6 Do's and Don'ts When Drinking at a Bar

Never been to a bar? (Really now?) Or unsure about how to make a good impression on the bartender (and the bar's patrons)? This article is for you!

We have compiled a list of do's & don'ts when at a bar so that you can have the best drinking experience (that you may or may not remember the next morning, we are kidding). So let us get into the details!

1. Do not be a Know-it-all! (If you are not one)

When you first walk into a bar like DOOR XXV, you will be impressed by our wall of whisky collection, or some might be intimidated. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure. Ordering the most expensive bottle is not the way to go when impressing your business partner or date. Do let the bartender or bar manager know your partner's and your taste preference so that they can better recommend a bottle to suit your palate. Giving an indication of your price range is also a great way to narrow down the selection.

2. Always be Polite to Your Bartender (and Anyone Really)

Be courteous to your bartender, especially while waiting for your order to be made. Your bartender will remember you by your character and will try to serve you a bit more quickly if you are nice to them. After all, they are the one making your drinks.

3. Sit at the Bar Counter

If you enjoy watching the process of how your cocktail is made, choose to sit at the bar counter. It also gives you a chance to speak to the bartender and understand more about the inspiration behind their cocktails. If you are nice, you might even score yourself a couple of complimentary tastings.

4. Be Patient

A good cocktail requires time to be handcrafted. Patience is key. If you cannot wait, order a glass of water instead. If you are sitting at the bar counter, do not grab your cocktail until the bartender serves it to you. Although the cocktail might look complete from your perspective, it might not be perfect in the eye of the bartender. Allow them to finish their work of art before serving it to you.

5. Surprise Me! (not)

When you have no idea what to order, rather than asking your bartender to surprise you, give them some ideas of your preferences such as:

  • Profile (Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Strong, Smoky)
  • Alcohol Base (Gin / Vodka / Rum / etc.)

Let them know what you usually order at a bar or what you have tried before that you were not too keen on. They too, need direction to bespoke a cocktail or make recommendations that you will enjoy.

6. Leave a Good Tip

If you had really enjoyed yourself, do leave a good tip to show your appreciation or buy a round of drinks for the bartender. However, do respect their wishes if they refuse a drink during work as they are ultimately responsible for assembling concoctions throughout the evening.

We have had some funny questions and requests over the years and we thought we would share them with you for a good laugh.

  • What flavour is your peach cooler?
  • Whisky on the rocks, with no ice. ("On the rocks" means to have ice.)


Like what you just read? Get a deeper insight into our Master Mixologist, Mark Tay's process of coming up with a new drink here.