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Murphy’s 5 Laws of Bar Etiquette: New Year’s Eve Edition

Murphy’s 5 Laws of Bar Etiquette: New Year’s Eve Edition

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.

You’re wel­come.

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.

Don’t know what to order? Check out some of the Thirsty Thurs­day seg­ments right here on the Leg­endary Col­le­gian for some ideas.

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!

*Your friends at the Leg­endary Col­le­gian remind you to drink respon­si­bly. Thirsty Thurs­day is intended for respon­si­ble adults of legal drink­ing age who wish to try new drinks, get infor­ma­tion about alco­holic bev­er­ages, drinks and cock­tails. It is purely intended for enter­tain­ment purposes. 

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