Have you ever gone out to the bar on a Tuesday night with your pledge brothers, knowing it’s dollar beer night, and one of your boys orders something that sounds like it is straight out of Cosmo? Have you ever gone to the bar during the winter holidays for a giant reunion with your friends, and seen some GDI run up to the bar and try and order seven red-headed sluts as he’s yelling to his friend about the girl five feet from you? Do you think bartenders get annoyed when a 30-year-old woman comes up to them, needing immediate attention, and then just makes them wait as she stares at the cocktail menu for fifteen minutes, asking about the difference between whiskey and gin?
With these questions in mind, I present to you the bartender rants, or “How To Avoid Acting Like An Obnoxious GDI At The Bar, At 21 Or 31.” I’m going to skip the whole “How To Get A Bartender’s Attention” section and go straight to the important things.
Firstly, when you order drinks, have your order ready. If there are 300 people at the bar, don’t make me wait fifteen minutes for your order. I only have a limited amount of time to make drinks for these 300 people, and I don’t have time for you to go “I’d like a wine, WAIT what’s your finest wine? Ummm maybe a light beer, and five shots, but SURPRISE ME!”
Listen, the only thing you might be surprised with at a bar is herpes. If I make you a surprise shot that has whiskey, but you didn’t tell me you hated whiskey, you’re still going to pay for it. Follow a pattern when ordering: cocktails, then wines, then beers, in order of how complex it is to make them. Know what you’re ordering as well– I can explain drinks to you on a slow night, but when I have a bunch of people to take care of, I can’t tell you the measuring specifics of sugar and bitters in an Old Fashioned.
Speaking of ordering, when you are at the bar and the bartender asks you, “Hey, what can I get for you?” the answer is not “One second, I need to text my slam.” You’re at a bar, not family dinner. If I have to wait five minutes for you to text Black Betty slam before you order your “five Jager Bombs and uhh…one Bud Light,” I’m going to put a little more douche into your Jager Bomb order than you’d expect.
Also, know your scenery, and what day it is. For example, I work at a quaint Austin, Texas lounge. We are not a place with 100 beers on tap, nor do we cater towards the Jersey Shore drink menu. Knowing that, a 21-year-old girl should probably have her bar privileges revoked when she comes in on a Monday night after her Young Democrats meeting and asks me, “Hey, do you guys have any Ciroc?” Know that if you’re on a weekday date, and your date orders Makers neat, and you order a frozen cocktail, you’re probably not going to see her again. Also, Monday night Jager Bombs is probably not a good idea for a first date either.
On the topic of Ciroc, who the hell drinks that besides Diddy and that sixth-year senior whose wardrobe consists of Tapout, Ed Hardy, and his retro FUBU jersey? The same goes for Fireball. Who drinks that shit?
Know your drinks, that’s all I’m saying. The standard garnish in a vodka soda is a lime, and it’s always on rocks, so don’t fucking tell me, “VODKA SODA ROCKS.” I’m a bartender, not a 3-year-old kid learning how to string words together. Don’t tell me you’re a whiskey man, then ask for cocktail menu, or say I want a light beer, and then order Guinness.
Finally, paying and tipping. There’s a reason college bars suck to work at (thank God I don’t work at one). 18-year-old kids have no idea how to tip, unless by some miracle their parents instilled the “take care of the people that pour your Pepsis and ginger ales” into them during family dinners at Salt Lick Barbeque. If you intend to become a regular at any bar in the future, a 20% tip is recommended. Twenty percent is not $2 on a $40 tab, like this one older gentleman paid Friday. If you got special service (extra shots, beer for cheap) 25% is recommended. The only time the one-buck-a-drink rule works is if it’s dollar beer night, or if you’re family. Have your credit card ready to pay, or if it’s another form of payment, have that ready. Once again, if there are 300 people at the bar, and you’re shoveling through your purse, or tell me “put five on this card, three on this card, and the rest I’ll pay in euros” you are not going to get good service the next time you come into the bar.
These are simple tips to help you, not only during college, but post-college. Follow these tips, and you won’t have to take home the unwanted slampiece when the lights go on, since you’ve already closed with the hot regular, who was impressed with your bar etiquette, and ability to drink the whiskey cocktail menu.