Plus, bartenders tell Moneyish the habits customers engage in that drive them craziest
Bartenders find these drink orders hard to swallow.
Appletinis are the no. 1 cocktail that lead bartenders to form negative opinions of their customers, with nearly half (49%) expressing irritation at a customer ordering this beverage, according to a survey conducted by Alcohol.org. The second and third most annoying offenders, respectively, are the Jägerbomb and frozen cocktails.
Bartender Ryan Doyle, 33, of Hoboken, NJ, bar Cooper’s Union, speculated that one of the reasons why these drinks might get on bartenders’ nerves is because cocktails like appletinis or frozen concoctions can be more labor-intensive — particularly during peak times when bars are slammed with customers all at once.
Here’s the list of the 10 most irritating drinks that cause bartenders to look at their customers askance.
1. Appletini: 49%
2. Jägerbomb: 40%
3. Frozen Cocktail: 39%
4. Sex on the Beach: 38%
5. Irish Car Bomb: 30%
6. Light Beer: 29%
7. Long Island Iced Tea: 29%
8. Kahlua and Coffee: 24%
9. Water: 23%
10. Mojito: 19%
With the stunning amount Americans spend at restaurants and bars, there’s high probability that bartenders are fielding many of these orders. Indeed, a report from Quartz found that Americans dropped almost $55 billion at bars and restaurants in 2015 — more than the $52.5 billion that we spent at grocery stores in the same year.
Meanwhile, a single drink at a downtown New York City nightclub is estimated to set you back $16, while high-end Manhattan establishments such as Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar in midtown charge as much as $20 or more. At other high-end spots around the country you can expect to pay the same: At the trendy Matador Bar at the Miami EDITION Hotel on South Beach, cocktails range between $18 and $20, and at celeb-friendly Catch in Los Angeles, you can expect to spend $17 per drink.
Forking over such amounts isn’t enough to protect you from some bartenders’ wrath, though. “It’s not so much what you order, but it’s how you order,” said Alex Mouzakitis, 35, a partner and beverage curator at New York’s HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails in midtown. Customers will “do this thing where they don’t have their order ready and they’ll call you over, and they’ll order one drink and then they’re like, ‘I don’t know what I want…’ It’s my biggest pet peeve.”
On top of that, Mouzakitis is ready to pull his hair out when customers “start butchering drinks,” he vented. “You have cucumber,” so a customer says, “I want a vodka soda with muddled cucumber — [it’s] a really basic drink and you’re trying to act like it’s fancy.” Instead, he’d prefer if those customers simply told him what flavors they crave, and let him do the rest, designing a bespoke cocktail to fit their palates.
Even worse, when overly boozed-up customers start hitting on his fellow clientele. “We used to have a customer come in all the time and harass every girl,” Doyle recounted. “You would see that the girls would leave and you’d have to tell the guy, ‘Listen, you’ve got to stop creeping people out…’ He would blow it off as if you were kind of joking. At the end of the day, he stopped coming around.”
But Doyle says that there are plenty of other perks about his job which he and his fellow bartenders love.
“One of the most rewarding parts of this job… [is that] sometimes you get the change to brighten up somebody’s day or even their week,” by having conversations with customers, Doyle shared. Once, he managed to cheer up a woman who had been a regular at a previous bar of his before her husband passed away a year prior. When she finally returned alone, he managed to put a smile on her face.
“I’d be in a different industry if it wasn’t for the rapport that I get with these people,” Doyle concluded. “It’s the only reason I do it.”
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