In the world of bartending, not all drinks are created equal. While patrons have their favorites, bartenders often cringe at specific orders. Crafting a cocktail is a mix of art and skill, but there are a handful that bartenders would rather not deal with. Let’s uncover the ten drinks that many bartenders secretly dread.
Mojitos, while refreshing and beloved by many, are a thorn in the side of numerous bartenders because of their labor-intensive preparation. The meticulous muddling of fresh mint leaves and lime, paired with the precise balance of sugar and rum, makes it a time-consuming endeavor, especially during a busy shift.
2. Espresso Martini
Crafting an espresso martini is a meticulous dance for bartenders, requiring precision from grinding the beans to garnishing the martini. The multi-step process involving elements from various parts of the bar is time-consuming. Many bartenders secretly hope it’s a one-off request, given the effort compared to other cocktails.
3. Bloody Mary
Crafting a Bloody Mary is a complex ritual; it has many ingredients, and precision is required for its unique garnishes. The process, from blending the savory mix to adorning the glass with pickles, olives, and sometimes even bacon, can be complicated. Because of this, many bartenders find it tedious, especially when the bar is bustling, and speed is essential.
4. White Russians
White Russians challenge many bars because they require milk, an ingredient not commonly kept on hand. Most bars store milk in the kitchen, making it a hassle to retrieve it for just one cocktail. Furthermore, maintaining milk at the bar risks spoilage, as it’s not frequently used and can quickly go bad.
5. Pisco Sour or Whiskey Sour
Sours can be a bartender’s nemesis because of the egg whites in the drink, which require meticulous cracking and separating. The extensive shaking to achieve the desired foam intensifies the process. Post-mixing cleanup is also demanding, given the allergen and vegan concerns associated with egg residue.
6. Ramos Gin Fizz
Another drink that includes an egg white is the Ramos Gin Fizz. This drink needs to be vigorously shaken to achieve the signature frothy top. While the resulting effervescent cocktail is undeniably refreshing, its preparation can be time-consuming, especially when the bar is bustling!
7. Long Island Ice Tea
Crafting a Long Island Iced Tea requires bartenders to blend multiple spirits into one harmonious drink skillfully. Despite its potency, its deceptive non-alcoholic taste leads some patrons to underestimate its complexity and, consequently, tip less. This, combined with its intricate preparation, can make it a less favored order for those behind the bar.
8. Miami Vice
This drink is both a Pina Colada and a Strawberry Daiquiri. One bartender commented, “I only have one blender; this drink takes me twice as long to make!” Crafting this dual-layered drink means making two separate cocktails and then carefully layering them, a time-consuming and challenging process, especially during a rush.
9. Clover Club
Cocktail purists often insist on muddling fresh raspberries as the authentic base for the Clover Club. This drink, a blend of gin, raspberry, and egg white, demands precise execution. The ingredients are first shaken without ice to achieve the signature froth; then, ice is introduced to cool the mix. After achieving the desired consistency and chill, it’s strained into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Such an intricate process can challenge even seasoned bartenders during peak hours.
10. Virgin Frozen Margaritas
For bartenders, tips are usually based on the price of drinks. Even though non-alcoholic drinks like virgin cocktails are cheaper, they can be harder to make. So, bartenders sometimes feel they’re doing more work for less money when making these drinks.
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Latif Jamani is an entrepreneur based in Calgary, Alberta, and has traveled to over 35 countries. Quite simply, Latif loves food, traveling, and seeking out new experiences. A secret that no one knows is that Latif used to skip class at university to stay home and watch the “food network.” This exposed Latif to many different techniques and types of food. His favorite hosts are Jamie Oliver, Giada, Barefoot Contessa, Gordon Ramsey, just to name a few.
Latif loves to cook and break bread with family and friends in his spare time.
Latif has an MBA from INSEAD and is exploring the vast and tasty world of vegetarian cuisines.