By: Dan Gentile
Some people say there's no such thing as a stupid question, but those people have never been asked about the gluten content of a margarita. Bartenders field questions like this all the time, and although most are happy to help clueless customers, there are certain questions that draw the ire of even the friendliest barkeep... and they're asked with alarming frequency. Here are the questions you should never ask a bartender -- but probably will -- according to actual bartenders.
Credit: Flickr/Susanne Nilsson
Why isn't this glass full?
Because the only place you're going to see a full glass of wine is in the hands of Tyrion Lannister.
What do you make the best?
Some drinks are more complicated than others, but bartenders don't think this way because the same basic skills go into making a Manhattan as a martini. Most often, this question gets translated as "what's the easiest drink for you to make right now?" Especially considering that it makes you sound like you don't give a crap what you're drinking.
What's your favorite thing to make?
This question is also translated as "what's the easiest drink for you to make right now?"
Credit: Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski
You are! What you meant to ask is if there "are any specials running tonight?"
What's good here?
At the heart of this question there's an honest desire to learn what makes a bar unique, but there are far better/less condescending ways to ask. This implies that other than their specialty rum punch bowls, everything else tastes like a snifter of mediocrity.
Could I have something that's not too sweet?
Your bartender is probably happy to lay off the simply syrup, but this question rules out Jolly Rancher shots and little else. The problem is that everyone's sweetness barometer is different, and also that the stereotypical person asking this question doesn't know any other criteria for how to describe a cocktail. A bartender is glad to listen to you as you describe your tastes, so do that instead.
Credit: Flickr/Steve Bennett
Can you make a Bob Marley shot?
They probably can, but will need a few minutes to consult a bartending book purchased on sale from Spencer's Gifts.
Will this give me a headache?
Unless the bartender doubles as your primary care physician, he doesn't know about your history of migraines.
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