6 Weird Things Every Bartender Knows

As keepers of the spirits behind the bar, we bartenders are members of an ancient order blessed with arcane carnal knowledge. All the mysteries of the cosmos are our closely held secrets, that we will gladly tell you after 10 shots of 151. It’s not our fault you can’t remember in the morning…

Just in case you forgot, here are 6 weird things that every bartender knows:


1) When People are on a First Date – A squirrely dude shows up at 8:03, pounds a shot then nurses a beer for the next 27 minutes as he burns a hole in the door. Every time it opens, he panics.

The real giveaway is that tepid half-hug first dates always start with. What is that? Another giveaway is when you both say, “Yeaaaaah” 25 times in a row.

Be prepared for me to stare at you and make kissy noises.

2) The Exact Difference Between 15% and 20% – Don’t eff with us. We know when your tip is $1.83 short. And we remember everything…

3) Your Favorite Drink – If you’ve been to my bar five times in the past six months, I will make your drink before you sit down. But there’s no chance in hell I’ll remember your name.

Unless you really are named “Jack,” and “Ginger” is your lady friend you keep trying to introduce. Glad you like the drinks though.

4) How Quickly Ice Melts – Multitasking doesn’t mean squat if a round of delicious bevvies turns to swamp goo before the last mojito makes it to the bachelorette party in the back. A good bartender is a chemist. A great bartender is a mad scientist with a stopwatch for a brain. We know the specific gravity of whiskey.

Here’s a hint: Scotch on the rocks is the last drink you make. Always.

5) Precisely How Much is “Too Much” – Eye droop, slur, gait, balance, over shares, laughing, flirting, yelling, snoring – all of these factor into our expert assessment of when you’ve had enough. Do not argue with us.

Some states make bartenders take a freaking written test to learn the scientific allowable amount of booze stew you can drink before you die. I’m looking at you, Washington.

6) How to Dress – A bartender’s only job is to sell what’s behind the bar, and I don’t mean booze. Fireball sells itself. What we sell is the image, the chic, the “hot damn,” if you will, of nightlife. Bartenders are the “why” of what makes you wait in line to spend $20 on a drink that you don’t even like.

So what makes bartenders so damn irresistible? Why do you keep lining up to empty your wallet? The answer’s simple:

We Dress to Impress

Sure it sounds cheesy, but bartenders laser-focus their outfit on their target audience (drunk idiots) and cater to those drunk idiots’ interest (sports, boobs, pool, swing dancing, etc.) as often as possible. Why?

To make more money.

Sports bar tap minders make beer-stained half-buttoned Red Sox jerseys look like a Victoria Secret runway show, while dapper bastards in suspenders and bow ties at the speakeasy make you finally realize – deep down – why your gam gam was so desperate to bang pop pop during WWII.

Bartenders bring sexy back to keep you coming back for shot after shot of overpriced Jameson.

And you tip us well to do it.



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