Much to the dismay of all American bartenders, there are a lot of people out there who don’t know how to properly tip. Whether its foreign tourists who aren’t used to tipping or people who simply don’t think bartenders are deserving of a full 20 percent for “just pouring a drink,” there are a lot of people out there who aren’t giving bartenders their due.
If you’ve ever wondered about the appropriate tip for a cocktail, we’re here to settle the matter once and for all. We asked bartenders from across the country what they expect customers to tip after receiving excellent service. Take their advice and follow the proper etiquette when you want to thank your bartender for a drink well done.
“I always find this a strange question, but it’s an important one. Would you consider tipping less than normal for the meal you just had? Why is there a stigma about tipping on a cocktail because it is ‘just a drink?’ Tipping a bartender on a cocktail is like tipping both your cook and your server. The bartender stopped everything he or she was doing and gave you a menu, poured you a glass of water, looked you in the eye, took your order, made your drink and then served it to you, all in a reasonably short amount of time with (hopefully) grace, charm and a smile. I don’t think that cocktails are as important as food because they aren’t a necessity, but I hope people think about the process of getting that drink as more than pouring soda from a gun into a glass and calling it a cocktail. That certainly does not deserve a thoughtful tip, but someone who is genuinely being hospitable and crafting something just for you should be rewarded. Society has deemed tipping to be that reward, so don’t be scared to do so.” — Matt Seigel