Five Classic Drinks to Make for Your Man

I love mixing drinks for my husband. But before you picture me padding around in a subservient Stone Age, I'll let you in on what I get out of it.

Men love nostalgia. They secretly long to relax in a oak-paneled study after work, reading the paper in front of a fire with the dog by their feet and a wife eager to wait on them. No man lives in such a picturesque setting anymore, but it's still possible to indulge his fantasy on some evenings. It sounds simple, but an old-fashioned gesture like making my husband a Nightcap after a long day really summons up images from some type of collective unconscious (and its related power to charm a situation). Combine it with a touch of alcohol, and I get my own picturesque evening with a grateful husband.

Image: Leonetto Cappiello, "Contratto" (1922)


Cocktails are fairly easy to make, even when mixing from scratch rather than mixes (which create a drink that's way too sugary-sweet and should be avoided except in the most desperate situations!). The challenge is choosing the perfect drink to suit the occasion. A lot of men cop out on this one, choosing to drink only beer (or some concoction made with a soft drink!). Luckily, they have you to help expand their horizons.

Here are five drinks that are so retro, they'll make any man think he’s stepped into the pages of a Patrick O’Brian novel. They’ll certainly appeal to the ladies as well, so whip one up for yourself too, and please let me know your favorites!

1. Nightcap
A Nightcap can refer to any drink intended to help you fall asleep. Its high alcohol content quiets the mind and assists in that deeply relaxed state needed to achieve sound sleep. But Nightcaps aren’t strictly utilitarian. The very mention of this drink can make a man feel he really does have it made as a modern-day aristocrat, thanks to his cool wife or girlfriend. This classic version is easier and more sophisticated than some of the sweeter recipes that include sugar (see the variation). Plus, too much sugar is counter-productive in a sedative.

Click here to read the recipe at The New Noblewoman.

2. Old-Fashioned
What else will bring some old-fashioned charm into your evening than the world’s oldest cocktail? (And yes, the old-fashioned glass is named after this drink.) It supposedly originated as a bourbon cocktail in Kentucky before becoming a hit at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. Since recipes date back to the 1800s, there are numerous variations. I advise mixing to impress by using the following recipe approved by the purists.

Click here to read the recipe at The New Noblewoman.

3. Hot Toddy
The Hot Toddy is the must-know drink for winter months. Not only is it a warm choice for cool nights, it’s also a great drink for unwinding. The liquor takes the edge off any anxiety, and the tea, honey, and lemon are soothing to the senses. This drink is especially useful for nursing someone with a cold or flu. The amount of liquor encourages drifting off to sleep, and the tea, honey, and lemon are surprisingly effective at soothing a sore throat. Be sure to use black tea to increase the Hot Toddy’s effectiveness against the cold virus.

Click here to read the recipe at The New Noblewoman.

4. Whiskey Sour
This drink is famous for being an old-fashioned favorite of both men and women. It’s not surprising, since it’s lemonade for grown-ups: Just substitute whiskey for some of the water. The Whiskey Sour is perfect for occasions earlier in the day, as you can serve this drink in the early afternoon.

Click here to read the recipe at The New Noblewoman.

5. Manhattan
This drink gets its name from the Manhattan Club in New York City, where legend says it was made for a party honoring Winston Churchill’s mother. History says otherwise, but we do know it originated sometime in the mid-1800s. A Manhattan is usually served in a martini glass, but it's fine to put it on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass. Like the Whiskey Sour, this is the perfect choice for a social event. Enjoy it anytime from early afternoon to late evening. Just remember, it’s an aperitif, so drink it before dinner rather than after. And don’t miss the opportunity to remark that everyone should drink more responsibly than Winston!

Click here to read the recipe at The New Noblewoman.

What are your picks for the best drinks for men (or women)? 

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