Gallery: Ask a Bartender: What's The Most Ridiculous Drink Order You've Ever Gotten?

  • His Way Is Better

    bartender shaking drink

    "I sometimes (not always) think it's silly when someone tries to have me recreate a cocktail that some other guy in some other city made them. That's fine, but sometimes their recipe doesn't make sense to me. Often, I will have something on my menu that is similar but the guest isn't interested. I guess I would rather encourage people to try something new that I know is worth what I am charging them for." — Michael Lay (Restaurant 1833)

    So, a Double?


    "Grey Goose and Vodka. When I asked him again he screamed it at me—'GREY GOOSE AND VODKA!!!!!'" — Joseph O'Connor (Big Night Entertainment Group)

    Presentation Is Key


    "I try to forget most of them—however, someone ordered a Sapphire and Cranberry, but it had to be served on ice in a wine glass. I can't even begin to understand why." — Roger Bailey (Filini Bar and Restaurant)

    Dirty Olive Lemonade


    "A Scotch with lemonade, two olives and an onion." — Elmer Mejicanos (Tony's Pizza Napoletana & Capo's)

    Coke, with a Hint of Cognac


    "There have been a lot over the years, but really good cognac mixed with Coca-Cola has to be one of the worst ones I've had ordered on more than one occasion. I've also seen a perfectly good bottle of champagne get ruined by adding cheap grenadine to it. Why!?" — Bill Riley (Talde)

    Only the Best...with Cranberry Juice


    "It’s always ridiculous to order high-end liquor with cranberry juice or Coke. You don't need to spend that much for a liquor if you don't want to taste it." — David Veis (Public Kitchen & Bar)

    Olive on the Side, Please


    "People can be so specific and odd when it comes to their drinks, you tend to just make it happen and forget about it immediately. A recent example off the top of my head, was a shot made from chilled vodka, lemon juice, and jalapeno with an olive on the side." — Aaron Ranf (Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen)

    Two Drinks, One Order


    "The weirdest order I received was a woman who ordered Louis XIII Cognac ($150) and a lime juice back. She alternated sipping her cognac and straight lime juice." — Lauren Lathrop Williams (Jsix Restaurant)

    Manhattan, Light on the Cherry Juice

    bartender holding up a drink

    "Most of the time I become disappointed when someone comes and orders a 'Manhattan,' but they say something like 'light on the cherry juice please.' Or the person who expects you know a drink from some place across the country. We don’t know everyone else’s drink menu, too!" — Nate Howell (Cusp Dining & Drinks)

    Burns So Good

    bartender pouring margaritas

    "The most crazy drink I ever made was a double margarita made with homemade infused tequila and a muddled habanero. I made it for a girl, and she drank it without any expression of pain." — Hernan Cortes (Copita Tequileria y Comida)

    A Nice Beaujolais and Coke

    bartender adding garnish to cocktail

    "I remember the first time I ever got an order for a red wine and coke. I was young so I’d never heard of a Kalimotxo. The poor guy had to repeat the order twelve times for me to figure it what the hell he wanted." — Hannah Lanfear (Boisdale)

    Easy on the Salt

    bartender making martinis

    "I had a regular who would come in and always order the craziest margarita. Tres Generationes tequila, Cointreau, just a splash of lime and a splash of lemon, shaken and poured into a martini glass with a 1/4 salted rim with 3 ice cubes. It's a good thing he tipped well." — Jesse Anholt (Wallsé)

    Ma'am, I'm Cutting You Off


    "Me, in a glass." — Armand Rodriguez (Juvia)

    To Each Their Own


    "Let’s just say some guests come up with some very interesting flavor combinations. But who am I to judge? If we have it I’ll make it." — Jason Brooke (Zavino)

    $450 Mimosas


    "This was maybe two years ago. I was about to do a last call when two well-dressed & professional looking gentlemen walked through the door with six, maybe seven younger women—all destroyed. One of the men approaches me and asks me to bring out a vintage bottle of Besserat de Bellefon Champagne and 'handful of large orange juices'. $450 mimosas." — Greg Sorrell (The Patterson House)

    Cocktail Contagion


    "I would have to say when someone ordered eight mojitos at Upstairs—then I had a full bar of patrons who realized they also wanted mojitos. It's the type of cocktail that when you see someone drinking one, it looks so refreshing you want one too; but it’s time-consuming for the bartender when you have to make more than three at a time. There have also been a few times where I’ve had people order expensive single malt scotches with Coke. If you are a Scotch drinker you would never sacrifice its taste by adding anything else other than ice or a splash of water..." — Miri Kolici (Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel)

    Shaken, Definitely Shaken

    bartender shaking drink

    "I work at a bar called the Dead Rabbit where we have our version of the Ramos Gin Fizz, called the Pistache Fizz. Anyone who knows a thing or two about these drinks can attest to how labor intensive (minutes of shaking) these drinks are, to achieve the proper consistency. One Friday evening Bobby (the other bartender on duty) got a ticket with 11 Pistache Fizzes; I received another one with 6; and then a ticket followed with 2 Ramos Gin Fizzes from a table, and two more guests at my bar ordered a round as well. That's a total of 21 fizzes simultaneously. Bobby and I were convinced by the end of that shift that our arms were going to fall off!" — Pamela Wiznitzer (Dead Rabbit)

    Dirty Crown Royal Martini

    bartender holding cocktail

    "It's got to be the Dirty Crown Royal martini. I had to ask 3 times just to make sure that I heard correctly. But sure enough that's what this gentleman wanted. Oddly enough, it wasn't as gross as it sounds. Dewar's and milk is also a good one." — George Costa (Pub & Kitchen)

    Just a Hot Tea, Thanks


    "People have weird taste, and I think any bartender has poured a maple syrup-pickle back-gin-whatever before. The most ridiculous orders are the ones that come for a hot tea when you have five glasses in front of you, or the "gentleman" who simply yells his order when you're speaking to another guest. You want a dirty olive IPA? I can do that, just wait patiently." — Dan Bronson (The Strand Smokehouse & Crescent & Vine)

    Cocaine Barbie

    bartender pouring a drink

    "One time when I was working at a bar called Rye a guy asked me for 3 Incredible Hulks, 3 Vodka Redbulls, 2 Cocaine Barbies... and a water. Can someone please tell me, what exactly is in a Cocaine Barbie?" — Carlos Yturria (E&O Asian Kitchen)

    ... Wow

    bartender holding glass of red wine

    "One guy gave me a hand-written drink recipe that had something like fifteen different liquors and juices in it. The ingredients that I remember are: plain vodka, orange vodka, two different brands of white rum, Malibu, Hypnotiq, tequila, gin, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, blue curacao, and Midori. It smelled like a fruit stand inside a tanning salon inside a strip club. Incidentally, after I sent the drink out, the guy brought it back and scolded me for not floating the Midori. I asked whether the drink had a name, and he told me it was 'Tahitian Breeze' or some such nonsense. I renamed it 'The Floating Green Douchebag.'" — Chad Musick (Sip Tasting Room and Rooftop Lounge)

    The Adult Suicide


    "The Long Island Iced Tea always blows my mind. When I was a kid, after little league, we would get a drink ticket and some of the kids would get a "suicide" which consisted of all the soda flavors mixed together. The Long Island Iced Tea is the adult suicide." — David Welch (Lincoln Restaurant, Sunshine Tavern)

    Liquid Breakfast

    bartender pouring champagne

    "Bacon infused vodka with a raw egg shaken in the mix!!!! Maybe I should have included a side of buttered toast? It is often better to stay away from fads." — Richard Middleton (Brennan's of Houston)

    Do You Want Your Banana Muddled or Mashed?

    bartender shaking a drink

    "After a 5-10 minute discussion to figure out exactly what ingredients he wants, the guest ordered muddled banana shaken with vanilla vodka and Godiva liqueur. Admittedly the drink was not too bad." — Jared Krauss (Catch)