Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The bartender gives you the straight dope...

A curious customer wrote:

Dear Bartender,

How can I trick a bartender into not cutting me off when I am stumbling around their bar? Can't they let me drink myself silly if I'm not driving.

Drunk Party Girl


As a bartender with training which exceeds that of the simple "everyman" behind the bar, I can tell you that it's tough to fool me. In addition to knowing how to properly mix a drink (meaning, I will pour it exactly the same way no matter how many times you order it, which is an indication of a truly good bartender,) I also know about the physical effects of drunkenness. This is not to imply that I merely know what it is to be drunk, but also that I know what being drunk means from a sober perspective.

If you're trying to fool a properly trained bartender, who (in all honesty) knows as much (if not more) about recognizing sobriety and drunkenness as a properly trained police officer conducting field sobriety tests, then good luck. The fact is that even when you THINK you're acting sober, there are certain things which physiologically still give you away as being totally inebriated. For example, you might be able to walk a straight line, or say the alphabet backwards through memorization, but there is no way to control such things as your peripheral pupil tremors. (It should be noted at this point, that in certain circumstances, no, a bartender cannot necessarily let a customer drink to the heart's content. There are certain bars, counties, and states which hold the service industry professional to certain standards, and adhere certain penalties for mistakes.) An "everyman" bartender might not notice such small details, but when you're coming down to the wire on last call with a bartender who has been around the block a few times, odds are that you're not going to get away with it. So I initially assume you're trying to fool someone who has a serious bartending background... In which case, I wish you luck.

If it's the everyman bartender you're attempting to fool, then yes, there are tactics which offer you certain advantages. Now if you're totally blitzed, and even in your drunken state, you know that there is no fooling anyone, then your best bet is to go through other sources. By which, I mean sending either the most sober member of your party, or the most sober person whom any member of your party can recruit to go up to the bar to order the later rounds, then so be it. Usually in the bartending community, if a semi-sober person is the one offering a somewhat coherent order, then the order will be filled. The key is to have a somewhat believable member of the party order on the group or individual's behalf. (This is the key to behave in a coherent enough manner to deceive the adept or less than adept bartender.)

The only other means of "deception" is flat out bribery. Quite frankly, if you offer pretty much any bartender a glimpse of a sufficient wad of cash, then there is little doubt that you're going to get your drinks, but you're going to have to be willing to pay the premium for them.

Aside from that, I have no other advice to offer... Because as an adept bartender, I don't buy most tactics.

If commentators have additional tactics to offer, I encourage them to do so... And there is always a chance that they might work with a bartender who might not know all there is to know when it comes to the drunken masses... But as for my advice, I boil it down to bribery, and allowing the most sober person you encounter to place your order. That's that.

And if you have a question (alcohol related, or otherwise) then please contact the bartender at "thebartenderspeaks(AT)gmail(dot)com"

No comments: