The Most Difficult Drink for a Bartender to Make, Ranked

Choose the drink you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 26, 2024 06:30
Behind every bar, a meticulous dance unfolds as bartenders mix, shake, and stir. Among the array of drinks they craft, some pose significant challenges, testing the limits of their skills and creativity. Recognizing the complexity and skill involved in mixing such concoctions helps patrons appreciate the art and effort behind each glass. By participating in voting for the most difficult drink to make, users contribute to a broader understanding of the bartending craft. This ranking not only highlights the intricacies involved in creating certain drinks but also celebrates the dedication of bartenders who master these challenging recipes. Your votes help acknowledge and appreciate their hard work and ingenuity.

What Is the Most Difficult Drink for a Bartender to Make?

  1. 1

    Ramos Gin Fizz

    A complex cocktail requiring a lengthy shake to achieve its characteristic froth.
    • Main Ingredients: Gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, soda water
    • Shaking Time: Up to 12 minutes
  2. 2


    One of the oldest known cocktails, requiring a specific preparation method.
    • Main Ingredients: Cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, a sugar cube, and Peychaud's Bitters
    • Preparation: Includes chilling the glass with absinthe
  3. 3

    Old Fashioned

    A cocktail with a simple recipe but requires skill to balance the sweetness and bitters.
    • Main Ingredients: Bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, Angostura bitters, water
    • Garnish: Orange twist and cherry
  4. 4

    Mai Tai

    A Polynesian-inspired cocktail that requires a careful balance of its tropical ingredients.
    • Main Ingredients: Rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, orange curaƧao
    • Balance of Flavors: Sweet, sour, and nutty
  5. 5

    Pisco Sour

    A South American cocktail that requires vigorous shaking to create its signature frothy top.
    • Main Ingredients: Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, Angostura bitters
    • Shaking Time: Long to create froth
  6. 6

    Bloody Mary

    Known for its complexity and numerous ingredients, making it difficult to balance flavors.
    • Main Ingredients: Vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, celery salt, pepper
    • Garnish Variability: Extensive, from celery stalks to bacon
  7. 7
  8. 8


    A tiki cocktail with a complex mix of ingredients, known for its high alcohol content.
    • Main Ingredients: Multiple types of rum, lime juice, falernum, grenadine, cinnamon syrup
    • Alcohol Content: Very high
  9. 9

    Dry Martini

    A classic cocktail that requires precision in its preparation to satisfy various preferences.
    • Main Ingredients: Gin (or vodka), dry vermouth
    • Garnish: Olive or lemon twist
  10. 10

    Japanese Slipper

    A cocktail that requires precise measurements to balance the sweet and sour components.
    • Main Ingredients: Midori, Cointreau, lemon juice
    • Garnish: Maraschino cherry

Missing your favorite drink?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult drink for a bartender to make. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or beverage is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 147 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each beverage once every 24 hours. The rank of each beverage is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Drink for a Bartender to Make

Ramos Gin Fizz
Rank #1 for the most difficult drink for a bartender to make: Ramos Gin Fizz (Source)
Bartending is an art. It requires skill, patience, and creativity. Among the many drinks a bartender can make, some stand out as particularly challenging. These drinks test the bartender's abilities and can be a source of pride when done well.

The complexity of a drink can come from several factors. One is the number of ingredients. A drink with many components requires precise measurements and timing. Each ingredient must be balanced to create the desired flavor. Too much or too little of one element can ruin the drink.

Another factor is the technique. Some drinks need special methods, such as muddling, layering, or shaking. Each technique must be executed with precision. For example, muddling requires just the right amount of pressure to release flavors without overdoing it. Layering involves pouring liquids in a specific order to create distinct layers. Shaking blends ingredients and chills the drink, but it must be done with the right intensity and duration.

Presentation also matters. A drink can be complex not just in taste but in appearance. Some drinks require garnishes that need careful preparation. Others may need to be served in specific glassware or at a certain temperature. The visual aspect can be as important as the flavor.

Consistency is key. A bartender must be able to replicate the same drink multiple times with the same quality. This requires a deep understanding of the recipe and the ability to execute it under pressure. During busy times, maintaining this consistency can be particularly challenging.

Another challenge is customization. Customers often request modifications to their drinks. This can involve substituting ingredients, adjusting the sweetness, or altering the strength. Each change can affect the balance of the drink, requiring the bartender to adapt on the fly.

Experience plays a big role. A seasoned bartender will have a better sense of how to balance flavors and techniques. They will also have a repertoire of tricks and shortcuts to make the process smoother. However, even the most experienced bartender can find certain drinks challenging.

Training and practice are crucial. Many bartenders spend years honing their craft. They learn from mentors, practice on their own, and constantly seek to improve. This dedication is what allows them to tackle even the most difficult drinks.

The environment can also impact the difficulty. A busy bar with loud music and many customers can make it harder to focus. Distractions and interruptions can lead to mistakes. A well-organized bar with all the necessary tools and ingredients readily available can make a big difference.

In the end, the most difficult drink for a bartender to make is one that combines many of these challenges. It requires multiple ingredients, precise techniques, careful presentation, consistency, and the ability to adapt. It tests the bartender's skills and knowledge, pushing them to their limits.

Bartending is more than just mixing drinks. It is a craft that demands dedication and passion. The most difficult drinks highlight this, showcasing the skill and artistry of the bartender. When done well, these drinks can be a true masterpiece.

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