Ask a Bartender: What Drink Do You Most Hate to Make?


Welcome to Ask a Bartender, wherein the mysteries of the tavern are explained by the professionals who get us drunk. Today’s query: What drink do you most hate to make? (Or, if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, what drink do you least enjoy making?)

Bloody Marys. Not so much the process, because it’s really not that hard. It’s the concept. It’s the people who get excited about Bloody Marys. The people who get thrilled with 17 different garnishes. That’s not a drink. That’s lunch. The idea of them sort of appeals to me, it could be a very good drink. But they are lunch. I’m not here to make lunch. I’m here to make people drunk.

Probably Long Island Iced Teas. Nobody ever drinks one of those for a good reason. People who drink them are either barely 21 or they don’t like the taste of alcohol. I still remember when a woman asked for a “top shelf” LIIT. I was like “lady, I think that’s an oxymoron!” I usually make two or three a year. Oh, and I refuse to make Ramos Gin Fizzes. 

In a busy setting, Old Fashioneds. Old Fashioneds are one of those things where people have multiple versions. When it’s busy, the fact that people can’t tell that it’s sliding everything down for everyone… well, granted, they don’t get it. And Bloody Marys after 10:00 pm. Same thing.

Honestly, anything that spreads. Like Bloody Marys. “Looks awesome, I’ll have that.” It’s not so much the work that goes into it, but the one-by-one process. The way it gets spread out as people see what others are drinking. I don’t mind making things in batches, but I hate making the same thing as I walk back and forth. That’s what gets me. You saw your fucking friend order one, just order it at the same goddamn time.

It’s a time of day thing. Bloody Marys at five o’clock or later should be banished. It’s a brunch thing. The only exception is if you work third shift. Other than that, everything else is just my job. But there’s a time of day for everything, and Bloody Marys… it’s a morning drink.

I will forever have a knee jerk reaction to the words Bloody Mary. No matter if it’s an acceptable time or after 10:00 pm. I find myself cringing every time I hear someone say “I think I’ll have a Bloody Mary.” Either that or someing stupid like a Sex on the Beach, because no one knows what the fuck that is. Put a bunch of shit in a glass and put something in that makes it pink. “Here ya go.”

I really don’t dislike making anything. If you order a Bloody Mary or an Old Fashioned at last call, then it’s the last drink I’m making at the end of the night. After that, it’s shots only. Other people who don’t get their drinks might get mad, but it’s not my problem. “Sorry everybody. Blame this guy.” Complicated drinks, it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s my job. You’ll make other people wait, but that’s their problem. I really don’t mind making anything.

I guess I’d say Mojitos and Bloody Marys. Not that they’re hard to make, but because they begat themselves. You make one, but suddenly the lights go off down the bar and then you’re making just a ton of them. “Oh, that looks good. I’ll have that!” Same with Chocolatinis. They’re not that hard to make, per se, but you make one and then everyone wants one of the damn things. I shouldn’t even be saying this… It’s going to get me bit in the ass tonight, I just know it.