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Bartender: What will it be?

Meryl Stryfe: [Bangs fist on counter.] A banana sundae!

Milly Thompson: A gâteau mille-feuille with Ceylon tea!

Drunk Customer: Listen missies, the gag won't work unless you order milk!

One of the most widely used pieces of shorthand for telling the audience about a character's personality: have the character order a drink.

Some drinks are particularly trope rich:

  • Tea, England's national drink. Very class-indicator laden. Big, steaming mugs of really strong "Builder's" tea with lots of sugar (probably poured from a grimy metal or old "Brown Betty" teapot) = blue-collar working class; Mug of well-known brand tea, possibly made American style (teabag on a string), some sugar = white-collar or middle class; china cup of unsweetened Earl Grey poured from a silver pot = upper class.
  • Coffee, its principal rival.
  • Wine, reputedly sophisticated.

The drink order can be code for nationality, and social class.

Britain

  • A working-class Brit will "have a pint, landlord." (Or, if we're establishing him as a regular at this particular pub, it'll be "The usual, Jim -- and one for yourself"). It'll still be a pint of bitter, though. He'll never order a particular brand; sometimes this is lampshaded by a request for "a pint of the non-specific".
    • Very good pubs may boast of many different ales on tap, but the regulars nearly always stick to a favourite ("the usual" or a fictitious name).
    • Don't order a cocktail or liqueur unless you want to be seen as pretentious or a "poof".
    • Don't drink your beer by half pints if you don't want to be seen as a "poof".
    • The "a pint of the non-specific" trope was probably established due to the fact that brand names can't be mentioned on The BBC. Eastenders famously has a variety of fake brands behind the bar at the Vic; other BBC series do show real brands but rarely if ever mention them in dialogue.
    • "A broon ale" is a common order for the working class Brit when Oop North.
  • An upper-class Brit in a lower-class pub will almost invariably ask for a wine list, to which the barman will inevitably reply, "Red or White?" Only after repeating this line in response to a series of increasing "elementary" wines will the barman suggest mixing the red and white to produce... not "blush", but "pink". "Blush" is almost as vulgar as "pink".
  • A sophisticated Brit (read: James Bond) will order a vodka martini -- shaken, not stirred, and the drier the better. As far as normal (gin) martinis go, Winston Churchill found it necessary only to gaze at the vermouth bottle from across the room while drinking straight gin. A truly sophisticated Brit will order the martini stirred, not shaken, and, if asked, will explain that shaking bruises the gin.[1] If it's summer, the sophisticate may prefer Gin & Tonic or a jug of Pimm's to go 'round.
  • A Yuppie will have, "Macallan gran reserva, with a drop", or some ridiculously specific wine (Chateau Neuf, south field, 1978). That, or a bottle of Sol or Corona with a wedge of lime in the neck.
  • A non-Yuppie, meanwhile, will just order a Macallan, because it's damn good whisky. Ahem. The Macallan.
  • A Brit who wants to be a yuppie or sophisticate, but isn't (such as Del Boy) will order some totally preposterous cocktail, probably with an umbrella in it.
  • A character in a crime drama will always ask for "Scotch." The character will rarely specify the type, possibly because the writers don't realize that every Scotch is slightly different. If the character does ask for a specific brand, it will always be Glenfiddich or The Macallan. It's vanishingly rare that anyone asks for a brand of blended Scotch by name.
  • A Scotsman or an Irishman will drink their nation's native whisk(e)y.
    • In Hollywood, in contrast to the hundreds of varieties of Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey (yes, they're spelled differently, and the difference is, in fact, Serious Business) appears in just two brands: Jameson and Bushmills. They are largely equivalent, except that Jameson is Catholic and Bushmills is Protestant - thus picking the right one is non-trivial when dealing with particularly militant Irishmen - but this distinction is mostly an American fabrication, based on the fact that the Bushmills distillery happens to be located in Northern Ireland- the Jameson family were Protestant (as were the Guinness family, and most families who actually had enough money to start major breweries and distilleries)[3].
    • A Scotsman will never order "scotch," but rather "whisky." Nonetheless, they expect to be served scotch because to them, scotch is the default variety of whisky (which is Truth in Television in Britain).
    • The most popular whiskey within Ireland itself is reputedly Powers Gold Label, which is usually hard to come by at any bar in the states, outside of certain Irish enclaves like Boston or New York (and sometimes even there).
  • In the UK, professional footballers' "Check out my money" drink of choice seems to be Cristal champagne. £200 a bottle. Mixed with Diet Coke. Ugh.
  • A character from the West Country will drink cider, particularly scrumpy (a type of cloudy, low-carbonation cider with a higher alcohol content).
  • Soft drinks in Britain are generally referred to as exactly that. Regional and time period variations do come in: anyone wanting to evoke the days of Enid Blyton will drink "lashings and lashings of ginger ale." In Scotland, any fizzy non-alcoholic beverage is referred to as "juice" or "skoosh", regardless of whether it's Sprite, Coke, or Pepsi. "Ginger" is also a common generic term for carbonated soft drinks north of the border. Virtually the only drink to be requested by name is Scotland's own Irn-Bru. And even then, it'll generally be shortened to just "bru."

Rest of Europe

  • A Russian will drink vodka, perhaps straight from the bottle.
    • Only in movie-land, though; in real Russia only hopeless drunks and hobos drink vodka straight from the bottle, and the more common drink of choice would be a cheap beer (straight from the bottle is okay with beer) or the Jaguar brand energy alcopop for the youths. Or, you know, vodka, but not straight from the bottle.
    • Bear in mind that Russia is the country that didn't officially count beer as an alcoholic beverage until 2009, and where government policy has been to encourage beer-drinking as a way of combating alcoholism.
  • A Norwegian will order pilsener beer, and refer to it as "pils". Brand? What's that?
    • And a Swede will order "a big strong one", meaning a half litre of domestic lager.
    • A Swedish student, at least if they're a member of a student's union (often dressing in patch-covered industrial overalls), might order "Punsch" instead. Not Punch; Punsch. Basically a traditional Swedish liqueur made of arrack, tea, citrus, water and sugar. Generally taken as a shot next to the beer.
  • The French drink wine. Even in McDonald's. Disneyland Paris almost went out of business when it first opened. Why? Because they didn't serve wine. Wine is Serious Business in France.
    • Many also drink beer (referred to as "blonde" (light) or "brune" (dark)); a typical "neighborhood bar" is often called a brasserie (brewery). Some drinks are seen as more regional, e. g. cidre is often associated with apple-growing Normandie and Bretagne, as is Calvados (faire le trou normand "to make the Norman hole" means drinking a glass of Calvados between the courses of a meal). Various aniseed spirits like pastis and Pernod are associated with the south, cognac is usually seen as a more upscale drink, perhaps to spirits what champagne is to wines. The French love their coffee, but café au lait is really only drunk from a large bowl at breakfast, and late 19th century artists, writers etc. are stereotypically expected to be addicted to absinthe.
    • Italians and Spaniards also drink a lot of wine, although they're usually depicted as being much less snobby about it.
  • For many Germans it's beer and more beer, but in some regions it may also be wine, especially (obviously) in wine-growing regions. Germans can be expected to drink both, even on one sitting, as there's a popular saying: Wein auf Bier, das rat ich dir, Bier auf Wein, das lass sein. ("Wine after beer is what I recommend to you, beer after wine better not.") In the Frankfurt area cider (Apfelwein, im Hochdeutsch, Äbbelwoi in Hessian) is also popular.
    • There are quite a few regional variations. In Bavaria, manly men are expected to drink from Maßkrüge (stoneware or glass jugs holding exactly a liter) at the Oktoberfest, in other regions it is much more commonplace to use smaller glasses, the smallest in Cologne for Kölsch. In parts of Northern Germany they think you can't be expected to drink a beer "dry", so a beer will be accompanied by a shot glass of clear spirits, thus Lütt un Lütt (Low German for "little and little") means a beer and a glass of kümmel (caraway schnaps). Some regions prefer certain types of beer, e. g. in the Rhineland you have a type produced with the yeast floating on top, known variously as Obergärig, Kölsch (in Cologne) or Alt (especially in Düsseldorf), while other regions have a penchant for a lighter beer made from wheat (Hefeweizen). Berliners will stereotypically be expected to drink a Weiße mit Schuss (white beer with a shot of fruit syrup in a big bowl-like glass) in summer.
    • Some drinks are seasonal, to quench their thirst in the hot season Germans may order a Weinschorle (usually white wine and mineral water, the red wine version is sometimes known as Türkenblut "turk's blood") or a mixture of beer and lemonade (what is called Shandy in Britain) that is called a Radler ("cyclist's") in the South and an Alsterwasser or Alster ("Alster water", named after one of the rivers of Hamburg) in the North. The non-alcoholic variant is also called a Schorle, usually specifying which fruit juice is mixed with mineral water; the most common one is Apfel(saft)schorle (with apple juice). In winter, especially around Christmas, Germans (and Alsatian Frenchmen as well) will frequently drink Glühwein (mulled, spiced wine), while on the coast people stereotypically drink grog. The traditional recipe for the latter is Rum muss, Zucker kann, Wasser braucht nicht "rum must, sugar can, water need not (be)".
    • Germany is also well known for various types of spirits, usually clear, like Korn (made from grain), Apfelkorn (the same from grain and apples), Kümmel (caraway) or Kirsch (cherries), while the darker brandy (Weinbrand) is more of an upscale drink. Sweet liqueurs of more unusual colours are traditionally associated with (tippling) older women. Jägermeister has of course been successfully exported.
    • As regards hot drinks, most Germans prefer coffee, execpt in tea-addicted East Frisia, although many of those Germans who do drink tea like to think of themselves as better conoisseurs of tea than e. g. Britons. Among youngsters, there is a bit of a fashion for KiBa (Kirsche + Banane), a mixture of cherry and banana juice, usually poured in in such a way so you get two layers or a pretty spiral design.
  • Espresso for the euro-sophisticate who wants to sip.
    • In Australia, drunk like a shot of spirits. Nice.
  • Traditionalist South Slavs (Slovenians, Croatians, Bosnians, Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians) will have a "dec" of rakija made in the countryside and wash it down with a local beer (or wine, if you're in Dalmacija, Hercegovina or Montenegro.)
    • Young "posh" people will have the standard club fare of beer and nouveau cocktails like Jagerbombs and B-52s.
    • Wannabe tough guys will have shots of Chivas Regal and chase it down with Heineken.
    • The "alternative" crowd will either eschew the whole concept of showing off with what you drink and gulp down everything that gets them intoxicated, stick to the traditional (and cheap) Raki+Beer or if they are of the "hipster" variety try to top each other by increasingly obscure cocktails they don't really enjoy.
  • A Dutchman will order a small glass of whatever's on tap. In summer, a Dutch woman will order a rosé or (if she's trying to be hip) a rosé beer. Or just regular beer. In winter, pea soup is traditional as a drink, especially after a nice day of ice skating.
    • However, nine times out of ten, the only beer on tap (or even served at all) will be domestic. German and Belgian beers are also exeptable, but anything else wil often be dismissed as weak or low-quality (often correcty, often wrongly). And, of course, every region has its own preference (though it is not as hard coded as in other countries).

USA

  • A redneck, regular Joe: "Gimme a beer." If he's feeling particularly sophisticated he'll insist on a longneck (bottle). If a brand is mentioned, it is always an American beer. If it's pre-80s, the beer will often be a regional beer. Regional, not Microbrew. So expect Pabst in the Midwest, Rainier in the Northwest, Genessee in the Northeast and so on.
  • A Southerner will take bourbon -- "...and leave the bottle.", as will the Cowboy Cop.
  • A rich Southerner, though, will take a mint julep. And probably mention the technique of bruising the mint leaves known as "muddling."
  • Irish-Americans attempting to seem more Irish will drink Guinness (or, for harder drinkers, Jameson's). Lampshaded in Ballykissangel where the pub owner considered dropping what was obviously Guinness stout because only one customer ordered it outside tourist season. (In reality, Guinness is also very popular with real Irish people - to the point "A pint" in most bars in Ireland means a Guinness.)
  • A teetotaler will drink a Long Island iced tea -- typically after being convinced by his friends that it's a nonalcoholic drink. Hilarity Ensues.
    • You can taste the alcohol in Long Island iced tea (that sour taste) however sweet tea vodka is said to have almost no alcohol taste and is occasionally stronger (flavored vodka is generally 70 proof whereas most Long Island iced teas that are watered down with coke or something are generally in the 20 to 40 proof).
      • For the record: Plain vodka and most industrially-produced liquors are 80 proof (US), which is the same as 40% alcohol by volume (1 US proof=0.5% ABV). This is basically an international standard; while specific brands may have different strengths, 40% is by far the most common.
      • The sour taste in a Long Island is 'Sour Mix', which has no alcohol content: it's basically extra-strong lemonade with some gum arabic added as an emulsifier. A properly made Long Island should actually taste more or less like iced tea with lemon. If you can taste the liquors, the proportions are off.
  • An Old West cowboy takes whiskey or tequila. A modern Texan might have either, but also likes frosty domestic lagers in their native aluminum cans, and you'd be hard pressed to find a licensed Texan restaurant that doesn't serve at least two varieties of margarita.
    • He's also likely to ask for a bottle of Shiner. Expect him to be very angry if he's out of state, and the bar doesn't have it.
    • If the hero confronts the villain in a Wild West saloon, the bad guy may order two of "the usual" which will be something incredibly strong / borderline toxic / potentially fatal. He downs one like soda pop, and dares the hero to drink the other. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Gangstas will drink a "40" (40 fl oz bottle of beer or malt liquor) and pour out a bottle on the ground to remember their fallen comrades. Goes way back to the days of war.
  • New Mexicans drink Tecate with lime and salt or, if you have a sophisticated palate, Negra Modelo.
  • Fratboys: All the above in alphabetical order. Twice, with a stomach pump to chase. Alternately, the Fratboy will only be shown choosing drinks that have as little taste as possible, such as bland light beer or vodka cocktails. Alcohol with character will never cross the fictional fratboy's palate. If this is a home event and not at a bar, expect at least one keg, which will be drained dry by the end of the evening.
    • Note that this in no way limited to American fratboys, either.
  • College kids will do Jello shots. If they're on spring break in Florida or Mexico, they will drink tequila.
  • Ordinary Joe orders "coffee." The barista at the fancy coffee bar looks at him like he's speaking Martian.
  • Yuppie wants a coffee: They order the superultradecafmochalatte[4] with extra foam, super hot.
    • Or conversely, yuppie wants a coffee and makes the fancy-schmancy order, only to be offered regular or decaf at a little mom and pop coffee shop.
  • The Ordinary High School Student will often order "Coke", no further specifics (maybe Pepsi depending on who's paid for Product Placement).
    • Coffee is fast becomming an alternative due to the growing popularity of iced coffee drinks and the need to stay awake early in the morning.[5]
  • By the way, in different parts of the United States, the standard term for "soft drink" varies. Most notably, in the Deep South, the generic term is "coke" (occasionally "soda", in contrast to the more Midwestern "pop"). Conversations like this really do happen:

 Host: Can I get you a coke?

Guest: Sure. Have you got any Dr Pepper?

    • Pop is less Midwestern and more Minnesotan. The term is also dominant in Michigan, perhaps due to the proximity and influence of Canada, where it is universally used. Asking for a pop in Wisconsin, Iowa, or the Dakotas will generally result in a weird look. Asking for a soda in the north star state, especially outside the Twin Cities, is often greeted likewise.
      • Chicago tends to have a good mix of all three terms, even "coke", which is nearly unheard-of elsewhere in the Midwest.
      • "Pop" tends to manifest in odd areas around the midwest. Where the northern midwest (Except Minnesota) has soda as a common term, it is entirely possible for someone to honestly have no idea what you're talking about unless you say "pop" in Kansas or Missouri.
    • Also, getting a Sprite from the "coke machine". To be fair it probably is in fact a Coca-cola vending machine.
    • RC Cola is fairly popular across the Southeast, primarily outside the larger cities (where Coca-Cola and Pepsi have pretty much sewn up the markets). The order will vary in its pronunciation: black Southerners tend to say the letter "r" as "ar-uh", thus "Ar-uh-see cola", whereas a white Southerner's order will sound more like "awr-see cola" or "coler". Southern country folks in general will say "Co-cola", which means Coca-Cola specifically.
  • Hardboiled Detective-types always get whisky. More specifically, it's usually Scotch.
    • If he's ordering a nonalcoholic drink, like in a diner, it will always be coffee, black.
  • In fiction, politicians and businessmen have an affinity for martinis or scotch. The latter, possibly because the word "scotch" sounds appropriate to their vocabulary. In real life, their drinks are more varied, but the spirit is right.
    • Pun intended?
  • If you're dealing with Seattle, the Drink Order ranges from drip coffee (in a hurry, not fancy, maybe not much cash) to the ridiculously specific espresso cart order (and will be annoyed when the barista doesn't know how to make it). If he's drinking alcohol, it's usually some kind of microbrew or local wine. Almost Live used this stereotype as a surprisingly rich source of gags.
  • An Orthodox Jew will be drinking the hideously-sweet (and just generally hideous) Manischewitz kosher wine. Hilarity Ensues when he attempts to obey the commandment on Purim (to be so drunk as to be unable to tell "cursed is Haman" from "blessed is Mordechai") using this wine. (Never mind that beer or various distilled beverages could have done the job just fine and not violated any laws...).

Australia

  • An Australian? Beer. No name beer, served in a glass, no matter where they are. Most Australians drink either Carlton Draught, or the variety of state beers which are only popular in each state and have only a vile taste in common. NSW- Tooheys New, Queensland- XXXX (which is where the name of the Discworld's "lost continent" comes from), Victoria- VB (officially Victoria Bitters, but nobody calls it that), WA- Swan Draught, Tasmania- Boags or Cascade, SA- West End. Inevitably, the beer is drunk either straight from the can or from a "stubby" (a short, squat glass bottle, in contrast to the "longneck").
    • Not so! "Though Angus loves his whisky dear/And Paddy likes his tot/The Aussie has no drink at all/He drinks the bloody lot!"
    • The main Australian drink is known as "piss". It's a generic term for any alcohol from finest claret to beer to absinthe to vanilla extract. Which might or might not slow down service if the bartender happened to be American.
  • All of the above beers are invariably characterless pale lagers served at temperatures so cold that even if they did have redeeming features, they would not register on your palate. If an Australian pub boasts 10 different taps, they will consist of 8 different brands of insipid pale lager, plus Guinness and a cider.
  • An Australian will sneer at British beers for being warm and flat and mainstream American beers as being "pissweak", despite mainstream Australian beer being inferior to the former, and indistinguishable from the latter.
  • If a spirit drinker, an Australian will opt for rum. The rum will be Bundaberg, distilled from the finest sugar and biological waste, and it is always mixed with coke (in some pubs, "Bundy and coke" will be available pre-mixed, on tap).
  • If not alcoholic, Australia offers a fine hybrid of multicultural drink influences. If they are "traditional" Aussie, expect tea. If they are suburbanite, sophisticated, white collar etc. expect espresso coffee or the unique Australian variations, "long black" and "flat white," (espresso diluted with hot water and with milk, respectively. The second is not a latte.) Australian coffee is surprisingly strong (an Italian legacy). If they are rich and don't understand what they're drinking, it's Starbucks coffee.
  • Drinking wine is not uncommon, middle and upper class Aussies have no social faux pas on drinking it but its still holds a pretentious middle class image amongst working class Australians, with only very special circumstances mitigating this, however if a foreigner were to point that drinking wine is snobbery or excessive in the present context, expect a response of "Weeell I bet you wouldn't know we produce over 100 international awarded red wines, not to mention we have major share of the top white wines on the international market and [Major Winery in the Region] does a fantastic line of Chardonnays, but you wouldn't know that you foreign bastard!". It's often a lot more hostile if the questioner is English, if the person doing the questioning is French even more so. We may drink a lot of beer but we're proud of our wine.
    • Disdain for wine is increasingly a marker of those of very low socio-economic status. You'd be hard pressed to find a manual labourer in any Australian capital city who didn't know their way around a wine shop.

Canada

  • Alcoholic: Beer. Usually Canadian beer (typically either Molson or Labatt), though European beer is also acceptable. But not American beer, which has been the target of ridicule since time immemorial.
    • Certain brands are distinctly more popular in some provinces, though, such as Sleeman's in Ontario or Keith's in Nova Scotia.
    • We also ought to note that some Americans, particularly those from the Northeast and Great Lakes states, are fond of Canadian beer. Indeed, in some places, it's sort of unusual not to find Labatt or Molson on tap.
  • The classic heavy liquor is Canadian [Rye] Whisky, though really any hard liquor will do.
    • Canadian whisky is also popular in the American Northeast and Great Lakes region. The good stuff (that gets exported) is highly favored, while the cheap stuff is the usual go-to whisky for the poor drinker who likes whisky.
    • It should also be noted that, due to a primarily Scottish and English influence on the drinking culture of Canada, whisky forgoes the "e" seen in America and Ireland.
  • Wine is becoming more popular, partly due to Canada's increasing reputation in the international wine community (particularly icewine and dessert wines).
  • Non-alcoholic: Coffee. Which is to say, drip coffee, served "double-double" (two creams, two sugars), and purchased from Tim Hortons, which is even more popular in Canada than Starbucks is in the United States. Starbucks (along with other specialty coffee chains) does exist, but is only popular in the heart of large cities. People who drink there have even more of a "yuppie" reputation than in America, because of the essential "Canadian-ness" of Tim Hortons.
    • This may vary from area to area; out West Starbucks has more of a hipster demographic than a yuppie one. See Less Than Kind for an example.
  • Tea is also popular in Canada, though not quite so much as in other Commonwealth countries.
  • Canadian soft drinks are also made with sugar as opposed to corn syrup - and with cleaner water than their other North American counterparts. This means that Canadian visitors to points south of the 49th generally find any soft drinks served them to taste odd, if not outright bad, and also leads to the prevalence of flavoured variants which are less popular (and less available) in Canada. Soft drinks in Canada are usually referred to as "pop" and Coke means exclusively Coca-Cola. Note that until March 2010, non-cola soft drinks (7-up, Mountain Dew, ginger ale, etc.) in Canada were generally not permitted to contain caffeine, and still may not.
  • Smirnoff Ice is a relatively popular pre-mixed vodka drink in clubs or for parties. Although dismissed as "cheerleader beer" in the United States, this is because the American and French versions are made with malt liquor and generally have a lower alcohol content. The vodka variety sold in Canada has no social stigma attached when drunk at clubs or dance parties.


Elsewhere, elsewhen.

  • A member of the Communist Party of China will down several small glasses of baijiu at party functions and while entertaining the Western, Korean, and Japanese businessmen who come to visit. The stuff tends to be stronger than Western liquor and even the finer varieties--let alone the mediocre ones provided to middle- and lower-level functionaries--have been compared in flavor to jet fuel. All of a sudden, the Great Leap Forward makes a whole lot more sense.
    • At a quieter or more informal occasions, our functionary will usually drink either traditional rice wine, or a beer. Whether imported or domestic depends on position in the Party.
      • Besides the bit about position in the Party, an ordinary modern Chinese fellow will be much the same.
    • Chinese Nouveau Riche will purchase a rare bottle of European wine at auction for several times its expected price. He will then meet up with his buddies, who all have similarly-overpriced bottles, empty them all out into a big, silver bowl, and drink the resultant cocktail. If the wines boast particularly tannic characteristics, cola will be added. Liberally. The European sommelier brought in for some reason has a heart attack.
  • A Salaryman in his native land will have sake, or perhaps an exotic foreign brew. Say, Budweiser.
    • Or Suntory "Scotch". Makes you happy faster.
      • Well, Suntory whisky is at least drinkable, unlike the ever-popular Old Nikka, which, ironically, nobody outside of Japan ever heard of, despite its massive following.
    • Japan's true native hard liquor is shochu, which is substantially weaker than whisky. Connotations depend on era; in 1950s-1960s Japan, shochu was the drink of choice for the bohemian artistic types of the postwar generation. After that, it increasingly became identified with old men--including ex-bohemians--until a revival in the early-to-mid 2000s, when it suddenly became hip again.
    • In Real Life, though, sake has generally fallen out of fashion and beer is the drink of choice, mostly local brands like Sapporo, Kirin or Ebisu.
    • Schoolgirls choose orange juice, from a vending machine. Or just any other kind of soft drink, "Juice" being the Japanese equivalent of "soda" or "lolly-water", or indeed "coke".
  • Korean men will down soju (hard liquor distilled from rice wine) like it's water. This is aided by the fact that it is very nearly cheaper than water. A drinking contest between a Chinese official and a Korean businessman is better known as a contract on both their livers.
  • Mexicans in non-Mexican works will be usually seen ordering tequila. In reality this only happens in Guadalajara, where the town of Tequila is a 40 minute drive away; in Mexico City it's far more common to see people ordering rum or brandy, and in the North they very much prefer whiskey and Tecate or Pacífico beer.
    • If someone's done their research, a Mexican period piece set before 1920 or so will feature pulque as a drink of choice for many Mexicans.
  • In the Middle East, your choices are tea and coffee. And a couple of herbal drinks. And soft drinks. Because Islam says so.
    • In reality, this isn't exactly true: while some countries, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, have Culture Police who enforce the drinking ban, alcohol is actually legal in most of the Middle East, if rather stigmatized socially in some places. As a result, you'll find the region's substantial non-Muslim minorities, as well as many secular or less-observant Muslims, indulging in...well...let's be honest, it's still hard going:
      • Every country that allows it has a single dominant brand of beer. These are rather different in some ways, but much like the beers of the Australian states, share a common vile taste. The most well-known of these is the Egyptian Stella (unrelated to Stella Artois and often pronounced "Istella"), if only because Egyptian movies and TV are so ubiquitous in the Arab world. These drinks are typically found in the hands of poor folk and the sorts of unpleasant men who frequent the bars that double as brothels.
      • Domestic wine and liquor will almost inevitably be a cheap and foul imitation of something foreign. There are two exceptions. One is Lebanon, where the Christian and secular populations are large enough (together, they probably form a majority) to warrant attention to quality. The other is araq (aka arak, raki, rakia, and ouzo, and not to be confused with Iraq) the native liquor of the Eastern Mediterranean, a sort of clear grape brandy flavored with anise; the long tradition of making the stuff means that the quality is actually halfway decent (although not always). The foul, cheap wine and liquor are again associated with poverty and sleazy-looking johns.
      • Wealthy, secular types will have imported liquor. Depending on the country, this means that it was either imported legally, in which case high tariffs have been paid on it, or illegally, in which case it will command a high price on the black market. Either way, it's more expensive. The brand doesn't matter terribly much, as it's a mark of wealth that you could buy the stuff in the first place, but for whatever reason, the rulers of oil states and other such men are stereotypically associated with Johnny Walker.
      • A guy who wants to be seen as "manly" or "cool" enough to drink beer without breaking the Islamic prohibition on drinking alcohol will drink alcohol-free beer and try to avoid grimacing. His drinking friends (if he has any) secretly laugh at him.
  • A 19th century aesthete or decadent will have absinthe ... and find the prospect of impending madness and death terribly dull. And maybe, should they be so inclined, write a poem on the subject.
    • The alternative is Laudanum - opiates mixed with wine.
      • Laudanum was primarily used as a painkiller and cough suppressant before the 20th century, so it may also be a sign that a character is dying of a terrible disease instead of decadence. Although it is entirely possible that one got the disease from decadence, so...
  • If you're medieval and wealthy, you'll drink red wine from a goblet. If you're not so wealthy, mead.
  • Any race of warriors who wear fur and armour (from Vikings to dwarves) will quaff beer, ale, or mead -- ideally from a drinking horn, tankard, or stein.
  • Pirates will drink whatever's handy--but rum is the usual, either straight (when they can get it) or diluted 3:1 with water (called grog).
    • Truth in Television: Grog was for a long time standard issue on military ships at sea because the booze made the water safer/more palatable to drink. Lime juice would have been added to fight scurvy. These concoctions were also the forebearer of alchoholic punch drinks.
      • For an extra kick and quicker recovery in a cold climate you can make your grog not with water, but with the strong tea. This itself is a variant of hot toddy (an old Scottish cold remedy which usually calls for whisky, but any brown liquor would do in a pinch; indeed, brandy, in some opinions, actually makes for a better toddy, although you should never say this to a Scot).
  • Noblemen will almost certainly order a bottle of the landlord's finest wine with their meal. If they're not ordering a meal or courting someone, they'll have the finest brandy instead.
  • Brazilians will order a beer (usually of one of the major 4-5 brands) as a cheap drink, a caipirinha (cachaça with lemon, ice and sugar) at a party or a shot of cachaça (sugarcane spirit) if they want to get piss drunk.

Universally

  • A pimp, a rockstar, or anyone who's flaunting his massive wealth, will order 5 bottles of the most expensive champagne, whiskey or cognac in the house.
  • Teenage or young adult delinquents will have their soft drink with some sort of alcohol mixed in for extra kick. Rum and Coke is often the popular choice, and one of the few that doesn't get one laughed at after one can legally go to a bar.
  • A young woman (or an effeminate man) will have a martini derivative such as a Cosmopolitan, or else a margarita derivative: sweet liqueurs, comparatively high ratio of mixer to spirit, lots of sweetened garnishes, maybe an umbrella in the glass. Expect it to be pink, blue, or green.
  • An inexperienced drinker (probably young) will take a sip of a spirit like whiskey or vodka. On taking a sip they will grimace and immediately spit it out.
  • The Cool Old Guy will take a Scotch or brandy (unless Southern, in which case he'll take a bourbon or rye).
  • Farm labourers will order a flagon of cider.
    • Similarly, the American frontiersman will take a hard cider, or perhaps applejack (distilled or freeze-distilled cider, i.e. American apple brandy--George Washington had a prosperous distillery for it, and Alton Brown recommends that you use it instead of water for making apple pie crust).
      • That is, until about the 1810s-20s, after which he'll have whiskey instead. The hard cider would be reserved for old coots; see below.
  • Middle-aged, middle-class women of the Real Simple-magazine-reading variety will get together and drink white wine.
    • And when they go out to dinner Friday night, they'll have margaritas.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander will have an Umbrella Drink of some kind.
  • A character gets extra Badass points if he or she makes a point of ordering "Coffee. Black."
  • Real-life lovers of coffee, just actual coffee, will drink Turkish coffee and enjoy the grounds at the bottom of their cups. Also known as Greek coffee, Arabic coffee, Lebanese coffee, Armenian Coffee or a similar variation depending on the ethnicity of the restaurant. Don't get this wrong. Ordering a Turkish coffee in a Greek restaurant is a dire insult, and vice versa.
    • Though the last example may be more of a product of the unpleasant history between the Greeks and the Turks.
      • And the unpleasantness between the Arabs and Turks. And the Serbs and Turks, and the Armenians and Turks, and the Kurds and Turks and the Bosniaks and the Turks, and the Georgians and the Turks, and the Greek Cypriots and the Turks, and the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks, and the Australians and the Turks, and the Turks and the Turks... (Damned Turks. They ruined Turkey!) And it's not limited to coffee; pretty much any Eastern Mediterranean food item is subject to Misplaced Nationalism. Just try ordering ouzo in the parts of Greece where they drink rakki, or if you’re truly suicidal, try asking who invented said coffee variety, or who invented that sweet mint tea, or who invented hummus or any other food or drink anywhere in the eastern Mediterranean or the Levant and watch war be declared as everyone clamours to stake their claim to having invented it (baklava is particularly notorious for starting this sort of nastiness). The only place you can go without raising this kind of ruckus is Israel, whose inhabitants are so new to the region that they freely admit to having stolen half their cuisine from their neighbors and who have invented their own coffee variant that nobody else will admit ever drinking (called "mud coffee," it's made by pouring the grounds and hot water in your mug and drinking the whole thing).
      • There is, however some difference between the different kinds of coffees mentioned above, mostly in the spicing. I'm mostly accustomed to Saudi-style Arabic coffee and Turkish coffee, and I swear there is a world of difference between the two. One has a lot more cardamom for one.
      • For more Balkan and Middle Eastern fun, visit this page.
      • As a general rule, if the cafe/restaurant is from run by Arabs/Arabic-speakers, they won't bite you in the ass if you order "Turkish coffee" [6], and while they might gently correct you if you call it Greek coffee, they (usually) won't kick you out.[7] If the owners are actually Turkish, calling it Arabic coffee might get you a short lecture and bad service (and your coffee), and calling it Greek, Armenian, or other-Christian-country coffee will get you the boot. If the place is run by folks from any of Turkey's Christian neighbors, however, you'd better damn well know where they're from (particularly if the owners are from the Balkans, where besides hating the Turks, more or less everyone hates each other, too).
  • Caffine-addicted geeks are as likely to reach for soda or energy drinks as coffee.
  • Nervous types will order decaf. If someone wants to mess with such a person, they'll switch the decaf for caffeinated, and Hilarity Ensues. A semi-subversion of the trope is the reverse situation, in which a hard-driving personality type or group of same has their extreme caffeine replaced with decaf. As Dilbert's Wally gasps among the fallen (asleep) bodies of his co-workers: "Must... find... antidote..."
    • Note: hilarity may not ensue in real life, so don't try this at home.
  • Recovering alcoholics will have club soda.
  • Geeks are always ready to Do the Dew. Real geeks still have half a case of Jolt Cola. Half a case, because the stuff is impossible to find nowadays.
    • "Proper" Jolt Cola (i.e. the stuff that children of the 80s drank in high school) is dead, but the brand still exists, only retooled as an energy drink. Has been seen at some gas stations, convenience stores and other random places. Can be ordered here.
    • Many geeks stock up when Pepsi Throwback or Mountain Dew Throwback hit the stores. Both of these are made with sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup. Should Mexican Coca-Cola (also made with sugar) be available in that part of the US, add that to the shopping list as well.
      • The throwbacks are now available permanently in the US.
    • Mountain Dew is only intermittently available in the UK, so fans will stock up when it does hit the stores (or when they visit America) because it doesn't tend to be available for very long.
  • Two types of characters order milk: total pansies and stone-cold badasses. The common gag is when some ornery local mistakes the latter for the former due to his drink order, tries to pick a fight, and Hilarity Ensues. The former has been largely overtaken by the latter in fiction; just look at all the milk-drinking badasses further down the page.

Sometimes though, characters make a special point of ordering against type, such as an hardboiled character ordering milk (as mentioned above) or something sweet and girly.

Compare Your Favorite.

Examples of Drink Order include:


Strong Drinks

Anime and Manga

  • In an episode of RahXephon, Makoto Isshiki orders Bond's signature drink. Unlike Bond, he isn't a dashing spy, but (like Bond) he is a cold-hearted seducer.
  • Monster uses whether or not one orders alcohol for character development. A recovering alcoholic orders whiskey, but then manages to stop himself from drinking it; a chronic lush orders coffee to indicate she's taking things seriously; and a workaholic orders whiskey to illustrate that he's actually treating his vacation as such.
  • The Lagoon Company's drink of choice when on the boat is Heineken. When they're at the Yellow Flag, they'll usually knock back rum or whiskey, with the hardest drinker by far being Revy.
  • The Badass Spaniard Ricardo from El Cazador de la Bruja orders "Beer and milk" in any bar. The beer is for himself; the milk is for the Cute Mute orphan girl Lirio, whom he takes care of.
  • The nameless Information Broker and her successors from Mnemosyne always introduce themselves by ordering a Grasshopper from the bar.

Comics

  • Captain Haddock, of Tintin, will have a Loch Lomond whisky. In Tintin and Alph-Art (never completed due to Author Existence Failure), he was actually suffering from ill-effects as a result of not drinking. However, if whisky's not available, he's been known to favour rum.
    • Tintin himself, meanwhile, invariably goes with something softer.
  • The drink of choice for John Constantine of Hellblazer is a gin over ice.
  • Marv from Sin City ordered "a shot and a brew" and told the waitress to keep it coming. He seems to like whiskey and beer. Due to his size, he doesn't seem to get drunk easily.

Film

  • In Rustlers Rhapsody, the hero, on realising he's in "One of those tough bars" orders a gin. With a human hair in it. Later, the Town Drunk, on getting a gin, complains "Where's my hair?"
    • "It's in there."
  • Inspector Tequila Yuen, the Cowboy Cop from the John Woo movie Hard Boiled and the game Stranglehold has his nickname because he prefers to drink Tequila Slammers, which are made by pouring equal parts tequila and soda into a shot glass, placing one's hand over the glass and then slamming it on top of the bar in order to mix it before drinking.
  • In The Big Lebowski, Sam Elliott's character, an old cowboy-type, asks for sarsaparilla (an old-school soft drink). Dude will have a White Russian.
    • That's a Caucasian to you. I generally find the difference is that the Caucasian uses half & half instead of milk.
  • Wayne's World: When going out to have a drink and talk business with the guy who's offering them a syndicated TV-show, The Company Guy and Wayne drink beer while Garth drinks something huge, bright blue and garnished with what looks like an entire pineapple.
  • Three Amigos!. When they visit a Bad Guy Bar the title characters try to order beer. When they're told all the bar has is tequila, they order some and are surprised at how strong it is.
  • Characters in Giallo and other Italian genre movies drink J&B scotch. No exceptions.
  • Rutger Hauer's Cowboy Cop Harley Stone in the Cyberpunk film Split Second survives on nothing but heavily-sweetened coffee and chocolate since his partner was killed by a monster no one else believes in.

 CONSTABLE: Would you like some coffee with your sugar, guvner?

Literature

  • James Bond drinks vodka martini's, "shaken, not stirred."
    • Fleming explained this preference by noting that it really only mattered if the bartender were female. Shake it!
    • In Casino Royale he's poisoned and almost dies, when ordering a stirred one. A shaken on the other hand will break up the poison and thus revealing if the drink is poisoned.
    • He also preferred it made with Russian or Polish vodka.
  • A Discworld witch will also have absinthe, and feel "a bit woozy after the sixth glass."
    • In her native land, however, she will drink either a local beer or scumble, which is a healthy tonic made from apples ("Well, mainly apples,") that can also crinkle paint at twenty paces.
      • Technically the scumble Nanny Ogg makes is not a drink. It evaporates before it can touch the tongue. It is instead "drunken through the sinuses." Two spoonfuls was enough to knock out an Igor.
    • Nanny Ogg, who prides herself on being the lowest common denominator, will have whatever's available, the stronger the better. And fill that big glass right up to the top if you please. And if the bottle runs empty before the glass is full, you can top it off with whatever form of alcohol is the next bottle.
    • Special sheep linement is not for sheep. It is ideal for shepherds on cold nights, and for Feegles at any time.
    • Wizards are fond of beer, and in large quantities.
    • Trolls drink -- well, they drink molten rock, is what they drink.

 Barman: One molten sulphur on coke with phosphoric acid...

Detritus: With umbrella in it.

  • Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in The Rye orders scotch and soda, when he can get away with drinking.
  • Stephen King has various Author Avatar characters who will drink whatever they can get their hands on, usually "hard stuff" like vodka, whiskey or scotch.
    • Anne Anderson gave a demonstration of her character in The Tommyknockers when she ordered a sombrero (which has "cream in it. Cream."), and threatened the waiter with the force of her wrath should it not be mixed exactly to her wishes.
  • In the X Wing Series comics, Rogue Squadron's favorite drink is lum, which is a foamy, strong ale. In the novels, they've switched over to Lomin ale. Corellians like Corran Horn, Wedge Antilles, and Han Solo like Corellian drinks. In Star Wars Union, while Han and Luke are talking about Luke's upcoming marriage Luke orders hot chocolate, but Han gives him his whiskey for the subject.

Live Action TV

  • Sea breeze is the drink of choice for Dennis Q. Finch.
    • And for Lorne in Angel!
  • J.D. and his appletinis on Scrubs.

 J.D.: An appletini and the girliest drink in the house.

Bartender: Two appletinis coming up.

  • A typical bar order for the main character of the Canadian TV series Butch Patterson: Private Dick consists of "eighteen gin and tonics, nine rum and cokes, three bottles of wine, six banana daquiries, fourteen whiskeys, and a large jug of draft beer."
  • On Snuff Box, Matt Berry has a very distinctive way of ordering "Whiskeyyyyy!" at the gentleman's club he frequents.
  • Don Draper will have an Old Fashioned made with rye, generally Canadian (and particularly Canadian Club, of which he keeps a bottle in his office). Before Season 4, anyway.
    • Betty seems to prefer white wine and/or gimlets. Roger Sterling seems to drink whatever's handy, although starting in Season 4 there always seems to be a bottle of Smirnoff in his office. Product Placement, anyone?
  • In a late episode of MASH Rosie's bar gets trashed and Rosie injured, so the surgeons fill in for her. She tells Hawk & BJ about an Australian MP who comes in and orders "coffee," but that's a code word for whiskey. If he doesn't get what he wants, for free, he'll shut her down. Unfortunately, Charles is the one tending bar when the guy comes in.

 You put coffee in my coffee!

The actor playing the MP played Ugly John in the first season.
  • Rumpole's drink of choice is "Pommeroy's Plonk," aka "Chateau Fleet Street," aka "Chateau Thames Embankment," aka whatever claret Pommeroy's Wine Bar stocks for two quid a bottle. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed (i.e. his wife Hilda) is typically seen quaffing gin and tonic. The clerk Henry goes for some peculiar wine or wine drink with a twist of lemon peel (most likely sangria), while Claude Erskine-Brown fancies himself a wine connoisseur and Sam Ballard Can't Hold His Liquor and therefore drinks mineral water.
  • The women in Cougar Town, despite being heavy drinkers, are never seen drinking anything stronger than wine. The men will drink wine but also beer.
  • Fitz will have a Scotch and dry. Make it a double if someone else is paying.
  • Crabbes from Pie in the Sky always has "gin and tonic. No ice; no slice." He explains in the second episode that he doesn't trust any ice cube that he doesn't know where the water's been, and that too many places now use lemon slices that were pre-sliced in a factory somewhere and shipped to the bar in individual plastic bags; in context, he's clearly bunging it on a bit for his audience, but it's characteristic enough to be his real reason.
  • A Running Gag on NCIS is Gibbs's love of bourbon-brand bourbon. Shepard drinks bourbon as well, which is a plot point in one episode when he finds a bottle of scotch in her study and realizes that someone else had been there. La Grenouille drinks reserve Courvoisier in one scene and serves some to Ducky-as-Harot, who brings it up frequently after. The rest aren't seen drinking as often, but when they are, Tony usually comes back to sake bombs, and Ducky, left to his own devices, drinks the Macallan.
  • Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh in keeping with his androgynous persona, prefers flirtinis with a twist of lime. Which becomes amusing when he makes the drink fashionable in a pub frequented by hoary old fishermen.
    • "Flirtinis all round!"
  • On Insomniac with Dave Attell, Dave would usually order a couple shots of Jager at any bar he visited.

Politics

  • Given the personal nature of tastes, what one drinks plays a very large part in identity politics. One extreme example is the "log cabin and hard cider campaign." The campaign started when an opposition newspaper mocked candidate Willian Henry Harrison's age by remarking "give him a barrel of hard cider, and ... a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year ... and ... he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin." Given that hard cider was the main beverage of the grain-poor thirteen colonies but had long past been replaced by beer and the only people who still lived in log cabins were crazy old coots out in the middle of nowhere, this was basically the period equivalent of everything that has ever been said about John McCain. Harrison decided to turn this around, declaring himself "the log cabin and hard cider candidate" to promote an image of old-fashioned, working-class frontier values (i.e, "small town values"), which was actually very much against his background, as he had been born on his family's Virginia plantation.

Stand Up Comedy

  • Billy Connolly routine: "Hey barman, is Jimmy 'Chainsaw' McHaggerty in here? How about Angus Kick-em-in-the-balls-first-and-ask-questions-later McGuinness?" Et cetera with similar scary names, to which the barman says no. Billy (in a sissy voice) "Then I'll have a Campari and soda please".

Tabletop Games

  • In the VIPER sourcebook for 5th edition Champions, the titular villainous organization provides "Snake Beer" at all its bases. Quality varies, as they normally hijack beer shipments and slap a new label on the cans/bottles. But for the average VIPER recruit, the important thing is that it's free. (For the leadership, the important thing is that it keeps their members from getting sloshed in bars and talking too much.)

Theatre

  • Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire is a heavy alcoholic, but loathes beer and only drinks whiskey.
  • The play State of the Union by Linsday and Crouse has a scene (shortened in the film version) in which Spike tells the Matthews' butler what drinks should be served: Judge Alexander (a Southerner) will "probably stick to straight bourbon"; his Lady Drunk wife requests Sazeracs and a lot of them. The only other character with a notably specific drinking preference is Sen. Conover, who takes Scotch and soda after dinner.
  • In The Time of Your Life, Joe likes to loaf around at Nick's and order champagne, though Nick's isn't the kind of high-class joint that would ordinarily stock up with it.

Video Games

Webcomics

  • In Ansem Retort, Axel has a noted fondness for tequila. Another time, our... erm... "heroes" use liquor for Time Travel and recruit Marluxia to "drink the gay drinks... because you're gay".

  Marluxia: So you're saying you want me to drink appletinis until we go back in time?

Western Animation

  • In an early episode of Futurama Bender is seen ordering three very specific, high class wines at a dinner party...He then instructs the waiter to "Mix them all together"
  • In The Venture Bros, Rusty is at a low-rent strip club where beer is the drink of choice - he orders a Rob Roy, and the burly bartender reaches down under the bar, looking like he's going after a baseball bat (but reaches for a drink recipe card.)
  • Eddie Valiant, Hardboiled Detective of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, orders a Scotch on the rocks. And he means ice.

Real Life

Softer Drinks

Comic Books

  • Batman orders black coffee ("and keep it coming") in the epilogue of Kingdom Come. Superman has milk, and Wonder Woman just water.
  • Obelix favours goats' milk. If he orders several cups, he's in a bad mood.

Film

  • Bob Hope in Road To Utopia. Hope's character tries to fit in at tough-guy frontier bar, but then orders a lemonade. Realizing his mistake, he quickly turns to the bartender and growls, "...in a dirty glass!"
  • Lovable Rogue Brodie Bruce of Mallrats spends much of the movie sipping from a dixie cup full of soda that he brought from home. At one point he successfully orders a fast-food cashier to "Fill this up with Coke. No Ice."
  • In the epic comedy The Blues Brothers, John Candy in the role of a police detective attends the film's pivotal fund-raising concert in order to arrest the performing band, but decides he wants to see them perform first and orders three Orange Whips for himself and the much more "serious" uniformed state troopers he is with.
    • The line was ad-libbed as an informal promotion of a non-alcoholic orange creame beverage sold by the family of the film's costumer. Since the film the beverage has morphed into a sweet alcoholic cocktail.
  • When times get rough in 1885, Back to The Future genius Emmett "Doc" Brown heads to the bar. For him the bartender makes an exception to his usual lineup (when Marty tries to order a nonalcoholic drink, the barflies laugh while the bartender pours him a free shot of whiskey--that BURNS the bar top where it spills) and keeps some sarsparilla in stock just for him. Doc has, however, been known to hit the whiskey. It hits him back quite promptly.
    • Used for humor in the first film, when Marty gets George to man up and try asking Loraine to the dance, he goes up to the counter of the diner and orders milk. *slaps bar* Chocolate! The glass slides in from off-screen, George takes a big sip, and heads off to talk to Loraine as Marty looks on, dubious.
  • In the classic Western Shane, a line is quickly drawn between the titular character and the drunken members of the Ryker gang when he walks into their bar and orders a soda-pop.
  • Rustlers Rhapsody. When Rex O'Herlihan walks into a Western bar he first orders a glass of warm milk. When everyone in the bar in the bar stares at him he changes his order to a sarsaparilla. See the entry under "Strong Drinks" above for what happens next.
  • Xander Cage in xXx orders club soda and cranberry juice. This could just be to contrast him against the James Bond-types who he's intended to be an inversion of, or because he's an extreme-sports fanatic and doesn't want his reflexes dulled while he's undercover.
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, Fozzie is messing with what appears to be a martini, or possibly champagne served in the wrong glass. He takes a sip, then turns around and informs the people behind him, "Hey, if you add enough sugar to this stuff it tastes just like ginger ale!" He gives the distinct impression that he finds this to be an improvement (possibly the fact that he was adding sugar to it was a pretty solid hint).

Literature

  • In the Doctor Who novel The Infinity Casket, Rose orders water at a tough Space Pirates tavern, and the Doctor hastily adds the dirty glass.
  • Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!', once trekked across an Ork-infested continent in order to get to the nearest available pot of tanna tea. (OK, to be honest, he actually made the trip because it was the closest point of relative safety on the planet, but the fact that he did get the tea at the end was certainly an added bonus.)
    • Tanna is a national drink of all Valhallans, Cain just picked this habit from his long association with them. He's just as well would take an (alcoholic) amasec, a brandy analogue.
  • Starting from the first major Star Wars Expanded Universe trilogy, Luke Skywalker's favorite drink is an exotic but very safe, comforting beverage called "hot chocolate". As his wife muses, it fits his farmboy personality perfectly.
    • Wookieepedia says that toppings for hot chocolate include "orchid bean extract" vanilla, "tang bark" cinnamon and "mallow paste" marshmallows.
  • Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze film. While at Captain Seas' dinner party, Doc's aides order lemonade, root beer and a glass of milk, and Doc himself asks for a Coke.
  • In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Book two of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series), Arthur Dent tries very patiently to get a simple cup of tea from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer which, while it claims to produce the widest possible range of drinks personally matched to the tastes and metabolism of whoever cares to use it, invariably produces a liquid which is "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea" (possibly a Take That at coffee). Arthur's determination leads him to explain the process of making tea, from geography to the social aspects to preparation. In the end, it almost gets him and everyone else on the Heart of Gold killed by Vogons, but he does indeed get a cup of good tea out of it.
    • The radio Series had a sentient-machine that dispensed drinks apparently tailored to every customer's exact tastes and nutritional needs, provoking Arthur to exclaim "Wonderful, apparently I'm a masochist on a diet" before beginning another rant about tea, and the fall of a civilisation and the creation of a race of bird-men.
  • Vlad Taltos is a wine connosseur and also favors "klava," a coffee derivative probably based on Hungarian egg coffee.

Live-Action TV

 "Coffee. The finest organic suspension ever devised. It's gotten me through the past three years. I beat the Borg with it."

    • Star Trek the Next Generation: Picard, on the other hand, prefers "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot." Amusingly enough, this is not supposed to be a character definition, but a requirement of the replicator. In one of the early episode, Picard orders tea. The replicator makes him tea, and it's horrible. So he goes back and orders Earl Grey tea, only to find that it is cold. Hence the line. Probably not an exact version of the scene, but close enough.

 Data's Housekeeper: How'dja want yer tea?

Picard: Tea? Earl Grey. Hot.

Data's Housekeeper: 'Course it's hot! Whatcha want innit?

Picard: Nothing!...(later) Are you sure this is Earl Grey? I could swear it's Darjeeling.

-- scene from "old" future Picard in final episode of ST:TNG (he's going senile)

      • Of course, you would think that the replicator could just be programmed to give him the exact tea he wants whenever he just says "tea", but then it wouldn't be Rule of Drama, would it?
      • Geordi once asked for some water, and it still wanted to know the exact temperature. When the Chief Engineer has to do stuff like that, the problem's on the replicator's end.
      • Klingons as a whole stick to the harder bloodwines, Worf prefers "a warrior's drink": prune juice.
    • Miles O'Brien of Star Trek the Next Generation and Star Trek Deep Space Nine drinks "Coffee, Jamaican blend, double-strong, double sweet."
      • While Captain Sisko typically drinks Raktajino, a Klingon coffee.
    • Throughout the Star Trek franchise, Romulan Ale (a blue alcoholic beverage) pops up from time to time as a somewhat popular (If outlawed in the Federation) alcoholic drink amongst Starfleet officers, its popularity and contraband status evidently being on par with Cuban Cigars. Interestingly enough, in Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country, when Kirk and McCoy are on trial for assassinating Chancelor Gorkon, their previous consumption of Romulan Ale is not brought up to merely suggest intoxication, rather than impact their overall credibility (showing that nobody, even people plotting against the Starfleet officers, takes the ban seriously enough to use their violating it against them).
  • Radar O'Reilly: Grape Nehi.
    • In a couple early episodes, we learn General Clayton's "usual" is sherry and ginger ale.
  • Ryuu Tendou from Choujin Sentai Jetman, being straight-laced, super serious hero, usually orders milk in bars. Hot or cold.
  • In Season 5 of Mad Men there's a scene where Sally is at lunch in a restaurant with Megan and one of Megan's friends. Sally orders coffee and puts lots of sugar in it (the scene cuts to an overhead shot of the sugar landing into the coffee and fades out before she stops), illustrating how Sally's growing up but is still somewhat of a kid.


Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • The Australians' affinity for beer is parodied on The Simpsons when Marge fruitlessly tries to order coffee.

 Marge: I'll just have a coffee.

Australian Bartender: Beer it is.

Marge: No, Cof-fee.

Bartender: Be-er?

Marge: Coffee. C-O-

Bartender: B...E...

  • Dr. Drakken takes chocolate milk. Even worse, he insists on calling it "Cocoa Moo," though he had just had all of his evil sucked out.
    • "Cocoa Moo" was mentioned in a couple of other episode. Maybe it's a brand name in the KP-verse.
  • Uncle Iroh has a passion for tea.
  • The "ginger ale...in a dirty glass" bit was also used in the Galaxy Rangers episode "Don Quixote Cody." We are talking about a cartoon from the middle eighties...and the two Rangers were on duty, after all. Fanon will usually depict Niko as a tea-drinker, and Goose taking his coffee strong enough to melt the spoon.

Against Stereotype

Anime and Manga

  • Roberta from Black Lagoon orders milk, and she's a human Terminator! It's a good way to provoke a fight. Also drinking milk in the series were Torch, a psychopathic Mormon Pyromaniac and Rotton the Wizard a (not so) Badass Longcoat who can't hold his liquor. However, in a later appearance of Roberta, she orders tequila, signaling a return to her bloodthirsty past personality.
  • Badass giant robot pilot Van of Gun X Sword has as his drink of choice... milk. He does have an excuse, however - he Can't Hold His Liquor worth a damn.
  • Same with above example, although the guy in question is Yusei Fudo of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. Has a yellow shape on his face? Criminal. Wears leather or denim with shoulder, elbow and knee pads? Biker. Bar near a prison? This guy came form prison. Completely emotionless face? No Nonsense type of guy. What does he order? Get me Milk.
    • Of course, he expects to ride in a high-speed motorcycle race at any time, so staying sober is probably a good idea.
  • The favorite drink of Afro Samurai: "Lemonade. Ice cold." (Lemonade is a major part of one of his few good childhood memories.) Do not interrupt the man while he's drinking, either.
  • Colonel Paya Livingston from Dai Mahou Touge orders "the usual" at the bar and gives the barkeep a jar with "sake" written on it. However, "the usual" turns out to be chocolate milk, which the barkeep pulls from under the counter.

Comic Books

  • Another classic example is when The Phantom goes to town in the guise of Mr. Walker, to extract information. He will invariably visit the grungiest bar in the seediest part of Morristown and order milk. And they will always have a bottle handy.
    • Naturally. They need it to make Caucasians, which in turn is the girliest cocktail ever and only an acceptable guy's drink after The Big Lebowski was made.
  • In the Marvel G.I. Joe comic, Zartan's Dreadnoks all drink grape sodas, usually served as if they were alcoholic.
    • Many members of the Joe team drink the fictional Yo-Joe Cola, which reportedly tastes nasty.
  • Jackie Estacado of The Darkness is a non-drinker, and only orders non-alcoholic items at the local bar because "likes himself the way he is."
  • Batman seldom drinks alcohol, however, as he plays up the role of the Rich Idiot With No Day Job, he is known to order Ginger Ale and pretend that it is champagne or the like. On the rare occasions when he does, he favors bourbon.
  • In the early days of the comic book, Lucky Luke would always drink lemonade or Coca-Cola when he was at a saloon. But ever since the comic changed its publisher, he always orders beer.
  • In Mesmo Delivery Rufo a huge, broad-shouldered former boxer now working as truck driver, stops at a roadside diner and since he's working gets himself a glass of milk, unfortunately since he also has a rather pudgy, round face the other customers decide to call him a big baby.
  • When Sam & Max hit up a bar before travelling to ancient Egypt, Sam orders a root beer and an Orange Julius; Max demands dish water in a dirty glass.

Film

  • A John Wayne quote (that he never said): "Get off your horse and drink your milk.")
  • Forgot the exact source, but a bartender in some western once explained he keeps milk around because people tough enough to dare order milk at his bar really aren't the kind of people he'd want to offend by not offering them any.
  • Jean Girard from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby daintily sips an espresso from a real china cup and saucer as he drives his stock car. It's against stereotype for NASCAR, but totally in-stereotype for a gay Frenchman. At least he's not downing Bordeaux during a race.
  • The Mariachi from El Mariachi and Desperado, despite his Badass gunslinger persona, orders soda when visiting a bar. He explains that he doesn't drink because he's a musician and afraif that it would ruin his voice.
  • When Bond loses it all in Casino Royale, he evidently does not give a damn about whether his martini is shaken or stirred.
  • Billy Costigan in The Departed orders a cranberry juice. A mob flunkie who cracks a joke about it gets the glass in his face.
  • In Spike Lee's Clockers, one of the main characters is a low-level drug dealer who at one point walks into a bar and orders chocolate milk, specifically "Chocolate Moos." He thinks it will help his ulcer.
  • In Sidekicks, Chuck Norris drinks milk... which automatically means milk is awesome.
  • Charlie Chan is The Teetotaler, but in spite of the fact that he's Chinese and is a teetotaler he is no fan of a Spot of Tea; he prefers sarsaparilla (a root beer-like beverage).
  • Rory, a badass Yardy gangster in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels likes frothy drinks of the Umbrella Drink type. On one occasion, he does order a cocktail with a very high alcohol content, but that was only so he could spit it on someone who annoyed him and set them on fire.
  • In Final Justice, Joe Don Baker's character is made fun of by a comically tiny Maltese Man for wanting to order milk (after trying and failing to procure some Maalox). This goes well for neither the tiny man nor the other Maltese guys in the bar.

Literature

  • Archie Goodwin of the Nero Wolfe series generally orders milk (although he doesn't completely avoid strong drinks).
  • Mara Jade Skywalker, a female Rambo and Mama Bear with a lightsaber, also loves hot chocolate. Of course, she used to be a courtier (well, court assassin), where the drink was too unsophisticated; after that she was a smuggler, and her business partners, "like the good smugglers they were, had turned up their noses at all nonalcoholic drinks in general." By the time she marries Luke, she's looking for the comforting, homey atmosphere. See above.
  • Biggles is an absolute teetotaller, and is seen in one of the early stories taking enormous risks in competition with a fellow airman over a crate of lemonade. This makes rather more sense when you know that it was originally a crate of excellent pre-war whisky, but was retconned later when the books became popular among children.
    • In the post-WWI books he's teetotal even in the original editions, but this is because a mix of PTSD and lovesickness led to him becoming an alcoholic, which nearly got him killed on the last day of the war.
  • Darth Maul opts to order pure water - dedicated warrior that he is, he'd not dull his senses on a mission with anything alcoholic. Woman at the bar is somewhat disdainful, partly that he's not spending much...she gets a glare, and a mind whammy to bring him his drink and leave him alone.
  • Honor Harrington's drink of choice is hot chocolate when she's on duty. When she's not, then it's an Old Tillman in a frosty stein, and she and her hubby just love to snark at her brother-in-law, a known wine snob.
    • In Field Of Dishonor, Denver Summervale's snobbishness is indicated (Lampshaded, even) by his insistence on only drinking whiskey from Earth (known as "T-Whiskey"), which is exorbitantly expensive on Manticore, despite local versions of the drink being comparable in quality.
    • The only time we see Citizen Admiral Thiesman drinking alcohol in the books is when he is the commander of the Havenite forces at DuQuesne Base, when he becomes a heavy drinker of T-Whiskey after coming to the full realization of what kind of complete monsters the people running his government are, and how powerless he is to do anything about it.
  • In The Dresden Files:
    • Sanya, a Russian-born Knight of the Cross, prefers brandy instead of stereotypical vodka, but will happily drink either.
    • Father Forthill has been known to keep a hip-flask of good scotch on him.
    • Harry himself will drink pretty much anything that contains enormous amounts of sugar and caffeine. His alcoholic beverage of choice is beer.
      • Specifically, Mac's beer. It's brewed personally by Mac, every step of the way, and served at room temperature, old-world style. This has first-time patrons at Mac's skeptical, for about the first sip. Karrin Murphy, all-American to the core, once complained it had "too much flavor".
  • In one of the Samurai Cat books, Miaowara Tomokato goes into a rough bar and orders a saucer of milk. And gets it, though he needs to disassemble most of the patrons before being allowed to drink it in peace.
  • In the Discworld books, hard-boiled cop Commander Vimes drinks lemonade. Justified, in that he's a former alcoholic.
  • In one of E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman books Kimball Kinnison goes into a bar and orders a pineapple pop, in order to deliberately provoke a fight.

Live-Action TV

  • In "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", the Western episode of Red Dwarf:

 Rimmer: Leave this to me. I've seen Westerns. I know how to speak cowboy. [turns to the bar woman] A dry white wine and Perrier, please.

  • All Klingons take bloodwine (straight out of the barrel). Worf, who was raised on Earth, likes his bloodwine "very young and very sweet" but Federation replicators can't do it justice and Starfleet is rather more strict in their opinion of drunken revelry. His drink of choice? Prune juice, introduced to him by the ship's bartender, Guinan.

 Worf: This is a warrior's drink!

    • Klingons consider water to be an entirely unworthy drink option. To Klingons, blood symbolizes power and control - water is about as far from blood as you can get while still being a liquid, and so symbolizes weakness. Prune juice, in turn, is entirely unlike water, and therefore a great choice.
    • Expanded Universe novels suggest that prune juice has become a major Federation export to the Klingon Empire.
      • A bit of Truth in Television with the prune juice. The stuff is ridiculously high in iron, probably one of the better vegetarian sources of it. For a group that fights and loses blood so much, that stuff would do a good job of pumping them back up.
      • That said, Worf ends up getting into a Bar Brawl with a group of Klingon warriors when they mock his choice of beverage. The Worf Effect ends up being Inverted to show that Worf is a badass after he kicks their asses.
  • One of the rules for Lone Ranger screenwriters was that he never touched alcohol - even the saloons had to resemble cafés.
  • On Hustle, stylish con man Mickey Bricks seems to be a fan of orange juice.
  • In one episode of ER, Mark Greene's father orders a fancy latte and explains to his son (paraphrased), "We're navy, but this is still California."
  • The Middleman orders milk from bars. This wouldn't be against stereotype since he's such a boyscout, but he proceeds to torture his interrogation victim every time he takes a sip. The man cracks when he goes to get another bottle. "Lemonade. Ice cold".
  • BA Baracus, the resident Scary Black Man from The A-Team is a strict teetotaller and only drinks milk.
  • The McPoyles in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the criminal inbred rivals to The Gang, show up to the bar after word of mouth marketing reached them about The Gang's wild, total freedom policy:

  Liam: I heard you got 'anything goes' going on in here. So can we get a couple glasses of milk?

  • El Chapulin Colorado features the outlaw and horrible villian El Cuajinais, entering the bar and ordering...a glass of milk

 waiter: a glass of milk?

Cuajinais: ON THE ROCKS.

waiter: alright

Cuajinais: *grab his shirt threatening* and without pasteurizating. I HATE SOFT DRINKS.

  • In the short-lived show Legend, Nicodemus Legend is well-known for never drinking alcohol. But Ernest Pratt, the writer who publishes under the alias of Nicodemus Legend, does not follow this practice. In order to get his liquor without upsetting all the people who know that Legend doesn't drink, he drinks his whiskey from a teacup.
  • In the Community episode "Mixology Certification" Troy to honor his deceased uncle wants to order a Seven and Seven, but is convinced by Jeff and Britta not to since that is "a high school drink for girls".

Video Games

  • In Final Fantasy IV, a sidequest sees Cecil having to go to a bar and buy some time by talking with the barmaid. So, he orders a drink. What does newly-reformed soul-full-of-light Cecil order? Milk, of course.
    • Milk is Ramza's drink of choice, too.
  • The Heavy of Team Fortress 2, among other averted Husky Russkie stereotypes, happens to enjoy a nice peach bellini.
  • In Brutal Legend the Heavy Metal loving humans of Ironheade are all beer drinkers. They even have a "Sacred Beer Tree" that naturally produces ice cold lager. Once you get to the Playable Epilogue you can even visit their beach party and enjoy a beer with them.

 Eddie: How about when we get to town we have a big pow-wow with your whole army? We'll have a campfire, and I'll tell you all about what I do and where I came from over a big flagon of mead.

Ophelia: What's a flagon of mead?

Eddie: It's a drink. Aren't we in medieval times?

Ophelia: Uhh... we only have beer. But you can have as many kegs as you want.

Eddie: TO BLADEHENGE!

Western Animation

  • The Flash's Rogues Gallery appears in one episode of Justice League Unlimited, planning a hit on The Flash in a Bad Guy Bar. After claiming to be, in their own words, "The hardest men in town", their drink order is immediately revealed to consist of, respectively, an Arnold Palmer (lemonade ice-tea), a cherry coke, a decaf soy latte, and a glass of milk (Captain Cold's ulcer had been acting up).
  • In the Super Mario Bros Super Show episode Pirates of the Koopa, Mario and Luigi pose as pirates to infiltrate 'Black Beard' Koopa's hideout. Luigi asks the bartender to "Gimmie a milk." At their odd looks, Mario adds, "In a dirty glass!"

Other

Anime and Manga

Film

  • A successful filmmaker in Four Rooms (played by Quentin Tarrantino) raves about his Cristal for almost 10 minutes of screentime. He shares it generously, but one of his buddies (played by Bruce Willis) drinks something brown in a chaser.
  • Chocolate milk!

Literature

  • Dracula does not drink... wine.
    • Neither do the Igors of Pratchett's Discworld... which is the cue to extract the ubiquitous canteen from its hiding place on your person and offer them a slug.
  • Rogue Squadron pilots in the comics have lum as their general drink of choice during off hours; the squadron during the books prefers lomiin-ale. In Isard's Revenge a pilot from the comics lineup temporarily returned to the squadron and was a little shocked when he was told that they'd never drink lum. Whether these are alcoholic or not depends on who you ask.
  • Harry Potter students will drink butterbeer, while their professors enjoy Firewhiskey or a Gilly water.
    • Incidentally, there is an actual drink called butterbeer. It involves...boiling some beer and butter together. I forget the details, such as other ingredients, and which (if any) variety of beer is called for. For the interested here is a link to the recipe.
      • It should be noted that while the "butterbeer" drunk in the Potterverse probably isn't the same beverage as the one that would have been produced back when that link still worked, it does have an alcohol content; a house-elf gets drunk off it. And they still give this to children.
        • It is pointed out that butterbeer is too weak to affect humans. This makes some sense, since almost all food and beverage has biologically insignificant levels of alcohol too weak to intoxicate humans. That said, how sensitive are house elves? Would a human who drank enough butterbeer eventually get drunk? If not, shouldn't we suppose that house elves are so sensitive that a glass of wine would probably kill them? It could be a magic thing too.
      • Has since been Defictionalized at the Wizarding World, where your character is defined by whether or not you're ballsy enough to to try it frozen. This version is non-alcoholic, and very sweet (the foam that provides the cover of Frothy Mugs of Water is in fact some sort of whippy cream.).
    • Butterbeer is favoured by students visiting Hogsmeade, but at Hogwarts proper the most popular drink is pumpkin juice. Less unusual drinks seen in Hogsmeade and its surrounds include tea, coffee, and Madame Rosmerta's oak-matured mead.
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban, the trio overhear some of the staff discussing Sirius Black with the Minister. McGonagall has a small gillywater, Hagrid has *four* flagons of mead (hey, he's half-giant), Flitwick a cherry syrup and soda with an umbrella, and the Minister has redcurrant rum.
  • Stannis Baratheon in A Song of Ice and Fire is a hard and bitter old man, and to reflect this, he does not drink plain water. He prefers it with a pinch of salt. Aeron Damphair, a priest of the Drowned God, carries a water skin filled with seawater, which he drinks from. Fans generally assume that he occasionally drinks fresh water as well to actually stay alive.
    • And then there's Robert/Robin Arryn's favorite drink...
  • Steve Martin, in his book on writing, uses the following (roughly paraphrased) example to illustrate his point on demonstrating characterization through actions:

 [A red guy walks into a bar.]

Bartender: What'll you have, red guy?

Red guy: I'll have a frappe.

    • Exactly what this is supposed to demonstrate about the red guy (other than that he likes frappes) is a mystery for the ages, though.
      • Frappe is, like many unfathomable terms, a regional term for what would otherwise be called a milkshake. Presumably it means he's considerably less of a threat than you might think.
  • PG Wodehouse's Gussie Fink-Nottle has an addiction to orange juice which he drinks the same way as his friend Bertie Wooster drinks alcohol (whenever he has received bad news to strenghten himself for example).

Live-Action TV

 Sheldon: I'll have a virgin Cuba Libre.

Penny: That's rum and Coke, without the rum.

Sheldon: Yes.

Penny: So, Coke?

Sheldon: Could you make it diet?

Penny: (Growls) There's a can in the fridge.

  • In Kung Fu, Caine, being a Shaolin monk with appropriately simple tastes, usually just asks for plain water when at a bar.

Music

New Media

  • "What your drink says about you" lists are practically their own genre of Internet humor. Examples here and here.

Video Games

  • Mass Effect 2: Being a classy and intelligent woman, Doctor Chakwas enjoys high-end spirits, particularly Serrice Ice Brandy. You can even obtain some and have a drink with her, reminiscing about the old crew and your adventures in the first installment.
    • Shepard seems to favor 'whatever the bartender can throw at me, and keep them coming.'
      • It almost gets him/her killed when one Jerkass batarian bartender poisons Shepard with turian booze. Depending on how you play him/her, you can pay the bastard back by making him drink it.
    • If the player is persistent enough at the bar in the Citadel, the bartender will ramp it up all the way to ryncol, a krogan drink that is insanely toxic. The barkeep warns Shepard that drinking it will make him/her set off radioactivity alarms for a while. If the player choose to partake, Shepard (who is already well snockered at this point) passes out and wakes up on the floor of the bar's bathroom.

Western Animation

  • Barney's girlfriend (a Yoko Ono pastiche) in the Be Sharps episode of The Simpsons orders "A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man's hat." Moe conveniently has exactly that behind the bar.
  • An amusing scene in one episode of Disney's Aladdin series had Mechanicles enter the Bad Guy Bar and order mint tea. Abis Mal mocks him for it.

Real Life

  • "Diamond" Jim Brady loved orange juice (or as he called it, his "Golden Nectar") and would often wash down his huge meals with a gallon of the stuff.

Notes

  1. "Shaken, not stirred" makes more sense if you know that most vodka used to be made from potatoes, and thus had a distinctive oil that was broken up by shaking. These days, most vodka is made from grains. Shaking will produce better agitation of the drink and ice, producing a colder drink. Esquire did a study that showed stirred martinis are colder. They are also stronger. It will also create a cloudy martini, and more than half the charm of the martini lies in it being flavorful, yet absolutely clear. The arguments about "bruising" don't seem to have much technical merit (besides aeration of the drink, which gives it an off taste) and seem to be a holdover from arguments about mint juleps, where bruising the mint is a real possibility.
  2. This was new at the time, but is now called a Vesper after the original source.
  3. The Other Wiki explains why.
  4. espresso and capuccino are so two weeks ago
  5. By law, soft drinks are limited in how much caffeine they can have, since they have the kiddie stigma attached to them. Coffee has no such restrictions.
  6. Unless they're Armenian-[insert Arab country here], in which case don't call it Turkish coffee
  7. It helps in this situation that the Arabs, having for the most part the same religion as the Turks but living far away from the Balkans and having friendly relations with the Armenians and other Caucasians--who had and still have large expatriate communities, assimilated to varying degrees, living in the Arab lands--have no particular reason to hate any of their non-Israeli, non-Persian (long story, but Iran doesn't really go in for coffee that much anyway) neighbors, although they might get annoyed with some country or other from time to time.
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