How to Order a Cocktail Like a Pro

It’s no secret that when you enter an exquisite cocktail bar there’s this pressure to act like you know what you’re doing. For those who visit high-end bars on the regular, this isn’t much of a problem. They know what they want and they know how to ask for it. 

For the novice cocktail drinker, they can look at this confident bargoer with envy. Because when it comes to ordering a complicated cocktail drink with unknown ingredients, it can make anyone feel overwhelmed and insecure. 

The Most Important Thing You Should Know About Ordering a Cocktail 

The most important thing to keep in mind when ordering a nice drink is this: it’s okay to not know. Who cares that you don’t know how to order this really long drink with words you don’t know? Honestly, no one. 

The best thing you can do is to be confident and aware of your ignorance. Don’t try to pretend that you know about something when you don’t. It’s much more embarrassing to act like you know something and to end up blundering the whole thing. 

Ask yourself, why am I at this wonderful cocktail bar tonight? Is it to try something new and have fun with my friends, or is it to impress the people I’m with by being someone I’m not? The most important thing is to have fun, enjoy yourself, and let go of all of that unneeded pressure. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions 

When it comes to ordering a cocktail, don’t be afraid to ask your waiter or bartender questions. If you don’t know where to start, ask them what they recommend. They know the drinks available like the back of their hand and will be happy to share with you what they enjoy. 

The follow-up to this would be to know what you like. Do you like sweeter drinks, or maybe something a little bit more dry and bitter? Do you like interesting flavor profiles, like blackberry and rosemary, or maybe something with citrus in it? 

Knowing what alcohol base you prefer is also helpful in finding the drink that is right for you. Do you prefer a mixed drink with vodka or tequila, or are you more of a whiskey drinker?

If you are completely new to alcohol and are still unsure, then don’t be afraid to try whatever sticks out to you. Look through the cocktail menu thoroughly, and if there is an unknown ingredient or phrase, don’t be afraid to ask your waiter or friends what it means. 

The thing is, if you try to order a complicated cocktail just because it might impress the people around you, you’ll probably end up with something you won’t like. Keep it simple, and try something you think you’ll enjoy. 

Do Your Research 

If you really want to be prepared and know what you’re going to order beforehand the best thing would be to do your research. If you know you want vodka as your base, try searching for the best vodka cocktails to order. 

We live in an era where we have knowledge at our fingertips. You’ve made a great start by reading this article, now it’s time to take it one step further into the vast world of exquisite alcohol and elegant cocktails. 

Make Sure You Know The Basics 

While it’s completely fine to learn along the way, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the basics. These are classic terms that will help you communicate with your waiter and be more confident in your order. 

● On the Rocks: You’ve probably heard this phrase before, and it means your drink will be served with ice. This is common with ordering whiskey but can be used with other drinks as well. 

● Well: Refers to the alcohol found in the bar’s ‘well’ and usually includes the cheapest/generic alcohol brands. This is helpful when asked what base alcohol you would like but you are unsure of what you like. Ask the bartender to give you something from the well, or ask what they have available from the well. 

● Neat: Refers to ordering a single alcohol with no mixers (other ingredients), ice, or water.

● Up: This term is used when you would like your cocktail served in a stemmed glass with the ice strained out. 

Now that you have a handle on the basics, you’re ready to dress up and go enjoy that high-end cocktail bar with your friends. Remember: don’t complicate it, let go of any pressure, and have fun!