Skip to main content

Do you need to "always" ask the guest for preferences in a drink

There are two main opinions out, if it comes to drinks [not only mixed drinks - but also spirits and other liquors] - the first: you serve it how the guest wants it - the second: you serve it as your standard; assuming you have standards in your bar.

There is nothing right or wrong here - there are two philosophies and a lot of grey shades - you just have to understand, what you are doing.

Asking the guest for his preferred serve might sound foolish for some guests. Why? Talking of single malt whisky, cognac [and other brandies], but also highballs or just a Martini cocktail: If you are asking, for ice, the guest might assume, that you don't know what you are doing.

Brandies and single malt whisky [but also eaux de vie, akvavit, even Irish whiskey] are served by default without ice. Don't argue [or do - in the comment section below], it is just like that. If a guest would like to have it on the rocks, he could ask for it [and in most cases we would be happy to individualize the order, wouldn't we]. So why do you want to ask for it?

And highballs, long drinks and so on are just served with usually a lot of ice.

But this topic has another twist. It is not only more professional, to know what is the "default" serving of each drink. It is also the style, quality and standards of the establishments, which is at stakes.
Usually if you are ordering grilled tuna in any style, culinary wizards [read: chefs] agree, that it should be served rare. This is how it is - and only in few occasions a waiter is asking for the temperature of it.
Steaks would be the exception of the rule... but even though - if you are ordering e.g. game, you might be informed, but not necessary asked about the temperature. Why? Because there is the good way - or lets rephase it: the way, the chef intending the dish.

Shouldn't we take the pride, to act similar?

I firmly believe, that in mixology, there are only three main reasons, for »unusual« preparation orders.
  1.  The guest was disappointed in [too many] previous bars - hence his drinks was too warm. So he is ordering on the rocks, to avoid the hassle of complaining and waiting again for another properly fixed drink.
  2. The guest likes to »individualize« for the sake of being different. 
  3. Or our guest was just »informed« wrong before - e.g. he got the drink wrong in a previous bar, hence believes, that he is right.

For point 1 and 3 it is easy for a good bartender to convince the guest, to try the properly mixed, flawless drink in a classic preparation. Yes - a drink stirred or shaken for around 18 seconds will be cold enough and don't need to be served on the rocks, as long as it is rather short...


For point 2 - don't argue - just give the guest what he really wants [which is showing off].


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time.


I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution! But when Chris, over at A Bar Above discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion".

Here is the video:





I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris.
What is citric acid?
Chemical Compound
Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.
Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7
Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol
Melting Point: 153C
Density: 1.66 g/cm3
Boiling point: 175C
Soluble in: Water
Why is it controversial?
In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [preferably in powder form] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most controversial [and in the modern craft bartending wor…

The Best Alcohol-free Drink - Ipanema

Usually I call them [out of laziness] mocktails - but really I never liked this denomination.
As "mocktails" are usually long drinks, it is even twice wrong, to connect them to a cocktail [which is technically a short drink with alcohol]. 
Apart of this, I am not a big believer in mocktails. Sodas can be fantastic [home made grapefruit soda is fantastic, or homemade ginger ale, ginger beer or any other odd ingredient sodas]. Juices - fine. Lemonades - yes, refreshing and good. And iced teas - can be absolutely amazing. Hence you don't need sickly sweet syrupy juice mixtures.
But yes - there are few good ones.
Most of them a mimicking drinks with alcohol. You can make a pretty good alcohol-free Planters Punch, Hurricane or Mojito, if you are using Caribbean Syrup. Or you can use a juniper syrup for some alcohol-free gin drinks.
A drink which I got to know long time ago, very early in my career, is a bit a different beast [well - you cannot call an alcohol-free drink a bea…

Do not do that! - DO NOT POISON YOUR GUESTS!!!

Dear Bartenders,

Please do not make tobacco infusions! I am serious - don't do it - don't try it - do not think about it.
Tobacco contains nicotine. What is the big deal, you might ask? Nicotine is highly poisonous. There is not as much nicotine absorption when you are smoking tobacco - this would be rather save.  Chewing tobacco - has a higher absorption - but yet, isn't soluble in water (hence it is still "quite save").

On the other hand, nicotine is soluble in alcohol - that means there is a great absorption - and it becomes very very dangerous.

How dangerous, you might ask? 

Let me ask a counter question:

Would you make a strychnine infusion? Or a cyanide cocktail? Or an arsenic essence?

The lethal dose of strychnine (for a male healthy adult) would be ca. 100 mgThe lethal dose of cyanide (...) would be ca. 200 mgThe lethal dose of arsenic (...) would be more than 70 mg

While the lethal dose of nicotine (for a male healthy adult) would be ca. 60 mg or less!

This…