How to Please Your Bartender | VinePair

How to Please Your Bartender

4 minute Read


How to Please Your Bartender

There’s one thing that a savvy man or woman should never do, and that’s piss off his or her bartender. After all, a bartender is not just a drink slinger. He or she can be much, much more. A bartender can offer counseling. A bartender listens, soothes, mediates, breaks up fights, and even pairs up two new hearts as one.

In order to deserve all these services, or just to get your drink, it’s important to treat your bartender with the respect he or she deserves. Failure to do so can mean epic wait times for your drink, or worse: being on the receiving end of weak drinks all night long. Here are the best ways to please your bartender:

Be Polite

Don’t be the asshole who’s yelling at the bartender to get that drink already, or impatiently tapping the bar with a pissed off look on your face. Bars get busy and an impatient customer will be an unhappy one. When your thoughts begin to slide down that familiar pathway, where it seems like everyone is getting served before you and why are you always last and don’t you deserve respect, too, and your younger sister always got more presents, know that these are absolutely your own neuroses at work. I promise you, no bartender is purposely serving you last. All they want is to get everyone served in a timely manner.

Request your drink nicely, and if you have the balls to suggest some unknown drink, ask even more nicely and wait patiently for it. Also, get therapy for that other stuff.

Be Complimentary But Not Too Complimentary

Tell your bartender that you love how graceful he is with those highball glasses. Tell her she’s made you the best old fashioned you’ve ever had. Tell her she’s generous with her alcohol and always makes a great drink. Do not, I repeat, do not tell him how hot he is. He or she hears it all the time. They will almost certainly think you are a creep.

Here’s the thing: This is the bartender’s place of work. That means they can’t slap you and walk away, or roll their eyes and walk away. They can’t even really roll their eyes. Their job depends on their professional deportment, and their tip depends on not pissing you off. So while they may be willing to forgo that tip for the pleasure of telling you to go to hell, why put a person doing an honest day’s work in the position of having to make that decision? Like, honestly, do you want to be a person making another person sexually uncomfortable, ever? It’s especially problematic when they are at their place of business and can’t escape or face financial penalties.

Bottom line is, do not hit on a person who is working, even if they have been kind enough to commence the flirting themselves. That part of you that has to present as cocky AF to your work friends by hitting on everything that moves, or that place in you that needs to be the “cool girl” who can compliment another woman on her beauty — leave that part of you at home. Do not take it to the bar with you. Also, get therapy for it.

Be Reasonable

Do you really have to ask for 50 million garnishes? How many cherries and umbrellas and mint leaves does one human need? Do they not have your favorite obscure type of tequila? Find something else on the menu!

And if you don’t like the drink that was made for you, don’t return it unless you truly can’t stomach a sip, or unless you think there is something actually wrong with it. You can always order a different drink for your next round, or choose never to return to this place if their whiskey sour isn’t up to your standards. A bartender’s time is precious; your PMS mood swings or your douchebaggery are no excuse to request a different drink upon the pour.

I promise you, your friends will not be impressed by attempts to show how much smarter you are than your bartender, or how much you know about the amount of bitters that cocktail needs. And if they are, get new friends. They are dragging you down into the underworld with them, one snobby eye roll at a time.

Be Seasonal

Asking your bartender for a tropical summer drink when he’s busting out dirty martinis and spiked eggnog makes you a real PIA. Unless it’s on the menu, go easy with your lofty beverage desires. This is especially true if you’re in your local bar. Of course, if you’re paying $14 for a cocktail, feel free to ask for a non-seasonal drink. But don’t be mad if that passion fruit martini is just not on the menu in mid-February.

Be Trusting

If you ask your bartender for his or her favorite drink, take his or her word for it. Don’t ask the bartender to make you a favorite drink only for you to turn your nose up when they serve it to you.

If you’re the kind of person who is capable of asking a bartender to make you their favorite drink, and then spits in their eye by sneering at it, you should know this in advance about yourself and you should pick out your own drink. Also, get therapy.

Be Quiet Enough

Your bartender is happy to chat, but despite urban legend, your bartender (most likely) is not practicing to be a therapist. He doesn’t need to know every blow-by-blow of your marital demise, and she doesn’t want to hear about the last 10 shitty Tinder dates you went on. Of course, sometimes a bar is quiet and your barkeep seems up for a gabfest. In that case, if you are coming to him for alcoholic therapy, please tip $2 on the drink.

Also, you might want to consider actual therapy.

Be Tidy

Don’t be the drunk girl spilling her drink everywhere. That’s not cute. Do not be the guy with a beer in each fist, slopping them around as he finds his way back to his table.

Your bartender doesn’t like wiping up after your klutzy drunk butt, so be careful and treat the bar as if it were your own home. Unless your home is a pigsty where you can’t put anything down because the counters are sticky and the bathroom is… well, let’s just leave it at that. If your home is disgusting, treat the bar much, much better than your home. Also, clean up your home. You’re an adult now. It’s time to stop living like a 20-year-old in his first off-campus apartment. Have some self respect.

Be Generous

In two days it’ll be 2017. Let’s all just admit that it’s time to start tipping two bucks on every drink, unless it’s a pricey cocktail, in which case tip 20 percent of the cost of the drink. Let’s not be barbarians, people. Let this be the one thing you toss at the universe in exchange for a better year.

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