You may want to think twice about grabbing a pint at your local pub.
As reported by the New York Post, bartenders have revealed the alcoholic beverages they wouldn’t dare order themselves – from draft beer to margaritas.
Daniel Yeom, the general manager of Santa Monica-based Esters Wine Shop & Bar in California, is wary of on-tap beer or a glass of wine at a local dive bar, he told Huffpost.
Patrons don’t know “the last time the draft system got cleaned”, which “can be really nasty in there with fruit flies and gunk” – not exactly the refreshing brew you might hope for.
And, while ordering a glass of wine may seem like the safer option, you also “don’t know how long that wine’s been open”.
Instead, he would recommend sticking to a classic gin and tonic or whiskey and Coke.
“No bartenders ever order a Long Island iced tea,” the director of operations for New York City’s Paris Cafe and Common Ground Bar, Lauren Lenihan, warned.
The famed cocktail packs a punch – calling for vodka, white rum, tequila, gin and triple sec – giving patrons more bang for their buck, but Ms Lenihan described it as “juvenile”.
“Most customers just want it because it’s strong and they’re looking to get drunk quickly,” she said, adding that she doesn’t mind serving one up, but that many bartenders will refuse.
While espresso martinis may be the poison of choice for many “It” girls this year, industry experts caution against ordering them at establishments that don’t have proper espresso.
“Most bars are not equipped with a decent espresso machine and the coffee might be old and sitting for a long time behind the bar,” bartender Alejandro Echeverria, who also serves as the beverage director for New York City’s Sushi by Bou, said.
The caffeinated drink – which also could wreak havoc on your health in more ways than one after a few too many – requires a fresh espresso shot, vodka, Kahlua and simple syrup, but some bars swap fresh coffee for refrigerated drip or cold brew, which doesn’t have the same end result.
“Most of the time it comes out unbalanced and flat or bitter,” he explained.
“It’s really tricky cocktail to pull off. From the quality of ingredients to the consistency of the shake, every factor can affect the end result.”
Next on the chopping block? The margarita.
It seems like a difficult cocktail to botch – just shake tequila, lime juice, triple sec and ice – but some bartenders are still on the hunt for “the perfect one”.
Karla B, who works at Neshobe Golf Course in Vermont, lamented that “the sour mix is wrong; I like sugar over salt. Some people put peach schnapps in it, or sometimes they’ll use triple sec”.
“You really never know what you’re going to get,” she said.
A Ramos Gin Fizz, meanwhile, is a specialty cocktail that requires an experienced hand – calling for a delicate balance of eggs whites, gin, cream, simple syrup and citrus.
“It’s a labour-intensive cocktail that needs a lot of shaking so the cream and egg ingredients can emulsify and basically turn into a meringue,” the beverage director at Las Vegas restaurant Superfrico, Mauro Villalobos, said.
“If you have proper bar etiquette in a busy bar, don’t order this. Or, order it if you hate the bartender.”
It’s cumbersome to create, requiring five minutes of dry shaking ingredients, and is a no-go for a busy night at the bar, said Los Angeles-based Wish You Were Here vice president Julien Calella.
“Needless to say, it is a huge pain for a busy bartender, and I will only have one at a bar if it is a high-quality cocktail bar, with hardly anyone else in the building and the bartender offers,” he said.
The same goes for a Guinness, which needs the perfect, two-part pour from a nitrogen tap.
“I wouldn’t get a Guinness at a busy dive bar, because it takes about a week to 10 days to pour the dang thing,” Interboro Spirits & Ales bartender Jack Tynan said.
“I’ll sit in a nice quiet pub and get a Guinness because they’ll take the time and do it right.”
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission