What Liquor Should I Drink to Look Sophisticated?

Sophisticated WomanImagine you’re watching a movie and you see a sophisticated, well-dressed gentleman in a swanky nightclub walk up to the bar. He flashes his dazzling smile―the one that would melt concrete―and the bartender looks at him expectantly. He opens his mouth and says, “Gimme a beer, Milwaukee’s Best, Pabst, whatever’s cheap.” Sophistication, lost.

What you drink does as much to establish your level of sophistication as where you drink it or even the clothes you’re wearing while you drink it. And, while most people know that ordering a 40-ounce malt liquor probably isn’t the way to impress your international guests in town on business, they might not know that the wrong brand of vodka may look just as bad. If you want to look sophisticated when you drink, you need to learn what to drink.

Does the brand matter in terms of sophistication?

When it comes to high-class drinking, it’s all about the brand. There is a huge difference between drinking “Bob’s Discount Tequila” and Patron. Even in mixed drinks, using Grey Goose vodka will catch more attention than just the house brand. There’s a reason why some brands are referred to as “top shelf.”

According to The Bar Nation, some top-shelf vodkas would include Grey Goose and Belvedere, while the most sophisticated rums would be Mount Gay or Meyer’s. Other sophisticated brands include Bushmill’s, Hennessey, Chivas, Patron tequila and Bombay gin. There are also some top brands that are regional in nature; for example, nobody will look down on you for drinking the most expensive variation of Johnny Walker in Kentucky.

What mixed drinks look sophisticated?

When one pictures sophisticated mixed drinks, the martini is always at the top of the list. If it’s good enough for James Bond, how could it not be sophisticated, right? It doesn’t matter which variation you choose, dirty or clean, vodka or gin, shaken or stirred—it’s all very sophisticated. Unless, of course, you drink too many of them and throw up on somebody, but that goes without saying.

Askmen.com lists some other popular and sophisticated drinks as being the Hole in One, the Black Velvet, and, of course, the Billionaire’s Margarita. For ladies, the Cosmopolitan will always have a certain amount of sophistication, as will a Manhattan.

What wines are sophisticated?

You might think that anyone who drinks wine looks sophisticated, but then you might rethink that if you’ve seen a wino. For that matter, the bottle of three-dollar wine they crack open at the frat house probably won’t get you a cover shot on “Fancy Living” magazine, either. There are, however, plenty of wines that are quite sophisticated.

There is some relationship between the amount of money you spend on a wine and how high class it is. If you want to be really classy, you can spend $247,000 on a bottle of Pomeral Petrus from France, or any one of a variety of other French wines that go for $50,000 or more.

Any wine that costs more than, say, $30 a bottle can also be sophisticated, but of course nobody will know what it costs when it’s in the glass, anyway. In general, as long as your wine does not come from a box, have a screw-on cap, or look pink, people will probably not think too poorly of it, or you.

When talking about sophisticated wines, you have to at least give a little attention to champagne, as well. There are a few champagnes that are not sophisticated, but so as long as they don’t have a $5 price tag hanging visibly off the bottle when you open them, you’ll probably be able to fake it. Of course, if you really want to impress, Dom Perignon is still the way to go.

Can a beer be sophisticated?

There was a time when anybody who drank a beer was generally assumed to be a working-class Archie Bunker type. Nowadays, there has been a push to legitimize beer as a more elegant drink. It started with the boom in microbrews and private label beers in the 1980s and 1990s, and it’s continued now with major brewers creating special edition beers or beer brands reinventing themselves as high-end drinks.

Highbrow Magazine reports that about 6% of American beer is currently craft beer. This trend has not been lost on the major brewers, who have watched their own sales decline. Anheuser-Busch released two new upscale beers in 2013, Budweiser Black Crown and Becks Sapphire.

The Dos Equis campaign featuring the “Most Interesting Man in the World” created a character who was obviously sophisticated, educated, well-travelled, and a beer drinker, although admittedly, he didn’t always drink beer. The message was simple—the interesting people we see sipping martinis in movies will occasionally enjoy a beer, too.

If you want to look sophisticated when you drink, there are plenty of options available to you. As long as you choose an upscale brand, it doesn’t matter if you’re drinking hard liquor, wine, or beer. Whatever you’re drinking though, try to avoid the red Solo cup.