5 Signs You’re About To Be Served A Terrible Cocktail

originally published @ thought catalog

My parents live on Long Island, where finding a good cocktail is finding a four-leaf clover. A land of contradictions, where muscled men in wife beaters drink sugary, colorful drinks. Where one is more likely to experience a sugar crash from fireball than to experience anywhere near enough buzz to deal with everyone around shooting fireball.

I happened to be there last night. And because it was open bar, I figured at least I wouldn’t have to pay for the mistake I was about to make and ordered an Old Fashioned. The bartender began by shoving her Polycarbonate Ice Scoop so deep into a bucket of cubes that when she went to dump them thoughtlessly into my glass some fell to the wayside like cascading rubble. Then she proceeded to pour approximately two eye-drops worth of whiskey, followed by a half cup of Vermouth (why) topped with a child-like amount of red shirley-templesque simple syrup (whyx2).

When I ordered my next drink, I learned from the past and simply requested whiskey straight, which was then followed by this revealing statement: that will be $10. Now, let me remind you this was an open bar. The bartender clarified that whiskey neat or on the rocks was $10, but if you got one of their cocktails the drink was free. LOL. They were essentially paying you to drink their terrible cocktails.

And so, my fellow readers who give a shit, if you happen to find yourself on this narrow strip of land and don’t make it out far east enough to hit the hamptons, or if you live in Utah, then be on the look out for these warning signs that your drink will be terrible:

Too Much Sugar

The point of a cocktail is to highlight the taste of your spirit. And to get you fucked up. It’s not meant to be a calorie bomb with más azúcar than your mocha frappuccino.

Too Much Fruit

What the f&@! is this about. Seriously. Who are you making this drink for? Am I a teenager on spring break who needs something to Instagram? Do I seem vitamin C deficient? Put the muddle down, throw away those cherries, squeeze the orange rind into my glass then throw away the rest of that orange too while you’re at it.

Too Much Ice

Great, now I have to chug my cocktail like a natty ice before the sugary mess becomes a watered-down sugary mess. Listen, people, ice (water) is an ingredient. Do not forgive the bartender’s responsibility to control the level of dilution ideal for your beverage and take on this burden as your own. I mean, who’s paying whom here?

Too Many Decorations

Why is there a tiny umbrella in my drink? We’re all grown-ups here, right? Unless I’m on a beach in a 3rd world country where these little tokens of luxury serve as the only distraction from the fact that outside the square mile of resort is unimaginable poverty, then stop treating my drink like it’s a christmas tree plz thx.

Not Enough Alcohol

There should be ~2 fluid ounces of alcohol in your average cocktail depending on the drink, and unless the bartender has earned your upmost trust and respect, this is not something they should be eyeballing.

So if it’s your unlucky night and you happen to get the freewheelin’ bartender who thinks measuring out the most important ingredient in your over-priced beverage is an afterthought, then be prepared for a drink that has too much sugar, fruit, ice, and decorations in a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that you’re about to be served a terrible drink.


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