Have you ever observed someone create instant rapport with a bartender at the club? While rapport with a bartender can get you free drinks, it’s the impression it makes, not the money you save that makes it worthwhile.

If you’re hitting the club anytime soon and want to impress your friends, your date, or anyone else you might run into, follow these tips:

1. Get familiar with the club’s layout during the day

The more familiar with a club you are, the more you’ll be able to impress people when they want to find the bathroom, the bar, the patio, or a particular table. 

Regardless of how many times you’ve visited a club or bar, if you’ve never been inside without a crowd, there’s more to know. If possible, make a visit during the day and take note of the following:

  • How to get to the restroom and bar from every possible location.
  • If there’s a secondary restroom.
  • Remember obscure table locations. This will come in handy when you show up with a few friends and all the visible tables are full.
  • Know where any steps are so you can say “watch your step” as your group moves around. This will get people to perceive you as more knowledgeable about the club.

2. Treat your bartender like a king

Establishing rapport with your bartender is vital if you’re going to impress your friends and perhaps score some free drinks. You may even end up with a wingman.

If you don’t know the bartenders, learn their names ahead of time so when you walk up to the bar, you’ll already have a bit of rapport to work with. Don’t just Facebook stalk them, though. Go meet them in person and have a real conversation with them. Just sit down and have a drink, connect with them, and be a human being.

3. Drink outside the box 

Don’t order a cosmo, a vodka cran, or a Long Island iced tea. That says you’re boring and status quo. Order something interesting, and know exactly what you’re ordering. 

First of all, ordering any whiskey drink will give you points right away. Whiskey isn’t for lightweights. If you want to order whiskey like a pro, learn the difference between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. 

According to mixology pros at CliQue, these two whiskey cocktails are “simple cocktails that are designed to help bring out the flavor of the whiskey.” And, “the type of whiskey that you use is so important. If you find a whiskey you really like, whether it is a bourbon or a rye, consider adding it to one of these cocktails so the taste really shines.”

In other words, when you walk up to the bar with your friends, don’t simply order a Manhattan. Instruct the bartender as to which type of whiskey you would like them to make your Manhattan with.

To impress your friends further, make a side comment about why you like the Manhattan over the Old Fashioned. Say something like, “Yeah I used to drink Old Fashioned, but I like vermouth better than sugar.”

It’s hard to believe anyone really enjoys the taste of liquor anyway, so even if you don’t like whiskey, pretend you do and go with it.

4. Know the club’s hours, rules, and dress code

Knowing how the club operates and the rules guests are expected to follow will tell people you know your stuff. You’re a regular, the club loves you, and you’re going to make sure your friends have a good time without getting thrown out.

You should know:

  • Where overflow parking is
  • If the club offers valet parking and how much it costs.
  • The complete dress code for males and females.
  • The rules surrounding “in and out” privileges.
  • When they stop serving alcohol

You can also impress your friends by telling them stories of how people have been kicked out in the past. Even if you find those stories on Google, they don’t need to know.

5. Be authoritative with every bit of information you share

If your friends show up to your house wearing something outside of the club’s dress code, point it out immediately. The faster and more direct you are, the better. Don’t just say, “By the way, that tie you’re wearing is probably not gonna fly at the door.” Instead, grab an extra tie from your own closet, throw it at your friend and say, “Put this on, or you won’t get in.”

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