Video:How to Get a Drink at a Barwith Jonathon E. Stewart
Going out can be a lot of fun, but what if everyone is having so much fun that the bar's packed and you can't get a drink? Check out these pointers and your glass will always be full.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Get a Drink at a Bar
Hey guys! Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Ever found yourself in a hoppin' gin joint faced with a seemingly impenetrable wall of thirsty people mashed up against the bar and wondered, how the heck can a guy get a drink around here? Well, stick with me, learn a few tricks of the trade, and you'll be sipping the sweet, sweet liquor in no time.
Tips for Getting the Bartender's Attention
Rule number one: Be cool. The goal here is to immediately establish and maintain a rapport with your bartender - so if you're pushy, impolite, annoyed-looking, or cheap, prepare to be waiting until there's nothing better for your barkeep to do than serve you, jerky. That's not to say that you shouldn't be a little aggressive in getting through the crowd. Remember that if the bartender can't see you, there's no way she's going to be able to serve you.
Rule number two: Get noticed. If you can't get right up to the bar, get right up next to someone who's at the bar - once they finish, you'll be in prime position. Keep a pleasant smile on your face, and try to maintain eye contact with the bartender. Don't wave your hands or yell. And, make sure not to stand behind the beer taps, where you might not be seen, or in the waiter's service well, where you're likely to get glared at, elbowed, or even worse, ignored. If you're with a group, you should definitely nominate one person to get the round for everyone - go for well-dressed and well-groomed - remember, bartenders are there to make money, so look like money.
More Tips for Getting the Bartender's Attention
Rule number three: know how to order. Make sure you know exactly what you want when the bartender arrives. If you're ordering a beer, be specific, and if you're ordering a drink with liquor - ask for the liquor first, then the mixer, like a vodka soda or a gin and tonic. If you want a shot, ask for a shot, and if you want your cocktail in a glass with no ice, ask for it "neat." And if you're ordering a drink by name, make sure it's relatively common and easy to make, like a margarita on the rocks. If you order a martini, be specific - do you want gin or vodka, up or on the rocks, and with a twist or olives. And if you want a stiff pour, ask for a double - if you want a drink with more mixer, ask for it "tall".
Additional Tips for Getting the Bartender's Attention
Rule number four: know how to pay. Cash is always best, and casually holding out a large bill like a hundred just might get you served more quickly as well. If you're sticking around for more than one drink, you can also open a tab with a credit card.
But far and away the most important thing you can do at this point, is tip well. A buck a drink is still standard in a lot of places, but in high end joints where you might be paying upwards of 10-15 dollars a drink, it's better to think about landing at 20% of the total price. But if you really want to be taken care of the rest of the night, throw down something noticeably generous, like a 20 dollar bill on a round of drinks for four. Be sure to ask your bartender's name and slide him the tip personally, so he knows to look out for you when you come back.
Things to Remember When Drinking at the Bar
You don't have to be a huge tipper all night, but that first one will earn you a lot of good will, and maybe even a few free drinks. I know it's shocking, but this little trick can sometimes make your name magically appear on lists at those velvet rope spots, too, although it might take a little more than a 20. Salut!
Thanks for watching - to learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.