People at the function listen to a speaker.
People at the function listen to a speaker.
Brass Monkey whisky cocktail
Brass Monkey whisky cocktail
■ Mixologist extraordinaire, Owen O’Rielly of SIP Exclusive pours a Black Bottle Old Fashioned.
■ Mixologist extraordinaire, Owen O’Rielly of SIP Exclusive pours a Black Bottle Old Fashioned.

It’s good to be patient, but it’s even better to have a drink in your hand. The guys at Monkey Shoulder canvassed experienced bar staff to find out the secrets of reducing the waiting time for your precious drink. Shaun Stemmett, brand manager for Monkey Shoulder, the world’s only triple malt Scotch whisky, says that these tips are going to be especially helpful on Saturday, 20 May, better known as World Whisky Day. 


Don't whistle at the bar staff. It's rude. 
Nicholas Crouse from Lucky Shaker in Umhlanga says, “What’s really important to bar staff is that we are afforded some respect. If you shout, whistle or snap your fingers, we will pass you by. Also, have an idea of what you are looking for. We are happy to assist you if you are wanting to discover something new, but please don’t wait for us to serve you before you decide what you feel like. If someone comes to the bar and says, “surprise me”, what helps is if they say, “surprise me with something fruity”, in which case we will know in what direction we should go. All this makes serving you that my easier and more enjoyable.”

Ignore your friends until you get your drink
Talking to your friend in the line may make you look like you’re busy and do not need a drink. Likewise looking at the drinks selection makes you appear unready.

Make things easier for the barman
Bringing back your empty glasses may win you favour.

Looks do get you far in life. Well, at the bar

Stand out from the crowd: if you’re tall or wear a distinctive hat you’ll have an advantage.

Don't be a pushover

Stand up for your rights: it’s OK to say that the person next to you pushed in, bar staff like to be fair.

Don't act like a rich frat boy

Bar staff are divided on whether customers waving money around is a good or bad thing. Do however have your money ready. Julian Short, who just won the Diageo World Class Mixologist competition, from Sin+Tax in Johannesburg says, " Bar staff are very busy , so it is always best to know what you what and to have your payment ready. Making eye contact and leaving a good tip goes a long way, too."


Makes googly eyes, but don't stare

Eye contact is effective, but needs to be used sparingly. Do not stare at busy bartenders like you’re in love with them (unless you actually are in love).

A little charm goes a long way

Be charming. It helps. Tinashe Motsi from Orphanage Cocktail Emporium in Cape Town says, “Making eye contact and having a nice social facial expression, like a big smile, or someone who is visibly expected to get a drink from you, will usually get my attention quicker.”

Smile. It's happy hour

Stand directly in front of the bar staff and look friendly. If there are two people serving, stand between them.

Ignore everyone who has their drink already. Even your best friend

Do not talk to someone who has just been served. Or you can just do what you like and not worry about the odd extra minute in your favourite bar.