How to pick up the female bartender

Be attractive. Don’t be a regular.

From a highly scientific survey of fellow bartenders… plus my own experience.

First of all, know a few things:

  • We get hit on all the fucking time. If I go a single shift without being hit on, it’s abnormal. And at this point, at least a few dudes in the bar on any given night have hit on me, either that night or previously.
Actual vantage point of the female bartender
  • We are not here to have fun — you are here to have fun. You’re on that side of the bar, but we’re on this side. We are at work, and we might be having fun at work and like what we do, but we are first and foremost working. With few exceptions, our primary goal back here is to make money, not fuck or find a partner.
  • We’re all different back here (and not just because of hair color, height or tit size.) Some might be DTF at the drop of a hat. But spoiler alert: some of us, like myself, are not at all worth your time.

Step 1: Lay some initial groundwork.

Like, be in the bar before it gets too busy. Don’t dominate her attention when she has other customers waiting.

Don’t order a stupid-ass drink. (Or do — whatever — if that’s your conversation starter. But tread carefully with your fucking grenadine, my friend.)

Don’t be a regular. Most bartenders would rather keep their regulars than sleep with you. Don’t shit where you eat.

Be a decent human being. Don’t expect free shit. Don’t get too drunk. Don’t be a douche. Don’t be a dick (pro tip: your “cute and not that offensive” nickname you use to address us is actually only offensive, and not at all cute.) Always tip. Don’t stalk.

Make sure she’s single, and/or has poor standards. And straight, if you’re a dude.

Step 2: Be attractive.

Don’t be unattractive.

(Includes being “average” but having an accent.)

Step 3: Be “charming.”

But lol, for the most part this just means “be attractive.”

Because statistically speaking, we see looks and personality as the same thing.

Step 4: Do NOT tip a lot.

You think that’s counter-intuitive, don’t you? Maybe a typo?

It’s not.

There are people out there who will advise that you “pay for your first drink with cash, and then leave a huge tip” because “this gets her attention.”

But these “people” are a.) salty AF dudes who’ve read too many bad pick-up tips, and b.) not female bartenders.

The truth is:

Nothing will lock a customer into “customer-zone” faster than shoving our face in the fact that he (or she) is paying to be here. You want to be treated like a customer and nothing more? Then double down on your customer-y monetary transaction. The more you tip, the more valuable you become as a customer.

We’re not here to be fucking bought. Expecting us to respond to this and do your work of translating “transactional” into “relational” is insulting at best.

Step 5: Be *remarkably* different.

I’ve given out my number exactly one time.

And it was to a 60 year old woman. Her first name was Debbi, no “e,” but everyone called her by her last name. She had a fantastic pixie cut, stark white against her slightly-tanned fantastic skin, and she ordered a draft beer — and a shot of Jamo. At 2 pm.

When Debbi learned that I had a motorcycle, she lit up and said that she’d been riding for 40 years. Then she asked if I was looking for a place to live, because she had an empty rental property in the area. I just so happened to be month-to-month in my current place and open to it, so I scribbled out my info and slid it across the bar.

Debbi is the sort of woman who shares articles on positive aging as a woman on social media and recognizes bartenders she just met as “kindred spirits.” She is the sort of woman we all want to be.

But unless you are Debbi without an “e,” your odds of getting in with me are literally next-to-nothing. Especially since I’m not single, but honestly either way.

But others do have loopholes.

Step 6: Do the work.

Apart from Debbi, who was obviously different… you have to leave your number, not ask for ours. We don’t give out our numbers to customers — because, see first bullet: “we get hit on all the fucking time.”

Don’t make it confrontational. Just write that shit on the receipt, or leave a business card or something. If we want to contact you, we’ll work it out.

If it’s more of “tonight, not later” situation, then you have to wait until we’re off and go in for the kill accordingly. Don’t expect us to scoop you up like our bag on our way out the door.

It’s your job to figure out what we want

If we’re only down for a hookup, we don’t want to be courted longterm. If we literally do not do one-night stands, don’t bother hanging around til close.

If we have zero desire to go on a date or hook up with you, your game is pretty much 86’d.

Step 7: Repeat

Because familiarity is a strong driver of attraction.

We like the people we see a lot. But, there’s a fine line here between “familiar” and “regular.”

Step 8: Profit

Or… accept defeat.

Because, look, we already know like a millisecond in — or sometimes before you even walk in the door — if we’re gonna respond to you.

If we wouldn’t be interested in a million years (lol, iz me) then you gonna have to wait a million years — or, more preferably, move the fuck along.

Some of us are here to work and only work, so to pull our attention off that goal and get us to risk our self-respect, reputation among colleagues, and sheer freedom of coming into work knowing we’ll never have a hook-up staring at us across the bar like a shit show in our place of business… would take something just short of a miracle.

It all depends on the bartender.

Secrets your bartender will keep on your behalf

Like how you act when your SO isn’t here. Or that sadness behind your eyes.

TL;DR eye contact and a knowing look speak volumes.

Here’s a short list of secrets we’ll keep on your behalf.


The fact that you have been here 3 times this week with 3 different dates

And everything you say and do, right down to what you order and suggest for her, is hyper-choreographed.

Not that I give a fuck. It doesn’t matter that you have a first (or second) date go-to — in fact, I fuckin like your style. Totally agree it takes the guesswork out and frees up focus for conversation (which, by the sounds of it, is also choreographed, but whatever — #firstdates.)

But regardless of how I feel about it, it’s my fucking job to be discrete about who else you bring and how often. And any bartender worth his or her salt would agree.

Fun story: When I lived in downtown Denver, I sometimes frequented this upscale sports bar across the street from me — especially when hanging out with dudes. In a single week I went there with a friend, a lunch date that went nowhere, and my brother. I had the same server each time, and on the third visit he was all, “oh hey! You were just in here with that other guy.” My brother thought it was hilarious, of course. And clearly no harm, no foul.

But like… duuuude.

The fact that you know nothing about what you’re ordering but want your date to think you do

I won’t correct you when you mispronounce it or misinform them with some fake facts. Partly because they probably don’t know nothing anything about it, either, so probably won’t remember one way or the other.

But mostly because you telling them about the drink isn’t really about the drink. It’s about you guys building rapport, and I am the wingman.

The fact that you totally slept with that other customer, or want to be more than friends with the “we’re just friends” friend sitting next to you

Pretty much, anything you tell us about your love life stays behind the bar.

Significant others

The fact that you come here way more than your SO thinks

We get it; we’re your escape. As long as you’re well-behaved and don’t give us any reason to say otherwise, we haven’t seen you since you say you last came in.

The fact that you do NOT come here as much as your SO thinks

Perhaps even more important. The fact that you are not here on nights when it later becomes apparent they think you were.

We don’t give a fuck where you are or what you do when you’re not here drinking. They obviously do, but we care more about keeping you as a customer (and not enough about your inter-relational differences) to agree with you.

This also means, word to the wise / any “bar-regular’s” significant other: we don’t bite the hand that feeds us. Like anybody in a service role, being good at your job means understanding who the client is, and agreeing that they are (almost) always right. So if you want deets, the odds increase exponentially if you become a regular in your own right.

The fact that you hit on me the minute your wife goes to the restroom

Or the fact that you told me “I’d rather look at you than most anybody else”
right in front of your father-in-law minutes before she arrived.

The fact that you cheated on your fiancé in Vegas

Or are about to, during your bachelorette party next week.

Why you feel compelled to tell a stranger this is besides the point, but rest assured that if you just needed to spill to someone who wouldn’t immediately turn around and tell him, we can be that for you. (Now, that’s not to say all the other bartenders won’t eventually find out. Because they probably will.)


The fact that you’re drinking soda water with lime, not vodka-soda

Girl, you don’t have to explain why. I know why — I’ve played this move myself and by now I understand it perfectly. You’re drunk or don’t want to get drunk, but don’t want your date or girlfriends to know. I gotchu.

The fact that you really, *really* do not want that shot

If you are being pressured into a shot or a drink you don’t want, in the words of another bartender: “just keep your eyes on me.” I gotchu.

The fact that you’re cutting off your drunk buddy

Yeah, on behalf of the bar and future-him, thanks for that. Just signal me and I’ll quit swinging by or otherwise work it out.

The fact that you’re trying to get your buddy drunk

One move being to rotate who does shots with him — he’s always doing one, but with only one of you guys at a time.

I’ve seen this quickly turn into a very unloving situation of just trying to get someone fucked up because he’s a “hilarious” drunk. But as long as he’s still having fun, whatever.

The fact that you are an alcoholic

I mean, we can do math.

If you’re here 2 or 3 or 4 times a week drinking 4 or 6 or 10 drinks each time, we see you. And if you mention that you also frequent other places, we see that, too.

As long as you’re not belligerent, we won’t say anything — that’s your business; not ours. But we see you, bud.


The fact that your card was declined after you looked me in the eye and said, “I’ll pay with cash” as you started a tab for you and your date

Higher odds of letting this slide if you’re sitting at the bar — not out of sight on the patio or wandering around.

The fact that you just ran up half the bar’s drinks on your drunk rich buddy’s tab

And then closed it out on his behalf while he drunkenly shouted “Titoooooo’s!” at nobody in particular, with his glass in the air.

My coolness here is mostly dependent on his consent early-on; specifically, him standing there for the first few rounds you order and waving it off with “whatever — fuck it; I got it” like a douchebag who doesn’t want to be bothered with the details.

The fact that you order more expensive drinks when someone else is picking up the tab

I was here when you balked about your 12-oz. pour of Genesis running you $12. I was here when you switched to $5 pints.

But I was also here when you went right back and ordered another Genesis once your buddy showed up and said, “what are you drinking? I’m buying.”

The fact that you order top-shelf to impress whoever you’re with, and then tip like shit

You live in a house of lies, but that’s your bed of shit-karma to sleep in, not mine.

The fact that you tip insanely well

Pretty much, nobody else needs to know how you tip — unless you want them to. But between you and me: thanks, man.

Why you’re here

The fact that you need a distraction from the empty existential crisis that is your daily life.

But to be honest, this one’s easy. Because it’s why all of us drink.

What I think of your drink order, as a bartender

Scotch drinkers, neat, are straight-up my peeps

Angels Trumpet Ale House, artists Lalo Cota and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus


In general: you chill AF.

Draft craft beer

My dude. You’re gonna be cool and we’re pretty much already friends. Totally makes up for the $1 I make pouring these for you.

There’s probably some further breakdown since we’ve got 20 on tap, but whatever — you’re all equally sane.

4+ tastes of draft craft beer

Baby, I don’t care. Just so long as you don’t care that I float back and forth to help others while you deliberate over The Last Beer You’ll Ever Have. lol

Bottled craft beer

You know what you like and you have discerning tastes, but you’re pretty chill and more or less keep to yourself. (Like: you had no idea that shit was $22, but you also won’t throw a fit over it.)

Bottled domestic macro beer

You’re here by yourself and you’re going to hit on me. I guarantee it.

That, or you’re here with a massive group 30 minutes before closing and I’ll literally never see you, because one of your buddies will always order yours with theirs.

But more than likely, you are the former.

Draft domestic macro beer

You have not yet learned about craft beer or truly don’t give a fuck what you drink. You’ll also go years without fixing that rattling sound in your car, because you either sincerely don’t hear it or you’re just like “whatever.”

Cocktails and mixed drinks

Disclaimer: I’m a beer and scotch drinker. I like things simple, straight up, and unadulterated, so this shit just ain’t my bag, baby. But for as much as I don’t like drinking them, I like making them just fine — just don’t ask me what one tastes like, because I’ll bullshit to avoid answering: “like fuckery — it’s a cocktail.”

In general: you guys want a distraction from your everyday life (just like all drinkers do), but you like distractions within your distractions. (Yo dawg.) You never look at anything straight-on; life’s easier that way. Just make it palatable and easy to swallow.

The most popular cocktail on our signature list

It’s popular for a reason. Just like “pop” music. And you.

The most tedious cocktail(s) on our signature list

Of. Course. Of course you ordered this.

I can see it’s going to happen before it even does, because of the specific way you sweep your manicured fingertip over the menu and then beam brightly just before saying those words. (That, and that barely-discernible glint of feminine sadness behind those slightly-too-eager eyes that you give me for a little too long.)

Once I get past hand-pruning the herbs and stirring the gin so as not to bruise it and rolling the sugar rim just so with the lime, I’ll be fine. I’m just not sure I can say the same about you.

Pretty much every other cocktail on our “signature” list

Yeah yeah — fine. There they are. Here you are. You can have one.

Dirty martini with blue cheese olives

You’re going to ask me for extra olives, I already know.

What is it with the fucking blue cheese olives? People don’t get weirdly grabby with the easy shit; it’s only BC olives that makes people see “salad bar.” (Do you realize we have to make these by hand??)

You’ll also tell me there was some specific ratio that “that one bartender did once,” but you won’t actually know what it was.

Grey Goose anything

Overcompensating. Always.

You’re going to talk on your phone at the bar and mention your “lake house” a little too loudly and multiple times, even though this is a small town and we all know where you live. Then you’ll pay with singles (“ugh, I just need to get rid of these!”) and/or not leave a tip.

Some of you are parading as Tito’s drinkers, but we all see you for what you are.


Duh. It’s like 90% of the vodka we pour.

Vodka soda

You’re watching your weight. Good on you.

Vodka Red Bull

You’re at least one drink past when you should be done.

Vodka cranberry (or “a splash of grenadine”)

You think it’s white girls, don’t you? It’s not. They know better than to fuck with this.

The only people who drink red dye 40 are dudes, and they’re always weird AF. Like, tiny Unabomber notebook weird. Einstein hair weird. Orders a salad but only eats the croutons weird. Wearing a freshly-pressed button-down shirt at a dive bar at 10 am weird. Professional race car driver weird (and reminder: I bartend in the south.)


You’re fighting time and refuse to grow old.


Oh you fancy, huh? (But like, in a delicate way.) Real talk, we’ve got some pretty cool botanical gins and bitters you might like.

Rum and Coke

This is sugar on sugar, yo. I mean, alcohol is already sugar anyway, but rum is like sugary sugar, and then you added more fucking sugar to the mix. omg

Jack and Coke

If General Motors was a drink. You guys are salt of the earth sort and mostly chill AF.

Long Island Iced Tea

Here to get fucked up? Nah, usually just a big dude who can’t otherwise catch a buzz.

Or, yeah, crazy chick.


lol, okay sweetie. okay.

I always thought this would be the nightmare drink to have to make, especially when it’s busy, but so far I’ve only had one dude order it, and he was so chill I would’ve made more if he wanted


I think of my dad every time I make this, because it’s the only thing he really drinks (like twice a year.) And even though none of you are even remotely like him, this connotation works in your favor. It also helps that we literally don’t have a blender (for real), so your only option is to be the cooler of the two and get it on the rocks. You’re welcome.

Bloody Mary

I think you panicked and forgot where you were.


You are either actually pushing middle-aged or you’re the sort of girl who was always middle-aged at heart.

Strawberry daiquiri or some other fruity, sweet drink

You also still shop at the mall, eat at Olive Garden, and own at least a few things that have rhinestones.

Old Fashioned

I am truly amazed at how popular this drink is — I’d never heard anyone order it until I started this job, but everyone who does is pretty easy to please (and surprisingly young.) Half of them have blazers draped over the backs of their chairs — or act like they wish they did. Daddy’s clothes, drinking daddy’s drink, with daddy’s money. Make him proud.

Old Fashioned with rye

Uh… k.

French 75, Tom Collins, Negroni or some other old-school drink

You are the most adorable 75-year old man in here — or you’re adorably 75 at heart — and even when you’re a lil tipsy you can do no wrong.

Any mixed drink with top-shelf liquor

Oh no baby, what is you doing?

Baileys, Kahlua and cream, Rumchata, chocolate martini, or anything else with cream

You totally still sleep with stuffed animals. Or real ones. Or you’re remarkably infantile in some other way. You never drink and you probably won’t even finish that one — the exception being chocolate martini, because you all but lick the glass.

Amaretto Sour

Barely above the “cream” crowd — you’ve upgraded your stuffed animals to throw pillows with cutesy phrases. You order this all the time because someone recommended it once and apparently that was good enough to last you forever, because it’s still the only drink you know.

Whiskey Sour

Barely above the “Amaretto Sour” girl. If you aren’t already, you two should totes get married at 24, deck out your cookie cutter apartment with her cutesy pillows and your posters, get a goldendoodle, name it “Casey” regardless of gender, and call it a day.

A drink or a shot with a stupid name

You just like saying “sex on the beach” or it was the only one you could remember, and the best you could do on such short notice.

A round of mixed shots where every shot is different

Clearly, you have never been a bartender. But you almost always tip well.

Some overly-meticulous drink order with half a dozen specific-yet-ambiguous directions

Do you wanna just come back here and make it? Damn.

“Surprise me”

I hate you — as a patron and a person. I wish you’d pick your own drink instead of making me guessing-game and live your life for you. How’s that for a surprise?

“I don’t know — something juicy!”

Why. Why are you the way you are?

“What do you recommend?”

Absolutely nothing.

…yet. If you aren’t gonna look at the wall or read the menu, at least put in some kind of effort. You gotta give me something to work with here, son.

So I’ll ask, “what are you into?” And from here, I get two types of people: those who want to play the game and are actually interested in having a dialogue about tastes… and those who fold because they literally wanted me to just pick something. I dig the former and despise the latter. As human beings.

“What’s your favorite cocktail to drink?”

I’m going to tell you my favorite one to make, and I’m going to emphasize “make” just so it’s clear I don’t drink them.

When you push the issue and ask me the same thing again (“no, to drink!”) I’m going to flatly answer: “scotch.” Because I don’t do cocktails. (And this is right about the time I see you realize I also wouldn’t do you.)


This is my jam. Too often bartenders just throw all of the whiskies in a bag together, but the brown-liquor drinkers are not all created equal.

They either a little badass and down with what they like, or they’re overcompensating (you may not know which you are, but I do.) But either way they are unafraid of taking shit head on.

Macallan 12 or 15

Hey, who are you to fuck with “perfection?” Especially when it goes so well with your lifestyle.

Macallan 18

This is your first scotch in public, you’re impressing someone (or me), and you haven’t yet realized people don’t casually order this pour.


You’re equally as into nice shit and just as slightly-pretentious, but with darker secrets, more skeletons in your closet, and less mental stability than the Macallan drinker.

Any other Speyside

We get it, you like nice things. You’ve got this whole blind spot to the rest of the scotches (just like you do with cars and restaurants and everything else) because its important that you have “the best” (defined in part as “polite” and “unproblematic”) and not anything beneath it. Nobody’s gonna fight you on it — not because you’re right, but because that’s not how we live our lives.

Johnny Walker Blue

You’re not actually ordering it; you’re just going to tell me a story about that one time you did. Or you’re ordering it just to make a show of ordering it. Either way, you’ll watch for my reaction, and make double sure I know it’s an expensive pour. Home skillet, I know. There are plenty of other expensive scotches and I’ve drank some of those, too, but you don’t see me telling the world, now do you? Calm down and get out more.

Laphroaig, neat

Ah, son. This is my favorite whisky and odds are good it’s your favorite too (nobody orders it otherwise.) I already know you’re one chill-ass MF, and we’re about to fangirl the shit out of each other’s face over this.

And yes, when I’m like “that campfire tho!”, I am totally saying: “I’d like to campfire you.” And I know you know what I mean.


Some dude within hearshot’s always like “but what about Lagavulin??” and it’s like “what about Lagavulin?! Does the homecoming prince need a pat on the head from me too?”

Like, alright, damn. Laga-fuckin-vulin. Take your gold star and leave me be.

Any other Islay scotch

Heck yes — still solidly my peeps. You like a little complexity and you’re not afraid of marring the veneer in your life to get it.

If it’s not busy, you and I are about to talk some serious shop up in here, and odds are good you won’t even mansplain — one of us will walk away with something new.

Any other scotch

Still awesome in my book. High five.

Angel’s Envy, Eagle Rare, or pretty much 90% of all other bourbons

You also love soda. (Tell me I’m wrong.) I know this because both have primary flavor notes of “straight up syrup.” But you don’t realize this and you call it “A Man’s Drink,” which on so many levels makes Laphroaig Guy and I giggle over our glasses.

Bulleit or F.E.W.

You’re a youngish professional and either from the midwest or with distinctly midwestern values. Very low odds of douchery.


You are the American Macallan. You can appreciate (and afford) a nice steak — done medium. You’re most comfortable in a button-down, and you’re a giver.

Buffalo Trace

You decide where to eat based on Yelp ratings.

Crown or Makers

You may drink other shit too, but you like to have your fall-back. The night’s just getting started, or winding down, or you just didn’t feel like fucking with anything new.


I’ve learned there’s a whole other world of Jamo drinkers after we all shot it in college. Some people never leave it — now they sip it on the rocks — and they’re night and day more laid back than you would think.

Pappy V

Sigh. If I set this down in a three-whiskey line-up, could you actually pick it out?

(Stop it. No you could not.)


I mean. Alright. Be that guy.

Hibiki or some other Japanese whisky

You like trying new things. I can dig it.


Literally whatever. Here.

We only have one of each type by the glass. You wanna ask me how it is? They’re all fine.

Wild card


oh yeah? lol, aiight.

The only two people who drink this, drink this and only this (okay, and sometimes Bud Light) — both of them dudes, both pretty nice on the surface, both of them probably a little wiry IRL.

What I learned my first month as a bartender

Dude, I fucking love slinging drinks.

About a month ago, I got a bartending job at a whiskey bar / cigar lounge. I was drinking at their sister bar next door and feeling a little “fuck it,” so I asked the bartender if they were hiring and interviewed with the manager 10 minutes later.

I had never bartended before. And I said so.

“But I do know whisky. And I can learn the rest.”

He quizzed me on what I’d claimed — asked me about bourbons and Colorado whiskies and scotches; asked me to make recommendations and I did, then elaborated and explained why. And a day later, rolling the dice, he hired me. (And introduced me to the team by saying “she knows more about whisky than I do.”)

It’s been (for the most part) fun and games since. I’m still pretty slow at making drinks, but here’s what I’ve learned in that time:


We know your shit

Everyone behind the bar — not just the bartender who helped you — has you measured up within minutes. We know if you’re shit-faced. We know if you’ve never had a scotch before. We know if you’re trying to impress your date (and, if we like you, we’ll wingman the shit out of this and help you out.) We know if you’re going to be a dick to us — or your wife.

We also know if you’re going to hit on one of us eons before you actually do, because you are all exactly the same: you zero in on the one you like with that glazed look in your eye like a dog locked on to a hot ham. By now all of us behind the bar see that shit from miles away.

We get hit on all the time

Don’t ask us for our number — we get this just about every shift, and you’re not special.

If you are so thoroughly convinced that our connection is real and one-of-a-kind, leave your info on the receipt. (Just don’t get butthurt when we don’t reach out.)

…but we still totally talk about how cute you are

Regardless of your gender, if you’re attractive, all of us — dude and lady bartenders alike — have noticed and discussed it. None of us are going to make a move, but damn if we don’t like your style.

Don’t order by asking us to “surprise” you

We’re not here for magic tricks.

What’s Okay: “I prefer whiskey-based cocktails, but nothing too sweet. Can you recommend something?” Yes. We can.

What’s Not Okay: “I want vodka mixed with something. But I can’t have any sugar, syrups, or fruit juice, and I don’t like soda, tomato juice, Red Bull, olive juice or bitters… oh, just surprise me!” (This example really happened.)

Sweetheart, do you want bullshit? Because that’s how you get bullshit. People who order like this end up with a bartender who blanks, panics, or throws his hands up and makes them some vodka-mystery disaster. Don’t be that guy.

Drinks are subjective

There are half a million ways to make most cocktails. If you like it a certain way, just say so. Otherwise (see above), we’re not here for guessing games.

Sometimes we have no idea what we’re doing

This is my first bartending gig and I was trained on the job, so I over-poured and then under-poured countless drinks before I figured out how ounces work. One of the other bartenders gets visibly nervous pouring high-end whisky. Even the most experienced bartender on our team occasionally fucks up our in-house signature cocktails. We’re humans back here, and we’re imperfect. Be patient.

And check your tab.

Don’t order twice, with two of us

I’ll even say it twice: do not fucking order twice with two of us!

You want to pay for two drinks? Then go for it. Otherwise, use your big boy or big girl brain and realize that that’s exactly what’s going to happen when you do this. If you wouldn’t place your order twice at a restaurant, don’t do it at a bar.

Maybe your drink did get lost. If it’s been a while, then ask.

But most of the time, the people doing this will place their second order 1 minute after the first, merely because another bartender approached them. (And because they are morons.)

We usually hear you do it and intercept the second bartender before the deed is done. But for fuck’s sake, champ, use your brain.

Don’t shout orders at us if we didn’t ask

The biggest offenders here like to “find” us at the POS ringing in drinks — because, you know, we’re “not helping anyone.”

News flash: ringing in drinks is part of selling them, and chances are good that if it’s busy, we’ve got several drinks in our head (and several tab names, on top of that, we have to find to charge them.) The bartender at the POS may nod and add your drinks to the end of their mental list, but if they’ve got several in their head ahead of you, you would’ve been better off waiting 30 seconds for another bartender to help you out.

If you flag us down, you better fucking know what you want

This is easily one of the biggest sins of placing an order if it’s busy.

If we approach you while you’re still reading the menu and you’re not ready, that’s one thing — totally cool; we’ll come back. But if you actively make eye contact or flag us down and then aren’t ready or spin around to ask your friends what they’re drinking, we want little more than to drag you out back and flay you like the walking carcass you are. Every second you dawdle is a second you’re keeping us from making drinks — and over the course of a night, that compounds to real money.

We adore you

Look, we want to sell you drinks. We do. We want you to have a good time, and we want to do the best we can to help. Help us help you, and it’ll be fine. ❤


Everything is fucking foul

You likely know by now that the fruit and olives can sit out for days. What you should also know, though, is that it’s been man-handled to the point that it would probably light up a petri dish like the Fourth of July. We may wash our hands when we prep it, but between all the bartenders behind the bar (who are also handling payments and grabbing dirty-ass rags to wipe shit down) and the occasional customer rummaging around in there, sufficient to say: shit’s not clean, yo.

Blame games and petty power plays galore

Maybe it’s just my bar, but the amount of immature, insecure behavior is so bad it’s laughable.

People actually get political over things like lemon twists. Some take up witch hunts against other bartenders over personality (“she talks too much”) or how they make Old Fashioneds. I’ve seen bartenders cry over tips, refuse to mop when they close, and walk out mid-shift while stocking beer.

If you irritate a manager, they’ll retaliate by asking another bartender to rewrite the draft list you did (lol. k.) If you actually upset them, they’ll take away your shifts. Piss them off even more and they fire you — and let you know simply by blacking out your name across next week’s schedule.

It’s fucking fun

All that being said, the energy and intensity is super fun. I love making cocktails way more than I like drinking them, love the challenge of keeping up when we’re slammed, and love making people’s good nights even better.