Please, please, don’t be that guy
Great bar staff endlessly discuss cocktails, beer, wine…anything boozy. Symbiotically, interested customers are a blessed relief. Servers love nothing more than receptive customers – customers love nothing more than engaging servers. Dialogue makes everyone happy. Unless the dreaded: “What’s your best drink?” is heard. It is deceptively infuriating, surprisingly common and universally loathed.
What is meant by best? Best for what exactly? Best to pour on the kerb in a rap video? Best to warm your cockles? Best to drown your sorrows? It is an impossibly vague question, yet demands a definitive answer.
Conclusion: One wouldn’t ring a radio show spluttering: “play your best song!”
Although impossible to define, it is usually interpreted as: “What is your (the server’s) favourite drink?” Thus implying: “What am I likely to like?” It is completely irrelevant what the bar staff like, they’re not drinking it.
Conclusion: One wouldn’t go into McDonald’s asking: “I’ll whatever burger you like best!”
Another potential interpretation is: “What is the best quality drink?” or “I want your ultimate drink?” This is almost guaranteed not to be required. If a server opened a 1990 Krug Magnum with a £800 bill most customers would collapse.
Conclusion: One wouldn’t approach an estate agent as a first-time buyer with: “I want your best property!”
If the server replies professionally, clarifying the enquiry with: “I’ll tailor something to your taste, what flavours do you like?”. It all too often elicits the soul-draining: “I like something fruity!”. The realisation that Um Bungo in a Martini glass would surpass anything is profoundly depressing to a mixologist. Undeterred, the tenacious server may endeavour with: “What is your favourite spirit?” This generally provokes the ever helpful: “I like vodka!”, the same as saying: “I like nothing!”
Conclusion: One wouldn’t stride into a Chinese restaurant proudly proclaiming: “I want the most flavourful, exciting dish possible…using mainly Tofu!”.