It’s often difficult to find a decent craft bar when you travel. In fact, depending on where you live, it may difficult to find one even around where you hang out. When you’re in a bar, you can get an idea of what’s important to them by the ingredients they’re using. If it’s all low-end liquor and high quantities of synthetic mixers – think “sweet and sour mix” – don’t hold out much hope. Even when they have high end liquor displayed, they still may be using gallons of mixers in each drink. This recently happened to me on a cruise. The quality of the ingredients was great, but the drinks were mostly juices and mixers.

So, as Dave says, if you’re not in a craft bar that prides itself on its drinks, have a few standbys that almost every bar has the ingredients for and are straightforward to prepare. Consider, a Martini, Manhattan, anything and soda, tonic or cola and, if the ingredients are reasonable, something straight up or with water. Most run-of-the-mill places will also prepare a wide variety of vodka drinks, so also consider those.

Apparently, Dave doesn’t mind talking a bartender through a drink that he/she doesn’t know. I don’t have that level of patience. Gin and tonic please!

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