How To Order Drinks At The Bar Without Embarrassing Yourself

Illustration by Angelica Alzona

You go to a party where you don’t know anyone, you walked up to the bar to calm some nerves and order some drink, “How do you want it?”, the bartender asked. You had no idea what he meant so you said “Shaken?”, only to have him replied, “No, I meant Gin or Vodka?”. Have you been in that situation? Well, I have and I felt like a fool.

Here’s how to order some drinks without embarrassing yourself.

1.Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

bar 1.jpg
Photo: Unsplash

The easiest way to avoid embarrassing yourself is to admit you have no idea what you’re doing and just ask. In the scenario above, it is better for you to ask what the bartender actually meant rather than to pick an answer out of Bond movie. You don’t work in the industry like he does and it is okay for people to find out you do not go to the bar a lot. It does not make you less interesting. Plus that interaction is with the bartender, whom mostly like, you would only have interaction with for less than 5 minutes . Who cares what he thinks? They would be happy to answer your question if you say, “What do you mean? I have never ordered that drink before”. Alternatively, you can ask for a menu, point out and read out one of the drinks.

2. Learn Some Bar Lingo

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Photo: PicJumbo
  • Here is some common bartender lingo:
  • On the Rocks: With ice. Straight up is without ice.
  • Neat: A drink served at room temperature without ice. Basically a shot straight out of the bottle.
  • Dirty: This is for martini, meaning you want a lot of olive juice in your martini. The more olive juice, the dirtier the martini is.
  • Well Drink: When you order a well drink, you’re basically telling the bartender you have no preference of what brand of alcohol you want, so just give you the cheapest option.

3. Stick to the basics

bar 3.jpg
Photo: Unsplash

The easiest trick is to order a basic drink and stick to it. The easiest order is House White or House Red.

Here are a few other basic drinks to ask for.

  • Ciders: Ciders are fermented with yeast like beer but made with fruit like wine. They are typically pretty sweet.
  • Merlot: It’s a type of red wine and it is quite popular because it is easy to drink, Merlot are often described as “juicy with flavors of chocolate and cherry.”
  • Whiskey Soda or Gin and Tonic: This is pretty standard. You’ll get well whiskey with club soda or gin with tonic water. The formula is basically liquor + fizzy drink. You can swap this out with pretty much any alcohol. Prefer Bourbon? Order a Bourbon soda. Like Vodka? Order a Vodka soda.
  • Martini: If you’re going to order a martini, be prepared to let the bartender know if you what gin or vodka. Traditionally, they’re made with gin. They might also ask you if you want it dry. Dry just means they add less vermouth, which makes the drink a little more bitter. Want more vermouth? Ask for it “wet.” They might ask if you want it shaken in a cocktail shaker or just stirred.

There you go! Some tips on how to order your drinks to save you from looking like an idiot. Enjoy your weekend! Leave a comment if you have other tips to share!







Original article appeared on Lifehacker by Kristin Wong.

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