I Like the Barrrrrrr-tennnnnderrrrrrr

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rather than the typical Thirsty Thursday post, I am merging my typically recipe/alcohol posting with some tips for dealing with bartenders when you are drinking at a bar or club.

This past spring, I spent some long hours with four Las Vegas bartenders. Hanging out with the guys early one Friday morning, it reminded me of “morning afters” in the Chi Hoe house. We would sit around and talk about the happenings of the night before. What random snuck past Jamie Patsy, who blacked out and which girl still isn’t home. The bartenders discussed which girl was hot, who’s number they got and random drink requests.

Another popular topic of conversation would be rude customers. We’ve all been there. Waiting forever at a bar for a drink and doing just about anything for the bartenders’ attention.

Recently, I’ve read a few good stories about etiquette when working with a bartender. Below you will see some useful tips to keep in mind when drinking at a bar or club…

* Best Tip Ever: While you can rarely find half-priced drinks in Chicago, if you are drinking during a happy hour special or bar party, tip the bartender just as you would if you paid full price for the drink. Your mixologist is working hard for his/her money and relies on tips!

* Keep Your Hands to Yourself: NEVER reach into the garnish tray for an extra cherry. Would you want someone putting their fingers into your drink? Ask the bartender for a lime wedge – don’t’ do it yourself.

* Know your atmosphere: Don’t order an Appletini in a beer house. Okay, I must confess I pulled this “don’t” once. It happened one Christmas break at The Pine. I was sick of drinking beer so I ordered a glass of wine. To my humiliation, it was served in a ginormous goblet. No, I do not exaggerate. Some graduates of my class stopped by and insisted on doing a toast/cheers/glass cling with them. Keep in mind these were people that rolled with the tough crowd and considered me “preppy” to begin with. I couldn't’t turn them down, so I had to pick up my wine goblet fearing that it may shatter. Save yourself the embarrassment and just stick to beer.

* Mo' Money: Have your money ready and know what you want to drink – this is a priority when the establishment is crowded!

* Get a Clue: If you have no clue what you want to drink, at least you can tell the bartender what spirits you like (dark vs. light) and any special flavors you enjoy (peach, apple, berry, etc.)

* Hey Big Spender: Don’t order more drinks than you can carry. If you have an order for 10, bring someone else up with you to do the ordering and help you carry!

* Don't be that Girl/Guy: Be patient. Don’t jump up and down , whistle and don’t stand on a bar stool and wave frantically, etc.

* More Tippy for the Tini's: Tip more for complicated drinks like flavored martini’s.

Most of these are common sense, but still something to consider next time you order a drink!

(sources: Airzona Republic, flatrock.org photo)