Serving people five nights a week can make the nicest of bartenders judgmental. But we bartenders learn to comfort ourselves by complaining about the little things. From making vodka-based drinks to watching customers on a Tinder date, here are the seven things bartenders love to hate.
The white bread of the spirits world. You rarely see vodka on the menu at trendy cocktail bars and it’s considered an insult to gin by cocktail purists. Vodka martinis and bloody Marys are often the only acceptable outlets for this spirit. But, here’s the thing — it’s hard to actually be mad at vodka. It’s flavorless, malleable, and vodka sodas are the perfect “I want to drink all night and not be too hungover” drink.
2. Anything trendy
Whenever a drink takes off in popularity, even if it’s a good drink, bartenders quickly start to hate it. Spicy margaritas, Aperol spritzes, and anything with mezcal. If you order it, the bartender will judge you. But if you really like a trendy cocktail, give it a few years. We love making old fashioneds now.
3. People who ask for ice in their water
And people who demand “no ice” in their water. Or the worst, people who actually refuse water. It’s just water. You don’t have to drink it, even though you probably should. Unless you’re in a part of the world with undrinkable tap water, chill out and hydrate.
4. Trashy cocktails
For some, it’s the cosmopolitan; for others it’s the Long Island iced tea. There are certain cocktails that only amateur drinkers tend to order. We will definitely roll our eyes while making them, but secretly, we kind of like cosmos too. One word of warning, if you’d an espresso martini, make sure the bartender is in a good mood — they’re delicious, but annoying to make.
5. The music
Even if it is our own playlist, we love to complain about music while at work. I’m not quite sure why we’re so picky, but if a song has the wrong vibe at any given moment, we’ll stop what we’re doing to change it. We’ll even vow to never play “Hotel California” at our bar ever again. But then, on the right night, it’ll come over the speaker and we’ll sing along to every word.
6. The guy/girl who always brings their online dates to your bar
Depending on the sleaziness factor of the person, we either love them or hate them. The voyeur in us certainly gets a kick out of this unabashed view of a stranger’s dating life. And our hearts fill with joy when a date seems to go well for them. But, unless you live in a small town, why bring every date to the same bar? We’ve definitely blown up regulars’ spots before by calling a date by another date’s name.
The number one thing we love to hate. We love regulars; you can’t run a successful bar without them. But they do require a lot of energy. And some nights you just aren’t up for it. On occasion, you’ll even need your co-bartenders to entertain your regulars because you just don’t have it in you.