How Do You Order a Drink at a Bar?


We’ve all been there—standing awkwardly at a busy bar, trying to flag down the bartender without looking like a total newbie. Trust me, ordering a drink isn’t as complicated as it seems if you know the ropes. Stick around as we go over the etiquette, the do’s and don’ts, and everything else you need to know to get your perfect sip!


The Basics: What You Should Know Before You Go

So, before you head out, let’s get a couple of basics out of the way. First off, make sure you’re carrying valid ID that proves you’re of legal drinking age. Nobody wants to be the party pooper who gets turned away at the door.

ID and Age: Always carry a valid ID that shows you’re of legal drinking age. No ID, no drink—plain and simple.

Types of Bars: From swanky cocktail bars to dive bars, each place has its own vibe. Know what you’re in the mood for.

Know Your Drink: Don’t be the person who holds up the line because they can’t decide between a Mojito and a Margarita.

The key takeaway here? Be prepared. Know what you want and have your ID ready. It’s as simple as that.

Making Your Approach: When and How

Alright, so you’re at the bar, ID in pocket and drink in mind. Now what? Timing and technique are everything.

When to Approach: Try to catch the bartender’s eye when they’re not slammed. In other words, avoid the busiest times if you can.

Getting Attention: A simple nod or smile can go a long way. No need to wave your arms like you’re flagging down a taxi.

Wait Your Turn: Be patient. If someone was there before you, let them order first. Good things come to those who wait, right?

Remember, bartenders are people too, and a little bit of etiquette can go a long way in getting you that dream drink.

The Art of Communication

Once you’ve got the bartender’s attention, it’s time to place your order. Sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people fumble at this stage.

Speak Clearly: Loud music and crowd noise are your enemies here. Make sure to speak loud and clear.

Bar Lingo: Terms like “on the rocks” or “neat” can be helpful, but don’t get too caught up in the lingo.

Custom Orders: If you like your drink a specific way, now’s the time to say so. Just don’t be overly complicated.

So, be straightforward and clear, and you’ll have that drink in your hand in no time.

Common Drinks and Their Orders

Still unsure about what to order? Let’s look at some classic choices:

Beer: Usually, you’ll be ordering this by the brand. “A pint of Guinness, please.”

Wine: “A glass of the house red,” or specify if you have a particular vintage in mind.

Cocktails: Know the name of the cocktail you want. “One Margarita, please.”

Type of Drink     How to Order

Beer                                      By the brand

Wine                                     By the type or vintage

Cocktails                               By the name

If you’re unsure, you can always ask the bartender for a recommendation.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Ordering

As with anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.


Be polite

Tip appropriately

Thank the bartender


Wave money in the air

Snap your fingers

Complain loudly

And for heaven’s sake, don’t ask for a “strong” drink. Bartenders have to adhere to standard measures.

What to Do While Waiting

You’ve placed your order—great! While waiting:

Be Patient: Good things take time. Don’t rush the bartender.

Socialize: Chat with your friends or make new ones.

Keep an Eye on Your Drink: Safety first. Always know where your drink is.

Paying for Your Drink

When it’s time to settle the bill:

Payment Methods: Most bars accept cards, but it’s always good to carry some cash.

Splitting the Bill: Decide beforehand if you’re splitting with friends.

Tipping: Always tip. How much can depend on your location and the service you received


Well, folks, we’ve been through quite a journey, haven’t we? From walking into the bar with confidence to making that seamless drink order, we’ve covered it all. Remember, ordering a drink isn’t just about what you want in your glass; it’s about the experience, the atmosphere, and yes, even the etiquette. So the next time you’re at a bar, give the bartender a smile, order your drink like you mean it, and don’t forget to tip. After all, life’s too short for bad vibes—or bad drinks! Cheers to you, and may your nights be as smooth as your drink orders.

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