As an aging introvert, my heavy bar-going days are largely behind me — but sometimes, I still find myself wondering what bartenders think about people based on their drink orders. Happily, though, the internet exists, which means that I don’t have to wonder anymore: The information is readily available. Alcohol.org surveyed about 260 current and former bartenders not too long ago about everything from tipping to drink orders, and, well… it turns out that some bartenders are a lot judgier than others. Depending on your drink order, your bartender’s opinion of you might lower dramatically when you sidle on up to the bar.
The survey covers a lot more than opinions about drinks; in fact, there’s some useful information about behavior that bartenders hate, too. Asking for a free drink or whistling to get a bartender’s attention were by far the most annoying customer behaviors, according to the bartenders, with asking them to either “surprise you” or “make it strong” being close runners-up. So, if you want to get on your bartender’s good side… don’t do those things.
When it comes to ordering specific drinks, though, it’s also worth remembering that it… kind of doesn’t matter what the bartender thinks of your drink choice. Drink what you want; it’s your cocktail — or mocktail, or glass of water, or whatever — after all. (The one exception is perhaps the fifth one on the list — there are a lot of good reasons not to order that one, or to at least order it under a different name.) Just don’t be a jerk to the bar staff, pay up, and make sure you tip.
But for whatever it’s worth, here are bartenders’ top five least favorite drinks to serve, according to this survey: