named for the New York Island, this iced tea isn’t for lightweights. The Long Island Iced Tea is all about getting you as drunk as possible as fast as possible with multiple liquors in its recipe:

  • Gin
  • Tequila
  • Rum
  • Vodka
  • Simple sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cola

All told, this cocktail contains twice as much alcohol as it does mixers. And yet, it doesn’t taste like a hodgepodge — the flavors blend together for a sweet, tart effect. If you’re brave enough to break the cardinal rule of “don’t mix liquors,” order this drink at the start of your night and sip it slowly throughout.

11. Melon Ball

Nothing quite says “party” like the neon green Melon Ball. Unlike some mixed drinks on this list, the Melon Ball can be made as a shot or a full-sized cocktail. Exotically fruity, this beverage is incredibly simple to make:

  •  Vodka
  • Pineapple juice
  • Melon liqueur

Since this drink is lighter on alcohol, it’s an excellent choice for those who want to have a few tasty shots without worrying about the effects. For a fun presentation, this beverage is usually served with two balls of honeydew. Just be sure you don’t have a melon allergy before you order.

12. Screwdriver

Sometimes simplicity is the best choice. Named an official International Bartender Association cocktail, the Screwdriver contains only two ingredients: vodka and orange juice. It’s traditionally served in a highball glass with ice.

If you want something drinkable that also delivers on alcohol, this cocktail is your best friend. Although it’s been around for over 50 years, its origin is highly debated. Whether created by oil workers or aviators, this drink is an American classic. If you want something a little more complex, there are several popular variations:

  • Adding club soda
  • Adding simple syrup
  • Using flavored vodka
  • Adding muddled fresh fruit

13. Bloody Mary

Among a throng of fruity recipes, the Bloody Mary stands out for its savory taste. Touted as a hangover cure and “breakfast drink,” it’s also a great option for anyone who likes complex, challenging cocktails. Making a Blood Mary requires a whole grocery list of ingredients:

  • Vodka
  • Celery salt
  • Hot sauce
  • Ground black pepper
  • Tomato juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Smoke paprika
  • Lemon wedge
  • Lime wedge

The garnish is almost as complicated as the beverage itself:

  • Parsley sprig
  • Green olive
  • Celery stalk
  • Lime wedge

Compared to other cocktails, the Bloody Mary is labor-intensive, so have some patience if you order it. Want something even more unique? You can add a seafood flavor by ordering this with Clamato instead of tomato juice.

14. Mimosa

No brunch is complete without Mimosas. This cocktail is simple and elegant with just two ingredients: champagne and orange juice. Generally served in a flute glass, it’s a staple at bridal showers, weddings, and airlines’ first-class service.

The straightforward recipe naturally lends itself to variations:

  • Soleil: Pineapple juice is used in place of orange.
  • Megmosa: Grapefruit juice is substituted for orange.
  • Lemosa: Lemonade is used instead of orange juice.
  • Poinsettia: The drink is made with cranberry juice instead of orange.
  • Buck’s Fizz: The champagne to orange juice ratio is two to one.

15. Moscow Mule

This cocktail stands out not for its contents, but for its unique serving vessel; instead of being poured into a glass, the Moscow Mule is typically served in a copper mug. To make it, you need only three ingredients:

  • Ginger beer
  • Lime juice
  • Vodka

Although it’s not as fruity as some mixed drinks, the Moscow Mule nevertheless has a strong flavor, courtesy of the ginger beer. If you’re not a fan of super-sweet cocktails, but want something that doesn’t taste of straight-up liquor, you may enjoy this chilled beverage.

Try All of These Great Drinks, Cocktails & More at American Social Orlando Tonight!

Ready to try something new? American Social is one of the best bars in Orlando to hang out, meet new people, and enjoy your free time. Our skilled bartenders can whip up any of these classic cocktails or their variations.

Want a meal with your drink? We’re open for lunch and dinner all week, plus brunch on the weekend. You can even reserve space for parties and other events. To find out more, give us a call at 407-454-9992 or contact us online.

Image Credit: Shutterstock By santypan