The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Eleven

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a fancy cocktail bar and found the cocktail menu absolutely indecipherable.   Today we’re talking about what to order in a cocktail bar (or any bar for that matter) so you’re always prepared!

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In today’s Episode…

We’re talking about what you should order in a cocktail bar. When you walk into an unfamiliar place it can sometimes be difficult to know what to order. Here are a couple hints to help make sure you’ll get something you’ll like!

Know a Few Standbys

In general, it’s good to have 2-3 cocktails that you know you like.  Choose common cocktails and it’s a safe bet that the bartender will have heard of it.  A Margarita or Moscow Mule are good examples. Another good standby is something crazy simple like a “Rum and Coke.”  It’s not going to be the best cocktail you’ve ever had, but it probably won’t be the worst! Finally, there’s nothing wrong with ordering a beer or house wine.  It’s always a safe bet that it’ll be drinkable, and probably not bad at all!

Look Around

You can usually get a lot of information about “what’s good here” from taking a look around.  Look for cues like:

  • Is everyone in the whole place drinking beer?  Get a beer.
  • Is the environment high-end and the cocktails priced high for the area?  You’ll probably get a good drink off their cocktail menu.
  • If you see a lot of people drinking the same thing, it might be a house specialty – give it a try!

Ask the Bartender

If the place isn’t too busy, you can always go ahead and ask the bartender what he/she recommends. When you do, expect to get a couple questions like:

  • What spirits do you like? (Gin? Vodka? Bourbon?)
  • What do you feel like? (Something light? Bubbly? Spirit focused?)

Come prepared with a few thoughts on what you feel like and the bartender will probably be able to help you find something great.  Again, judge your environment before attempting – if it’s a beer bar, the bartender might be annoyed if you ask him for a bespoke cocktail!

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We’ll be back next week with another episode all about some of our favorite cocktail books, so stick around!

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