If you're like most people, you've got your favorite cocktails: your go-to summer drink, your warm-me-up winter drink, the quick before-dinner drink you mix for yourself on a busy weeknight after a long day of work. I find in my day-to-day life, there are few surprises when it comes to cocktails. Recently I learned I was wrong. There's a lot your bartender is not telling you. Reader's Digest just came up with a list of 13 Things Your Bartender Won't Tell You. Some of them were more geared toward etiquette (obviously whistling at anyone isn't a great way to get attention or service), while others were geared more towards the way the food industry and bars in particular function (last year, liquor sales were down 2.2 %). But the things I found most interesting were the little bits that affect your experience and my experience as a cocktail drinker and a customer. Here goes:
1. You're not tipping enough: I'll admit it: I usually tip $1 per drink. But apparently "that doesn't fly if you order a $12 cocktail. Tip at least 15 percent," Reader's Digest suggests.
2. Be wary of garnishes: At some bars, the cocktail garnishes and snacks sit out for days.
3. Last call: It's uncool to order a round of drinks after last call. Bartenders hate this. Your cocktail order may not be quite as carefully poured.
4. Going wireless: Some bars now use wireless gadgets to measure how much liquor is poured in each drink. Carefully calculated, less crafted.
5. Call it like it is: If you want a drink strong, bartenders say just order a double. That's what it is, that's what you're getting, and you've got to pay accordingly.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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