How To Order A Cocktail At A Bar And Seriously Impress Your Bartender

What are good bar shots?

Sweet, Yummy, Yummy Shot Drinks

Buttery Nipple: Butterscotch liqueur, Bailey’s. Chocolate Cake: Frangelico, vanilla vodka. Girl Scout Cookie: Bailey’s, Kahlua, peppermint schnapps. Jolly Rancher: Midori melon liqueur, amaretto OR peach and apple schnapps.


Whiskey Cocktails

There are dozens of whiskey cocktails available. T

There are dozens of whiskey cocktails available. They include the Whiskey Sour, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Mint Julep, and Spiked Southern Tea.

The flavors of these cocktails can vary greatly, so you will eventually find one that you absolutely love. When ordering a whiskey cocktail, simply tell the bartender the name of the cocktail you are interested in drinking.

“With a Twist”

With a twist simply means adding a thin strip of citrus peel to the edge of the glass. This can help to accentuate some of the flavors in your whiskey.

A related option is “with a Lemon/Lime”, which will add a lemon or lime wedge to the side of the glass.


If you walk into a bar and order a Dry Martini, &#

If you walk into a bar and order a Dry Martini, “neat”, you might be served a tepid shot of Martini and Rossi Dry Vermouth in a room-temperature glass. That’s how the term “neat” is used. Although you know how much I love vermouth, nothing about that order sounds appetizing. What you were probably looking for was a Dry Martini, served “up. “Up” implies that there was some preparation involved, and that there is no ice in the final product. You can have a Manhattan on the rocks, or I can give it to you “up”.

Bloody Marys

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Is it brunch? Is it breakfast, and you’re on vacation? Are you at a bar at the airport? Unless you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, it is not OK to order a Bloody Mary. Don’t get me wrong, I adore a good Bloody Mary. The horseradish… the celery salt… wondering what inventive garnish I may get (I got a strip of bacon once!).

But I know that even a restaurant that makes the best Bloody Marys in town only has the correct mix fresh and ready to go during the brunch and breakfast hours. Order it at any other time, and you’re getting that God-awful Mr. & Mrs. T’s pre-made Bloody Mary mix they give you in cans on airplanes, or you’re getting an annoyed bartender who’s wondering what would possess a person to order a Bloody Mary during Happy Hour.

7. Eggermeister


1 1/2 ounce Jaegermeister One pickled egg

This shot includes a pickled egg. Repeat, this shot includes a pickled egg. Don’t be that person. Your breath will thank you for it.

“Whatever’s cheapest”

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Look, I get it, you’re out for a night with your friends, and you need to stick to a budget. That’s fair. But you don’t exactly want to scream out “I don’t plan to tip you.” So let me help you out here. The cheapest drinks in a bar are going to be the domestic (American) beers in a can or on tap. Next up we have the well drinks — that’s the cheapest basic booze behind the bar, mixed with soda. We might charge you more for the juice mixers, depending on the bar.

A better question to ask the bartender is “do you have any drink specials?” Your barkeep will understand you are looking for a good value, and might direct you to the PBR cans and a shot of whiskey special, or perhaps a specific liquor brand is running a promotion for the night.

One trick I use when trying to not drink too much is to ask for a mixed drink, like a vodka and soda, in a tall glass. I’m not requesting more alcohol, just more soda water so my drink lasts longer. No matter what you order, though, it’s NEVER acceptable to not tip, and you should tip per drink. So figure that into your budget, and really dig into those couch cushions before you head out for the evening.

Whats the easiest alcohol to drink straight?

Whiskey is really the only alcohol that you can drink straight out of the bottle. Spirits like gin and vodka are meant for mixing, and are actually improved by other ingredients.

Printable Shots List

If you’re training to be a bartender, or just want to be able to make delicious shots for your friends and family, you can have all of these recipes in a printable PDF to use at any time! Print it out, or save it on your phone for later.

2. Choose a Whiskey Type

Next, you will have to choose the type of whiskey you would like to drink. There are several styles of whiskey, with the most common being:

  • Scotch Whisky Made in Scotland. Typically made from malted barley or grain, double distilled, and aged in oak casks. It has a powerful flavor that is earthy and smokey. Often rich in vanilla and various fruits. The higher quality Scotch whiskies are usually best enjoyed with a dash of water.
  • Irish Whiskey Made in Ireland. Made from yeast-fermented grain mash or using a mash of malted cereals. Usually triple distilled and aged for three years in a wooden cask. It has a light, clean and smooth flavor compared to Scotch. Often quite delicate with a flowery aroma.
  • Bourbon Whiskey Made in the United States. Made from a mash that consists of 51% or more corn and aged in charred oak casks. It has a very sweet and smokey taste. Often consumed straight or mixed with cola.
  • Tennessee Whiskey The same as Bourbon but it must be made in Tennessee. The other major difference is that the whiskey is filtered through or steeped in charcoal before going into the barrels for aging. This process gives the whiskey a cleaner flavor.
  • Rye Whiskey Usually made in North American. Made from a mash that is at least 51% rye. It has a fruity and spicy flavor, making it ideal for cocktails.
  • Japanese Whiskey The Japanese are expert whiskey makers. They usually produce whiskeys from double malted or seated barley. They tend to be drier and smokier than Scotch whiskies.
  • Malt Whiskey Made from a mash that is at least 51% malted barley. Similar in flavor to Scotch whisky.
  • Wheat Whiskey Made from a mash that is at least 51% wheat. It has a sweet flavor.

Aside from the origin, some whiskies have several variations. For example, Scotch whisky can be:

  • Single malt (100% malt whisky with malt from one distillery)
  • Blended malt (100% malt whisky which has malt from multiple distilleries)
  • Blended whiskies (a combination of malt and grain whiskies blended together)
  • Cask strength (bottled from the cask undiluted, at a very high strength)
  • Single cask (the bottle was poured from one cask)

These variations will affect the flavor of the spirit and are worth considering when choosing between different whiskeys.

Some whiskeys will also specify an age, which is how long it has been aged in the barrel. For example, Glenfiddich offers a 12-year-old, 15 year old, and 23-year-old single malt Scotch whisky (among others). Some bars will have bottles of different ages, so if you want an older bottle, which is typically nicer but more expensive, you will need to specify it.

It can take some time to decide which style of whiskey you prefer, but that journey is a fun part of the whiskey-learning process. Read some of the reviews on our website to find whiskeys that have the flavors you like to taste in your drinks.

10. The Tapeworm


1 ounce vodka 1/2 ounce Tabasco sauce Dash of pepper Dash of mayonnaise

In case you didn’t know, a tapeworm is a parasite that thrives in human intestines, sometimes growing as large as 15 feet. The only excuse for ordering this shot is being unaware of what a tapeworm is. Now that you know, there is no excuse to ever, ever order this shot.


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