How To Get a Drink in a Crowded Bar
Check out the first episode of the THUMP Guide to Clubbing.
Welcome to THUMP Guide to Clubbing, a new video series starring some of our favorite DJs and producers. Every week, our team of experts will guide you through the ins and outs of the club experience, from skipping lines to chatting up bartenders. For our first installment, "How to Get a Drink at a Crowded Club," we turned to club music warriors LSDXOXO, Fools Gold co-founder Nick Catchdubs, jersey club queen UNIIQU3, New York party-starter Tygapaw, rising Philadelphia DJ Gun$ Garcia, and seasoned dance music veteran Nick Hook for tips on how to snag the clubbing fuel you need. Read on for a foolproof guide to getting in and out of the most hectic bar situations in style.
When you first make your move in a crowded club, remember that finesse is key. "Force is never necessary when it comes to getting a drink at the bar," notes Nick Catchdubs. "They're not handing out bread in the great depression."
According to Tygawpaw, founder of the New York party Fake Accent, subtle strategies can go a long way. "I have this stealthy approach," she explains. "I find these little pockets of people—I call them "air pockets"—and I slip through." UNIIQU3 employs a similar tactic. "I would just dance through the crowd nine times out of ten, cause that's the fastest and easiest way to get through," she tells us.
Sometimes, though, grace will only get you so far. "I'm Filipino, so I'm really good at pushing," explains Gun$ Garcia. "We don't really use lines in the Philippines, and I adhere to that that same belief in the United States as well."
Ordering a Drink
So, you've finally made it to the bar. What next? "The best way to approach a bar is to have money in your hand already showing," says Nick Hook, who's been clubbing since he was 14. "Because then the bartender knows that you want to purchase a drink."
Per Catchdubs, there is a right and a wrong way to get a server's attention. "There's people who do the tapping on the bar—the passive aggressive 'Hello, I'm here'," he says. Instead, he says, try a little eye innuendo. "I'm not a winker, but I've seen that be effective," Catchdubs adds. If all else fails, remarks LSDXOXO, "You could always pull a titty out,"
Once the bartender approaches you, it's time to make your move. Hook points out that the worst thing to do is to ask the bartender, "'What's your favorite drink?" At a busy club, that's the last thing they have time for." Indecisiveness won't make you any friends—"Figure out what you want," he adds. "This is New York, man." As long as the spot isn't too crowded, though, some casual flirting can be useful—"It's definitely good to have small talk with the bartender because then if you're back at that spot you can get a free drink, or, you know, a bone," points out LSDXOXO.
Still, as Garcia points out, the most important thing is to be respectful. "If it's a female bartender," she explains, "calling her degrading names like honey, sweetie, babe, that's really not going to get you any drinks."
Making a Clean Exit
Congratulations—you've successfully ordered a drink! Your trophy is in the mail. Before you can enjoy it, though, you need to get away from the bar area. One thing everyone agrees be careful not to lose it to the forces of gravity. "I've seen plenty of people spill their drinks when they're leaving the bar—you just gotta treat them like they're your first born," says UNIIQU3. "If you walk in a straight line, it's gonna spill over," she continues. "It's some scientific shit. You have to move it to to the left and the right."
If, god forbid, someone knocks your drink over, then you have a few options. "If someone accidentally bumps into you, if it's an accident, then probably let it go," says LSDXOXO. "If they just all out knock your drinks out of your hand, then it's a fight in my book."
"Or at the very least, "Give them the cuntiest, bitchiest look," adds Tygapaw.
Thankfully, for all you DJs out there, a spilled drink isn't the end of the world. "If I'm in a club I'm getting the drinks for free," says Nick Catchdubs," so if someone spills my drink, it's fine—I can just get another one." We should all be so lucky.
Watch the first episode of the THUMP Guide To Clubbing below.