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How to handle getting a bad drink, according to a bartender


emma witman
The author, Emma Witman, says there are right and wrong ways to tell your bartender you don’t like your drink.
Emma Witman

As a bartender, I’ve had countless times when a patron told me they didn’t like the drink I made them.

Admittedly, it always stings a little to hear this.

But like in any other situation, there’s a right way and a wrong way for you to handle your dissatisfaction.

It’s when I find out after the fact — when the problem is too late to fix — that this phenomenon goes from mildly perturbing to becoming a top pet peeve. More irksome than all those annoying drink orders I judge you for.

Why? Because you’ve failed to take advantage of the single aspect I most love about bartending: If you dislike the drinks I made for you, I can just as easily make it disappear and create a different, better one for you.

But maybe you don’t know what to say, or how to say it. After all, no one wants to be that guy.

Fear not: Here’s exactly what you should and shouldn’t do if your drink doesn’t spark joy.


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