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Bartenders Follow These Superstitions To Concoct Their Best Drinks

Bartenders, akin to artists in their craft, embrace myriad superstitions that intertwine with the rich tapestry of drinking traditions. In mixology, where every drink is a masterpiece, superstitions are crucial in warding off bad luck, inviting good fortune and ensuring the finest libations are served.

Helan Singh

February 02, 2024

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1. Bar Setup Superstitions

Bartenders often keep rabbit’s feet or black cats at bars to repel evil spirits. The placement of a wine bottle upside down on a bar can be a symbol of good luck or an omen of doom, varying with cultural influences.

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2. Pouring Rituals

Pouring a drink intentionally spilled is considered a sign of good luck. Pouring drinks with the right hand, never handing out an empty glass and avoiding pouring the last drop from a bottle directly to a customer are shared beliefs.

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3. Mixing Drinks

Bartenders favour the number three—stirring a drink three times, adding three olives to a dirty martini and crafting cocktails with three ingredients—believed to bring good luck.

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4. Apparel Beliefs

Renowned bartenders like Ada Coleman and Jerry Thomas held quirky apparel superstitions. Coleman wore a corsage for luck, while Thomas donned a red vest and a lucky gold watch while tending bar.

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5. Barware Superstitions

Placing a filter on the bar top is thought to bring bad luck, leading bartenders to position it on the shaker instead. Keeping a shaker in hand until mixing is complete is considered a ward against misfortune.

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6. Muddler Beliefs

Bartenders are cautious about lending muddlers, tapping them thrice on the counter for good luck. Wooden muddlers are preferred, especially for crushing mint for mojitos, believed to carry an extra dose of good luck.

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7. Ingredient and Spirit Superstitions

Various ingredients are symbolic—mint sprigs for luck and money, lemon to ward off evil spirits, basil for prosperity and nutmeg for health and happiness. Specific actions, like clinking beer glasses to scare off evil spirits, add another layer to the superstitions embraced by bartenders.

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