"What's missing from pop music is danger" | Prince

What your bartender is really thinking.


Working in a bar is party central. Usually the job comes hand in hand with a bundle of perks. The lively atmosphere, team of talented charismatic staff and suddenly not being able to walk the streets without recognising at least a dozen people. (Usually referring to them as their drink of choice. “There goes Mr. Peroni.” “Look Margarita man!”)



But, like every job, it comes with baggage. This particular suitcase full of fun is filled with the odd annoying customer. On that note, here’s a list of 25 things your bartender is thinking:



  • Asking for beers on tap.



Pubs are for beer. Bars are for liquor. Know the difference. We’re a cocktail bar- therefore we specialise in that. We sell beer to please. But all the bother of barrels and precious time of pouring pints isn’t in our agenda. If you want a half larger, go to a pub.



  • Do me 2 for 1?



There’s always the cheeky customer that thinks they’re worthy of special treatment. “Aw is it not happy hour yet? Go on do me one on happy hour”? We’re a business not a youth club. Making friends comes with the job, but profits don’t come with giving every drunken hooligan happy hour early.



  • Cheapest strongest drink



It’s just disrespectful. We take pride in our art. Take pleasure in your drink, don’t purposely poison  yourself. If you ask for the above, you’ll get a Long Island. But we’ll be watching. The moment you show signs of inebriation, we’ll stop serving you.



  • Taking drinks before they’re finished.



You wouldn’t pluck the paintbrush from an artists hand when he’s almost finished painting, so don’t grab the drink before the garnish. Garnish can complete and even flavour a drink… The orange zest flame adds a highly important citrus flavour and a smell that reaches your senses before you even taste a Cosmo. Just don’t.



  • Cocktail ‘connoisseur’.



You may have cocktail knowledge. But telling us we’re wrong is no way to talk to someone making your beverage. I once had a guy complain that there wasn’t mint in his Capprinia. If you’re going to try and outsmart us, at least know what you’re talking about, darling.



  • Assuming bar staff can’t hear you.




Another thing that is highly misconstrued… Bar tenders have ears. While we may appear to be just making drinks, we heard your plan to push in next, we also hear you complimenting our bottom in a vulgar way. So yea. You will be served last.



  • Walking in 5 minutes before close.



We close at 2am. It states it online, on the door and we’ll also be happy to remind you as you walk through the door when we close in a few minutes. It’s just keeping us away from home longer.




  • Assuming because we free-pour it’s less alcohol.



Free pouring is a skill. We get tested daily, and if we don’t pass we don’t free-pour. So, if you think your drink is a little short, go to a ordinary bar. Freepouring is common in cocktail bars, and it’s practised.



  • Picking fruit off.



We just spent a long time making a rose out of a lemon skin. Watching us do it then picking it off the moment it’s finished and laying it on the bar is just rude.



  •  Asking for no ice.



Need I go further? A cocktail without ice is like ordering a chicken pie without the chicken. Pointless.



  • Looking down on us.



We may work in a bar and you in a bank but that doesn’t make you better than us. Cocktails are a lot harder to make than you think. The components are endless. So really, we may be more intelligent, but didn’t have a rich daddy that employed us. Who’s cheating now?



  • Everyone knows you.



Whilst you have to pretend you remember, you meet a lot of people working in a bar. Most of the time you’re so lost in work you don’t even look at their face, let alone take in their name and facial features. So there’s always that embarrassing wave down the street from a stranger. Or a returning customer who tells tales of a conversation we had that we don’t have the foggiest idea about.



  • Ordering one at a time.



If you’re going to order 8 drinks, order them at the same time. We’re used to long orders and remembering a lot. We’ve memorised numerous cocktails, I’m sure we can handle your order. Just don’t watch us make a drink, take it, then order the same again. We will be clenching our fists.



  • The offence taken when we can’t serve you…



You’re drunk and a danger to yourself. Us refusing to serve you isn’t personal it’s doing you a favour.



  • Assuming  being nice is flirting.



I’ve had enough of customers taking you doing your job as flirting. We are salesmen/woman. Part of the job is being nice, smiling and perhaps some sweet talking. Just because we gave you an extra strawberry on your drink doesn’t mean we want to  go home with you.



  • Just make me what you have!



Uhhhhh… If you ask for my opinion you’re going to get what I like. As I drink whiskey. I doubt you’ll enjoy.



  • What beer do you sell?



*Points to the fridges full of every beer we sell. Clearly labelled.*



18) Putting dirty glasses on a clear matt.



You watched me wipe these matts, wash them, then wipe them AGAIN. So why proceed to place your dirty glass on them?



  • Coffee?



Dinner service? Fair enough. Espresso martini. Okay! Latte after 1am? Are you serious…



  • Cocktails are a tad expensive here?



It’s a cocktail bar not a pub. They’re priced so because they are a delicacy- compared to competitors and London we’re a bargain- MATE. Everything is fine and fresh. Ask for a sours we will crack the egg in front of you, fresh squeeze the lemon and pour in our finest alcohol and home made sugar syrup. £6.50 for all of that is EXTREMELY cheap. We could charge 10.



  • “OI” waitress.



The way you signal us will leave a mark. If you ask us politely, we’ll be more than happy to attend to your every need, but clicking, whistling or even OI-ing us is not going to end well.



  • Hungover at work.



You know what makes a hangover better? Working directly with the creator all night.



  • Strange shifts.



9am- 5pm shift. No

problem! Next day 5pm-3am. Mind: AWSOME. Body: Help. Me.



  •  I’m James, James Bond.



The posh twits who order a Martini thinking they’ll be like James Bond- then realising that firstly, a martini really shouldn’t be a shaken, it’s slightly different to the bucks fizz and wkd you’re used to, and secondly just because you’re wearing a suit and have ordered his drink doesn’t make you anything like Mr. Bond.



  • Oh, sweet nothin’



But. That beautiful moment when someone tries to order after closing, and you can finally say. Sorry sir. We’re closed. Everybody out.

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