Regardless of whether you’re visiting a brand new bar, or your favourite watering hole, chances are that you have at least one goal in common with everyone else in the establishment: to get your desired drink quickly. Fortunately, skilled bartenders can usually blend your favourites very efficiently. Even so, there are simple things you can do to make their job a little easier, and also ensure that you’re making an effort at being a preferred customer rather than someone whom the bar staff secretly wish would take their business elsewhere.
When you get up to the bar, either have a specific drink in mind, or a very pointed description of what you’re in the mood for. You’re setting yourself up for a very bad reputation with even the most patient bartenders if you march confidently up to the counter, only to take several minutes to make up your mind.
If you’re trying something new, think ahead and make a mental list of certain flavours that you like, and others that you’re definitely not interested in trying. This will make it much easier for the bar staff to offer delicious suggestions that’ll leave you coming back for more all night long.
When ordering rounds for a group, make sure that everyone in your party has clearly indicated what drinks they’d prefer. That way, if a mate asks simply asks you for a whiskey and Coke, but doesn’t specify that they’d like the whiskey to be Jameson instead of Jack Daniels, you can just warn them to be more specific when you order the next round. Asking for specifics lets you order with confidence and also takes out the guesswork for your bartender.
Yes, the politeness that your mother insisted on when you were growing up will help you out at the bar, too. You don’t have to overdo it, but simply asking for drinks in a courteous way, and being visibly grateful when you receive them really speaks volumes in a crowded bar. Some staff members have to serve hundreds of patrons during any given shift. Although it may seem slight, a polite and friendly attitude could help you begin to gain a new favourite bartender who learns your name and starts mixing up your preferred drink as soon as you walk through the door on your next visit.
If you get to the point where you’ve had a bit too much to drink, try to keep your head and don’t go down the path of turning into an obnoxious bar guest. If you know that you tend to get a little testy after a night of indulgence, think about bringing a mate along so they can help you determine when it’s time to head home.
Even if these suggestions seem like common sense, they’re far too often ignored. Give yourself an edge by practising them every time you go out for a night of fun, and instantly win the appreciation of the bar staff.
Damien writes for SocialandCocktail.co.uk, where you can find out how to serve up a mean mojito.