Where you drink can be as important as what you drink. Here at Drinking Made Easy we’ve put together a list of types of drinking establishments and what to ask for to fit in right away. Try crossing off the list or add your own in the comments below.
The small neighborhood bar is the cornerstone of drinking culture all over the world. Ran by a local ”publican” and filled with regulars, the dive bar is a place for people who like to drink with out all the distractions and fancy gimmicks. Dives usually have a long main bar in a badly lit room and the bartender either is or is related to the owner.
Drink to ask for: “Whatever your having.” This line is a good way to start a conversation and as an added bonus allows the bartender to pour a drink for himself. Becoming buddies with the bartender at a dive will be worth it in the long run. He’ll be introducing you around to the regulars in no time.
The concept bar is the drinking grounds of the elite. Art bars, ice bars, glass-bottom rooftop bars, underwater bars, even bars with human furniture, if you can think of it someone is drinking in it right now. Often the menu will include themed cocktails (or the rare themed beer) these are often creative and expensive. Concept bars are great places to meet supermodels or just take in the atmosphere.
Drink to ask for: “Surprise me.” This often brings on a frown but don’t fret as bartenders at these places are highly skilled but woefully underutilized. Serve 50 rum and diet cokes in a row and anyone would be dying for a challenge. When you get the drink smile and ask it’s name and if you like it suggest it to others. Great ice breaker.
A relatively new concept in the drinking scene the moden brewpub is a microbrewery that sells its beer out of its own bar. Often more “pub” than “bar” the furniture and decore often revolve around the beer or cider served. This is a great place to talk to other beer lovers and brewers and get some ideas of what to order next. Support local beer!
Drink to ask for: “What is good this season?” or “What’s on tap” This will always bring a smile from these artisans and often they will try to narrow down your tastes but they will definitely have something in mind for you and a story to go along with it.
These were originally biker clubhouses but many turned to bars to circumvent legal issues related to organized crime. These establishments are not exclusive and welcome outsiders who behave appropriately under their guidelines. These bar usually have roadsigns, licence plates, photographs and their insignia or “colors” on the walls telling the history of the club. They usually do not have full licenses.
Drink to ask for: “A beer.” In a bottle. Domestic. Due to a limited selection and questionable hygiene this would be best.
The modern roadhouse is usually a large longhouse off a major freeway and attached or across the street from a motel. Servicing the truck driver community on the whole, the local roadhouse can attract locals who don’t have much in the way of entertainment in town. Food dancing, live music and beer all promise good times to be had in the open floor brightly lit layout. A good place to wash away the blues.
Drink to ask for: Beer is a safe choice, but if you are looking for a good time, line up the shots or get your favorite mixed drink.
The original Inns were built for weary travelers to rest for the night and have a drink and a little something to eat. Though many pubs take the name, they are traditionally a place with rooms for let. Inns are known for their living room feel, high calorie beers and food and friendly inn keepers who use impeccable service to keep customers coming back whenever they pass through. Many Inns have local food and liquor contacts to make their offerings unique.
Drink to ask for: “Something Local.” You are traveling, might as well take in the local flavors.
The public house or pub is a staple in Britain though it’s popularity is waning. Known for it’s warm inviting atmosphere, wood floors and comfortable furniture the pub is designed around relaxation rather than a hardcore nights drinking. They usually focus more on beer than on liquor and cocktails. Often a dartboard and pool table are available and in more modern pubs, a slot machine. Pubs are a good place to waste away the day.
Drink to ask for: Anything on tap. A slow drink, like cider a nice stout, is best. Remember it’s a marathon not a race.
The modern college bar has one purpose: To get as many students buying booze as possible. Often standing room only, these bars lure customers in with insane drink specials, loud music, pretty lights, and local bands. This is a good place to get cheap booze, get very very drunk and tell people you just met how great they are.
Drink to ask for: “A pitcher of domestic beer.” Pitchers are more affordable and cocktails are more expensive unless they have cocktail specials. Remember, free booze makes fast friends.
A throw back to the days of prohibition these were secret bars often built in basements of homes in large cities. Back then, a password was required to enter and inside would be a smoke filled lounge with live entertainment, small furniture and booze brought to your table not served at a bar. These days most gin joints are for patrons trying to relive a piece of the prohibition past.
Drink to ask for: Something with a history. Order what is most prominent on the menu or what they recommend because chances are they have a really good story about it and the stories are why people come.
Most cocktail lounges are designed for meetings of a personal nature. Dim lighting, sleek modern decor and private corners make it easier to achieve a certain level of intimacy. Your bartender here is your wingman, a confidant who will aid you with concoctions that awake the senses and are mixed stronger than most. When in doubt forget the menu and ask the man behind the bar.
Drink to ask for: “Something new.” With the rise of more and more bartenders experimenting with mixology some innovative drinks and come about. Most cocktail bars will have some sort of drink you have never seen before that looks delicious. Try it.
If you are lucky enough to live by a poolside bar or a beach bar or are frequenting one on vacation then you can enjoy a unique combination of fresh fruit and tailored mixology not found anywhere else. Fruit cocktails and smoothies are a must and though the decor may be sparse or none existent the ambience and relaxed nature of these bars make it easy to make fast friends.
Drink to ask for: Something fresh. Pina colada is the staple here but any tropical drink will do. The more umbrellas and crazy straws the better.
No, not that kind of Gentleman’s Club. These are exclusive membership only clubs that often only allow entry to family of members or those that have reached certain social or financial milestones. Very secretive in nature these clubs often have luxurious lounges and a large collection of spirits. If you have a personal favorite they can order it for you and keep it available for your next visit.
Drink to ask for: “Your Usual.” Any respectable club will have a glass of your favorite after-work-relaxer ready and served by the time you don your smoking jacket. Simply sit by the fireplace and talk about the war. Which war? If you have to ask you weren’t there.