Bar-Tipping Tip: Bribe Early and Often?

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Pete Wells has now factored the timing issue into the bar-tipping debate: When you get your first drink, tip the bartender immediately, and tip big. Big is relative, of course. In a beer-and-shots joint, a five dollar bill would count, and even two or three dollars wont hurt. At a fancy cocktail lounge, where the drink prices are high and the bartenders are muddling mint and spritzing citrus peels or whatnot, ten or twenty is more like it. Our own commenter VSMITH issued a similar warning: [T]he ruder/cheaper you are=the slower we are/weaker your drink will be; the nicer/better tipper (within reason, obviously) you are=the faster/insanely strong your drink will be. Amen, but $20 on the first drink? In these economic times?? [Diner's Journal/NYT]