Food & Drink

Bartenders’ Least Favorite Cocktails to Make

Bartenders have to put up with a lot of crap. There are the lousy tippers, the yellers, the finger snappers—but perhaps the most annoying customers are those who order overly complicated cocktails when the bar is four deep—or drinks that are just downright gross. To get the scoop on which cocktails truly are the bane of bartenders’ existence, we asked a few of our favorites which drink is their least favorite to make.


"Anything called a ‘Martini’ that isn’t gin and vermouth, stirred. When someone asks, ‘What flavors of Martinis do you guys have?,’ I know where we are headed. Blueberry Martinis, Chocolate Martinis—anything like that is not a true Martini." - Julian Cox, Three Dots and a Dash


“Any Gin Fizz or egg and cream fizz (specifically the Ramos Gin Fizz) is my least favorite to make. They take exponentially longer to execute than any other cocktail and dirty up all of my tools. Everything about making one slows down my flow.” - Sarah Anne Clarke, Hidden Harbor


"Probably a Long Island Iced Tea. But only because I equate it with a certain type of bar patron who I know is probably going to get ‘white girl wasted.’ I have made more than my fair share, and it's one of those drinks I always try to talk people out of ordering.” - Kelsey Didit, Bustan and Wolf & Deer


“I’d like to start off by saying we're in the business of giving people what they want. If someone wants a certain drink, I'd be more than happy to make it for him or her. That being said, my least favorite cocktail to make is the Long Island Ice Tea. I personally think it has too many ingredients and no balance.” - Jason Mendenhall, The Wild Son, The Wayland and Good Night Sonny 


“I don't like the Long Island Iced Tea because it represents someone who wants to get drunk fast without understanding what goes into a drink or what each spirit in it has to offer.” - Diego Gonzales, Sel Rrose


“When I’m behind the bar, I am interested not in judging someone’s palate but making the best version of whatever drink he or she orders. Making drinks is about spreading happiness. So I guess the only drink I hate to make is one that I know will not taste good, no matter how it is prepared. The Long Island Iced Tea comes to mind. It also makes me a little sad when someone wants to bury a really beautiful base spirit in a mixer that will cover up all of its complexity. I make a great Margarita, but if you want to order a Casa Noble Single Barrel Anejo, order that shit neat.” - Nick Dodge, Lo-Res bar at Nitehawk


“I made like 20 Lemon Drop shots last night, ugh! There was sugar on everything.” - Lesley Johnson, 7B Horseshoe Bar


“The Margarita, because it's a dignified classic that can be made with amazing ingredients—but everyone expects them cheap and by the pitcher. So it's a race-to-the-bottom drink. It’s the McDonald's Dollar Menu of cocktails.” - Tyson Ho, Arrogant Swine


“Anything that’s basic bitch. Like the frozen wine craze, which is ridiculous.” - Michelle Farley, Strip House


"As a bartender, it's my duty to give guests their drink of choice, and I take pride in aiming to make it delicious. But I'm really not into making cocktails with cream like the White Russian, Ramos Gin Fizz, etc. Working with cream is such a hassle because it's never easy to clean up, it clouds the rinse bucket quickly and doesn’t smell great if you spill it. I think I'm more of a ‘milk in cereal’ only kind of guy." - Darnell Holguin, Fifty 


"A drink from someone else's menu. Whatever the name might be, I really don't like it when people ask the bar mates if they can make a drink from someplace else without trying what's on our menu first." - Spencer Taliaferro, LILT Lounge 


“While I wouldn’t say I hate making any drink, the one that I enjoy the least is probably the Mojito. I respect it as a classic cocktail, but I think it’s one that gets ordered as a reflex rather than out of truly wanting it. As a rule, I always make a guest the drink they order first. But then I try to find out what they like about it so I can get them to stay for a second cocktail and improve on it.” - Brandon Lockman, Red Star Tavern


“A ‘Sour’ without the egg white would be my answer. The customer who is unable to get past the anxiety of raw egg in their drink, even though it is something that has been done for more than a century, is bothersome to me. We try, but some people just can't get past it, and they're missing out.” - Dan Rook, South Water Kitchen


Champagne cocktails. The battle between me and the bubbles bring forth is a thousand year war. Nothing short of an inappropriate analogy, the impatient gaze of every customer at the bar is not lost upon me. An entire minute spent serving one customer is a minute lost on multiple others.” - Reid Watson, Weather Up