Cocktails are wonderful. They’re complex, full of history and have been elevated to an art form in the top bars across the country. Unfortunately, cocktail culture is also a breeding ground for drink snobiety. It can be fun to drink at their houses because they make killer cocktails, but agreeing on a bar to go to is impossible. They know all the alcohol-related trivia, but are lacking in all other kinds of human interaction. The list goes on. Here are the worst types of cocktail snobs, ranked from the somewhat bearable to the actual worst.
The snob who corrects someone every time they mispronounce a cocktail or obscure bottle
Pronouncing a difficult word you’ve never heard before can be tough. Correctly pronouncing an obscure, foreign alcohol you’ve never seen before on the first try can be downright impossible. Yet there’s a breed of cocktail snob out there who’s always eager to offer a correction. Maybe that snob is just trying to be helpful and doesn’t understand that no one really cares, or maybe he wants to show off how much time he spent looking up pronunciation guides on YouTube. Either way, we get it. But we’re ordering a drink, not giving a commencement speech. If we were wondering how to pronounce Auchentoshan we would’ve asked or looked it up ourselves.
The snob who looks down on people who enjoy a shot of Fireball every now and then
Just because Fireball is popular, syrupy and sweet doesn’t mean it should be written off entirely. The snob who pooh-poohs any mainstream liquor is one of the worst types of snob out there. Look, we’re not saying that a black tie affair is the appropriate time and place for cinnamon whiskey shots, but if someone at a tailgate is passing around a handle of Fireball with a GoPro attached to it, don’t judge. Fireball shots—and Fireball Jello Shots—are about the communal experience and any snob who looks down on that doesn’t understand community. Embrace both the high and the low.
The snob who won’t go to a beer bar or dive bar
Cocktail snobs are just that—snobs. They say they won’t go to a beer bar or a dive bar but it’s not for any good reason. They aren’t vegetarians being asked to go to a steakhouse, true snobs just can’t stand the thought of having to order beer. Fancy cocktail bars aren’t ideal for large groups, so when the true snob of the group insists on everyone going to the underground speakeasy with $16 cocktails for the 15-friend reunion, just leave her behind.
The snob who carries their own bitters with them to parties
A drink without the right bitters can lack the depth and complexity that it should have, but is it really that big of a deal? Does it really matter if the Manhattan the house party host made is a little lackluster, and would everyone really be better served if they used the Japanese dasher bottle you incomprehensibly carry in your coat pocket? How much does it matter on a scale of one to being the most pretentious person in the room?
The snob who only uses small batch liquor in their drinks
Bucking the mainstream isn’t always a negative. Small-batch bottles often provide a unique flavor and experience, but they’re also expensive and hard to come by. So no, we don’t have that one whiskey from nearby your hometown that was made with heirloom corn and aged in local oak barrels.
The snob who can’t just order a drink, they have to have a long conversation about it with the bartender
Chances are, your bartender doesn’t care that you know six different ways to mix a Negroni. And, unless you’re the only person in the bar, they definitely don’t want to talk with you about the proper muddling technique for optimum mint flavor in a Mojito. Honestly, they probably don’t want to talk to you about muddling period. The only way to make this kind of humble brag list of references disguised as a “conversation” worse would be if you name dropped bartenders and their books.
The snob who name drops bartenders and their books in casual conversations
No, your significant other’s best friend doesn’t know who Jerry Thomas is. No, they don’t want to know about how different cocktail culture would be without him or any other influential bartender. They’d like to just have a normal conversation without having to listen to the snob in front of them name drop every bartender who has made a classic cocktail cool again. By all means, great bartenders deserve credit where credit is due, but very few casual conversations need a linear history of people who’ve influenced the cocktail renaissance.
The snob who orders a lesser-known historic cocktail just to explain to the bartender what it is
No snob should be ordering off-menu drinks just to order them. Not many people know what an Ace is or have the ingredients on hand to make one, so don’t ask. There are fans of these cocktails out there, but we all know a snob who only orders them to seem superior.