Bartender, The Garret (New York City, NY)
"I think that the $1 tip rule should only apply to beers or wine that don’t require extra explanation or knowledge from the bartender. For example, we all know what a Stella is, but we might need some explanation for what a Petit Verdot is.
When it comes to cocktails, most bad tippers are unaware or just don't consider the amount of creativity, work, and time that goes into creating that perfect drink. With every complex cocktail, let us not forget that there is someone who had to sit there and cut and squeeze fresh juices, slice and dehydrate your blood orange garnish, separate fresh mint leaves from their stems, or infuse your spirits with various herbs and spices days ahead. It takes a lot of preparation to keep those ingredients constantly fresh.
A rule for tipping that I follow myself, and I think most others in the industry can agree, is that the baseline for tipping should be 20% in NYC. If the server went out of their way to make me smile, have a conversation, or explain the aging and fermentation process of this tequila made from whatever region and whatever species of agave, you should consider the level of knowledge, expertise, and genuine want to teach others."