5 Cocktails that Prove You Mean Business

You’re workday is done and your workmates invited you to join them for after-work cocktails at the neighborhood bar. Sounds fun but remember – the drink you order says a lot about you.

If you join your coworkers for drinks after work, a little bit of judgment is inevitable, so you want to ensure that your choices send the right message. When it comes time to order, what drinks prove that you mean business, even when the workday is done?

These five drinks don’t represent a comprehensive list, but they are all safe options that won’t cause raised eyebrows or Monday morning water cooler gossip.

Drink #1: The Classic Manhattan

It may seem a little safe, but the Manhattan is a cocktail that withstands the test of time. To prove that you mean business, you need to at peace with yourself and the world while showing that you’re comfortable being an adult with grown-up tastes. The Manhattan sends that message. As an added bonus you get a tasty cherry at the bottom of your glass, suggesting a more playful side that knows when it’s time to really let loose.

Drink #2: Bloody Mary

If you skipped lunch, a bloody Mary may be your only chance of establishing a foundation for alcohol. The bloody Mary also allows you to take it slow, so if your coworkers are quickly setting a pace to wipe out any memories of their workday, you can maintain your composure and take on the role of the responsible party. Being accountable also proves you mean business.

Drink #3: The Dirty Martini

Ordering a martini immediately sends the message that you’re a person with finer tastes, and a sense of value. A dirty martini is a little more diluted than a classic martini, and perfect for sipping over conversation that (hopefully) doesn’t revolve around work. If you’re a person with nervous hands, the skewered olives provide an outlet, and you should never be afraid to ask for one or two extra.

Drink #4: Campari and Soda

If you’re looking to send the message that you’re going places, but want to enjoy a cocktail that simply tastes good, this is definitely the drink to order. Because Campari is considered an aperitif, it has about half the alcohol as most of the other listed cocktails. If drinks go straight to your head, a Campari and soda will keep you feeling in control long after your coworkers start complaining about the boss. There’s no better way to prove you mean business than avoiding office gossip.

Drink #5: Scotch

Alright, so it’s not a cocktail, but scotch drinkers ooze refinement, sophistication, and success while supplying themselves with quality fuel for heartfelt conversations. For people who mean business, scotch is a worthy topic of conversation in and of itself, so this choice comes with a warning: If you’re going to order scotch, educate yourself on the subject. Scotch drinkers are a passionate, opinionated bunch, so be prepared for lengthy conversations whenever you order this timeless beverage.

A few other tips that could come in handy:

  • Order one or two hearty appetizers with your first round of cocktails. Not only will solid food help you maintain control, your coworkers will admire your take-charge attitude.
  • Bring cash so that when it’s time to split the bill, you don’t have to fumble with the hassle of splitting up the check.
  • If you have the option to choose the restaurant or bar, pick a location with upbeat energy, outdoor seating (if possible), and a vibe that keeps conversation light and fun.
  • Know your limit ahead of time and stick to your self-imposed cutoff point.
  • If a coworker has too much to drink, offer to share a cab. They’ll thank you for it when they see you the next day.