9 Retro Cocktails That Used To Be Cool But Aren't Anymore

Old School Cocktails

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Old School Cocktails
Cheapism / DepositPhotos

Out With the Old

Just like clothing trends, cocktails go in and out of fashion. What you used to drink when you were in your 20s in the 1970s or 80s is probably not what you're drinking nowadays, and you'd probably get some confused looks if you tried to order one of those cocktails in a bar. (If you're one of those people that has only ever drank PBRs at dive bars, we salute you.) Here are retro cocktails that, while definitely still tasty, some people wouldn't be caught dead ordering in a bar for fear of being painfully uncool.

Related: History in a Glass: Fascinating Legends Behind 20 Famous Cocktails

Harvey wallbanger orange cocktails

1. Harvey Wallbanger

If you ordered a Harvey Wallbanger now, chances are the bar wouldn't even have the unique ingredient that differentiates it from a screwdriver: Galliano. The drink was created by Galliano, an Italian herbal liqueur that's neon yellow, in order to sell more bottles, and it certainly worked, at least for a while. Now, good luck finding it anywhere but big liquor stores (or maybe you can settle for the cake version instead). 

Related: The Most Refreshing Cocktails From Around the World

Rob Roy cocktail

2. Rob Roy

Order a Manhattan and every bartender will know what that is. Order a Rob Roy, and they might not, even though there's only one difference: it uses Scotch instead of American whisky. It was created in the late 1800s and named for an operetta about Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish folk hero, hence the Scotch. 

Related: Best Cheap Whiskeys Under $50 for Smooth, Satisfying Sipping

Cosmopolitan by Ashok Boghani (CC BY-NC)

3. Cosmopolitan

While the Cosmo isn't nearly as old as some cocktails — it was probably invented in the 1980s — it reached astronomical heights of popularity thanks to the TV show "Sex and the City" in the late 90s and early 2000s. It was everywhere, and women loved being seen with the chic pink-hued martini-style drink. Nowadays, lots of people would be loathe to order one in a bar, and we're guessing bartenders are glad the trend has died down. 

Related: The Best Vodka Under $30

Brandy alexander cocktail

4. Brandy Alexander

It feels like everyone's grandma drank Brandy Alexanders, which is probably a big reason why they're not popular anymore. Rich, creamy, and sweet dessert drinks aren't everyone's cup of tea, and it seems like today's younger drinkers want something lighter and more refreshing. 

Hot Toddy drinks

5. Hot Toddy

Hot cocktails in general seem like they've gone to the wayside, from the Irish coffee to the Hot Toddy. It's a simple drink, made mostly of hot water, plus whatever alcohol you like (usually whisky or rum), a little sweetener, and whatever flavors you want like lemon or cloves, if you're feeling fancy. The fact that many people drink it when they're sick has probably led to its popularity decline.

Related: The Best Rums Under $35 to Spice Up Your Home Bar

Gimlet cocktail

6. Gimlet

The Gimlet is like the granddaddy of sour cocktails, which continue to be popular. But somehow the Gimlet seems to have been left by the wayside, and you don't see it on many cocktail menus anymore. Perhaps that's because it's too simple, with only alcohol, citrus, and sugar, or maybe it's because people prefer other spirits over gin, like in a whisky or amaretto sour.

Related: Top 21 Most Expensive Bottles of Alcohol Ever Sold

Tom and Jerry christmas cocktail

7. Tom and Jerry

It's a tossup whether you've even heard of a Tom and Jerry before, but it was a popular holiday drink in the 50s and 60s. It's kind of a hot eggnog, but more complicated to make, which may be why it's fallen out of favor. You have to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold in the yolks and sugar, and any flavorings like vanilla. You spoon that "batter" into mugs, and top with hot milk and liquors like rum and cognac. If you live in the upper Midwest, you might still see packaged Tom and Jerry batter sold in the freezer section of grocery stores around Christmas.

Related: Boozy Christmas Punch Recipes to Lean on This Season

Grasshopper cocktail

8. Grasshopper

The combination of chocolate and mint has taken the name grasshopper in everything from baked goods to milkshakes thanks to the Grasshopper cocktail. It's made with creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and cream, and it's sweet, rich, and like other after-dinner drinks, it's lost favor recently. 

Related: Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes for Chilly Fall Nights

Tom Collins cocktails

9. Tom Collins

The Tom Collins used to be so popular that its even got a bar glass named after it. It's a sour citrus cocktail made with gin that's topped with soda water and served over ice. The refreshing drink has been around since the late 1800s, but you rarely see the simple concoction on drink menus anymore — though you can still buy Tom Collins mix at liquor stores.

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