I Can’t Taste No Licka!!!!

Another hot-button issue.  Ah the perils of bar life.  This is primarilly an issue/complaint for folks of a certain socio-economic genre.  Rarely do you hear this complaint from others.  Most of these folks are either crafty hustlers who run their freeloading scam on every bar they frequent  or just recently hit legal drinking age and don't understand what the frig they're asking for. They want to simply want to get as high as they can as quickly as possible.  They'll order a Pina Colada, Hairy Navel, Vodka and Cranberry (not "Cranberry Vodka" you college dweebs) and the like and quickly start with the trying to get free booze.  The uninitiated bartender will fall for it and start pouring for free – ugh!


This is another issue which will easily get under a bartender's skin and have you treated like dung.  There is a polite way to handle this if you legitimately come across this situation.  I hate to say this but I will because it's a true in many situations. Avoid ordering mixed or complicated drinks from young female bartenders at very busy bars/clubs.  I can hear the the anger and see the pitchforks and noose headed for me already.  As a lifelong patron myself, and long-time bartender, I can tell you that the majority of bars hire good looking girls for eye candy and for very good reason. We men are pigs and are drawn to them with little self control.  They bring in business.  That said, there ARE a small percentage of hot female barkeeps that can pour accurately and go deep with knowledge about things like hops, barley, seasonals, differences between rye, bourbon, sour mash, Scotch and Irish etc., and can pour a temperature perfect Martini.  But they're the exception.


Now about that licka!  If you want to taste the booze, order a shot or a classic gin or vodka Martini, or a Long Island Iced Tea – something with all or nearly 100% booze.  Any mixed drink, particularlly those with added sugar or fruit juice or frozen, will dilute the taste, not the content of alchohol.  In some cases, a mixed drink is actually more economical if you want to get drunk than a shot.  For example, a Martini typically has 3 – 4oz of vodka or gin compared to 1.5 to 2oz for a shot or other mixed drink and is only one or two dollars more in most cases.  You will certainly taste the alcohol.  By comparison, you being an alchoholic and order a double of that same vodka or gin, you're' going to pay double the price!  Most people don't think about this.  Other drinks fall into this volume/price category too like the above noted L.I. Tea or most Margaritas or Mojitos.  All good values if you look at it from a alcohol vs. price perspective. 


There are certain liquours that appear to taste stronger than other but they aren't.  Most are 80 proof (40% alcohol content).  Things like Cognac, Tequila, whiskeys and Gin are very flavorful and tend to dominate mixes.  It's a misunderstanding and I believe this has contributed highly to the "Hennie" popularity in some cases.  Vodka by law, is tasteless, orderless and colorless.  It's alcoholic effects are far and wide though, little different than any other alcohol of the same proof if consumed in the same manner.  Perception is not always reality.


That said, if you want a double, order a double from the get go.  Don't complain about not being able to taste the booze in a vodka sour.  I assure you, the last thing a bartender wants to do is rip you off.  They're there because they'd like to please you and thus earn a good tip.  Pissing you off doesn't contribute to that model.  Furthermore, a good bartender would rather take back a drink you don't like and pour you a new one to your liking rather than give youo one for free for your complaining. It's about principal.  

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