How Bartenders Really Feel About Random Drink Orders

When walking into a bar with shelves upon shelves of gleaming bottles of booze, it can be overwhelming or even intimidating to order, especially when presented with a lengthy cocktail menu covered in terms you might not be familiar with. Of course, nearly any bartender will offer up a dealer's choice cocktail, a special brew whipped up by them just for you and often made at their discretion — an especially popular option in craft cocktail bars.

But how do the bartenders actually feel about mixing up random drinks on the fly? Bartending can be a demanding, stressful job as the bartenders have to balance keeping their customers happy while satisfying their manager's expectations all in a very public space (via bar & restaurant). Does ordering the dealer's choice add an extra layer of pressure to the already stressful task at hand or is it a welcome break from the monotony of making another Old Fashioned?

What's the deal with the dealer's choice?

Insider recently asked bartenders for their opinions on cocktails and when asked about the dealer's choice, New York bartender Santana Burriss had a simple answer — it's a fun exercise in creativity that allows him to "assess the customer's palate and dig in my bag of tricks." That said, there are ways to order a dealer's choice to make both parties happier. Christy Pope, who is often credited with starting the dealer's choice, or as she calls it, the bartender's choice, as a menu staple, told Uproxx that just making cocktails blindly isn't going to satisfy anybody so she's developed a process to make sure that the cocktail is to the customer's tastes. Pope asks four important questions to gather the patron's taste preference and takes "context clues" from the guests before deciding on the drink of choice.

If you're planning to order a dealer's choice cocktail, Insider recommends giving the bartender a couple of insights into the kinds of drinks you enjoy. If you fail to mention that you're not a fan of sweet beverages, for example, you might not be satisfied with what they whip up since they had no way of knowing. There is more than one reason why your bartender hates you and not knowing what you want, or at least what flavor you prefer, is a biggie.