The Reason You Should Avoid Ordering A Bartender's Favorite Drink

While it might seem fun or convivial to ask a bartender what their favorite cocktail is, and then have them make it for you, there is a good reason why you shouldn't. Bartenders know how to mix a myriad of different drinks, of course, but when it comes to their favorite, it's an entirely personal thing. A bartender's drinking preferences are likely different from your own. So why would you run the risk of potentially paying for a drink you don't actually like?

Think about it this way. If you're someone who likes fruity flavors, but the bartender gives you a neat scotch just because you thought ordering their favorite drink would add a dash of whimsy to your evening, how disappointed would you be? The bartender knows that you are just trying to be a good sport, but unless you are one of their personal friends or a seasoned regular, the chances of you sharing the same drink preferences are slim.  

Bartenders are quite literally fountains of mixology knowledge. They know the tried-and-true classics, and even some more obscure drinks. All you need to do is share your own preferences with them, and they can recommend something that you'd actually enjoy. 

Figure out what you like by asking the bartender

Provided the bar isn't too busy and there is not a backlog of orders, a good bartender will be more than happy to chat and explain certain drinks to you. Let's say you love gin and tonic. That immediately tells the bartender that you might be one for more classic, well-established drinks that are based around gin. They could recommend a Tom Collins, a Vesper martini, or a Gimlet. 

You like bitters and whiskey? Try an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. If you're into brighter flavor notes, a cosmo or paloma could be your new favorite since these both involve fruits like cranberry, lime, and grapefruit. And if you mention that you love Ernest Hemingway, the bartender will likely make you a daiquiri that can be made with or without sugar. 

These are classic bar staples, but there are more out-of-left-field drinks, like a Pousse Café, that a good bartender could make. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned bar fly looking for a little variety or someone who is just starting out on their cocktail journey, bartenders are excellent resources to help you discover the drinks that you like.