How should I order a martini without looking dumb?

One should never worry about looking dumb when ordering drinks, especially a martini, since James Bond already went and screwed up how it’s actually supposed to be made in the first place, causing most people out there to order it wrong.

The classic martini should always be stirred, never shaken, and made with gin, not vodka. That said, due to the popularity of 007, many drinkers and bartenders assume the drink should be made shaken, and that vodka is O.K. This is totally fine if you like how it tastes, but it isn’t the way it was invented. That’s because shaking the drink actually bruises the alcohol and waters it down too much — if you like a watered-down drink, then by all means, shake away, but stirring is considered superior because it allows the drink to get cold without diluting it immensely. Using vodka makes the drink flavorless; you are actually supposed to taste the botanicals in the gin, which blends very nicely with the dry vermouth. The garnish is up to you. Choose between an olive or a lemon twist.

So that’s how to classically order the cocktail, but don’t be surprised if when you do, someone says you’re wrong because that’s not how Mr. Bond would order it.

Get the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.

Is it O.K. to order a happy-hour drink for a friend if the happy hour will end before they get there?

While the general assumption might be this is no big deal, ordering a drink at happy hour prices for someone who won’t be there before happy hour ends can be extremely frustrating for a bar. The reason happy hour exists in the first place is to draw people into the bar at normally dead or slow times. The time happy hour ends is the time that most bars usually seem to start getting full on their own — it’s why some places will have happy hour all night on a Monday or even do a late-night happy hour as well. It’s a strategy for bringing in more revenue. If your friend arrives after happy hour, when the bar normally knows they’ll have a crowd, you’re essentially stealing from the bar by ordering them a cheaper drink even though they aren’t there to drink it.

I know this might sound crazy and you’re thinking to yourself, “what’s the big deal?!” But at the end of the day, a bar is a business, and just like a one-day sale wouldn’t be valid if you showed up at the store the day after, the same is true for happy- hour pricing. Just tell your friend to show up earlier next time.

I was at a bar recently and the bartender completely messed up when pouring my Guinness. How do I say something without looking like a jerk?

It’s true that there is a proper way to pour a Guinness and if you’re bartender didn’t do that, you’re more likely to have a less enjoyable pint, but it’s tough to correct someone behind the bar. If anything, their inability to pour a Guinness the correct way should be an indication that you’re in the wrong establishment — if they can’t properly pour a Guinness, just think of the other things they’re doing wrong, like making a martini with vodka — so finish your beer, pay, and go find somewhere else to drink.