The best thing about cocktails is the fact that you never know where they’ll take you. Some of them taste exactly what they sound and look like, while others catch you by surprise. This is especially the case if you go for non-standard cocktails. 

Moreover, a cocktail is an art. Even with all the ingredients and instructions, if you don’t believe it, try making it at home and, the same night, go out to the bar and ask a seasoned bartender to make you one. The difference will surprise you and astound you. 

  1. White Russian

The most incredible thing about this cocktail is that it has no business tasting that good. When you first read the list of ingredients, it will just feel wrong. After all, mixing dairy with vodka (regardless of whether you go with cream or milk) is wrong. However, once you taste it, you won’t want to drink anything else.

Moreover, this is one of the cocktails that doesn’t leave the hand of the Dude from “The Big Lebowski.” So, what you have is a tasty cocktail with an iconic background and massive pop culture renown. 

The ingredients are milk (or cream), vodka, and Kahlua. 

  1. Espresso cameltini

This mixture is just outright incredible. First, you need 60ml camel milk & honey vodka. Then, you want 15ml coffee liqueur. Then, you add 30ml cold-pressed coffee. Lastly, you top it all off with 7.5ml cane syrup. 

The name tells you all you need to hear about it. When walking around with it, it will seem like you’re drinking espresso from a martini glass. Most of the time, it will taste like that as well. Just think about it as a more elegant Irish coffee on steroids. 

It’s an amazing cocktail for those who want to dance the night away since you get both alcohol for your social anxiety and caffeine to lift you up. 

  1. Bootleg cocktail

The recipe for the bootleg cocktail is as simple as it gets. 

You take one can of frozen lemonade and one can of frozen limeade and put them into a blender. Just for the taste, you put two or three bunches of fresh mint (even more if you like it mintier). Add a quarter of simple syrup, fill the glass with ice, and add two ounces of your spirit of choice. Finally, add two ounces of your bootleg cocktail mix and add some club soda. 

The most important thing (and the most difficult task) lies in finding the place that serves these cocktails right. The difference can be staggering. While the cocktail is simple to mix, you would be surprised at how many bartenders get it wrong. 

  1. Gunpowder plot

If you’re a fan of V for Vendetta, what better way to celebrate a night out than with one or two gunpowder plots? Remember, remember the fifth of November, right? 

Making a cocktail is pretty simple, as long as you have black treacle simple syrup, some bourbon, and some marshmallows for garnish. Depending on your taste, you can add one or two large ice cubes.

The challenge, however, lies in making your own black treacle simple syrup. However, this is also all the fun. For this, all you need is some dark brown sugar, some black treacle, and some water. Of course, you also need quite a bit of patience. 

If you intend to host a party, making some syrup and keeping a stash sounds like an outstanding idea. 

  1. Blue Blazer

This cocktail takes a bit more effort. It takes preheating blazer mugs with boiling water and using them to warm the whisky. Then, you pour it into one of the tankards and fresh boiling water into the other. You ignite the whisky with a long match, pour the whisky into the other tankard, and mix the ingredients.

All you need for this are some shots of blended scotch whisky and some boiling water, as well as a bar spoon of powdered sugar; however, the mixing process is so delicate that even some of the veteran bartenders won’t know how to make it. 

This is why, tasting this mind-blowing cocktail gives you more than just a chance to enjoy a delicate drink. It gives you bragging rights. 

  1. Diamonds are forever

Diamonds are Forever combines basic ingredients like gin, cream sherry, vodka, bianco vermouth, cherry brandy, Aperol, and “freegans.” We’re talking about the ingredients that you can find anywhere and, when mixed in the right proportion, create an evergreen taste (hence the name). All you need to do is combine them in the mixing glass and stir until chilled. 

You pour them into a Martini glass and garnish it with a lemon. 

The cocktail is served in a Martini glass, and it’s named after an iconic Bond movie, the references don’t get any stronger than that. 

  1. Painkiller

Why haven’t you heard about a cocktail called Painkiller? Well, you’ve heard of Pina Colada, and this is an interesting twist on its more famous counterpart. 

All you need to do is add the rum, the pineapple juice, and an orange juice to the shaker. Add a bit of coconut cream and some cubed ice and shake vigorously. You can garnish it with some freshly grated nutmeg and a pineapple wedge, and that’s it. Also, it’s customary to pour it over some crushed ice. 

So, how is this different from Pina Colada?

The answer is simple: the base spirit is different. Painkiller uses dark rum, while Pina Coladas uses light rum. The difference is more than the color. It’s the depth and spiciness of the drink. 

Wrap up

One more thing: even if you set your sights on all these cocktails, the truth is that it’s never too good of an idea to mix them up. So, one cocktail per night. Moreover, it might be a good idea to try one and the same cocktail across multiple locations and try to make one at home. It will increase your appreciation for the art of cocktail-making and show you the difference.