6 Drinks I Would Never Order At A Bar As A Bartender Working In The Service Industry​

Trust me, I have my reasons.

Maeve making a cocktail behind the bar. Right: A series of bottles in a bar.
Georgia Contributing Writer

Maeve making a cocktail behind the bar. Right: A series of bottles in a bar.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

I've worked in the service industry for nearly a decade, in both the front and back of house.

During that time, I've picked up some valuable lessons, such as things to never do while eating out at a restaurant and things you should never say to your server.

However, my time behind the bar has also taught me certain drink orders are best avoided during a night out for one reason or another.

I stay away from some beverages, whether I'm considering the drink's price or the hangover it will give me the next morning.

Here are six drinks I would never order as a bartender working in the service industry.

Long Island Iced Tea

There are few drinks more infamous than the Long Island Iced Tea. This cocktail is comprised almost entirely of liquor, and mixed vodka, rum, gin, triple sec, and tequila with simple syrup, lemon juice, and a splash of coke.

When people order this from me, I immediately assume they are trying to get as intoxicated as they can for cheap.

I never order this drink because not only is it overkill in the alcohol by-volume department, but it's also considered pretty classless. The flavor profile is both sweet and alcohol-forward, a combination I generally steer clear from.

Canned hard seltzers

I am a big fan of canned hard seltzers in general, but never order them at the bar due to their tendency to be wildly overpriced.

While I can appreciate the light and refreshing aspect of these drinks, I've seen bars charge $8 for just a single seltzer, when you can buy an entire pack for not much more.

These types of drinks are easy to enjoy at home for a lot lower price. When I am out and about, I would rather order something more unique for the money I'm paying for it.


I was a big fan of this sugary sweet wine when I first started drinking, but have since grown up.

Sure, there is a time and place to sip a glass of this dessert wine, but a night out on the town is not one of them.

The sugar content for me is a surefire way to get a nasty hangover, and the overall flavor profile is far too sweet for casually sipping.

If someone orders a glass of Moscato from me while I am behind the bar, I make sure to look at their ID extra hard.

"Tito's & Vodka"

A "Tito's & Vodka" is something someone orders at a bar when they've had too much to drink already.

Tito's is vodka, and what they're usually trying to ask for is a Tito's soda, but they've likely had quite a few already.

This slip-up is more common than one would assume, and if I am ever at a point where I would be ordering a "vodka with more vodka,” it's time for me to call an Uber and get myself to bed.

A shot of gin

Gin is my favorite spirit of all time, but I think most people can agree the best way to enjoy this beverage is in a balanced cocktail or sipped slowly over ice.

This drink has a very distinct, herbal flavor profile that can be very nuanced, and shooting it straight feels like a waste of gin and is also relatively unpleasant.

If I am ordering a shot, I stick to chilled tequila or an Amaro and save the gin for my gimlets or fizzes, where the spirit really shines.

Dirty Shirley

A "Dirty Shirley" is just a Shirley Temple with the addition of a shot of vodka.

This is another popular order within a younger drinking crowd that isn't a fan of the taste of alcohol.

The mix of syrupy grenadine, Sprite, cherries, and vodka is just too much for me. It's way too sweet, and I prefer a more balanced cocktail that won't give me a killer hangover.

To me, the Dirty Shirley just tastes like a headache.

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Maeve Browne
Georgia Contributing Writer
Maeve Browne is a Contributing Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on food and Internet trends and is based in Savannah, Georgia.