11 Drinks That Are Red Flags For Bartenders

For the population who enjoys going out with friends but choose not to imbibe, there are now countless inventive non-alcoholic drink recipes to choose from. Nowadays, faux cocktails, or “mocktails,” are creating a buzz in the current no-alcohol cocktails trend, especially because people are no longer limited to sparkling cider, non-alcoholic beer, or a Shirley Temple. When given the task, any bartender worth their salt should be able to come up with a mocktail version of a well-known mixed drink on the spot…until the patron makes that task impossible.

Most cocktails include at least one or two mixers, and many have several, making omitting the alcoholic component a no-brainer (think rum punch without the rum). However, ordering a “mocktail” version of a drink that is almost or solely made up of (and thus gets its entire flavor from) alcohol may convey something as simple as the naivete of a patron to, if the bar is busy enough, an annoying situation for a bartender. A “virgin” Negroni falls into the impossible pile because it consists of three ingredients, and they all contain alcohol: Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin. Making a mocktail version would place any bartender to hand over an empty glass and take your $14. This rule can also be applied to Black Russians, Manhattans, Martinis, Rob Roys, Gimlets, and Gibsons, to name a few.