In the world of cocktails, there is no shortage of cheeky, creative names. Ranging from the risque to the surprisingly punny, the naming of the thousands of cocktails created by bartenders is a separate point of interest outside of the actual drinks. Many cocktail names are deeply rooted in history, both cultural and cocktail, and come with excellent stories. Others, on the other hand, are just plain terrible.
Even though the cocktails on this list are really great in the glass, they don’t look so good on paper. Sure, there are plenty of horrendous shot names — Blowjob and Orgasm and Liquid Marijuana come to mind — but these seven cocktails and their terrible names have been able to stand the test of time.
This cocktail may very well have saved your life a few times — the combination of tomato juice and vodka is a magical hangover elixir — but it undoubtedly has a terrible name. There are many theories about why this cocktail ended up with such an unfortunate moniker, but no doubt its bloody red color was crucial to its naming. Some cocktail historians believe that it was named after a waitress called Mary who worked at a Chicago restaurant called Bucket of Blood. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse.
A rusty nail is a bad, bad thing. It can give you tetanus and generally screw up your day should your foot find the wrong side of one, which means that it probably shouldn’t also be the name of something that goes into your mouth. In a glass, though, this concoction of Drambuie and scotch isn’t half bad, especially if you’ve got a nice bottle.
The Sex and the City years have long passed, but unfortunately, they didn’t take all those appletinis and cosmopolitans with them. The worst of these fruity, overly-sweet ‘tinis is the flirtini, made popular by Carrie and Samantha and the rest of the gang back in the early-2000s. There’s nothing wrong with champagne, vodka, and pineapple juice, but can’t we give this mimosa alternative a cooler name?
The mental image that “salty dog” conjures really isn’t healthy. In fact, it sounds like something you would cringe at after reading its true definition on Urban Dictionary. Sure, it’s a “salty dog” because it’s basically just a Greyhound with a salted rim, which is certainly cheeky, but it just doesn’t sound particularly appetizing.
Legend has it that this classic cocktail was named after a surfer that frequented its creator’s bar, but the only reason that anyone even knows about it is because Galliano, the liqueur that (barely) differentiates this drink from a plain-jane screwdriver, spent plenty of dough thrusting it into pop-culture consciousness. Some even say that this “neon-hued” cocktail is responsible for those years of crappy, sugary martinis and daiquiris that dominated the drinks scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
This is the cocktail that you order when you’re barely 21 and still giggle every time someone says the word “sex.” The origin of this cocktail’s “sexy” name is likely a “sex sells” advertising mentality, even if this drink hasn’t exactly made much of a comeback in the era of craft cocktails. To make things worse, some bartenders have further bastardized the drink, adding Fireball cinammon whiskey to create a “Sex on Fire.” Ick.
No one really knows how the Corn N’ Oil got its name, especially considering that it is made with blackstrap Cruzan rum and falernum. Despite the entirely unappetizing name, it’s starting to crop up on craft cocktail menus across the country. The cocktail itself is great, with ingredients similar to a Mai Tai, but we still need some answers on how corn is involved in this drink.