How to Tip at a Cocktail Bar

If you’re throwing down $1 for each drink, you’re doing it wrong. Our drinking guru sets the record straight.

howtotip

Women like me don’t spend any time trolling on-demand channels for gentle pornography, so I know nothing about HBO’s docu-smut series Cathouse.

I cannot do a spot-on impersonation of Air Force Amy. I do not favor the fleshy Isabella Soprano above all other bunnies. I definitely don’t have an opinion about Max’s descent from chaste chess-playing courtesan to raggedy, black-lunged trick. I don’t watch the show, is what I’m saying. Women like me don’t do that.

Actually, no. I’m infatuated with Cathouse and all of its trashy time-warp pleasures (turns out hoe fashions don’t change much, making it tough to divine whether the episodes were shot last year or in the mid-90s). The most compelling aspect of the series may be the rather prudish discourse about money among its stars. Specifically, what a guy’s gotta lay out to party with one of these Jezebels. No one is talking: The topic of rates is hazy territory in the culture of working girls, who know better than to put an explicit ceiling on what a client might pay for their company.

Everyone has a different yardstick, and there’s no common wisdom to rely upon. Tip too little and you’ve marked yourself a miserly rube. Tip too much and you’re showboating.

The same crepuscular curtain, it turns out, seems to fall when discussing the matter of tipping with a modern-day craft bartender. Not the guy who cracks your PBR at the dive bar. We’re talking about the guy with the mesmeric shake—the one who labors over the constellation of angostura bitters atop your pisco sour, and slides each of his alchemical masterpieces to you across the bar, proud and imperious, like he’s the first person to synthesize LSD. What the hell do you tip this dude?

Everyone has a different yardstick, and there’s no common wisdom to rely upon. Tip too little and you’ve marked yourself a miserly rube. Tip too much and you’re showboating. It’s enough to make you want to go home and curl up with a box of tissues and Hof’s Birthday After Party on DVD.

And we don’t want that. Herein, some guidelines to keep in mind next time you’re long-hauling at the cocktail bar.

Next: the six keys to tipping like a pro…

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