How to Become a Regular at a Cocktail Bar

on 10/01/12 at 3:18 pm

Booze News

Want that Cheers experience where everyone shouts out your name when you walk into your neighborhood bar? Bartender Jason Bran tells you how to get it.

Becoming a regular at a cocktail bar can be as simple as showing up frequently. But this doesn’t always mean that you are in the good graces of the staff. If you are aiming to become a welcomed regular at your local bar, here are a few tips to help attain, and maintain, preferred status (it’s like getting to board the airplane ahead of everyone else, but with cocktails).

Be friendly.
Most bar transactions start with the bartender asking, “How are you?”. Most of the time, when someone asks you that, you answer “fine” or “great.” But it’s surprising how many bar patrons will disregard the formality and respond with their order. Score a few extra points by taking a moment to say “hello” back. It is strangely exceptional and courteous, and who doesn’t like a bar full of courteous people?

Use the cocktail menu.
In case you didn’t notice, every bar has a cocktail menu. This menu is a reflection of what the bar is about and what the bar staff likes. You may have your mainstays, but if you want to try something new, start with the cocktail menu. It’s also a great way to strike up a conversation with the bartender.

Don’t assume that bartenders only want to talk spirits and cocktails.
Talking shop can be nice, but if your visits start to feel like an interrogation on the latest cocktail trends, you will be avoided in favor of the folks a few stools down laughing and joking about non-cocktail subjects. Approach conversations with your bartender as you would with a new friend. You might actually make a new friend that way.

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