Written by: Murph
I want to preface this article with a disclaimer: I am not a bartender, nor am I an etiquette teacher.
However, I have visited many local watering holes in my time to know the “dos and don’ts” of bar etiquette. What’s that? The biggest party of the year is on the horizon? I guess I came back just in time to save you from potentially making any mistakes this New Year’s Eve.
Number 1: Be Patient
It’s New Year’s Eve and most likely any bar you go to is going to be packed with people. Your first instinct is to push your way to the bar and wave your unimpressive, low-limit college credit card at the bartender to get his/her attention.
Great job! You now have the bartender’s attention in literally the worst way possible.
Instead of this approach, stay calm and collected. If you are in a good bar, the bartenders will scan the bar for new faces and will get to you in a timely fashion.
Number 2: Convey Your Order Promptly
When your time finally comes, don’t turn around and ask what everyone wants, what is on special or what the bartender’s favorite drink is. Have an arsenal of “go-to” drinks; something like an old-fashioned, a stirred vodka martini or your favorite draft beer. Know your order ahead of time and avoid an awkward first interaction between you and the gatekeeper of libations.
SEE ALSO: Bartender’s Corner if you want to sound like a Boss when ordering drinks.
Number 3: Shots vs. Water
Now of course I’m about to tell you to slug shots all night and avoid water at all costs, because that is what’s cool. Wrong.
In fact I am going to tell you the exact opposite. Taking a shot of alcohol does nothing more than speed up the effect of getting drunk. Chances are, your New Year’s Eve celebration will be a marathon of drinking and you want to remember stealing a kiss from the cute blonde at midnight. Leave your shots at home and use the bar for social mixed drinks.
Now on to staying hydrated. I know your immediate thought is people are going to give you a hard time for skipping a round to drink water. Well…you’re probably right, but the next morning you’ll have the last laugh when you’re not hungover on the first day of 2014. I recommend a water after every two mixed drinks. If you don’t want to be ridiculed, ask for a water with lime and play it off as a gin and tonic. You can also refer to it as Agua (“aw-gwah”, Spanish for water) for a cultured, mysterious appeal.
Number 4: Buying Rounds
This is sometimes the most challenging moment of the night. You’re in a group of five and it’s going to be impossible for all of you to go to the bar and individually order. You play the gentleman and go up and order 5 whiskey and cokes for the group. While you have done a good deed, there was major room for improvement. Take orders, because not everyone is going to like what you order. If you take a quick minute to ask what everyone wants, they are going to be much more likely to grab the next round and get you what you really want.
Number 5: You Are With Your Friends, Put Your Phone Away!!
My final tip of bar etiquette, is to put your damn phone away. The downfall of our generation is the dependency on our cell phone and I truly think the world would be a better place without social media. Think about how annoying it is to try and have a conversation with someone as they’re nose deep in Facebook mobile. If you find yourself saying, “No I don’t mind that at all”, then you’re probably that annoying person sending a tweet or surfing Tinder at the bar.
Do I use social media? Absolutely. I’m suggesting that you find a filter for it.
I understand that there may be some exceptions, such as getting lost from the group or sending your significant other a mushy text at midnight if they aren’t with you. Fine, you’ll be forgiven for these. Now put the phone away because I promise your “Happy New Years, OMG I can’t believe it’s 2014” status can wait!
Be safe out there, Legends — also, keep an eye out for many more New-Year’s-themed posts from the Legendary Collegian so you can hit 2014 running.
Hair today, gone tomorrow.
Have any other tips for bar etiquette? How about any pet peeves at the bar? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!