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What to Order at a College Bar?

What to Order at a College Bar?: A Student’s Guide to Making the Right Choices

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Have you wondered What to order at a college bar? College life is filled with unique experiences, and one of the quintessential aspects of this journey is the college bar scene. Whether you’re celebrating a recent triumph or simply unwinding with friends, knowing what to order at a college bar can greatly enhance your experience. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of ordering at a college bar and ensure you make choices that suit your preferences and your budget.

What to Order at a College Bar?

College Bar Etiquette

Before we dive into the world of drinks, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some basic college bar etiquette. Following these guidelines will not only help you enjoy your night but also ensure that you and your fellow patrons have a great time.

1. Know the Legal Drinking Age

First and foremost, it’s crucial to know the legal drinking age in your area. Abiding by the law is not only responsible but also necessary to avoid potential legal consequences.

2. Pacing Yourself

Moderation is key when it comes to drinking at a college bar. Avoid the temptation to consume alcohol too quickly, as it can lead to a night you’d rather forget. Sip your drinks slowly and enjoy the experience.

3. Designated Driver

Always have a plan for getting home safely after a night at the bar. Designate a sober driver or use a ridesharing service to ensure you and your friends arrive home without any issues.

Types of College Bars

College bars come in various shapes and sizes, each offering a unique atmosphere and drink selection. Knowing the type of bar you’re visiting can help you choose the right drink.

1. Dive Bars

Dive bars are known for their laid-back and unpretentious atmosphere. They typically offer a selection of affordable beers and classic cocktails. If you’re on a budget, this might be the perfect place to enjoy a night out.

2. Sports Bars

Sports bars are a great choice if you want to catch a game while enjoying a drink. They often have a wide variety of beers and serve tasty appetizers to accompany your game-watching experience.

3. Cocktail Bars

For a more upscale and refined experience, cocktail bars are the way to go. These establishments offer craft cocktails made with premium spirits and fresh ingredients. If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the place to try something new.

What to Order at a College Bar?

Craft Beer Selection

Craft beers are a staple at college bars, and for a good reason. They offer a diverse range of flavors and styles that cater to various palates. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, there’s something for everyone. Here are some must-try options:

    • IPA (India Pale Ale): Known for their bold and bitter flavors, IPAs are a favorite among beer enthusiasts. Try a local IPA to savor the regional flavors.
    • Stout: If you prefer a darker, richer beer, go for a stout. These beers often have coffee and chocolate undertones, making them a delightful choice.
    • Wheat Beer: For a lighter option, consider a wheat beer. It’s refreshing and pairs well with a variety of dishes.

Signature Cocktails

College bars often have their own signature cocktails that are worth a taste. These concoctions showcase the creativity of the bartenders and can make your night out truly unique. Here are a few examples:

    • Long Island Iced Tea: A classic choice, this potent cocktail combines multiple spirits with a splash of cola and sour mix. It’s not for the faint of heart!
    • Margarita: A tangy and refreshing choice, margaritas are perfect for those warm summer nights. Try different flavors like strawberry or mango for a twist.
    • Old Fashioned: If you appreciate the classics, an Old Fashioned is the way to go. Made with bourbon, sugar, and bitters, it’s a timeless favorite.

Appetizers and Finger Foods

No college bar experience is complete without some delicious appetizers and finger foods. These snacks are perfect for sharing and can keep you going throughout the night. Here are some mouthwatering options:

    • Chicken Wings: Whether you like them spicy or sweet, chicken wings are a bar staple. Dip them in blue cheese or ranch dressing for that extra kick.
    • Mozzarella Sticks: Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, mozzarella sticks are a crowd-pleaser.
    • Loaded Nachos: Piled high with cheese, jalapeños, and all your favorite toppings, loaded nachos are the ultimate comfort food.

Late-Night Specials

College bars often have late-night specials that can save you some serious cash. These deals are usually available during specific hours, so be sure to check with the bar staff. Some popular specials include:

    • Taco Tuesdays: Enjoy discounted tacos with your choice of fillings, from beef to vegetarian options.
    • Happy Hour: Look out for extended happy hours with reduced prices on drinks and appetizers.
    • Thirsty Thursdays: Many college bars offer drink specials on Thursdays to kickstart the weekend early.

Popular College Bar Drinks

Now that you understand the etiquette and have considered the type of bar you’re visiting, let’s explore some of the most popular drinks you can order at a college bar.


Draft Beer

Draft beer is a staple at college bars. You’ll find a variety of options, including light, dark, and locally brewed beers. It’s often a safe bet if you’re looking for something straightforward and refreshing.

Domestic Beers

If you prefer familiar and classic choices, many college bars serve domestic beers like Budweiser, Coors, and Miller. These are typically available in bottles or cans and can be an excellent choice for those who enjoy a reliable option.

Mixed Drinks

Long Island Iced Tea

For those seeking an adventurous flavor profile, the Long Island Iced Tea is a go-to choice. This potent mix combines vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and triple sec with a splash of cola, resulting in a deliciously deceptive and strong drink.


The Margarita is a classic cocktail known for its tangy and refreshing taste. Made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, it’s often served in a salt-rimmed glass, adding a delightful contrast of flavors.


If you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing, the Mojito is a perfect choice. This Cuban cocktail consists of white rum, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, and soda water, creating a crisp and revitalizing drink.



For an energy boost on your night out, the Jägerbomb is a popular shot choice. It involves dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull, creating a potent mix that’s both stimulating and tasty.


If you’re looking for a shot with a kick, Fireball whiskey is a favorite. This cinnamon-flavored whiskey is known for its spicy and warming sensation, making it a great choice for those who enjoy bold flavors.

Strategies for Enjoying Your Night

Ordering the right drink is just one part of the college bar experience. To truly make the most of your night, consider these strategies:

    1. Socializing: College bars are excellent places to meet new people. Strike up conversations with fellow patrons, and you might make some lasting connections during your time at college.
    2. Bar Games: Many college bars offer entertainment options like pool tables, dartboards, or trivia nights. Engaging in some friendly competition can add an extra layer of fun to your evening.
    3. Dancing: If the music gets your feet tapping, don’t hesitate to hit the dance floor with your friends. Dancing can be a fantastic way to let loose and create unforgettable memories.

What to Order at a College Bar?: Conclusion

Ordering drinks at a college bar should be an enjoyable and responsible experience. By following basic etiquette, knowing the type of bar you’re visiting, and choosing drinks that suit your taste, you can have a fantastic time while prioritizing safety and moderation.

What to Order at a College Bar?: FAQ's

Question 1. Is it okay to order non-alcoholic drinks at a college bar?

Answer: Absolutely! Most college bars offer a variety of non-alcoholic options for those who prefer not to drink alcohol. You can enjoy mocktails, soft drinks, or other non-alcoholic beverages.

Question 2. What's the best way to handle a friend who has had too much to drink?

Answer:  If a friend has consumed too much alcohol, it’s essential to ensure their safety. Offer them water to help sober up, keep an eye on them, and if necessary, contact a designated driver or call a cab to get them home safely.

Question 3. How can I find out about drink specials at my local college bar?

Answer: To stay updated on drink specials, check the bar’s website or social media pages. Many college bars regularly post information about daily or weekly promotions, allowing you to save money while enjoying your night out.

Question 4. What's the most important tip for a great night at a college bar?

Answer: The most crucial tip for a memorable and enjoyable night at a college bar is moderation. Savor your drinks, but avoid overindulgence, as it can lead to negative experiences and potential health risks. By drinking responsibly, you can create lasting memories without regrets.

Question 5. Is it okay to order non-alcoholic drinks at a college bar?

Answer: Absolutely! Most college bars offer a variety of non-alcoholic options for those who prefer not to drink alcohol.

Question 6. What's the best way to handle a friend who has had too much to drink?

Answer:  Ensure their safety by getting them water, and if necessary, contacting a designated driver or calling a cab.

Question 7. How can I find out about drink specials at my local college bar?

Answer: Check the bar’s website or social media pages for updates on daily or weekly drink specials.

Question 8. Are college bars only for students?

Answer: While many college bars cater to students, they are often open to the public. Just be prepared for a youthful crowd.

Question 9. What's the most important tip for a great night at a college bar?

Answer: Moderation is key. Enjoy your drinks, but don’t overindulge, so you can savor the experience and create lasting memories.