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How to Order in a Bar

The trick to ordering a drink in a crowded bar? Make it as easy on the bartender as possible.


  • Step 1: Decide what you want Decide what you want before you approach the bartender. Many places have drinks menus on the bar or posted behind it.
  • Step 2: Smile & be polite Smile and be polite, even if it takes the bartender a while to get to you.
  • TIP: Don't shout "Yo," wave your arms wildly, or snap your fingers—or you might just find that you've become invisible.
  • Step 3: Have cash/credit card ready Have your cash or credit card ready when you order.
  • TIP: Be specific about which brand of alcohol or kind of wine you want—unless you don't mind being served the lower quality "well" liquor and "house" wine.
  • Step 4: Choose fallback drink Have a fallback drink in mind, especially if your beverage of choice is obscure or complicated.
  • Step 5: Ordering a round If you're ordering a round, enlist one of your friends to help you carry the drinks.
  • Step 6: Tip generously Pay promptly and tip generously. If you're a pleasant customer, maybe your next drink will be on the house!
  • FACT: Vodka is the spirit of choice, accounting for 27% of all liquor sales.

You Will Need

  • Cash or a credit card
  • A drink in mind
  • and a second choice

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