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The best staple drinks to order at a college bar

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

If you just recently turned 21 or if you don’t know what to get when you go out, I have a few recommendations for you. It can be intimidating walking up to a busy bar and the bartender is rushing around, especially when you don’t want to get something you might not like.

You want to get something that’s cheap and gets the job done quick if you know what I mean. I also used to bartend, so I know what drinks are good and which ones you should stay away from because of prices, taste and the type of setting you’re in.

vodka cranberry

This is my personal favorite, and I order this all the time because it’s so good. If you don’t like carbonated beverages, like me, this is a good choice. You can get bottom-shelf vodka or Tito’s to mix in with the cranberry, it doesn’t matter. Personally, I prefer to get Tito’s because it’s stronger, but it does cost about one to two dollars more.

When cranberry juice is paired with ice, it honestly feels so refreshing and it doesn’t upset my stomach. I’ve never paid more than five dollars for a vodka cranberry, so it won’t break the bank by the end of night. You can ask for a double as well, so after about three or four drinks, you might be getting your money’s worth.

RUM and coke

I made this drink a lot when I was a bartender. If you love Coca-Cola and sweetness, then this is the one for you. I’ve found that when you ask for coconut rum it brings out the flavors in the drink more. Straight rum will definitely make the drink stiffer. This one also falls on the cheaper side.

long island iced tea

Depending on where you go, the price can range for this. However, if you head to The Basement Nightspot in State College during happy hour on the weekends, you can get this drink for only two dollars. This has vodka, white rum, tequila, gin and triple sec topped with Coca-Cola. There’s plenty in there to get you feeling good in no time. If you like a heavy taste of alcohol, I would go with this one.


whiskey sour

I’m not a fan of these, but these little drinks can catch up to you quickly from what I’ve heard. The drink consists of any kind of whiskey, lemon juice and sour mix. It’s usually served in a small cup and if it’s mixed well, it can go down easily.

bay breeze

This is another favorite of mine because it’s not carbonated. It has coconut rum, cranberry juice and pineapple juice. It’s very fruity and sweet. This drink is perfect if you don’t want to get too drunk or drink that much. It’s cheap, and sometimes if the bartenders are nice, they’ll garnish it with a paper umbrella.

Again, these are cheap drinks that you can order literally anywhere. They get the job done and they’re usually always tasty. If you can’t find a drink you like, try getting one of these to see for yourself. Find a staple and stick with it.

Drink responsibly!

I am a senior at Penn State University majoring in digital and print journalism with a minor in digital media trends and analytics.