Ask Adam: If a Bartender Gives You a Free Drink, Do You Have to Tip? | VinePair

Ask Adam: If a Bartender Gives You a Free Drink, Do You Have to Tip?

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Ask Adam Bartender

Send all queries to: advice@vinepair.com

If a bartender gives you a free drink, do you still have to tip him or her?

One generally receives a free drink from the bartender either during happy hour, or when the establishment deems you’ve been a good enough customer to earn a buy back. The buy back usually occurs if you tip really well on the first few rounds of drinks. In either scenario, regardless of how you earned the free drink, you need to tip.

Just because the drink is free, someone is still making it or pouring it for you. The general rule of thumb here is that you should tip at least $2 per drink. That’s the standard way of acknowledging the bartender, and the gesture will also ensure you earn another free drink in the future.

What are some questions to ask a wine store owner to help me find a wine I will like (and avoid his patronizing smile)?

In my opinion, no question is too stupid. But the real key to getting a great wine you’ll enjoy is knowing what you like, and being willing to talk about money. In fact, the biggest piece of advice we have is: Don’t be afraid to talk about price.

The first thing I would say to the shopkeeper is: “Hi! I am a fan of Sauvignon Blanc and I am looking to spend somewhere in the X dollar range. What bottles do you have that are either Sauvignon Blanc or similar in style and taste?”

You want to give the person in the store as much information as possible. Do you like light and bright reds, or deep, full-bodied ones? Do you like an oaky white? Or a more tart one? You might even already know the region you’re looking for, and let’s face it: You always know your price range. This is a lot more information than the salesperson normally receives from customers.

I know I am saving money when I buy beer in the grocery store as opposed to the bar, but what beer am I saving more money on, a macro beer or a craft one?

In general, beer will always be cheaper in the store than at the bar, unless you’re drinking beer during some crazy special such as Nickel Beer Night. But you’ll get the better bang for your buck on the craft or imported beer than you will on the domestic, macro stuff like Budweiser and Miller Light. That’s because at the bar, craft and imports are considered more premium products, which cost more per keg than the domestic brews, so bars can justify a higher markup. Compare that to the supermarket, where there is still a markup, but it isn’t as high. You’ll get a much better deal going for the stuff you’d spend more on at the bar than the stuff that usually goes on special or is $4 a pint to begin with.

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