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Sometimes, I drop my kids off at the Methodist Church for their Fun Friday childcare session and leave the sign-in section that asks “where will you be?” completely blank. Because what they don’t know won’t hurt them — and what they don’t know is that I’m not just out drinking. I’m collecting research. 

Below, part one of my findings on the most-ordered drinks in town, and who can be found ordering them.

1. The TANG-tini: Neville’s.  Ordered by younger locals, their out-of-town friends, and everyone else who’s never heard of a master cocktail crafter making something with Tang. This signature drink, made by none other than Tony Cross, can only be found at Neville’s.

If you need an excuse, consider these words  from the bartender, “Tang won’t kill you, but O.J. will.” We’re not sure we want to know what that means but we’ll drink to it. If you need another excuse, take to heart the words of this short-lived Yelp legend.

2. Miller Lite: The Tater Barn. Ordered by bald men and older veterans who take advantage of the fact this beer-only dive is registered as a “cigar bar,” which means they can puff on Marlboros to their heart’s discontent. If you’re a fan of surf and turf, try their choices of Rose Potted Meat Food, Vienna Sausages, Boiled Oysters, or Sardines, all served conveniently straight from the can.

This is also one of the two drive-thru bars in Moore County. Use that info responsibly.

3. The Old Fashioned: Pine Crest Inn. Ordered by golfers who want to take a time out on the porch, or young people those golfers refer to as “yuppies.” Bartenders know it’s a play to look classy and they can see right through it — so just stick to the jack and coke and leave the muddling for the real earners.

4. Transfusion (to go): the Deuce. This cocktail created by muddling mint and ginger with Ketel One, grape juice, and some lemonade is the drink of choice for golfers headed out to the course. Barflies swore we had to try it with wings, but bartenders say the Reuben is the most popular compliment to their boozy concoctions.

5. Moscow Mules: the Double Eagle. Ordered mostly by “pretty military wives,” which we think is the bartender’s way of being nice. This spot was the most family friendly on a Friday night, but they were quick to offer up some shots when they found out where we were going next.

6. Pretty Princess: Pure Gold. It would be hard to get caught here, or I guess really easy, but when you swipe your card for a “Pretty Princess” — pun and no pun intended — be ready to present a credit card, a valid form of id, surrender your thumbprint and hope you have at least $100 ’cause that’s what your card is being run for when you buy a drink here. But don’t worry, Pure Gold has your back — the transaction shows up as “Pinehurst Golf.” They also have your thumbprint, so…

If you opt to go to the ATM in between the two bathrooms and next to the vending machine (we were disappointed to only find Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, and cigarettes), be ready to accept the withdrawal fee of $10.

This drink is only done in shots and rounds, so don’t look dumb like we did and order just one. We still don’t know exactly what’s in it, but the bartenders sold us on it with the line, “once you taste it you’ll understand.”  I understand a lot now, having visited Pure Gold. Life’s a journey. 

Melissa Kohlman is a local mom willing to write about anything. Send her feedback (and tell her where she should go next) at hello@itsthesway.com

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