As bartenders, we can be a judgy lot. It’s not intentional, it’s just what years of being a fly on the wall has taught us. At the end of the day, you should order what you want because you like it. But if you are curious, read on to see what your bartender really thinks of your cocktail order.
1. Long Island Iced Tea
Amateur hour. If you order a Long Island, it is typically for one of two reasons. 1) You don’t know what else to order. 2) You want to get drunk as fast as possible. There is no legitimate reason why a person would order a LIIT.
2. Espresso Martini
Enjoy that hangover tomorrow. Yes, they taste delicious, but the combo of booze, caffeine, and sugar is tougher on your body than Cuervo shots.
Damn you. There is something about preparing Mojitos that pisses off bartenders. I suppose it is the time-consuming muddling process, but there are plenty of muddled cocktails that don’t bother us to make. Perhaps it’s that Mojitos tend to be ordered when the bar is at the busiest, or that they’re so damn refreshing that as soon as you make one, everyone else wants one too.
4. Dry Martini
You are a sophisticated alcoholic. A Dry Martini is essentially three shots of chilled vodka/gin served in a fancy glass. Martini drinkers can hold their booze with flair.
5. Vesper Martini
You know what you are doing. A Vesper is a great drink, and it became famous for being one of James Bond’s cocktails of choice. Similar in booziness to a regular Martini, but with a bit more balance, thanks to the addition of Lillet or Cocchi Americano. It is often considered the “original Martini” which lends a sense of history to your drink order.
6. Old Fashioned
Classic, but boring. Over the past decade, the Old Fashioned has become ubiquitous, and the default drink order for a certain type of urban-dwelling, typically male young professional. There’s nothing wrong with an Old Fashioned, but it’s just as the name suggests: unoriginal.
Classic, but not boring. The Manhattan exists in the same world as the Martini; it’s a perfect drink that’s an exercise in simplicity, while still allowing for a range of customization. Bourbon or rye? Twist or cherry? The Manhattan is the Old Fashioned’s more sophisticated cousin.
Classic, but cool. Bracing gin makes up the base, and Campari adds both bitterness and a touch of Italian flair to this classic cocktail. The Negroni is becoming more of a common drink order nowadays, but still not so common that half the bar is drinking one.
Classic, but cooler. Essentially a whiskey-based Negroni, the Boulevardier is a favorite among bartenders. The whiskey gives the cocktail a more rounded taste, and mellows at the bitterness of Campari for those who are opposed to it. This is typically ordered by patrons who really know their cocktails, and know just how they like it.
10. Last Word
You have an elevated palate. Another classic that has become increasingly popular in recent years, this Chartreuse-forward cocktail has a complex, herbal flavor profile that might intimidate some drinkers. Guests who order the Last Word, appreciate a bold, balanced cocktail.
11. Bloody Mary (outside of brunch hours)
I’ll make you one, but you are doing it wrong. A Bloody Mary is not an anytime drink — it serves a purpose. The blend of sodium and vodka eases your weekend hangover and is best paired with eggs, toast, and sunshine. Something about a 10 p.m. Bloody to accompany your pasta dinner just isn’t right.
You might be a woo girl. Grapefruit juice, tequila, soda — the Paloma is a great way to start off a night on the town. Typically ordered by groups of ladies, the Paloma can serve as a bridge from rosé to tequila shots.
13. Skinny Margarita
You are definitely a woo girl. It’s the classic party girl drink, but you’ll also see plenty of guys ordering them on the low. Most bartenders would recommend a nice tequila on the rocks over a Skinny Marg, but if you need that lime juice and agave, we will give it to you.
14. Mezcal in anything
You care about being on trend. Mezcal, tequila’s smoky cousin, has become the new, hip spirit. If you live in NYC or LA, odds are your friends are subbing mezcal in their Margaritas or Negronis, or simply sipping it straight.
15. Tiki drink
You are a good time. Tiki drinks, like the Painkiller, Zombie, or Mai Tai, are classic, fun cocktails with a seemingly endless list of delicious ingredients. Tiki drinks are playful, often meant to be shared, and are best enjoyed at an authentically kitsch tiki bar. How can you not have fun when your drink is served with a paper umbrella?