The Expensive Cocktail You Should Always Avoid Ordering At The Bar

As fun as it is to spend a night out at a cocktail bar with friends, these establishments often aren't cheap. You could probably buy a whole bottle of liquor and a pack of soda at the store for the same price as two drinks at your favorite nightclub. Although the ambiance of your apartment kitchen probably doesn't beat a beachfront bar. 

While enjoying a cocktail outside your home can be expensive, with the right mixologist and top-shelf ingredients, it can be infinitely worth it. Sipping on a beautifully-made Mai Tai in a bar overlooking the cityscape or a strawberry daiquiri at the swim-up bar are some of life's simple pleasures. 

Still, things can take a turn for the worse if a cocktail isn't made to your liking. Too much vodka, flat soda, and cheap pre-made mixes are among the things that can ruin a drink. Even if your main objective is to get tipsy, it's no fun if you're not enjoying the ride. So if you're looking to make the most out of your night, and get a good drink at the same time, there are some things to know.

Why cocktails come with a hefty price tag

Some might yearn for the days when a cocktail costed half the price, but others like Frank Coleman, senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council, say expensive drinks are actually a good sign (via Vinepair). Higher cocktail prices can mean drinks are better quality — both in terms of ingredients and service alike. Typically when the drink is pricey, it means the bartenders have received better training, cocktails are more unique, and ingredients are fresher. 

Beyond the usual reasons for the high prices, recently inflation has played a big part in more expensive cocktails as well. In fact, menu prices have risen by 8.2% in the last year alone according to the National Restaurant Association. Everything is rising in costs, including the cost of supplies for bar owners, so your specialty cocktail is going to be pricer. 

If you want to avoid paying in the double digits for a drink altogether, consider ordering a low-cost (but high-value) drink at a bar. Cocktails made with simple ingredients, like a vodka cranberry or gin and tonic, are usually a good choice. These drinks are easy to make so you can expect a similar quality, and low price, almost every time. But no matter if you're searching for a high-end spirit, or want to settle for something a little lower on the shelf, it's best to avoid this especially expensive cocktail — and not just because of its price tag.

Sorry Long Island iced tea lovers

While cocktails made with many different ingredients can sound enticing, ordering them at the wrong bar can make for nothing more than a bad decision. For that reason, and a few more, Long Island iced teas are best to avoid according to bar manager Alisha Kaplan, who told Business Insider "Not only are they pricey, but [they] are often inconsistent and of poor quality." 

Citing many bartenders' use of bottom-shelf liquors and pre-bottled mixes in the drink, she calls the Long Island iced tea a drink that will "guarantee you the worst hangover of your life." If you're not familiar with the cocktail, it packs in a whopping five liquors including gin, vodka, rum, triple sec, and tequila. And with only a dash of Coca-Cola, simple syrup, and a lemon for garnish, the drink is mostly alcohol. Bartender Elena Alvarez told Insider that many bartenders especially despise making Long Islands when things are busy because of how long it takes to mix together.

While a Long Island might be a common drink order, that also doesn't mean everyone knows how to make it well. In fact, because of the many additions, it's often made very inconsistently so you never know what you're gonna get. There are better options out there, but at the end of the day, you like what you like, and if it's a Long Island iced tea, we won't judge.