This is why I usually order Gin & Tonic

I’m not sure how, but I’ve managed to find more than a few mixology-related publications lately. I’m also not sure what that says about me (that I don’t already know, no need for comments from the peanut gallery, thank you) but I’m enjoying some of the anecdotes I’ve been reading. I tend to find a lot of the drinking mags are mainly Maxim without the babes, still very heterosexual/manly man oriented, which I find silly since drinking is completely universal!

This article at 7×7 is a nice read about the perspective from behind the bar.

I’m on a roll—until, that is, a young woman finally catches my eye and sweetly places her order: a blackberry Cabernet caipirinha, an El Capitan, a Tuscan sangria and a pitcher of Pisco punch. My heart sinks. To fill her order involves fetching the vin santo, red wine, mezcal, Tuaca and Punt e Mes; muddling blackberries, limes and pineapples; squeezing dozens of fruits; stirring and shaking; and setting an orange peel on fire. As I hack my way through the jungle of an order, I wish people would just order the drinks that I personally loathe drinking—a Jack and Diet, a vodka soda or, for god’s sake, just a simple beer.

This is why I hate being stuck behind that guy at Halo that just has to order a round of mojitos for all of his friends. My thirst gets worse while I wait for the bartender to muddle the entire produce section for his bunch of cocktails.

It includes some helpful tips about how to get the most out of your bartender, some of them backed up by a similar article in this month’s Mutineer Magazine, they’re mostly common sense. Closing out the article is a very cute list which is almost a bit like an internet meme without having to take an actual quiz:

What Your Drink Says About You

(From left to right)

  1. Shot of Patrón. You think you know, but you have no idea.
  2. Pacifico and a shot of anything. Fine-dining restaurant employee.
  3. Sommelier Sidecar. Your knowledge of wine is not as good as you think it is.
  4. Vodka Soda. Marina chick (even if you’re a guy).
  5. Jack and Diet. Ex–frat boy who spends too much time at the gym.
  6. Dark and Stormy. Seasoned drinker who’s “on the wagon.”
  7. Milk of Millennia. You’re likely from L.A.
  8. Mojito. European tourist who will later ask whether we know of a good disco in the area.
  9. Vodka Red Bull. Show us your ID.
  10. Pisco Sour. Young woman from a South American country, or a dyed-in-the-wool cocktail geek.

I admit that I’ve never had/ordered a Pisco Sour… but I’ve always wanted to try one. 😉 And while not trying to be terribly difficult, I do order my gin & tonic with lemon, not lime. It often comes with lime anyway, but I still ask.

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14 Responses

  1. Mark S. Jungmann aka Laffingbuddha says:

    If you like G & T, I think you might also like a gin fizz, I find them a nice change-up once in awhile.

  2. kyle says:

    And now you know why I always either order a beer, or a bourbon neat. It isn’t just a kindness to myself and the bartender, but also to whomever may be in line behind me.

  3. brian says:

    @Mark: Next time I’m out, I’ll give that a try!

    @kyle: Unless my bartender has a specialty or there’s a specific “complicated cocktail” on special, I generally order simple mixed drinks myself. Though I do admit to the occasional Cosmopolitan… just because.

  4. I’m an ex-frat boy who spends too much time at the gym & apparently a seasoned drinker who’s “on the wagon”. 🙂

  5. ATG says:

    I desperately need to add more fun, sophisticated, trashy, “femme,” “butch,” “straight,” and/or “gay” drinks into my repertoire. Cuz I got nuthin. Just rum and coke. I recently googled “manly drinks” and came up with Tom Collins and Mint Julep. I want to be able to “say” more things with my drinks, but also, just have more fun with them, dag nabbit! *sigh* I just there’s no use but to just go out there and get debauched, eh? 😉 But seriously. How does one start to educate oneself about drinks?

  6. brian says:

    @Liz: I’ve never had either Jack & Diet or a Dark & Stormy, so clearly I’m missing out. 🙂

    @ATG: The best way to educate oneself is to start drinking! Rum & Coke is plenty manly as they say. Start from whatever liquor you prefer most and build on that. If you like rum, then a Mojito is just a step away from that, and plenty of online cocktail recipe sites will lead you in the right direction.

    Also there’s no harm in telling a bartender what you want without knowing what you want: green, sweet and with vodka, for instance. A good and friendly bartender will be ok with that, but as Kyle mentioned above, don’t do this when the bar is particularly busy or you’ll just get a stare that says “are you kiddin’ me?” :mrgreen:

  7. lacochran says:

    This is entertaining but I need a longer list of explanations. What does it say about me if I order a Rob Roy? Or a Lime Rickey? Enquiring minds and all that. 😆

  8. brian says:

    @lacochran: If you have a bartender you trust? Ask them! When it was slow, I used to ask the bartenders at Halo what was their most hated drink to make (mainly because they have a huge menu of mojitos). Since I like to observe people, I watch the bartenders’ faces when people order stuff and you can kinda see which drinks they don’t mind making vs. the ones that are a pain.

    Finding out what they think of your drink, however? I’d just ask. 🙂

  9. Gilahi says:

    I’m a bourbon lover. I spend the extra money to get Knob Creek because it’s gustatory sex. I do understand the difficulty in making a decent mint julep, because fresh mint is not always readily available and, even when it is, it doesn’t keep very well. But how hard is it to make a decent manhattan? I mean really. Bourbon and sweet vermouth in decent proportions. Some people add a shot of bitters, but it just ain’t that hard. You’d be amazed at how many bartenders have no idea what a manhattan is.

  10. brian says:

    @Gilahi: I need a proper bourbon education. Even after all these years, if I’m going to wake up in a fog, it will mean that I sipped from the brown blessing the previous evening. My usual mistake is that I like to partake of different cocktails, and a Manhattan is simply one that shouldn’t be thrown into that mix. ❗

  11. Gilahi says:

    I highly recommend dinner at 15 Ria, located at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue (15 RIA, get it?) in DC. Not only is the food good, but as part of their dessert menu, they offer a flight of small-batch bourbons. You get one ounce each of Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, Baker’s, and Booker’s. It’s a great way to sample 4 small-batch bourbons without having to invest all of your hard-earned bucks in a bottle of any of them. Take a cab home. 😉

  12. kyle says:

    OMG – bourbon buffet! I am so there. Work shmerk!

  13. William Mize says:

    Vodka tonic, vodka martini, vodka gimlet.
    Done and done.
    If I’m feeling spunky, a Rolling Rock with a shot of Jack Daniels.

  14. Lx69 says:

    Martini any time (and by Martini I mean THE Martini: gin & a hint of dry vermouth). An occasional gin richey (gin, the juice of a lemon, club soda) in the summer. The end.

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