Welcome to the big leagues. No more frat boys screaming in your face to chug–this is a legitimate adult bar. Maybe you are out with friends or even with co-workers for a happy hour. But are you a legitimate adult? Who cares! As long as you are 21–follow these five simple steps on how to order and conduct yourself at the bar and you will have a great time.
1. Hey Bartender
Make your presence at the bar clear. Stand squarely facing the bartender and try to catch their eye or give them a little wave. The bartender wants to serve you as much as you want to be served–they are likely just busy. Be patient and don’t be rude–snapping, waving cash or yelling at the bartender is a huge no-no. Once they ask you what you are having, speak clearly and loudly (if it is loud in the bar.)
2. “I’ll Have A….”
Know what you are ordering in advance. You should always have a go-to order just in case a super hot bartender turns your way and you draw a blank. There is nothing worse than holding up a busy bartender. Have an old favorite ready or ask your friends what they are having. Something like a vodka soda or Jack and Coke is quick to make and not embarrassing to order.
3. Going Fancy
If you want to get lavish and dive into the cocktail menu, pay attention to every ingredient in the drink and avoid tastes you know you do not like. When in doubt–ask the bartender what they would recommend based on your alcohol preferences and they will be happy to help.
20%. Even if you did not like your drink. Most establishments underpay their staff with the assumption they are receiving tips. Did you have outstanding service? Feel free to tip more.
5. Bar Conduct
Drink, chat and have fun but pay attention to the vibe of the bar and follow it. You are no longer at Sperry Dadbod Epsilon and if you end up on an elevated surface you will likely be quickly escorted out. Drink responsibly and watch that your friends do too. The bartender will always be happy to give you a (free!) water so take advantage of this if things start to go sideways. If you get cut off, be mature and accept that you are done drinking for the night.
Feeling unsafe? Tell the bartender or another employee (either by ordering an “angel shot” or just saying it outright)–bars and clubs want you to be safe and should quickly remove the person who is being an issue.