Liquor Laboratory

What Not to Order at a Bar: Avoiding Awkward Moments (2024)

What Not to Order at a Bar

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Have you experienced approaching a bartender, ready to order a drink, and suddenly you realized the importance of knowing what not to order at a bar or restaurant? We feel you!

Avoiding certain beverages can save you from embarrassment, preserve your taste buds, and keep your wallet from feeling too light.

So, in this guide, we’ll share with you the top drinks you should never order at bars to ensure your next night out is smooth sailing.

Top 10 Bar Drinks You Must Never Order

1. Flaming Shots

Flaming Shots

While a flaming shot seems enticing, it’s a risky choice. The high alcohol content and the potential for fiery mishaps make it a dangerous serve.

“Choose your glass orders wisely; not every cocktail, like Mojito, is a winner.” – Liquor Laboratory

If you’re thinking of ordering Flaming Lemon Drops, think twice! Better go for a Mojito than a disaster.

2. Curdled Shots

Jellyfish Shots

Trust us; curdled shots are a stomach-churning experience. Shot glasses are typically filled with cream or dairy-based liquor with acidic or citrusy ingredients.

The result? A curdled mess that tastes unpleasant.

3. “Whatever’s Cheapest”

This seems a good idea, but ordering “whatever’s cheapest” might save you a few bucks, but it won’t do your palate any favors.

These budget-friendly drinks are often made with subpar ingredients and lack the finesse of more thoughtfully crafted beverages.

4. “Whatever’s Strongest”

Seeking out the most potent drink on the menu or at a bachelorette party might seem bold, but it’s often a recipe for pain and disaster.

Overly strong cocktails (with more alcohol) can quickly lead to overindulgence. Opt for a moderate alcohol content to enjoy your evening without regrets.

Tip: If you like to get wasted, have the bourbon neat with a beer chaser. (But not draft beers, please!)

5. A “Surprise”

Ordering this one cocktail is like playing Russian roulette with your taste buds, usually with peach schnapps and soda water.

Bartenders concoct it from leftover ingredients, making each “Surprise” often an unpalatable experience. So, spare yourself the uncertainty and opt for a well-defined cocktail instead.

Also Read:

6. New York Sour

Man Holding Glas of New York Sour

New York Sour sounds sophisticated, but it’s a disappointment in disguise. It’s essentially a Whiskey Sour with a red wine float and lime juice, disrupting the harmony of flavors.

We suggest sticking to classic cocktails [1] like Mojitos with fresh mint and ice.

7. Ramos Gin Fizz

Bartender Making Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz is notorious for its labor-intensive preparation (close to a Mojito).

As you know, this booze involves vigorous shaking for longer, testing the patience of the bartender, and leaving you waiting for your drink far longer than you’d like.

8. Frozen Drink

Frozen drinks sound refreshing, but they often taste like sweetness overload with a side of brain freeze.

Frozen drinks are sweet, slushy concoctions typically packed with artificial flavors and excessive sugar content. If you want to cool down, try something lighter and refreshing, like a Pina Colada.

9. Appletini Drink

2 Glasses of Appletini Drink

Appletini may have had its moment in the sun, thanks to TV shows like “Scrubs,” but its appeal has waned.

It’s a sugar bomb disguised as an adult beverage, so it’s often dismissed by seasoned bartenders. So, save your drink orders for something more tasteful, like a Strawberry Daiquiri.

10. Bloody Mary

Glass of Bloody Mary Drink

You might be surprised, but Bloody Mary isn’t a bar must-have. While Bloody Marys are a classic brunch choice, ordering it during evening hours is generally a no-no.

Like Long Island Iced Tea, it’s one of the complicated drinks, and its thick texture might not be everyone’s cup of tea—or rather, a bottle or cup of vodka. Opt for a simpler cocktail that suits the mood.

“No amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.” — David Sedaris, American Humorist & Comedian

Besides, its complex mix of spirits – vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, and triple sec, sometimes with a splash of cola and sour mix, might not suit everyone’s preference.

Disclaimer: This ranking is subjective and based on common perceptions of drinks often discouraged at bars, based on our research and interviews. Personal preferences vary, so what one person dislikes, another may enjoy. This list is not an absolute rule.

FAQs What not to order at a bar?

Are there certain drinks that are considered inappropriate to order at a bar?

It’s generally best to avoid ordering overly complicated or time-consuming drinks when the bar is busy.

Is it okay to order a drink that the bar doesn’t typically serve?

It depends on the bar and the bartender. Some bars may be able to accommodate special requests, while others may not.

Are there any drinks that are considered disrespectful to order?

It’s best to avoid ordering drinks with offensive names or those that are associated with excessive consumption or irresponsible behavior.

Can I order non-alcoholic drinks at a bar?

Yes, most bars offer a variety of non-alcoholic options, such as mocktails, sodas, and juices.

Is it okay to order multiple drinks at once?

It’s generally fine to order multiple drinks, but be mindful of the bar’s policy on serving multiple drinks to one person at a time.

Can I ask the bartender to make a drink that’s not on the menu?

It depends on the bar and the bartender. Some bars may be able to accommodate special requests, while others may not.

In Conclusion

Stop being lousy mind-readers. Navigating a bar menu can be a daunting task, but knowing what not to order is just as important as knowing what you should.

By avoiding the drinks above, you’ll save yourself from culinary and social misadventures.

Remember to be considerate to bartenders and steer clear of annoying liquor orders. With these tips, your next night out will be a delightful and enjoyable experience.


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