If you’re at an award-winning craft cocktail den known for making the best drinks in town, don’t order a Bud Light or a round of Jägerbombs and Swedish Fish shots (and definitely don’t get mad if they won’t serve you them). Same goes the other way around: Don’t try to ask for a perfect, original recipe Old-Fashioned or at the local dive. Be aware of the type of bar you’re frequenting and what kind of drinks they specialize in and you’ll have a better bar experience because of it.
Of course, its the customers prerogative to order the drink they like (keeping in mind the aforementioned rule). But just know that asking for something like a Ramos Gin Fizz (the original recipe requires that the drink be shaken for 12 minutes) in a busy, crowded watering hole isnt going to win you any friends behind the bar.
As annoying as it may be for you to have to flag down the bartender in a busy bar, it is equally (if not more) annoying for them if, once you do have their attention, you don’t know your order. (Or your friend’s order, for that matter.) It’s inefficient and a waste of their time, and by extension, yours too. By that same token, beware ordering the same drink twice from different people because it's taking too long to get to you — you'll end up with, and have to pay for, both.
Bartender Kristine G. Bottone explained in a piece for the Examiner, "I interpret this to mean you want extra alcohol in your drink for free or you’re assuming I pour weak drinks. Either way, those three words are going to annoy your bartender."
… without any indication of the kind of drinks or spirits that you normally like — they probably don’t want or have time to play 20 Questions with you. "Something good" means something different to everyone, so if you're going to ask the bartender to "surprise you" at least try to steer them in the direction of making a drink you're going to enjoy.
A tip from longtime bartender and beverage consultant Philip Duff: "Don’t order each individual round of drinks with a credit card — please run a tab."
Garnishes, menus, even the beer or cocktail glasses themselves — don’t try to poach any of these and expect your bartender not to get mad, especially when it comes to the first two. If you just ask the bartender for some extra olives or a copy of the menu, they’re more likely to oblige.
As much as we all love a drink on the house, its tacky to ask your bartender what their "buyback" policy is. (Chances are, if you ask that, theyre thinking, "Not to enforce one with people who ask that question.")
It's simple: Good manners go a long way. Avoid snapping your fingers, whistling to get their attention, making inappropriate comments, and generally speaking, saying anything that makes it seem like you confuse "service" with "servant."