When you go to a bar, your intention usually isn’t to appear to be lame. Actually, most places you go, your intention isn’t to be lame, but that is especially true at a bar, a place with optimal odds of meeting someone of the opposite sex. Bars are places people go to for many different reasons: to watch a game, to let off steam, to celebrate. Whether the inciting reason that you came to said bar is a joyous one or a sad one, you likely want to have a good time there, and you know, possibly meet someone attractive.
Unfortunately, the most fundamental act at a bar, ordering a drink, can leave a “this person is lame” stamp on your forehead. Yes, ordering certain drinks can indicate your level of lameness and you might not even realize it. The landmines while ordering a drink come in many different shapes and sizes. You can come off as too cheap or too showy, like someone who doesn’t know anything about alcohol at all or like a snob who knows way too much about alcohol.
Mostly, you’ll just annoy the bartender, unless, of course, the cutie three seats down hears you order like a complete jackass. An even worse scenario could be if you are grabbing drinks with a client, coworker or boss, who are people you want to impress. In order to impress the cutie, friends, a boss, whoever it may be, do not order these 10 terrible drinks:
10. Long Island Iced Tea
If you’re one of the 30 people in the world who actually likes drinking a Long Island iced tea, then by all means, go ahead. Unfortunately, ordering a Long Island iced tea is like telling the bartender that you want to get wasted, which is something bartenders, who are held accountable for anything that happens if you leave their bar inebriated, do not want. Sure, they want you to get drunk and rack up your tab, but blackout wasted? No. Plus, there’s like five different liquors in a Long Island iced tea, none of which you particularly taste because of the amazing way it all mixes together. Bartenders, who take pride in liquor knowledge and their ability to make craft cocktails, like customers who prefer one liquor over another, not twelve of them shaken up and served to you. If you’re looking to get wasted, knocking back a martini after martini will do the trick and will make you look much cooler than a Long Island iced tea.
9. Anything Blended
Requesting a blended piña colada or margarita at a busy bar is death. Unless there is a blended drink specifically listed on the menu, ordering something blended is a big no-no. The bartender will have to mix the drink, then add ice and blend it all before serving it to you. This may not seem like a big deal but when there are twelve other people at the bar who need a drink (most likely not blended), the extra step of getting something blended is stupid – especially considering whether blended or on the rocks, it is all exactly the same ingredients.
8. The Cheapest Thing On The Menu
Saying that you’ll have “the cheapest thing on the menu” or “the cheapest beer on draught” is like telling the bartender that you’re not going to tip them. On that note, don’t ever request something for a happy hour price if it’s not happy hour. You will get shut down and look like a dumbass. If you are ordering the cheapest thing on the menu or requesting something for a happy hour price, clearly you don’t have enough money to be out drinking at a bar, let alone leave the bartender a tip for their service and hospitality. You will likely only get this drink and then be ignored by the bartender for the rest of the time that you’re there. It should be noted that simply ordering the cheapest thing on the menu by name (“I’ll have a Miller Lite”) is okay. The tacky part is specifically asking for “the cheapest.”
7. Anything So Sugary, It’s Dessert
If grenadine, whipped cream and a sugar rim are a few of your favorite things, then you probably order some sugary, sugary drinks. Not only are those drinks 1000 pointless calories but they can be blamed for your killer hangover the next day. On top of that, the sugary mixers or garnishes will mask the taste of the liquor in your drink, which is why chocolate martinis topped with whipped cream and a cherry are usually ordered by 20-something girls who haven’t figured out what they like to drink yet. Order an adult drink and save yourself the embarrassment of getting whipped cream on your nose.
6. Requesting Something That’s Not On The Menu
Please, read the menu before ordering. Ordering simple cocktails that require one or two mixers or standard cocktails like an old fashioned or martini is perfectly fine if they aren’t listed on a menu (because any fully stocked bar should be able to whip these up). Ordering a more complex cocktail that isn’t listed on the menu is just lame. If a mojito is not on the menu, don’t order one. Who knows if they even stock the bar with mint, which is one of the main ingredients to a mojito. Having them say that they cannot make your cocktail makes you look like you can’t order a drink and will not impress anyone you are with.
5. “A Screwdriver”
Oh, so you want a vodka-orange juice. That’s cool. Just order a vodka-orange juice instead of saying “a screwdriver.” It’s cool that a simple drink like vodka and orange juice has a fancy nickname like screwdriver, but using it is anything but fancy. It’s pretty lame and makes you look pretty dumb. The bartender will roll their eyes before pouring vodka and orange juice into a glass and serving it to you. Also, everyone else who knows that a screwdriver is just vodka and orange juice will roll their eyes as well.
4. The Strongest Drink You Have
Want to annoy a bartender? Ask for the strongest drink they have. Most likely, the bartender will point you to one of their signature cocktails because they really don’t want to be bothered with this dumb request from someone who doesn’t know what they want to drink but is trying to get blackout drunk. After this, they will keep an eye on you because, obviously, you’re trying to get wasted and they have a responsibility to not over-serve anyone. If you’ve recently been broken up with and want to drink yourself into a stupor, that’s fine, but just do it at home while binge-watching something like a normal person.
This drink is wrong on two different levels. First of all, all drinks should be ordered with the liquor first and the mixer second. You should order a “vodka-cranberry” not a “cranberry vodka.” Ordering a drink by specifying the mixer first makes you look like a rookie. Secondly, a vodka-cranberry is the official drink of every 19-year-old girl at the bar. The strong taste of the cranberry masks the taste of vodka, which is great for 19-year-old girls who have yet to develop a preference for anything other than cheap beer from a keg at a frat party. Once you’re old enough to legally drink, don’t order a vodka-cranberry.
2. Something From Another Restaurant
Sure, you may have had an amazing bourbon cocktail from that restaurant up the street, but describing the cocktail to the bartender of another restaurant and requesting it is offensive and annoying. Ordering this is like saying that the other restaurant has better drinks. Branch out and try something from the restaurant you’re at. Who knows, they may have something even better. Plus, no bartender ever wants to be instructed on how to make a drink. If you like another restaurant’s cocktail so much, just go there instead.
1. Asking For Their Favorite Drink
This annoying request is usually asked as a way to start conversation with the bartender, whose favorite drink may not be something you’d like at all, as they may like whiskey, which you have sworn off after a rough night during your junior year of college. The bartender will usually just point you to one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, something for which that they are known for. A better way to start this conversation is to ask if they have any great cocktails made with gin, vodka, whiskey or whatever liquor you prefer. This will make it seem like you know what kind of drinks you generally like, will open the door for a conversation, and, most importantly, will not make you look like a stooge.