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18 Secrets Bartenders Want You To Know

They really don't like making mojitos.

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We recently asked bartenders from the BuzzFeed Community to share on-the-job secrets. Here are their best responses:

1. Less ice does not mean more alcohol.

Warner Bros.

"If you ask for light or less ice, it only means that you are getting more juice/soda/mixer in your drink. It never means more alcohol. And because you're getting more mixer, your dumbass is actually requesting a weaker drink." —tanyamccannm

"If you want a stronger drink, ask for a double! Don't think you're being sneaky asking for light ice or light soda because it doesn't change the fact that I will always pour the standard 1.5 oz of liquor unless otherwise asked. Light soda just means you're getting less liquid in your glass." —sarahl518

"'Light ice' does not mean more booze. Ever. You think you're gaming the system; I think you're stupid — and now all you have is extra cranberry juice or tonic. Move along." —shelbyh4c04fd8a6

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2. If you want to be served first all night in a crowded bar, tip well on your first order.

GQ

"Want a bartender to serve you first all night in a crowded bar? Tip very well on you first drink order. We will remember you and more likely come back to serve you before others. Just make sure you tip on every drink." —tacotacotacos

3. It pays to be a regular. (And it's quite easy to get to that level.)

Universal Pictures

"Yes, I treat my regulars really well. Why? Because they're REGULARS. I can count on them for steady business and I see them every week, so, yeah, we have a good relationship. You want to be a regular? Come in more, even if it's just for one drink before you go somewhere else! Talk to me, talk to other regulars. It's a LOT easier than you think to be remembered at a bar. And yes the benefits can include a discount, free shots, and the bartender remembering your drink order and having it ready the second they see you." —lizm4afe0a7a0

4. This is what happens when you ask for "a strong one."

E!

"If you tell me to 'make it a strong one' I'm putting a few drops of booze in your straw and making you a drink of 90% juice." —jackis4e11a2f3d

"If you send your drink back because it doesn't taste like there's any alcohol in there, we just put a tiny drip of alcohol in the straw. You don't actually get more alcohol." —juliew18

5. They know exactly how much you've had to drink.

Fox

"We know exactly how much you've had to drink and when to cut you off, so if you think I didn't see you order five shots with another bartender after I served you a rum and coke, you thought wrong." —jessica Day

6. If you're in a crowded bar, do not order a martini.

Paul McCartney / Parlophone

"Do not order drinks that come in martini glasses in a crowded bar. Especially when you have to cross the floor. You WILL spill half of your drink. Save martini-style drinks, blended drinks, and complicated drinks for slow nights or dinner events. If you are at a nightclub the ingredients for your cocktail should be in the name of your drink (e.g. rum and coke, vodka tonic, gin and soda). Keep it simple, pay cash, and know what your ENTIRE group wants before the bartender gets to you." —rjj4a672e16d

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8. Don't flirt with the bartender, for the love of God.

20th Television

"Don't flirt with your bartender if you wouldn't flirt with your dry cleaner or even your doctor. I'm selling alcohol, not sex." —jessica Day

"The single worst thing a human can do in a bar is hit on their bartender. It's happened to me more times than I'd like to remember and it's so awkward. You try being at work and forcing politeness to a belligerently drunk asshole as they repeatedly hit on you. Yay to dealing with sexual harassment so I can keep my job." —jackis4e11a2f3d

9. This is how they actually make tropical drinks.

The Keebler Company

"I have no clue how to make a Mai Tai or any other tropical themed drink. I just make it red and no one has ever said otherwise." —rachelmarie

10. Don't leave your number on the "merchant copy" receipt.

Warner Bros.

"If you're convinced you really hit it off with a bartender, leave them your number. Just don't write it on the 'merchant copy' receipt! We have to turn those in at the end of the night." —catrobich

11. When the lights come on, please leave.

Bravo

"When the lights come on PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO HOME. I still have at least an hour of cleaning to do and I can't start while you're slowly sipping on that cocktail that you just HAD to buy five minutes before close." —lizm4afe0a7a0

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12. If you do something weird, the entire bar staff will know about it in less than five minutes.

VH1

"Yes, we are talking about you. If you do something weird, the entire staff will know about it in less than 5 minutes." —marcir4a053965c

"We communicate everything behind the bar, so if you're being a dick to me, everyone behind the bar is going to know. The same applies if you're being really nice to me." —oliviab479b3c976

13. But this is how much you should tip in general.

NBC

"If you're getting a beer or a simple whiskey and coke, a $1 tip is completely acceptable and appreciated. If you're at a restaurant ordering a $13 Grey Goose martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives that I made myself, in a martini glass that I chilled, a $1 tip isn't gonna cut it. If you were seated in the restaurant, you'd be expecting to tip 18-20%. Which equates to a $2-2.60 tip." —kirstenc4ef6c54f5

"For drinks, don't worry about an exact 20%. $1 per drink if it's a beer, shot, or something super easy, $2 for something more complicated (like something that needs to be shaken/layered), and 20% at nicer bars where you're getting cocktails $10 and up." —Anna Coleman, Facebook

"If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink in a bar." —Megan Mayfield, Facebook

14. Don't wave your money to get a bartender's attention.

youtube.com

"Cannot say this enough... Do. Not. Wave. Your. Money. At. Me. Especially if I am very obviously busy making a drink for another customer. I might have had it in my head to serve you next but best believe if you do that shit you're the last person I'm serving. (Whistling and snapping your fingers are also terrible ways to get my attention.)" —treamariemc

"I work at a high-volume bar. If you wave money in my face or try to yell at me to get my attention, you're at the back of the line." —oliviab479b3c976

15. Don't use terms like "honey" or "sweetie" to get the attention of a female bartender.

Lionsgate

"Don't call female bartenders 'honey, darling, sweet, love, babe, sugar'." it's incredibly offensive because we're adult women, not children or your girlfriend. That goes for both male and female customers." —saril

16. This is what bartenders do when they go out to drink.

Lampray

"When I go out to other bars I'll usually wait to order a cocktail until I see the bartender make someone else's cocktail. I'll count their pour and decide if I'm going to get a cocktail myself (a no if it's a 4- or 5-second pour because that's weak) or sticking with beer and wine." — ruthlarson10

18. These are the three easy steps to being the best customer.

Lyrick Studios

"The BEST way to get on a bartender's good side is to know your order when asked, say please and thank you, and tip 20%." —oliviab479b3c976

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