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A Pro Bartender On How To Behave Like A Gentleman At A Bar

on 26/06/13 at 11:23 am

Booze News

ku-mediumWhat drink you order says a lot about you. Christina Hendricks, the first lady of Mad Men and sworn Scotch fan, said it best when we interviewed her late last year: Ordering Johnnie Walker at the bar is “sexy, and it’s confident, and it’s also very classic.”

In that spirit (pun intended), and in the hopes of keeping you a welcome presence at your favorite bar, we interviewed Aidan Demarest, a Los Angeles-based bartender and drinking expert, to provide you with a guide to ordering like a man.

Q: What does every man need before embarking on a night out at the bars?

Aidan Demarest: A plan. [One] that involves a great idea and a possibly terrible idea, just in case. [Start at] a bar that [you] know is great, a standby that’s got a great crowd, great drinks, a great location. Then [throw in] some risk. A backup with a few risks thrown in leaves potential for greatness. It’s usually that surprise location that delivers that “I had the most incredible night last night” night.

Q: What does a man’s bar order say about him?

AD: Volumes. I’d say [that] with your drink order, a woman can decipher your education, work, passion, and pay grade. Your drink and your shoes are probably the two biggest indicators.

It’s the spirits [that are ordered] that says that the person knows something about what they’re drinking. Instead of ordering a scotch and soda, they pick a category. They know exactly what they want, and [have] a reason. If somebody walked in and said, “I’ll take a Ward 8 with Johnnie Walker Black, I would think they would know what they were doing. It’s also a great conversation starter. If you order something a little more obscure and there is a woman next to you that you want to talk to, it usually will start a conversation. Even if it’s an inexpensive drink. [It’s fine to] walk into a great South American place and order a Pisco Sour because you know they make a great Pisco Sour.

Q: You’re known for your deconstructed cocktails. What is the appeal of drinking a spirit neat over a mixed drink?

AD: I love drinking well-made liquor and I love cocktails. So “deconstructed”, to me, just means serving the spirits neat, and a chaser on the side (it could be ginger beer, or it could be a complicated sour, or a fresh juice situation). The appeal is that you get to taste the work that went into the spirit.