Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

How to ask for a drink at a bar?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

How to ask for a drink at a bar?

Postby Elagabalus » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:41 am

Hello,

I'm new to Scotch/Whisky.

When I am at a bar/pub what is the correct way to ask for an ounce of whisky.

I don't believe you refer to it as a shot. So let's say I want some Johnnie Walker Gold. How would I ask for that?
User avatar
Elagabalus
Gold Member
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:48 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:53 am

"Johnnie Walker Gold, please."

(Smartass.)

No, but really...say what you want, and how you want it--on the rocks, neat, in a snifter, whatever. We always talk about ordering a dram, but I doubt many Tronna bartenders will be familiar with the word.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Elagabalus » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:04 am

Im in Canada. :)

ok that makes sense. So I can just say Johnnie Walker Gold.

I don't have to say "I'd like a dram (Cdn equivalent word???) of JW Gold?"

??
User avatar
Elagabalus
Gold Member
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:48 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:18 am

Nope. You name it, they'll give you a standard measure, probably an ounce where you live. (One of the cool things here in the States is that bartenders usually pour freehand, and most of them have no idea what they're pouring, so three-ounce drams or more are not unusual. Likely any place you go to will measure very carefully.) Just make sure you get it the way you want it--many bartenders will assume you want it on the rocks unless otherwise specified.

Suggest you check out Allen's on the Danforth, or the Feathers on Kingston Rd. They have huge selections and know what they're doing--you can learn a lot in a short time.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Elagabalus » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:47 am

thank u very much sir.
User avatar
Elagabalus
Gold Member
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:48 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby bamber » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:24 am

It usually goes like this:

Sion says:

"May I have a double shot of X, please, in a brandy glass, if you have it, if not a wine glass, with no ice or water. Thanks."

<Funny look back from barmen>

<Suddenly I spot a tulip shaped port glass>

Sion says:

"No NO WAIT ! I want that glass."

<Eyes rolling everywhere. I sit down at get astonished looks from friends.>

A person says:

"Why don't you just get it a normal glass ?"

Sion says:

"This concentrates the aromas and helps one appreciate the drink more."

A person says:

"Oh right. Is that some kind of special whisky then ?"

Sion says:

"Bells."

<Concerned looks / head shaking all around>
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby Bullie » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:35 pm

Gee us sum uuiskee man!
Bullie
Gold Member
 
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:47 pm

Postby Di Blasi » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:05 pm

First, as you approach the bar and lean onto it, still staring with wide eyes and amazement at all of the beautiful whisky bottles, say "Wow!" Then slowly start recognizing a few, (hopefully also the bartender's favorites!) Then ask for some suggestions, advice, etc. (This of course making sure it's a quiet, rainy, Tuesday night and no one else is around to delay in ordering their usual "BEER!" If you find you and the bartender have an understanding, he's not an idiot, you won't need to say no rocks, or which glass. The next time you go in, they will probably recognize you, know what you want to drink, or be ready to let you try and something new. Have fun!
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:18 pm

You go to the bar like a kid in a sweet shop ...... carefully but wide-eyed perusing the stock .....

then you point ....... and say

'.....giz one a those...'

this is because you are new to whisky and not too sure how it's pronounced.

The barman says '.... you want a glass of acutchansan.....'

you just agree as you don't want to cause a scene or embarass yourself but you could of sworn it was pronounced Auk-ken-tow-shan or something like that :lol:


As said before any way you want as the bar might knowless than you. Don't feel intimidated as at the end of the day it's just another drink in the bar......
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby Marvin » Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:49 pm

I just say "Can I have a Highland Park please?"

And the reply is usually, "Sorry we dont have Highland Park..we've got Glenmorangie...."
Marvin
Silver Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Scotty Mc » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:02 pm

Marvin wrote:I just say "Can I have a Highland Park please?"

And the reply is usually, "Sorry we dont have Highland Park..we've got Glenmorangie...."


And my reply would be "that'll do" :lol:

You'd be lucky to find HP round these parts, usually Glenfiddich.

However Weatherspoons are doing Scapa, Laphroaig, Glenfiddich & something else I cannot remember
Scotty Mc
Silver Member
 
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:33 pm
Location: Sunderland, UK

Postby rthomson » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:41 am

I have had a couple of instances of a dram served to me with ice because the bartender didn't ask, "Rocks or neat?" and I forgot to mention. The worst was receiving an enormous pour of Balvenie, I guess it was a "double", loaded with ice in the biggest tumbler I've ever seen when all I asked for was, "Balvenie Double Wood." I shouldn't call it "the worst" as we did get a few laughs out of it.

Ron
rthomson
Silver Member
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:30 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby TheLaddie » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:59 am

The last night I went out on, a fiftieth birthday party for a friend, I had to ask for a dram of each of the six whiskies of which there were tubes displayed behind the bar before any of the staff bothered to mention to me that all the tubes were empty and were used for keeping toothpicks in. I then had to take the wine bottle I had ordered for the missus off the girl behind the bar to show her how to use a corkscrew...

Good job I had a hip flask of Ardbeg 10 in my pocket just in case. :twisted:

The answer to your question, if you are at Armthorpe Rugby Club in South Yorkshire. Plan ahead and don't waste your breath asking...

I have however learned it is best to politely decline ice in my whisky rather than instinctively growling at the poor waif behind the bar. They only spill it...
TheLaddie
Gold Member
 
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:00 am
Location: Bawtry, South Yorkshire, UK

Postby Elagabalus » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:34 am

DRINK QUALITY< NOT QUANTITY IS CORRECT!!!
User avatar
Elagabalus
Gold Member
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:48 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Elagabalus » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:38 am

I want to buy some Johnnie Walker Blue Label tonight. Like 10 of their 750ml bottles and drink myself to death while living with a prostitute that always wants to have sex with me, like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas
User avatar
Elagabalus
Gold Member
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:48 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:29 am

The only bar I go to is at the bowling alley. When I get their, I usually nod as the bartender reaches for the Budweiser. Later on, I have to say either "Bud" or "Crown". Occasionally, I will spend a couple minutes staring at the tiny selection and always end up with a Crown.

Sometimes I go to a restaurant and ask the waitress what they have for whiskies (only if the restaurant has a bar). They usually give me a blank stare. I usually end up ordering Maker's or Crown, although one of these days I will actually try and find out what they have.
User avatar
Thesh
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:30 am
Location: California, USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:39 am

"Bourbon neat (or I name a specific one, if I have a choice), water back."
Then I explain to the bartender what I mean.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:39 am

Often enough, the staff has no idea; you have to go up to the bar and eyeball the selection yourself.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby TheLaddie » Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:55 am

Elagabalus wrote:I want to buy some Johnnie Walker Blue Label tonight. Like 10 of their 750ml bottles and drink myself to death while living with a prostitute that always wants to have sex with me, like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas


Why would you want to have sex with a prostitute like Nicholas Cage? :?
TheLaddie
Gold Member
 
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:00 am
Location: Bawtry, South Yorkshire, UK

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:24 am

TheLaddie wrote:
Elagabalus wrote:I want to buy some Johnnie Walker Blue Label tonight. Like 10 of their 750ml bottles and drink myself to death while living with a prostitute that always wants to have sex with me, like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas


Why would you want to have sex with a prostitute like Nicholas Cage? :?


Hey, if he likes Nicholas Cage, who are we to question? Now JW Blue, that's another matter....
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Elagabalus » Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:30 pm

LOL
User avatar
Elagabalus
Gold Member
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:48 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Marvin » Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:50 pm

You know what I hate about America? Barmen expect tips. Sod that, their employers should pay them a proper wage.
Marvin
Silver Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Paul A Jellis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:05 pm

Marvin wrote:You know what I hate about America? Barmen expect tips. Sod that, their employers should pay them a proper wage.


Never plant your mustard the same time as your cress. That's a tip worth remembering.

Cheers, Paul
User avatar
Paul A Jellis
Gold Member
 
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Bedfordshire, England

Postby Frodo » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:11 am

Marvin wrote:You know what I hate about America? Barmen expect tips. Sod that, their employers should pay them a proper wage.


Unfortunatly it's part of the culture over here. As someone who has waited tables, I tend to tip well because I know what it's like to depend on my tips. I agree that employers should pay a better wage, but they don't and haven't for some time.

On the other side of the coin, it took some getting used to for me when British restaurants would automatically add 15% gratuity on the bill. Not used to that over here...
Frodo
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:22 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:17 am

I don't mind tipping. If a waitress is attractive, or if they are good at what they do then they deserve a good tip. That's how they make their money, and I do believe it pursuades the staff to give better service or to try and look their best for their customers.
User avatar
Thesh
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:30 am
Location: California, USA

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:00 am

And if you are a good tipper, and he/she is a good bartender, you won't even need to know "How to ask for a drink at a bar!" They'll know what you're drinking, when you're ready for another, and bla bla bla. Perhaps this earns a tip??
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:51 am

There's nothing worse than someone who doesn't tip because he doesn't "believe" in it. Do they believe in getting something for nothing? Tipping practices can be bewildering, but a good, hardworking bartender or waitress can make a much better living than if paid "a proper wage" by their employers, and bad ones make crap and move on to other jobs.

Anyway, if we didn't do it this way, then everything would cost 15% more. So just assume that it does, Marvin, and pay it whether the server deserves it or not. That's how you would have it.

I can certainly understand confusion. After nine trips to Scotland, I still am not sure how to tip in restaurants, or for pub meals (and I thank Marvin for bringing this up so I can be enlightened, hopefully). When I ask about it, I get a lot of vague talk about "If you feel like it" and such. So what's the deal, really? It seems so much clearer to me to know that 15% is the expected standard, and I can adjust from there depending on my opinion of the service.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Marvin » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:49 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:There's nothing worse than someone who doesn't tip because he doesn't "believe" in it. Do they believe in getting something for nothing?


No, I pay for the sodding drink. Does the employer of the barman believe in getting something for nothing?
Marvin
Silver Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Marvin » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:50 am

Di Blasi wrote:And if you are a good tipper, and he/she is a good bartender, you won't even need to know "How to ask for a drink at a bar!" They'll know what you're drinking, when you're ready for another, and bla bla bla. Perhaps this earns a tip??


Not really. I find it quite easy to ask for a drink each time.
Marvin
Silver Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Marvin » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:52 am

Thesh wrote:I don't mind tipping. If a waitress is attractive...


You shallow bastard. :roll:
Marvin
Silver Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:47 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Bullie » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:42 am

Tip??? I even have get discount on my regular pub... :lol:
Bullie
Gold Member
 
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:47 pm

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:35 pm

Bullie wrote:Tip??? I even have get discount on my regular pub... :lol:


Another reason to tip, they're helping you out by giving you a deal, whether you're a regular or whatever, help them out a bit.
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:38 pm

Marvin wrote:
Di Blasi wrote:And if you are a good tipper, and he/she is a good bartender, you won't even need to know "How to ask for a drink at a bar!" They'll know what you're drinking, when you're ready for another, and bla bla bla. Perhaps this earns a tip??


Not really. I find it quite easy to ask for a drink each time.


I'm sure you do Marvin, and that's great. But maybe one day when the pub is so busy, or whatever, the bartender may not prioritize you knowing he/she won't benefit much, but will benefit more helping out the big tipper. They say you get what you pay for.
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Postby DramMeister » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:19 pm

Di Blasi wrote:
Marvin wrote:
Di Blasi wrote:And if you are a good tipper, and he/she is a good bartender, you won't even need to know "How to ask for a drink at a bar!" They'll know what you're drinking, when you're ready for another, and bla bla bla. Perhaps this earns a tip??

Not really. I find it quite easy to ask for a drink each time.

I'm sure you do Marvin, and that's great. But maybe one day when the pub is so busy, or whatever, the bartender may not prioritize you knowing he/she won't benefit much, but will benefit more helping out the big tipper. They say you get what you pay for.


Different cultures ... pubs and bars in the UK you go to the bar yourself. I think it's different if you're being waited on at your table, then I would tip. Personally I find the UK system simpler, you just go and get a drink when you want one and don't have to wait on the whim of a waiter to decide to serve you (depending on your previous tips of course).

I'm not sure how the barman would react in my local if I tip him ... some funny looks I think ... maybe I'll try it tonight.
DramMeister
Silver Member
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:25 pm
Location: Houghton on the Hill, Leics, England

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:30 pm

A nice thing about the UK bar/pub guests is that they "tip" by always, (9 out of 10 times anyway!), bringing their used glass back to the bar!! That counts for a lot! A tip in itself. Yes, the cultures are definitely different between the UK and the US.
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Next

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder