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Culture
What Your Drink Order Says About You, According to Bartenders

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Your favorite cocktail isn’t just a delicious refreshment; it’s also a tell. While no good bartender would ever deny someone a cocktail or discriminate against guests based on their choices, he or she can't help but draw some conclusions about customers based on their orders. So next time you go to order a drink, know that you’re making a certain kind of impression—and tip generously if it's a Ramos Gin Fizz. Here, what your drink order says about you, according to bartenders.

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Vodka Martini

“Vodka Martinis are for highly successful, highly functional alcoholics.” — David Bumba, Yuzu, Lakewood, OH

“‘I like to stay classy. Wait whoa?!? This doesn't taste right. What kind of Martinis do you have? I wanted, like, a Lemon Drop you know?’” — Morrison Nicols, No Vacancy, Los Angeles

“You like what you like and ‘who cares what that smug bartender thinks? He can piss off.’" Steven Robbins, Half Step, Austin, TX  

“A Vodka Martini tells me a customer wants to appear elegant, but doesn't want to repeat his or her quite unfortunate ‘Gincident.’" — Vikram Hedge, Little Donkey, Cambridge MA

“I know all you want is cold vodka. No vermouth, maybe an olive. You just want to get drunk and you don't want it to taste like anything.” — Justin Garcidiaz, Aviary, Portland, OR  

“You want what you want, how you want it. You are challenging and appreciative. You’re willing to be let down many times so that you can be enchanted by your favorite things in their perfect form.” — Brandy Feit, Headwaters, Portland, OR  

“You own several volumes of Presidential Biographies by Arthur M Schlesinger Jr. You feel that Andrew Jackson has been unfairly maligned.” — Drew Record, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco, CA

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Manhattan

“A Wall Street guy. He’ll down three Manhattans with lunch and go back to work.” — Carlos Arteaga, Halifax, Hoboken, NJ

“You enjoy the finer things in life, from the Italian leather jacket on your back to the sleek designer frames you're using to stare down the glass in front of you, as you enjoy the Luxardo cherry at the bottom of it—the perfect end to your elegant nightcap.” — Justin Nelson, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, Los Angeles, CA

“If a woman walks up and knows the whiskey she wants when ordering her Manhattan, I’m ready to high five her.” — Melody Plate, Kitty Cohen’s, Austin, TX

“Just finished Madmen.” — Morrison Nicols

"It must be dinner time, old man." — Stephen Wicker, The Regent Cocktail Club, Miami, FL

“You embrace living. You are as positive as you are pragmatic. You like food as much as you like nice spirits.” — Brandy Feit

“You’re an old soul.” — David Williams, Bacari G.D.L. at The Americana at Brand, Glendale, CA

“You always come in last in your office fantasy football league, despite your advanced degree in statistical analysis. You always think you'll do better next year, despite the fact you really can't afford to lose the hundred dollar buy in.” — Drew Record

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Ramos Gin Fizz

“You feel the need to escalate things to the next level. You're not satisfied with an everyday sour.” — Justin Nelson

“‘I know pretty much everything about cocktails. This one has egg whites. I brought an egg for you, just in case.’” — Morrison Nicols

"I just read my first cocktail book.” — Jesse Vida, BlackTail, New York, NY

"You're a jerk, you're now last in line. ‘Hey barback come shake this!'" — Stephen Wicker

“You are enthusiastic and naive. You want me to like you, but you have no clue how you are actually punishing me.” — Brandy Feit

“You pretty much already know what you're doing. I'm probably just going to end up geeking out about gin with you.” — Michael Cerretani, TAG Restaurant, Denver, CO

“You just want to see the bartender work!” — Christian Molina, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, New York, NY

“I was recently traveling in Singapore and a bar I was at had a sign with the ‘House Rules’ on it. Number 7 said ‘F**k your Ramos Gin Fizz.’ Don't get me wrong, it’s a fantastic cocktail and I have no problem stoking you out on a Tuesday with it, but you're an asshole if you knowingly order that on a busy Friday night.” — Elliott Mizuki, Polite Provisions, San Diego, CA

“You have a dark sense of humor. You have lost several significant relationships in your life because you don't know where to draw the line.” — Drew Record

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Negroni

“Negronis are for bartenders who complain about every aspect of their job.” — David Bumba

“Equal parts balanced, bittersweet, sophisticated, with a little zest. I'm not sure if I'm describing the cocktail or the drinker, but I'm sure this would work either way.” — Justin Nelson

“Ordering a Negroni is the new bartender's handshake. If you order one from me, I'll stir two and sip the second for myself, and we'll probably be best friends. Please and thank you.” — Elliott Mizuki

"Now here is someone I can work with. This says you have a more experienced palate and are a shining beacon of hope, cheers to you.” — Steven Robbins

“I can immediately tell I’ll love them and they’ll love me. After I hook them with a balanced, delicious Negroni, I can go down the rabbit hole with so many bitter and spirit options to make Negroni variations.” — Brynn Smith, Sotto, Los Angeles, CA  

“You can speak on more literary works than everyone combined at this bar, and you don’t need to brag about it.” — Brandy Feit

“They may be a hipster, but that's totally ok. Let’s be friends? If you say yes, we're either going to drink a Boulevardier or a Ferrari shot.” — Ted Vong, TAG Restaurant, Denver, CO

“You enjoy the oeuvre of Wes Anderson, but feel his later works may be bouncing too erratically from self-effacing treacle to non-ironic camp.”— Drew Record

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Whiskey Sour

“‘I like whiskey, but I also like video games.’ Takes the bus and knits during the ride.” — Patrick Williams, Punch Bowl Social

“I may or may not be 21.” — Kayla Quigley, Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, Boston, MA

“Would rather be drinking a Jack and Coke.” — David Shenaut, The Rookery, Portland, OR

“You're moving on from from those Whiskey Gingers you've been ordering since day one, and are looking for something a little more complex.” — Justin Nelson

“You're doing your best.” — Alex Berns, MONEYGUN and Saint Lou’s Assembly, Chicago, IL
 
“Nothing wrong here, but it tells me you are fairly new to cocktails and I want to make you a cool variation and possibly your new favorite drink—let's be friends.” — Steven Robbins

“A younger drinker who is trying to mask the liquor.” — Billy Fabel, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Minneapolis, MN

“This is for someone who recognizes they are too old to order Sour Appletinis, but wants a compromise.” — Vikram Hedge

“With egg whites, you are super-trendy. Without, you are an O.G.” — Brandy Feit  

“You once saw Garth Brooks at the mall, shopping at a Lane Bryant. It is your great regret that you didn't say hi.” — Drew Record

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

White Russian

“White Russians are for people who just wanna chill out and secretly be at home listening to their vinyl collection.” — David Bumba

“My great-grandmother on a bender.” — David Shenaut

“You've just watched The Big Lebowski, are obsessed with the movie, or you're standing in front of me in a bathrobe, sun glasses, shorts, and leather sandals, and I already started making you one the moment you walked in the door. Right on dude.” — Justin Nelson

“If this is all you drink, you clearly haven’t puked up milk-laced vodka yet.” — Lucia Appell, Kelly’s Olympian, Portland, OR

“You either have a good sense of humor or you're dumber than a bag of hammers.” — Steven Robbins

“Really like rugs and how well they tie rooms together.” — Dan Drake, Trench, Chicago, IL

“I had a guest once turn their nose up at the Milk Punch I had on my menu, because ‘why would you combine milk and alcohol? Gross!’ But then—no joke—ordered a White Russian. I don't know what that says about this particular drink, but I'll never be able to forgive the Coen brothers.” — Justin Garcidiaz

“Respectable by my standards. Almost all bartenders have deemed me gross because of it.” — Jane Danger, Mother of Pearl, New York, NY

“You are kitschy. You once got a rash from a coat purchased at the Salvation Army. Your favorite color is plaid.” — Drew Record

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Long Island Iced Tea

“‘I won’t have fun, unless I get drunk.’ Either doesn’t have an active driver’s license due to a DUI, or drives a big truck. — Patrick Williams

“You are 21. You have never seen a craft cocktail. You are trying to get white girl wasted.” — Morgan Zuch, Datz, Tampa, FL

“You want to have a hell of a night and not remember the last half of it or how you got home. It's kind of like teleporting, but less complicated.” — Justin Nelson

“Can I see your ID?” — Will Rivas, Pawn Broker, Miami, FL

“‘I'm going to make your night hell. I’ll try to juggle your garnish fruit later, and probably throw up. But hey, make it strong.’” — Morrison Nicols

“Your name is Frank or Blaine or Tony and you have one mission in life, to be noticed goddammit.” — Drew Record

“Faith in humanity destabilized, but maintaining.” — Anthony Schmidt, CH Projects, San Diego, CA

“An amateur thinks of the bar as a place to get drunk, and the Long Island reflects that mindset. Try not to be an amateur.” — Ian Hardie, Huckleberry Bar, Brooklyn, NY  

“We didn’t have your first two requests of Fireball and Goldschläger.” — Brandy Feit

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Cosmopolitan

“You don't let the zeitgeist dictate your drink preferences. Also you just got an HBO Go password from your sister-in-law and are catching up on Sex in the City.” — Drew Record

“‘You don’t have frozen Mango Daiquiris?’ Drives a Volkswagen Beetle or a fun looking Kia.” — Patrick Williams

“Where's the rest of the bachelorette party!?” — Justin Nelson

“I can’t decide whether I admire or abhor a man who orders a Cosmo for himself at the bar.” — Lucia Appell

“I may think that it's been awhile since you've been out, but I'm not judging.” — Steven Robbins

“A smart girl who can handle her liquor.”  — Stephen Wicker

Sex and the City has been over since 2004. If you're still drinking Cosmopolitans, you need to let it go. I'm sad too, trust me, but move on.” — Justin Garcidiaz

“You are the kind of cool that cannot be quantified or qualified.” — Brandy Feit

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Moscow Mule

“You fancy yourself a trendsetter. You have a subscription to both Better Homes & Gardens and Sunset. You have strong opinions on how lime wedges should be cut.” — Drew Record

“‘I know what I like to drink and I’ve been doing it well for five years now!’ Drives a Toyota Camry.” — Patrick Williams

“You've grown tired of those Vodka Cranberries, and found something just as tasty, less sweet, and with a little bite.” — Justin Nelson

“You're probably going to be really disappointed that I don't serve it in a copper mug—people steal them!” — Michael Huebner, Revival Cafe Bar, Chicago, IL

“No copper cup?! Ok, I'll have a Stella then.” — Morrison Nicols

“No problem, but I'm guessing you just switched from a Vodka Soda and I don't want to scare you back into your burrow, so I will happily make you one. Tell me about that wild cruise you just went on. How high was the chocolate fountain?” — Steven Robbins

“You love aesthetics more than you love ginger. Go on, get that Instagram cheers-ing shot.” — Brandy Feit

“This drinker likely panicked and didn't know what else to order.” — Ted Vong

“It was the first cocktail you ever had and the only one you'll ever order.” — Justin Garcidiaz

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Mojito

“They know what's up, but only during ‘white pants’ season.” — David Shenaut

“Did you go on a tropical trip that you want to tell me about?” — Brandon Bigalke, White Bison and Pendulum, Vail, CO

“You had one of these that first time you vacationed in Florida and had the time of your life. You look to replicate that feeling and have this drink take you back to that beach every time.” — Justin Nelson

“You spent a semester abroad in college, but failed to properly assimilate to the culture. You secretly ate McDonald's twice a week.” — Drew Record

“‘I’m scared of trying new things and your menu looks intimidating.’” — Gaby Mlynarczyk, Accomplice and Birch, Los Angeles, CA  

“‘Ohhh no, no—too sour. Nope, this one is too sweet. Nope, this one is too strong. Can you top it with soda? I'll close out, just one.’” — Morrison Nicols

“‘You hate making these, right?? Make meeee onnnneeeeee!!’” — Lucia Appell

“Whoever ordered this THINKS it's hardest drink I have to make all night, but they don't know Ramos Fizz Guy just left.” — Vikram Hedge

“You're probably a cool cat looking for something refreshing. Just please don't crush it faster than I can make it—these things take time.” — Ted Vong

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Margarita

“This person knows more than they let on and is judging.” — David Shenaut

“‘I’m a bit of a Diet Coke addict, but I like Margaritas!’ Drives a minivan or station wagon.” — Patrick Williams

“Gotta be the only tequila drink you know.” — Priscilla de Luna, The Robey, Chicago, IL

“You've perfected your order of your favorite Margarita and, depending on your current mood, this Margarita can be the catalyst for an epic evening, or simply a compliment to those wonderful shrimp tacos in front of you.” — Justin Nelson

“The quintessential drink for a person who doesn't plan on remembering what happens next.” — Vikram Hedge

“I love you, you are the life of the party.” — Brandy Feit

“What other cocktails do you know with tequila in them? None? Here's a Mexican Firing Squad. You'll thank me later.” — Ted Vong

“You wear sensible shoes to work and always allow enough time for traffic. Your sex toy collection is organized by color and complexity.” — Drew Record

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