First off, we are not trying to exaggerate the importance of how to order at a bar. But whenever you are painting the town red, you always see that one guy slowing down everyone with his order, or the cardinal sin – arguing with the bartender; “I can’t believe you guys don't have Red Bull! What kind of place is this?!” So if you've ever gotten on a bartender's bad side, ask yourself - Do you speak bartender?
Step one: Know what you want
A bartender who is trying to take care of all his customers will appreciate those people who know clearly communicate what they want. You are making their hosting duties so much easier by simply stating your order, instead of breaking into a conversation: “So, I was thinking to go with a white wine. Do you have any good ones? Also, my friend at the back there really likes gin and tonics. What do you recommend she tries? I mean, what do you have?” You noticed how the mood changed when you said that? Don’t be that person…
"Oh I totally forgot! Can you make those tequilas Cuervo gold, not silver?"
Step two: Alcohol first, mixer second
Yes, the devil is in the details; it turns out a bartender’s brain is hardwired a certain way. The minute you mention coke, that’s what they’ll get you. Mention whisky or rum a split second later, and you’ve created a confused bartender. Not good. Always mention your alcohol first, and then the soda. “I’ll have a gin-tonic”; good! “Can I get a coke with whiskey”; wrong…
Step three: You want premium? Say it.
Ordering yourself a mix will usually get you the standard brands. Good waiters will occasionally present you with a choice when you order a generic mix like gin-tonic or rum-coke, but “Hendrick’s and tonic” means your specific brand of tonic, with a different slightly different garnish for the initiated.
Hendrick's & Tonic, including trademark cucumber, as opposed to the regular lime wedge.
Bonus step: lean in and have money ready
As previously discussed in “how to get your drinks the fastest way possible”, there is a faster way to get the bartender’s attention, especially when the bar is packed. And being able to secure drinks for you and your thirsty friends before anyone else is not a special talent, there’s little tricks that give you an edge over that other guy who’s screaming for “Sex on the beach” while he is snapping his fingers at the waitress.
As stated previously in the introduction; it’s not rocket science, but if you’ve ever had that uncomfortable feeling when a stressed-out bartender is giving you that look… Well, you should’ve probably stuck to the steps above. If you want to see what life is like on the other side of the bar, and have the best time on the planet, while you are learning to become a bartender, do check us out below!