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Posted on August 18

Is it OK to send back a drink? And should you expect to pay?

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It’s absolutely OK to send back a drink if you don’t like the way it tastes, say local bartenders. But what about paying?
      “It depends on the drink,” says Erin Brown, a manager and bartender at Aura in midtown. She offers these examples: If you order a vodka and cranberry and want more juice, you won’t be charged. But if you order a more complex drink, like a martini or mojito, you may have to pay for a replacement.
     It also depends on the bar, adds Jeremy Stannard, who slings drinks at Monkey Bar, also in midtown.
     “If a bar is corporate, it may have stricter policies,” he says. “Dive bars may cater to the regulars a little more loosely.”
     Most customers who send drinks back are trying something new, says Brown. Her advice? “Tell the bartender what kind of drinks you like—fruity, not sweet, whatever—and ask them to suggest something for you.” That, she says, is the kind of request bartenders really like.

Got a food- or dining-related question? E-mail us at food@sacmag.com.

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Published: Sunday, April 13, 2014