I’m a Bartender, Here Are the Drinks I Judge You for Ordering

I’m a Bartender, Here Are the Drinks I Judge You for Ordering

There are certain drinks bartenders, like me, who will secretly judge you for ordering. We’ll happily make it for you, but the truth is that we’re rolling our eyes on the inside.

Bars are filled with people trying to look cool. Maybe you’re trying to impress your group of friends. Maybe you’re trying — and failing — to woo a date. Or maybe you just want to appear cool in front of me, your bartender.

No matter what kind of drink you order, we’ll happily make it with a smile. But there are some types of drinks we’ll secretly judge you for requesting.

Here are some orders that bartenders are sure to wince at.

You order a filthy martini with a top-shelf spirit

With a few exceptions, such as when the cocktail is super spirit-forward, house cocktails are always made with the bottom shelf — or “well” — spirits. Because why waste a perfectly good top-shelf spirit?

If I gave you a blind tasting of two filthy martinis, one with Grey Goose, one with the house vodka, I highly doubt you would be able to tell which was which. At least not in a meaningful way. Some bartenders go so far as to judge any and all dirty martini orders – especially when a blue-cheese-stuffed olive is requested.

Personally, I’m unbothered. That is, until, you besmirch a perfectly good top-shelf gin or vodka that can stand on its own.

Actually, requesting an uppermost echelon spirit in any mixed drink is kind of silly

The same principle applies to any mixed drink. Even if it’s a more refined cocktail, like an Old Fashioned. I’ll do it. But it will hurt me inside to add even a dash of bitters and a bar spoon of sweetener to the $US25 Nikka Coffey Whiskey Old Fashioned you just ordered.

We judge when large groups all order the same thing

Don’t be square. Live a little. Just because you’re wearing matching tees doesn’t mean your drink orders have to correspond too.

You ask for your martini shaken

Please. Unless it’s a Vesper – calm down, James Bond.

Hint: There’s a reason martinis are stirred. And it has nothing to do with how manly you are, and everything to do with the type of ingredients involved. Our decision to stir instead of shake is pretty cemented, and it’s based on how the ingredients dilute, interact, and ultimately appear in the glass.

You order an Long Island Tea when you’re somewhere fancy

Assess your environment. Look around.

Say, for example, if the lighting is decent, and your bartender is wearing a tie, vest, or blouse: Don’t order a Long Island Iced Tea. Or a Blue Motorcycle, an Irish Trash Can, or a Slippery Nipple.

These are cocktails designed basically to get you as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. And they taste – unremarkable. Let a bartender at a refined joint get you drunk in at least a memorably tasty way.

But by all means, when you find yourself at a dive, go ahead and revel in the blasphemy of combining multiple spirits in one glass.

You’re at a dive bar and order something obnoxiously high-end

Don’t ask the bartender what smoked salts the bar has available for a bespoke margarita when you’re at a dive bar.

On second thought, never ask us about our smoked salts (yes, people actually request this). It’s an inquiry that somehow manages to make you sound both silly and pretentious.

You order a rum and Diet Coke

You’re drinking cane-based booze. You might as well pile it on.

You order a complex drink whose substitutions make it a basic drink

When people try to mask their more basic, but desired, drink choice with substitutions, it’s their insecurity that I judge, not their desire to have a vodka soda.

So please. Just ask for a vodka soda. Don’t ask for a gimlet, sub-gin-for-vodka, sub-lime-and-sweetener-for-soda.

You arbitrarily add egg white to your drink

Whiskey sour. Amaretto sour. Ramos gin fizz. These are the drinks it is appropriate to request egg white with if it’s not already assumed. A gin and tonic is not.

You ask me to make you ‘whatever you want’

Bartenders hate this. Don’t do it. Be decisive. Or at least be decisive when I ask a follow-up question.

“Refreshing or spirit-forward?” “Up or on the rocks?” “Bitter or smoky?”

When people insist on sticking with the “whatever you want” script when pressed to answer questions to find a perfect drink, you’re hurting me when you should be helping me help you.

Also, here’s a trade secret from me to you: We have a favourite drink to make. It’s called a neat pour of anything.

You order a well-known brand, but dismiss my suggestions for a better, lesser-known one

Part of our job is to know what’s well-marketed versus what’s good. So I’ll always throw side-eye to someone who dismisses a suggested spirit that would have probably both saved them money, and enhanced their drink.

You order ice in your wine

I say this as a person who does this occasionally. But only on three-dollar wine night. And with a healthy dose of shame.

You request an obscure garnish

Some people have weird neuroses about drink garnishes, while others treat the bartender like a Subway sandwich artist at the garnish station. I fondly recall when a guest asked for “a single blueberry” in his drink, which we happened to have on hand.

Another common eye roll is asking for multiple cherries. Fun fact: Those babies cost 33 cents a pop.

You request a menu drink, but ask to substitute vodka

Don’t do this. Don’t make me explain the vast taste difference between scotch and vodka and why that substitution won’t fly. Then again, it’s fine. You do you. Live your best life. Order whatever you want.

Just know, we are judging you.

Want to make your own cocktails at home? Here are a few gin-based options that will impress your pals every time.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider. Read the original story here.

This article has been updated and reshared since its original publish date.

Lead Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

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