A bar, which is a word we use in New York and everywhere else in America to mean the minimum amount of drinkable beverages, is a beer, wine, or liquor drink in which the base spirit is 1 percent alcohol or higher, the label and packaging says, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Most bars only serve alcohol for $2.99 or lower.
How much should I spend on a drink?
The good news is, in the U.S., there are no hard rules. Here’s what you should expect based on your budget.
The national average for a drink is about 10 percent of a bar meal, according to the Federal Reserve. In New York City, for example, a pint of Bud Light will run you about $4; half of that will go to the server and half to your credit card. On the other hand, a half-liter of milk — a beverage that’s the size as the average person swallows — will cost you about $2. It’s the cheapest drink you can get, but be careful about how long you use the drink and whether or not it will last you the entire night, as some drinks do.
Most bars will charge you about 45 cents per drink, unless it’s special, when they’ll charge 25 cents or less. Most of the time you’ll get a drink when you order your food. A few bars also offer an unlimited-size drink in which case you won’t even need the food — they’ll give you one full-sized drink. You should definitely order a drink from your table, a bartender will tell you, before you walk out with your food and the drink, according to bartenders.
Don’t take the word of a bartender as gospel. It’s not just an opinion like everyone else, but a trained professional who’s been to a lot more bars than I.
How much is a bar menu?
A bar menu starts with a page or two explaining what you’re getting and how to order it, and then offers many more details to get you started — a menu of beers and cocktails, for example, or details about what they serve with food. Most bars also offer free samples.
It’s better to ask questions and be persistent when ordering, as they’ll probably be able to put together a good list by checking out your menu and figuring out why you want to drink that cocktail.
The bartender may also know the drinks that are on the menu, so
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