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8 Most Underrated Cocktails According To Bartenders

In the world of mixology, some cocktails receive all the glory while others, equally deserving, remain in the shadows. Often overlooked in favor of more popular drinks, these underrated cocktails offer a unique blend of flavors and histories that can surprise and delight any cocktail enthusiast. We consulted with bartenders to uncover the most underrated cocktails that deserve more attention. Here are their top eight picks:

1. Corpse Reviver #2

The Corpse Reviver #2 is a classic cocktail with a storied history dating back to the early 20th century. This drink is a beautifully balanced concoction of gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, and a dash of absinthe. The result is a bright, citrusy cocktail with a hint of herbal complexity from the absinthe. It’s perfect as a refreshing pre-dinner drink or a sophisticated choice for brunch. Despite its intriguing name and complex flavor profile, it often gets overshadowed by more well-known gin cocktails like the Martini or Negroni.

2. Last Word

Originating in the Prohibition era, the Last Word is a gin-based cocktail that combines equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice. The herbal notes of the Chartreuse, the sweetness of the maraschino, and the tartness of the lime create a harmonious and vibrant drink. The Last Word has seen a resurgence in recent years, but it still doesn’t get the widespread recognition it deserves. Bartenders love it for its perfect balance and its ability to please both novice and seasoned cocktail drinkers.

3. Boulevardier

Often referred to as the Negroni’s bourbon-based cousin, the Boulevardier is a rich and warming cocktail perfect for whiskey lovers. Made with bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari, it offers a complex blend of bitter, sweet, and spirit-forward flavors. The Boulevardier is ideal for cooler weather or as a sophisticated evening drink. Despite its depth and versatility, it remains underappreciated compared to its gin counterpart, the Negroni.

4. Pisco Sour

The Pisco Sour hails from South America and is the national drink of both Peru and Chile. This cocktail combines pisco (a type of brandy), fresh lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and a few dashes of bitters. The result is a frothy, tart, and slightly sweet drink with a smooth texture. The egg white gives it a silky mouthfeel, and the bitters add a nice aromatic finish. Although the Pisco Sour is beloved in its countries of origin, it is often overlooked in the global cocktail scene.

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5. Vieux Carré

The Vieux Carré is a classic New Orleans cocktail named after the city’s French Quarter. It’s a complex and potent mix of rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. This cocktail is rich, aromatic, and full of depth, making it a favorite among bartenders who appreciate its historical significance and intricate flavor profile. Despite its merits, it doesn’t enjoy the same fame as other New Orleans classics like the Sazerac or the Hurricane.

6. Aviation

The Aviation is a pre-Prohibition cocktail that has been making a quiet comeback. Made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and fresh lemon juice, it has a beautiful pale blue hue and a delicate floral aroma. The Aviation is light, refreshing, and slightly tart, making it an excellent choice for spring and summer sipping. Its somewhat unusual ingredients may contribute to its underrated status, but those who try it often fall in love with its unique charm.

7. Clover Club

Named after a Philadelphia men’s club from the late 1800s, the Clover Club is a cocktail that combines gin, fresh lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and egg white. The result is a frothy, fruity, and slightly tart drink that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious. Despite its long history and delightful flavor, the Clover Club is often overshadowed by more mainstream gin cocktails. Bartenders appreciate its balance and the way it showcases the versatility of gin.

8. Paper Plane

The Paper Plane is a modern classic created by renowned bartender Sam Ross in 2008. This cocktail features equal parts bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and fresh lemon juice. It’s a well-balanced, slightly bitter, and citrusy drink that has gained a loyal following among cocktail aficionados. However, it hasn’t yet achieved the widespread recognition it deserves. The Paper Plane’s unique combination of flavors and contemporary origins make it a standout choice for those looking to try something different.


These underrated cocktails, each with its own unique story and flavor profile, offer a refreshing change from the more commonly ordered drinks. By exploring these hidden gems, you can expand your palate and discover new favorites that might just become your go-to choices. Whether you prefer the herbal complexity of the Last Word, the rich warmth of the Boulevardier, or the delicate charm of the Aviation, there’s an underrated cocktail out there waiting to be savored. So next time you’re at the bar, take a chance on one of these lesser-known delights—you might just find your new favorite drink.

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