Ask Adam: How Much Should I Tip the Bartender on New Year's Eve? | VinePair

Ask Adam: How Much Should I Tip the Bartender on New Year’s Eve?

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Ask Adam NYE

Send all queries to: advice@vinepair.com

My wife bought us one of those all-inclusive deals at a club for New Year’s Eve. Do I tip for every drink? Or a total amount at the end? How much?
New Year’s Eve is the one time of year when you’re usually more likely to encounter a prix-fix menu with an open bar at a restaurant than the ability to order both drinks and food a la carte. It’s a situation that makes it much easier on the restaurant, and you, too, since you know up front what you’ll be spending. The tip, on the other hand, is still a gray area.

I’m just going to say it: Working on New Year’s Eve sucks. There are far too many tales of people working behind the bar who get stiffed at the end of the night. Therefore, even though you paid for your drinks up front, you should still tip on every drink that you order.

The amount you tip depends on the type of event you’re at. If the event is a seated affair in which the waiter brings you your drinks, it’s pretty likely the house pools the tips, so you should tip at least 20 percent on the cost of the open bar per person. But if this is an event where you go up to the bar and order yourself, tip $2 a drink. Your bartender will thank you.

I cringe whenever someone asks for me to bring a bottle of wine to a party. My taste in wine seems wildly different than some of my friends and co-workers. What’s a safe way to pick out a wine to bring that is a crowd-pleaser but that won’t break the bank?
Thanks to the relics of Prohibition, it’s unfortunately pretty tough to recommend one or two labels you’re likely to find no matter where you might live. Laws differ so greatly from state to state, making it incredibly tough for a wine to have nationwide distribution. So instead of recommending a specific wine, I’m going to recommend a grape variety and a few regions.

It’s safer to bring red than white. White can be polarizing, and while you may find a few people who really love it, chances are more people will reach for the red. In this case, Syrah has become my go-to grape variety when I happen to be heading to a party where I am unsure of everyone’s tastes. It’s a wine that seems to have something for everyone: fruit, tannin, acidity. Every time I’ve brought a Syrah, the bottle has always been easily finished.

If you can’t find a Syrah, a pretty good region to look for is southern France, specifically Languedoc-Rousillon. The wines made here serve as the daily drinking wines for the rest of France, so you’re likely to find an approachable and easy-drinking red, suitable for most everyone who is interested in pouring themselves a glass.

My boyfriend is always drinking craft beer. But I haven’t found one I’ve liked. I do like Stella — can you recommend some craft beers for me?
If you’re a fan of Stella, your best bet is to reach for a craft pilsner. You’ll find a lot of the similar flavors here, but with more depth. The ones I like the best are Victory Prima Pils, Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils, and Braven Bushwick Pilsner.

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