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How To Choose Your Drink In A Bespoke Cocktail Bar

When ordering a cocktail in a bar, most people will start looking around to see what the bar actually has on the shelf. However, there is no need for that, as a good bar, and definitely a bespoke cocktail bar, will be well-stocked. If you are not sure about what and how to order, we have some guidelines for you to find out what you want to drink. That way you don’t need to embarrass yourself, ordering a rum and cola.
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First things first

Probably every bartender will tell you exactly the same – the liquor comes always first. No matter whether creating a new recipe or ordering a drink, you need the base first. Everything else will depend on this choice. Will it be vodka, vermouth, gin, tequila or rather rum?


If you want to be particular or have a favourite, then you should also name the brand. For example, my go-to drink is a gin, preferably No.3 London Dry Gin. Hence, I always make a point of mentioning it to the bartender. If you don’t mention the brand, you might be served the cheapest brand on the shelf – although this always depends on the kind of bar.


Long or short

Many modern cocktail twists tend to be short ones. However, classic long drinks, such as the Tom Collins or the Gin and Tonic, are wonderful too. Choose which one it is going to be for you, as it will give the bartender a further indication of what he/she can do.

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Taste palate

Choosing the right taste for your palate can be the decisive element in your drink. The main choices should be obvious, as you can select between bitter, sweet, sour or even a salty taste. However, you can also be slightly more refined, choosing smoky, woody, fruity, herbal, flowery or a nut-like taste. If you don’t know what taste you like, you can at least indicate whether you want your drink to be strong or not. It will already help the bartender getting your drink right.



The question about extras is about how do you like to drink your cocktail. Using several terms, you can indicate this clearly. On the rocks and neat simply mean with or without ice. Personally I prefer only a little ice, as I like my drinks chilled but not diluted. When it comes to Martinis, you can also indicate dry (kind of vermouth), dirty (including olive juice) or up (chilled but strained).