The Bartending Trick For When A Customer Wants Their Drinks Stronger

The phrase "the customer is always right" has become less and less true over the years as people feel entitled to extra special treatment. In reality, the customer may think they are always right, but it's the savvy server who knows all the subtle ways to keep a patron happy without actually pulling any extra strings. TikToker and bartender @benjispears shared his favorite ways to make a customer "feel heard" when they send their drink back asking to make it stronger. He advises a coworker to switch the drink to a different glass and add a few extra garnishes, and a spritz of sour on top for good measure. One commenter helped with the brainstorming session, writing, "and a dash of vodka in the straw." This will give the customer a burst of that alcohol taste they are looking for, without wasting an extra shot. The creator responded by saying that the straw trick is reserved for "when I'm feeling nicer."

While this TikTok has been clearly labeled "a skit," it is based on true-to-life instances where bartenders have been criticized for their light pours and watered-down drinks. Some viewers may feel disgruntled by this bartending trick, but it's important to remember that you get what you pay for. Without paying for an extra shot, you're lucky to get a fancy glass and an extra garnish when you send your drink back to a busy bartender, who probably isn't your biggest fan.

Should you ever actually send your drink back?

Every now and then, even the most well-behaved customers feel motivated to demand special treatment, asking for a stronger drink or an extra modification. Some commenters in @benjispears' viral TikTok claim that there are a few good reasons to actually send back a drink. One user cited the price of the drink as an indicator of whether or not to ask for more alcohol, writing, "If it's a cheap drink then ok, $3.50 more [for an extra shot] is ok for me. But if it's these $15 and up drinks, I need it good." While there is some truth to the expectation, usually you are aware of how strong your drink will be when you order it, assuming you've consulted the ingredients listed on the menu or chatted with the bartender before ordering. There are only a few times it is actually appropriate to send your drink back to a bartender.

If your bartender is new or just plain terrible, they might forget what you ordered and give you something totally different. Understandably, you would send it back and ask for the correct drink. This is especially true if you were given the wrong order that contains ingredients you cannot consume due to dietary issues or allergies. If you need to send a drink back, it's important to be polite and patient – blaming your bartender for the mistake or being extra demanding is not a good look. And remember, an extra tip can go a long way.