Alistair Berg / Getty Images

Alternatively, here are our drink suggestions based on the location of your date. 

Elisabeth Sherman
January 16, 2018

It is almost universally agreed upon that dating is difficult. First, you have to meet another person. How are you supposed to do that? Scroll through the endless options on dating apps? Bump into a mysterious stranger at the grocery store? Then, once you convince that other person to go out on a date with you, you have to pick out what to wear, and worse, where to go. The ice-skating rink worked for Rocky, but will it prove just as romantic for you? Most people opt for a less physical activity, though, like going out for dinner or getting a drink. Seems simple enough, but once you get there, you’re probably going to obsess over what you order, how much it costs, and what it looks like when you chew. A recent survey conducted by the British dating app Trueview should supposedly clear things up for you: It surveyed 1,000 users to find out which drinks are the most attractive when ordered on a first date. The results only complicate things further.

First of all, 27 percent of Trueview users said ordering a shot on the first date is the most unattractive drink choice, which makes sense because you probably shouldn’t try to get wasted on a first date (though we certainly wouldn't judge you for it.) If things are that awkward, maybe best to call it quits and head home. The results get a little more confusing from there, though: A quarter of people said ordering a perfectly un-offensive cider is a turn off, while 13 percent said the same about ordering a beer. The most attractive drinks order? Trueview users agree that its white wine—with no explanation offered as to why white wine is appealing in this context—followed closely by red wine and rosé. 45 percent of the people surveyed said that they wouldn’t be able to see past the so-called wrong drink choice on a first date.

This information makes dating even more confusing than it already is. Don’t follow it. Order whatever drink makes you happy. That being said, there are certain drinks you might want to consider ordering based on where the date takes place, just so you get the most out of the experience. We have some alternate suggestions for what you should order on a first date based on that criteria, but keep in mind that if your date is so put off by the fact that you’d prefer not to drink white wine—or whatever other drink he or she deems “appropriate”— with your dinner, you should find another date. 

A swanky cocktail bar

It might seem obvious, but you should order a cocktail. Avoid the beer and wine list. The bartenders at these places are likely experienced mixologists who work hard on crafting the perfect cocktails, and while you might encounter ingredients that have never appeared in your glass before (rosemary shrubs! Pickled fennel!), try to be adventurous and take a risk. You could end up impressing your date with your choice.

A noisy pub or a sports bar 

Go straight for the draft beer list. Oftentimes, you’ll encounter long beer lists—a great conversation starter—with plenty of flavors and varieties for all levels of beer drinkers, from practiced to novice. If you’re not a fan of beer, look for the ciders—which have always seemed to me to be the drink of practical, level-headed people. On the other hand, if you’re harboring a vault of knowledge about beer, use it as an opportunity to get the conversation off the ground. Beer is decidedly casual and low-key, which won’t put too much pressure on you or your date.

A dive bar

Yes, ordering a shot is a bold move on a first date, but at dive bars sometimes the best route is the shot and a can of beer deal. This is also, in my experience, the most playful drink order and is the perfect accompaniment to a pool table—as long as you take it slow. Start with a beer and shot (which, it’s worth remembering, can be slowly sipped instead of taken all at once) and then transition to just the beer.

A wine bar

Suggest splitting a bottle of wine. This is good way to get to know your date as you discuss the flavors you like, show off your wine knowledge or admit you’re eager to learn more, and finally settle on something you both enjoy, giving you something to bond over.

An upscale restaurant 

Lean into the classy, sophisticated vibe with a glass of red wine. Alternatively, a classic cocktail like a Manhattan or a Martini also fits the atmosphere, and may even give the impression of a person with a refined palate who takes his or her drinking seriously.