Jägermeister's Willy Shine Reveals The Cocktail Rule Everyone Should Know - Exclusive

It is a truth universally acknowledged that not every bar is cocktail-ready; some joints are simply better suited to bottled beers. While a place like the Korova Milk Bar is a perfect fantasy for a story like "A Clockwork Orange," you most definitely wouldn't want to order milk punch from the place in real life. That is self-evident. Other warnings, however, might not be written in neon signs for everyone to see. For that, we have Jägermeister Brandmeister Willy Shine, who has been working in the industry and cooking up cocktails since the '90s.

Shine can often tell the quality of a bar by watching its bartenders. "You can tell when a staff is like a family and they work together well," he exclusively told Mashed. "It's really fun to watch when they know who they're working with and they work well together. There's this bit of a dance that goes behind a bar when you've been working together for a while and you can tell that they've been doing it for a while." That's a good sign — but he also shared a bad one to look out for.

Willy Shine's bar sink rule revealed

It's a hygiene thing. Walk into a bar, and you're jumping the gun if you ask for its cocktail menu. First, find its sink. 

"If I walk into a bar, and there's a free-base sink behind there, and they're washing the glasses in the free base sink, I tend to go for a bottled beer or something," Shine revealed to Mashed. "I've worked behind too many bars back in the day that had a free-base sink and it was not the best experience. I'll always order something that comes in a bottle if there's a free-base sink. No disrespect to anybody who does it well. It's hard to find, to be honest."

From there, Willy Shine says, you're going to want to look at how the bartender organizes their workplace. "Number one is cleanliness of the bar, and I don't mean by it looking clean. That's very important — your bar should always be clean," he explained.

Beyond lack of grime, you want to look for bottle arrangement, symmetry, and order. "You can tell by meticulousness if a bar is taking care of the level of expertise they may have in making cocktails," Shine advised. "I would probably look at their cocktail menu at that point and then maybe choose something off of there by just looking at the bar and how well it's managed."

Willy Shine makes his favorite cocktails with Jägermeister. Visit the Jägermeister website to find out which of their products you can responsibly enjoy near you.