How Much You Should Actually Tip On Beer Vs Cocktails

Going out to a bar with friends or on a date can be one of the most enjoyable experiences out there. Of course, while we're out having a good time, it's important to remember that our fun is made possible by one very important group of people: the bartenders. It's important to make sure we treat the bartenders well and tip appropriately. One question that may arise is exactly how much to tip based on the drink that you ordered — namely, how much you should tip on a beer versus a cocktail. They're different drinks, so they warrant different tips, right?

To find out, Tasting Table spoke with an expert on the matter: Lex Madden, the bar manager at Point Easy in Denver, Colorado. According to Madden, the tip amount does depend on what kind of drink you order. Madden said, "As a general rule, tip more for things that take more effort; so, a cocktail is probably going to necessitate a higher tip than a draft beer."

Consider the service experience when it comes time to tip

While it's a good practice to always tip more for a cocktail than a beer, it's not the only thing to keep in mind. Madden explained that you also need to think about the type of interaction you had with the bartender. Madden explained, "Whatever you are ordering, you should tip on the service you receive and the experience you have with the bartender. Generally, if you are sitting at the bar and interacting with the bartender multiple times to order drinks and/or food, you should tip exactly the same way you would if you sat at a table in the same restaurant, so about 20% of your total bill."

On the other hand, if you order at the bar, then take your drink to the table, you don't need to tip 20% of your bill. Instead, tip based on the drink alone. Madden says that this means one or two dollars per drink.