Bartenders admit there’s 10 drinks you should never order at a busy bar

UK

After a few years of painting the town red and drinking the bars dry, most of us decide on a favourite tipple to knock back that we stick to.

It’s tried and tested, the hangovers aren’t that bad and, most importantly, it goes down a treat.

However, if it’s a somewhat complicated concoction, you’re going to really p*ss a bartender off when you order it on a busy night – in fact, the people rustling up our drinks even have a top ten list to completely avoid when it’s crowded.

Expert mixologists from across the US have now revealed the list of alcoholic beverages, which cause them to curse under their breath when someone orders it at peak time on a weekend.

The long and short of it is, if it’s a pain to prepare, you probably might want to reconsider your request.

A host of bartenders who are sick of being worked to the bone have now opened up to Business Insider about the ten worst drinks you can order in a hectic bar.

Long Island iced tea
There’s nothing quite like a Long Island iced tea to get the party started, as the mix of vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola is a recipe for a perfect tipple.

However, the people who have to whip them up don’t exactly seem to enjoy making them.

Jamie Robinson, who is a former bartender and current assistant food and beverage manager at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, said the popular cocktail is a ‘big no-no, especially at a busy bar’.

She said there is too many ingredients involved and she isn’t personally keen on the combination herself.

“You’re likely only going to order one or two unless you plan on ending up on the floor at some point during the evening,” Robinson added.

Mojito
A few mojitos make the world go round – but they also make a bartender’s shift a nightmare.

For those who don’t know, the tipple is a traditional Cuban punch consisting of white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint – so it certainly packs a punch.

Mojitos are the perfect summer drink too, but if you’re in a packed out place, Robinson says you shouldn’t bother ordering one as they can take a while to make.

She explained: “A proper mojito should feature hand-muddled limes and mint, plus whatever flavour you might be adding to it. They are a labor of love, to say the least.”

White Russian
You might struggle to even find one of these on the menu these days, seen as though a lot of establishments have renamed the rich cocktails as a ‘White Ukrainian’ amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighbouring country.

So to avoid getting into a debate about global affairs at the bar and subsequently holding up the queue even more, you should probably just avoid this drink altogether.

The tipple is made with vodka, coffee liqueur, cream and ice, while it is served in a sturdy, old-fashioned glass.

Robinson reminded people that bars don’t just usually have heavy cream lying around – so if you fancy being considerate, don’t order a White Russian.

She added: “Save your bartender the time of having to go check to see if they have some in the back, and save your stomach from mixing dairy with whatever else you might be inclined to drink that night.”

Bloody Mary

Bartenders are hoping for something of a ban on people ordering Bloody Marys, according to bar manager Aliz Meszasi who runs The Fed at The Langhamin Boston.

To be fair, I can get behind that one – as who is sipping a well seasoned tomato juice with a splash of vodka in the club?

One wrong move and you’ve drenched some poor clubgoer in your red cocktail and left them looking as though they are in dire need of medical attention.

For this reason, among many others, Meszasi says you should leave the Bloody Marys alone on a night out.

He explained that unless it is brunch time, it’s tough to find all the ingredients and garnishes in a hurry.

Spicy margarita

For those who enjoy the spice of life, there’s only one drink to order on a Saturday night.

A spicy margarita – which is made up of tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice agave syrup, and of course something with a kick in it – is the perfect thing to wet your whistle before you start dancing on tables.

They are very Instagrammable too, so you can understand why the drinks are always flying off the shelves.

But according to executive bartender at Taste My Aruba, Zulay Duran, you should skip the spicy margs in a busy bar.

She encouraged people to instead opt for a simple glass of wine, saying: “This is a specialised drink that takes careful execution, which isn’t feasible for most bartenders on a busy night.”

Anything with egg whites

If you’re planning on ordering anything containing egg whites, just know you are going to make an enemy of the person serving you for life.

According to the head bartender at The Rum House, Nick Jackson, asking for the likes of an Amaretto Sour or a Gin Fizz is a cardinal sin when the venue you’re visiting is packed to the rafters.

That creamy egg white foam doesn’t just make itself, you know.

Jackson said that making cocktails, which contain egg whites is ‘very labour intensive’ and requires several minutes of preparation, which will no doubt have the customers behind you tutting and tapping their feet.

Pina Coladas

Most people like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, but bartenders do not.

Mixologists reckon this is a drink which should exclusively be reserved for people on a beach, or at the very least on a sun lounger – rather than at a busy bar in the city centre.

The rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice cocktail is a firm favourite with a lot of boozers, but just be aware that the people serving it to you are wishing you’d have emigrated when you order one.

Zach Pace, who is a beverage expert at Ten Rooms, said: “Please don’t make the bartender fire up a blender in the middle of a crazy service.”

Caffeine cocktails

Most people get their caffeine fixes first thing in the morning or at some point throughout the day, but if you’re hoping to grab a pick me up while out on the town, you’ve got another thing coming.

Whether it’s an Irish coffee or an espresso martini, bartenders all seem to be in agreement that they just aren’t appropriate to be ordering in a busy bar.

Just think of how long it takes for them to place those couple of coffee beans on top for God’s sake.

Vinny Spatafore, bartender and beverage operations manager at Blue Bridge Hospitality, says it can also be quite overpowering to the senses as well as sluggish.

He explained: “The strong, lingering espresso smell means bartenders have to wash the shaker extra carefully, which can be time-consuming.”

Layered shots

They look the business and make a lovely mix in your mouth, but layered shots are a nightmare for bartenders.

Sunshine Foss, founder and CEO of boutique liquor store Happy Cork, explained that ordering a tray of these in a busy establishment is just not cool.

As they require multiple spirits and precision pouring, it’s not a quick and easy task to create them.

“Bartenders are already under pressure to serve drinks quickly, ordering layered shots just doesn’t make sense for anyone,” Foss said.

Stick to the tequila, a sprinkle of salt and a wedge of lime instead.

Personalised drinks

And finally, you should never, ever, ever think about requesting a personalised drink that you’ve just thought up when you’re in a crowded nightclub.

Bartenders explain that this question is the bane of their life, and nine times out of ten, they’re going to have to shoot you down if it’s a busy night.

Booking a cocktail making class or just trying out your own mixology tricks is a much better way to find the beverage of your dreams.

And, if you do still ask for something out of the ordinary, please make sure you don’t make it into a monologue.

Mixologist Joshua Lucas, from Kiki’s in California, put it simply when he said: “Be specific, but not a poet.”

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