There are several musts for a night out to be successful: a hot outfit, good music and a lively group of friends. The fourth and most necessary ingredient for this mix is a character that is often underappreciated by society: a bartender. Mixed drinks and the service provided by a bartender can either make or break a night out. The University Star spoke with Anastasiya Belysheva, a bartender at Nephew’s, about the often difficult—and always hilarious—task of serving drinks, bar etiquette and helpful bar tips.
EM: How long have you been a bartender, and why did you decide to become one?
AB: I became a bartender a week after I turned 21, so a little less than four months. I decided to be a bartender because, seriously, who doesn’t like to get their friends drunk?
EM: Mixing college students with alcohol can get out of hand. What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you while working?
AB: I have worked at a gay bar in Austin, so in comparison, the stories are quite bland. But I have been proposed to on several occasions.
EM: What is your favorite drink to mix? The least favorite/harder drink to make? Why?
AB: My favorite shot to make is an Apple Pie; as soon as I tell college students it’s made with Fireball, it sells itself. My least favorite is a Long Island Iced Tea. When there are 50 customers waiting to get a drink, I feel like it is made with about 17 different ingredients and it takes an eternity to make.
EM: What are the top three things a person can do to annoy a bartender?
AB: One, not tipping. Seriously. Don’t go out if you can’t tip. Two, do not order a Vegas Bomb, a Kamikaze, a Purple Gecko, AND a Sex on the Beach. Just have your friends all take the same shot and save us some time. Three, do not give us your number unless we ask for it. It’s our job to flirt; don’t take it personal.
EM: What are the top three things a person can do to make a bartender happy?
AB: One, tip. Two, tip more. Three, tell me I’m pretty. Just kidding, just tip me.
EM: What do you like and dislike about bartending?
AB: I like the interaction with the customers. Aside from having my friends come see me while working, I always meet new people. I don’t like that people tend to get very rude. Also, most people don’t know when they have had enough.
EM: Is it hard to balance a bartending job with school? How do you do it?
AB: I started bartending when summer started, so we will see. But I expect a lot of coffee in my future. So I will be accepting Starbucks gift cards as tips from now on.
EM: Any secrets people should be aware of next time they approach a bartender?
AB: I don’t use a fake name. I’m a bartender, not a stripper.