If you like to enjoy a cocktail during your downtime, chances are good that you have a favorite. We all tend to stick to the same orders time after time, but here at STIR Restaurant and Bar, we like to shake things up! Our location in Lake Ivanhoe Village has a cocktail bar that is ready to exceed your expectations, and a menu of inspired craft cocktails for you to try. For those who are hesitant to step outside their comfort zone, we’ve compiled a list of classic cocktails that can help you make your first steps toward expanding your cocktail horizons. Make your dinner reservations at STIR today, and don’t forget to ask the bartender for one of these delicious drinks!

Martini

Shaken, not stirred. The martini is about as classic as it gets when it comes to cocktails, with frequent appearances in many movies, including those about everyone’s favorite British spy. It may be a little intimidating to try, especially if you tend to order a glass of wine or a pint of beer at the bar. However, there are a lot of different variations of the martini that can help you ease into trying something new. Appletini, anyone?

A classic, “dry” martini is made with gin and dry Vermouth, which is a white wine flavored with herbs and spices. You have probably also heard of a “dirty” martini, which is a kind of flavored martini, but with a much different spin than something like a Cosmopolitan. A dirty martini is flavored with olive brine, which can be used with or instead of Vermouth. Choose the best variation for your tastes and try it for yourself tonight at STIR!

Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a particularly sophisticated, iconic cocktail, and can be a great choice for someone who wants an introduction to whiskey without the commitment of taking it straight. An Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, bitters (a flavored liqueur), and sugar, and often garnished with an orange twist. If you have been drinking vodka cranberries since college, and you’re looking for a more “adult” drink, you can’t go wrong with this one. 

Manhattan

Another way great whiskey cocktail to try is a Manhattan. It’s similar to a martini, made with whiskey, bitters, and sweet Vermouth, which is a red wine flavored with herbs and spices. It’s traditionally made with a rye whiskey, but your bartender won’t blink an eye if you ask for your cocktail to be made with a bourbon you’re partial to instead.

Whiskey Sour

We’re on a roll, so let’s introduce another way to enjoy this varied, grain-based alcohol: the whiskey sour. It’s sweeter than an Old Fashioned, and relatively simple, which makes it a very approachable cocktail for those nervous to stray from their habits. A whiskey sour is made with whiskey, of course, along with lemon juice and sugar or simple syrup. It’s often also topped with frothy egg white, which is sure to make you feel like you’ve upgraded from that sticky college bar where you had your first drink. 

Margarita

Wait, wait, wait — hear us out! We are all familiar with margaritas, but if your experience with this cocktail is based off of pre-made mixes and cheap Tex-Mex restaurants, then you haven’t truly had a margarita. It’s a simple recipe – a great entry-level choice if you want to try mixing your own drinks at home – traditionally made with tequila, lime, and a sweetener like triple sec or agave nectar.

A margarita is a great cocktail for those who are nervous to try unfamiliar concoctions, even if you have had a few bad experiences with tequila in the past. (We’ve all been there.) Believe us, a margarita made with high-quality ingredients will make you forget all about the mix.

Negroni

If you’re looking for a cocktail to sip with friends before dinner, the Negroni was made for you. While the ingredients may be unfamiliar to those who have stuck with beer or wine in the past, it is an exceptionally easy cocktail to make, with equal parts gin, sweet Vermouth, and Campari, a bittersweet liqueur. It’s a great choice for anyone who finds fruity cocktails too sticky sweet.

Whatever you like to order, we hope that STIR Restaurant and Bar becomes your new favorite cocktail bar. We believe in quality drinks, local ingredients, and relaxed fine dining, and we don’t believe it should cost you an arm and a leg. Come try one of our craft cocktails, drink a proper margarita just feet away from the shores of Lake Ivanhoe, or enjoy our wide selection of craft beer and world-class wines with friends. Make your reservations today!