Bad cocktails don’t happen because of freak accidents. Chances are, you received a shaken Manhattan with an olive garnish because your bartender is a newbie. Luckily, you can avoid (or at least anticipate) that potable abomination by looking out for a few telltale signs. Here are five signs it’s your bartender’s first day on the job.
Your bartender is serving Gin & Tonics in coupe glasses.
Believe it or not, glassware is important. Long drinks are meant to be served in tall glasses so that the ratios of spirit to ice, juice and effervescence are in balance, while strong, stirred drinks are served in shorter, wider glasses so you get the full effect of the aromatics. If your bartender is just grabbing glasses willy-nilly, chances are the quality of your cocktail will reflect that laissez-faire attitude.
Your bartender’s body language reads frustrated and panicked, not cool, calm and collected.
While even the best bartenders need time to adjust to a new bar (and may seem flustered if they don’t have their surroundings memorized yet), bartenders who are new to the job will often exhibit signs of constant frustration as a result of their lack of confidence behind the bar. Bartending requires a balance of communication, preparation and multitasking. When you’re new to the job, it’s easy to be thrown by one misplaced bar spoon.