10 Must-Try Cocktails Around the U.S.

By Joshua Rivero

Whether it's because of a long day at work or because our friend tempted us to go out, most of us enjoy having an occasional cocktail or two.

If you live in or are visiting the U.S., you’ll want to try some of the country’s many unique cocktails. To help you get a better sense of what to drink, here are 10 must-try cocktails from the U.S.!

Tequila Sunrise

Many people believe the Tequila Sunrise was birthed on the pristine beaches of western California, but the California edition of the Tequila Sunrise was not the original. It’s just a stronger version made with grenadine in addition to tequila.

The original Tequila Sunrise was actually first crafted in the sunny deserts of Arizona, sometime around the 1930s. This original masterpiece is a blend of tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice, and soda water. When made to perfection, this drink should resemble a blazing hot sunset — a perfect representation of Arizona’s beauty.

Pisco Punch

The star of this cocktail, pisco, is a liqueur that originates from Peru. The actual cocktail? Crafted by none other than cocktail legend Duncan Nicol in the 1800s at his bar in San Francisco.

The original drink calls for pisco, lemon juice, pineapple chunks, water, ice, and the key ingredient — pineapple gum syrup!

Colorado Bulldog

Soft, sleek, and pure white — just like the snow that blankets Colorado deep in the winter.

Cocktail connoisseurs compare this drink to the White Russian. While the two are pretty similar, the Colorado Bulldog has an extra kick of bubbles from the soda added into the drink.

The Manhattan

The Manhattan is a classic drink that you can get at bars across the country, especially in the Northeast. It’s rumored that the Manhattan was crafted for a party thrown in NYC at The Manhattan Club in 1847. The person in charge was Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill.

The Manhattan is a simple blend of whiskey, bitters, and sweet vermouth. Try it next time you're in the big city!

Buckeye Martini

If you like to keep things simple, then this native Ohio drink is for you. It’s a simple, quick mix of dry vermouth and gin, usually garnished with black olives.

This drink takes inspiration from Ohio State University’s mascot, Brutus Buckeye.

Gin Rickey

If simplicity isn’t your thing, you need to try this drink.

The original Gin Rickey was made in honor of lobbyist Joe Rickey (Washington, D.C.) in 1883. At first, this drink was pretty simple. It was a mix of lime juice, seltzer, and whiskey. However — the drink is a little more interesting now.

The new Gin Rickey uses a garnish as the centerpiece, with a skewer of cucumber and celery laced with aquavit. The garnish is placed into a concoction of gin, honey, lime juice, and club soda.

Bloody Mary

Okay, so the Bloody Mary isn’t 100% American, but still deserves a spot regardless. This drink has origins from across the globe, mostly from France and the U.K.

However, the Oklahoma versions are some of the best across the U.S., particularly during brunch. What better way to say brunch besides a Bloody Mary with an Oklahama-sized range of garnishes from beef jerky to shrimp? Not to mention The Boom in Oklahoma City, which features a Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar.

Brass Monkey

The origins behind this drink are fairly mysterious. Some people say it became popular due to a Beatles song with the same name in the 1990s. Others believe it was because of the saying “cold enough to freeze the (body part) of a brass monkey". Though the most popular origin story is that it was named after a World War II spy.

The drink is fairly simple, usually only including vodka, citrus juice, and rum served in a martini glass.

Frozen Margaritas

Margaritas are a traditionally Mexican cocktail that has tequila, flavored liqueur, and lime juice. It was made around 1938 by Carlos “Danny” Herrera for one of his frequent patrons that was allergic to all alcohol except tequila.

Sometime around 1971, Mariano Martinez whipped up a margarita in a soft serve machine at his bar in Dallas and named it the first ever frozen margarita machine. Since then, frozen margaritas have become a staple in Texas, and all across the U.S.


Arguably not a cocktail and previously illegal, moonshine has become a beloved drink amongst Tennesseans due to its strength and robust flavor. They claim that the “moon makes the drink” — though that’s up for speculation.

Nowadays, moonshine is corn-based and uses both fermentation and distillation processes to make a strong beverage.

Try these drinks and more on your next trip to the U.S.!


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