6 Tips For Ordering Drinks With Confidence

Are you looking to switch things up on your next night out but don’t know how to order cocktails? Our Happy Hour and weekday specials are the perfect way to explore how to order at a bar and try new things. You may already know your drinks that you typically like to order, but we’ll share how to move beyond your comfort zone and expand your horizons. With a Happy Hour special featuring our signature cocktails and $10 sushi rolls, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to indulge in variety. 

Tips to Get a Drink at the Bar

For many people, the college experience is an education in alcohol. Formal education in ordering adult beverages and understanding what’s in them usually comes much later, leading to embarrassing situations at the bar. When you’re wondering, “What drink should I get?” Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when you’re out with friends and colleagues:

1. Ask questions – As the old saying goes, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone knows what it’s like to be a beginner and learning how to order a drink in one of those moments. Although you may feel dumb asking questions, you’ll look worse not asking when you had an opportunity to do so. Like any other expert, a bartender will be happy to share their expertise unless they’re very busy. If they aren’t available, they will have a menu available to look over. Here are a few questions you shouldn’t ask to avoid complete embarrassment: 

  • Why isn’t my glass full – If you’re ordering a glass of wine, it will not be full. 
  • What’s a good drink here – Asking this question implies that the drinks are mediocre or not as great as your used to. A better way to ask this question is to inquire about the most popular drinks and what the bartender would recommend. Many bartenders will prepare the easiest drinks in response. 
  • What’s a cheap drink here – Drinks can get expensive, so this question is valid. A better way to ask about drink prices is to request a menu of drink specials. 

2. Bar lingo – Learning bar terminology can go a long way when ordering drinks. Your bartender will know exactly what you mean when you make a request, and you will impress your friends. To avoid confusion or embarrassment, use these terms when you get a drink: 

  • On the rocks – A drink made this way should include ice. The opposite term for a drink without ice is “straight-up.” 
  • Neat – Any drink served at room temperature without ice, usually a shot directly from the bottle. 
  • Dirty – When referencing martinis, using this term means you want more olive juice added to your drink. If you’ve heard the term Dirty Martini, it is referring to the extra olive juice. The dirtier the martini is, the more olive juice is added. 
  • Well drink – If you reference a well drink in your order, you’re telling the bartender that you have no alcohol preference and to give you the cheapest option. The liquor brand or mix is not mentioned. 
  • Back – When ordering back, you are referring to a small glass of something like water or soft drink to accompany your drink. 
  • Shooter – A shooter is any one or two-ounce drink meant to be consumed all at once. 

3. Basics – One of the easiest ways to avoid embarrassment when you get a drink at a bar is to know your drinks. With so much variety with beer and wine, it can be helpful to understand the differences in temperature, fermentation, and region. Here are a few popular choices to begin with: 

  • Ciders – This is a preferred drink if you don’t like the taste of beer or wine. Ciders are made in the same way as beer with fermented yeast and made with fruit. This process gives it a sweet and refreshing flavor that is appealing to those who don’t like the taste of beer. 
  • IPAs – An Indian pale ale is made with hops and is more intense and bitter than a typical beer. Most beer drinkers will say it’s an acquired taste that has become trendy with craft beers. Some popular choices include Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Lagunitas IPA.
  • Wheat beer – This is an easier beer option with less of the intensity of an IPA and regular beers. Popular subtypes of wheat beer include witbiers and hefeweizens, which are brewed in different ways. Some well-known brands include Blue Moon and Allagash White. 
  • Merlot – This is one of the most well-known red wines because it is easy to drink. They are considered a fruity flavor with hints of chocolate and cherry notes. 
  • Cabernet sauvignon – Most wine connoisseurs consider cabernet as a more sophisticated and aged wine compared to merlot. For those who don’t drink wine regularly, this can be an acquired taste. 
  • Whiskey soda or gin and tonic – This is a standard bar choice. If you don’t know how to order cocktails, this choice is an easy one. It’s a basic recipe for any alcohol with a fizzy soda. 
  • Martini – When you order a martini, you should let the bartender know whether you want gin or vodka and whether you want it dry or wet. They are usually made with gin. When you order a martini dry, you are requesting the drink to be made with less vermouth, making the martini more bitter. They will also ask if you want it shaken or stirred. 

4. Taste – When you don’t know how to order a drink, ask for a sample! You may not be able to do this with liquor, but most bars will allow you to sample wine or beer. If the bar is really busy, you may have a hard time getting one, but most restaurants will oblige. Another way to avoid embarrassment when you don’t know how to order a drink is to ask for a flight. It will usually include a variety of alcohol samples like mimosas, craft beers, and wines. This will help you determine which drink to order in full size. 

5. Cocktail menu – If you’re still wondering, “What drink should I get?” get a drink from the cocktail menu to keep things simple. The menu will be a showcase of what that particular establishment does best.

6. Prepare – If you know the bar, restaurant, or other location you’re going to, check out the menu in advance, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Spend some time thinking about the spirits and flavors you enjoy the most. This will give the bartender an idea of where to start when making your first drink. 

Get a Drink With Us

Our weekly Happy Hour is the best destination for winding down after a long day of work. Our signature cocktails, beer, and wine are all half off, coupled with $10 sushi rolls. If you don’t know how to order at a bar, start with these fun options from our menu:

  • Public Square Punch
  • Miami Sidecar
  • SoMi
  • Maccaw
  • NightCap
  • Monk Juice
  • Con Maduros
  • Corner Spot
  • Citrus Boulevard
  • From the Keys to Cuba
  • 11 Spritz

Pair these drinks with any of our sushi rolls like Spicy Tuna Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, and many more. Enjoy other seafood options from our Raw bar or small plates from our Bites menu. We are here to serve you!

Call to reserve a table or visit our website today for our Happy Hour specials!