Every single time you go on a date, consider it a try out for a potential long-term relationship, or very short-term physical relationship. Commit a fumblerooski, and you're back to swiping furiously on Bumble and ending your nights with a solo Uber home. When it comes to dates, you're going to be judged, and you're going to be judged harshly based on performance and the eye test. Assuming you've got your wardrobe locked down (since you're on this site to begin with, we feel good about that), navigating the minefield of bachelorhood still requires a solid knowledge of what to do and what not do on a first date. Need help figuring it all out? Say no more, we've got you.
As we’ve discussed before, drinks are the ideal first date for a variety of reasons. It’s low key, it’s a minimal time commitment if it goes poorly, but leaves enough room for more quality time if it goes well. While it has its place, nobody ever got laid after a coffee date. To start things off, ask your potential date if she has any preferences on venue or drink of choice. Hopefully, you’ve done a bit of research and have an idea as to whether she is a vodka gal or a rose chick. But, it's all about making the lady feel comfortable enough to open up, so don't push your own agenda. Let her do her, and you do your research of potential locations that may specialize in her favorite type of alcohol. If you're unfamiliar, Yelp is your friend, and a little knowledge of her likes goes a long way. Ultimately you want the type of place that is cool but relaxed, and afford you the chance to talk and have a good time. Depending on what type of woman she is though, this could vary a lot. Maybe she’s a fan of a mixology spot, or, maybe she’s down for a dive bar and a great jukebox. Again, it all comes down to doing some proper research and planning. Ordering for her though is very dicey territory, so unless you’ve got prior knowledge she’s ok with this, or you’ve already been out a few times, steer clear.
Now that you've either met at the bar or picked her up, ditch the phone. Disturbing any conversation to check the score of a game or scoping Thottie Pippens on dating apps will cost you your shot at glory almost instantaneously. Get her seated and get to the bar after you find out what type of mood she's in. Order up, and act like you've been there before. Even if the bartender creates the sickest cocktail you've ever seen, don't go ham with the social media posts. Play it cool, and appreciate the craft.
If the bar ends up getting crowded and you've run dry, do not, I repeat do not, try to get the bartender's attention by waving your money at him/her. That tactic is the quickest way to get labeled as an entitled douche. Be patient, make eye contact so they know you're waiting to get served instead of just grabbing a seat at the bar, and tip well. That'll prevent bartenders from overcharging you more than sneaker resellers.
Thus far we've covered what she's drinking. Now onto you. Don't order the hammer time specials, i.e. Long Island Iced Teas or Adios Mother Fuckers. Those types of libations do have a window of time in your life, but that window should have lasted between ages 21 and 22. Getting drunk on a first date makes you look like a trainwreck anyway. As stated before, play it cool and act like you’ve been there before.
If you're on a budget, well alcohol on the rocks serves as a good sipper, and the ice will smooth out the flavor. Otherwise, stick to mid-shelf liquor or better, and try it neat once in a while. In the mood for a mixed drink? No. Fucking. Fruit. This ain't a private resort on the beach. Think more Mad Men, and less Gilligan's Island. The exceptions, in this case, would be fruit rinds found in simpler cocktails like Negronis or Old Fashioneds. (Editor’s Pro Tip: Muddled fruit isn't necessary for an Old Fashioned, in fact, bootleggers and home distillers only used mashed fruit to sweeten the shitty flavor of jerry-rigged whiskey.) If you’re watching your consumption or not a fan of the hooch, a simple beer will never steer you in the wrong direction. Just watch the ABV’s of those mouth-numbing IPA’s though, they can catch up with you quickly, especially at happy hour.
After quality conversation and a paid bar tab (yes, you're always paying the check unless previously agreed upon), you're on your own. If things went poorly, no harm, no foul, act like a gentleman and call it a night in an honest, upfront way. Plus, your boys are probably down for a meetup and post-mortem anyway. If it went well, hopefully, you've been handed the ball and see open field all the way to the end zone. Make Chris Berman proud, champ.