Whether you drink or not, doing so well (or at least knowing how to do it well) can be important in a number of social contexts.
Here are some basic points I’ve collected over the years.
- Decide what you want before you go to the bar; don’t make the bartender or anyone else wait
- Order the alcohol first, and the mixer second
- Say the name of the brand first
- To signal the bartender, have payment ready and lean in
- The right way to order is like so: “Belvedere and Tonic”, or “Grey Goose and Tonic”
- If you’re ordering lots of stuff, start with cocktails, then go to wines, then end with beers (that said, Guinness earlier because it takes a long time to pour)
- Know that you’re being annoying if you constantly order water. You should be getting drinks as well with it
- Even if you’re paying with cash, give the bartender a credit card. Say something like, “I’m paying with cash, but you can hold onto this until then.”
- If the bar is busy, order more simply; it’s nice to the bartender and to the other patrons
- Always toast before doing a shot
- Whoever buys the shot gets the first chance to offer a toast
- Do not make eye-contact with the bartender if you don’t want a drink
- If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to drink in a bar. Go to the liquor store
- Never tip with coins that have touched you. If your change is $1.50, you can tellthe barmaid to keep the change, but once she has handed it to you, you cannot give it back. To a bartender or cocktail waitress, small change has no value
- Asking a bartender what beers are on tap when the handles are right in front of you is the equivalent of saying, “I’m an idiot.”
- Unless you’re a regular, don’t ask for names
- A flask engraved with a personal message is one of the best gifts you can ever give. And make sure there’s something in it
- Back means non-alcohol chaser, by itself. E.g.: Shot of Jack Daniel’s with a Coke back.
- Chilled means cold. How about that.
- Dirty means with olive juice
- Double means twice the liquor
- Dry means it’s made with dry vermouth and it’s used in gin and vodka martinis
- Frozen means blended
- Neat means without ice and in an old-fashioned glass
- On the rocks is with ice. Makes sense.
- Sweet means made with sweet vermouth
- Top Shelf means with expensive alcohol, e.g., Top Shelf Long Island Ice Tea
- Up means chilled and strained into a martini glass
- With a twist means to add a twist of lemon
- Coat the rim of the glass with kosher salt
- Cîroc (France, wine-like, five-times distilled)
- Belvedere (Polish rye vodka, made in Poland)
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Made in Austin, Texas, named for the creator’s (Bert Butler) nickname by his Hispanic nannies)
- Türi (Estonia, four-times distilled, smooth and clean with a mild and peppery aftertaste)
- Grey Goose (Made in France, considered to be overpriced)
- Tangqueray London Dry (London, now Scotland)
- Beefeater (England)
- Bombay Dry (England)
- Broker’s London Dry (England)
- Mezcal Mule with Sombra
- Moscow Mule with Belvedere
- Tanqueray and Tonic
- Ask the bartender if you can buy them a shot. Choose something bartenders like, perhaps Fernet Branca or Jameson (HT @JS)
- If you’re going to have any sort of regular presence, start with one drink and leave a $5 tip, regardless of what you ordered
- The bartender is always right; if she says you’re being too loud, you are. Even if you’re not. Do what she/he says and come back another time. They’ll respect that you respected them
- I’m not an expert on this stuff. I’m an advanced n00b who likes to understand things, so this is a work in progress.
- Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Order-a-Drink-at-a-Bar
- Source: http://www.drunkard.com/86-rules-of-boozing/
- Source: http://www.sfgate.com/wine/cocktailian/article/10-rules-to-drink-by-Good-etiquette-in-any-bar-3674604.php
- A Well Drink is the cheapest alcohol available.