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    We Went On The World's Worst Bar Crawl So You Don't Have To

    This is what happens when you hit seven chain restaurant bars in one day in search of the grossest cocktail.

    by ,


    Joanna: Rolling into Olive Garden at 11:30 a.m. makes you question all your life choices.

    Alexis: How does it feel to be one of the four people present at an Olive Garden at 11:30 in the morning? Great! I felt very personally attended to. It kind of reminded me of a hotel lobby for some reason — maybe all of the iron fixtures and ~cool lamps.~ No complaints. I’m a hotel lobby kind of lady.

    THE DRINK: Long Island Limoncello

    Suggested alternative name: Joy Ultra Dishwashing Liquid


    • The flavor reminded me of the hard lemon candies my great grandmother kept in a glass jar in her kitchen mixed with notes of dish soap.

    • Soap flavor sounds like a bad thing, but it matches well with the murky brown color and gives you the opportunity to imagine that you're drinking bathwater.


    • Hard alcohol taste. That limoncello is doing the Lord’s work.

    • Looks a bit grimy.

    • Tastes kind of soapy toward the bottom or my tongue is dying.



    Joanna: Outback Steakhouse is definitely the kind of place where you can peer through the shadows, looking for a handsome stranger.

    Alexis: I really can’t overemphasize how great the lighting was at this bar. The shadow! The highlights! It was like being in a swanky club that no one else wanted to go to but still felt really cool despite struggling to make rent. Also no one looked super happy to be there, so +1 to the swanky club thing.

    THE DRINK: Huckleberry Hooch Moonshine Cocktail

    Suggested alternative name: Sugar Fun Candy Time


    • Stop! Sugar time!

    • You know it's real moonshine because it was served in a jar.

    • Tastes like a liquid Jolly Rancher, which was somehow a positive.


    • Does this have alcohol in it?

    • Very sweet. My tongue is coated in sugar.

    • This cocktail gets me. It’s like, “I know you don’t want to have to taste your decisions, so I’m going to smother them in berry flavor.”

    Thinkstock/Amazon / Via


    Joanna: Pretty sure that the Times Square Ruby Tuesday is a blank, intermediate state between physical death and the netherworld.

    Alexis: The Times Square Ruby Tuesday seemed really self-aware in that they knew it was a pit stop on everyone’s eventual spiral into urban despair. I was about to give them all props for fully understanding what the deal was with running a Ruby Tuesday in Times Square until I heard a server come up to the bar to say that one of her tables had requested their “best wine,” and wondered who on earth sat down at a booth at this place and seriously asked for the best wine Ruby Tuesday has to offer.

    THE DRINK: Ruby Relaxer

    Suggested alternative name: Big Daddy Beach Sex


    • The name of this drink sounds like some kind of tranquilizer.

    • Really tall drink. Roughly the height of a human baby.

    • The flavors seemed to be fighting with each other. Peach and coconut are not great flavor friends.

    • The drink description on the menu includes the term "chillax," which is probably all you need to know.


    • First of all, the name of this drink sounds like a vibrator. Like a red, Ring Pop–shaped vibrator.

    • Tastes like the basic Sex on the Beaches (Sexes on the Beach?) that you whip up in sophomore year at your dorm-based “luau.”

    • Funky aftertaste. Kind of like gasoline? I didn’t feel too good.



    Joanna: The Times Square Red Lobster looks like the canteen for a futuristic post-apocalyptic army of disposable human drones.

    Alexis: I’m glad we decided to sit down at a table and have this drink, even if our server likely wanted to strangle us for only ordering a martini and biscuits. I propose a new challenge, a martini-and-biscuits challenge, where we go to various restaurants that offer those two menu items and see how long it takes for them to kick us out for ordering just those two things. Anyway, the ambiance was kind of like a yacht club in Idaho, built by people who have only ever read about the sea in children’s library illustrated editions of Moby Dick. So, like, nautical but misinformed.

    THE DRINK: Caramel Appletini

    Suggested alternative name: APPLE!!!!!! DID YOU KNOW THIS IS APPLE?-tini


    • Smells like an orchard.

    • Tastes like being punched in the mouth by an apple.

    • The caramel aftertaste is, wow...pungent.

    • The caramel starts separating and gathering at the bottom, not unlike fish food.


    • Imagine an apple-flavored Jolly Rancher. Now imagine that the Jolly Rancher hates you.

    • That’s it. That’s the drink.

    •The caramel slurry at the bottom of the glass at the end was tempting, but ultimately I passed.


    ~~~Red Lobster cheesy biscuit break~~~



    Joanna: Say what you want about Applebee's but they reminded me that "Every Heartbeat" by Amy Grant is "my jam."

    Alexis: The ambiance at Applebee's was a little sad. There were children and families and none of them looked thrilled to be there. The bar was nearly empty and nobody really knew what door to use...I was also definitely getting pretty drunk at this point and was low-key emotional about a lot of stuff. I wondered if I would ever get married. What my kids would look like. Am I going to die alone? Applebee's, man. Shit was bleak.

    THE DRINK: Fireball Whiskey Lemonade

    Suggested alternative name: Cinnamon-Broom-tini


    • Cinnamon and lemon, together at last.

    • Tastes like the Christmas decorations aisle at CVS.

    • Or like you ate the potpourri out of your aunt's bathroom.


    • OK, the last time I had Fireball Whiskey I was in Las Vegas and I took too many shots and I got kicked out of a cab in the middle of the strip, crashed a bachelor party entirely by accident, and ended up crying in a sink on the smoking floor of the MGM Grand. This shit is my kryptonite. I feared this drink above all others.

    • It tasted like someone dared me to lick a Christmas-scented candle but I kind of liked it so I just kept licking.

    • Potpourri. Pinecones. Cinnamon brooms. All in your mouth at once.



    Joanna: The Dave & Buster's in Times Square was full of New York City's hottest A-listers just schmoozing it up and making deals. Hot deals.

    Alexis: Dave & Buster's was in the same building as Applebee's but it took us a loooong time to find it because the signs were unclear and our sense of spatial reasoning was impaired. Do you know what it feels like to shuffle around an empty mall where none of the escalators are working in search of a Dave & Buster's at 2:30 in the afternoon? I do. When we finally found it, the music was VERY LOUD and the lights were VERY BRIGHT and I felt attacked. Huey Lewis and the News played on the speakers and I kept thinking about that scene in American Psycho where buff Christian Bale murders that guy with an axe. Then they played "Crazy Frog" and I knew I had hit rock bottom.

    THE DRINK: Key Lime Coconut Margarita

    Suggested alternative name: Satan's Tears


    • Both creamy and sour at the same time. Just waiting for it to separate.

    • Tastes like a mistake.

    • Whose idea was it to put whipped cream on a margarita? A mean-spirited person?


    •This drink is not a drink, it is an assault.

    • Whipped cream and tequila should never be allowed in the same restaurant, let alone the same beverage.

    • It was creamy and sweet and limey but also had that dragon-breath tequila taste and No no no no. All of my notes on this drink just say “NO.”



    Joanna: Once you've been to seven chain restaurants in one day, you start to realize that life is completely meaningless and everything is terrible. That being said, the T.G.I. Friday's crowd seemed ready to party, in a business-casual kind of way. But also, what is life? Am I dead?

    Alexis: This was it. The final frontier. It was late afternoon at this point, so the Friday’s was actually pretty packed with tourists and people who got off work early. In the haze of the nine different liquors I had consumed over the past three and a half hours, I felt jovial, like I was a part of something. Colors swirled together and my seat felt unsteady, but the pride of my survival kept me standing tall. As I sipped my sweet berry whiskey thing, I knew that I had accomplished more than anyone had ever expected of me. I was drunk. I was getting paid for this. I was alive. I was in T.G.I. Friday’s.

    THE DRINK: Jackberry Smash

    Suggested alternative name: Fancy Sierra Mist


    • Every mixologist's secret weapon is Sierra Mist.

    • Tastes kind of earthy.

    • Most reasonable drink of the day.


    • What on earth is a jackberry? Is it like a snozberry?

    • Actually very tasty, sweet and whiskey-ish.

    • Very much enjoyed the berries, but they were all smushed up so I couldn’t chase them around the glass like I did with the Huckleberry Hooch.


    Before and after:


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