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4 Things Bartenders Are No Longer Allowed to Do

Your cocktail may look—and taste—different the next time you step foot in a bar after coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

One of the most intimate moments you can have at a bar is sitting face to face with a bartender. Standing right across from you, they carefully, meticulously, and craftily mix your order. Many times, it's whipping up bespoke cocktails that fit the exact flavor profile you prefer.

Unfortunately, many of these things will change as bars start to reopen once coronavirus stay-at-home orders are lifted. At this time, most states are not allowing bars and even in-restaurant bars to open, but other states have plans in place to start opening the doors soon. While your experience is sure to be different than you're used to, the same goes for your bartender (and your waiter).

As of right now, no states have released any recommendations or restrictions on how bartenders' jobs need to change once they're allowed to start serving again. That being said, we can assume that they'll have to follow the same guidelines set in place for kitchen staff, like wearing masks and gloves. So with that in mind, we made some predictions about how their job will change moving forward.

To find out just how your next cocktail will be served, check out these things your bartender won't be able to do the next time they shake up your boozy drink. And to get the latest coronavirus food news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Squeeze citrus into your drink

dark n stormy cocktail in glass with lime garnish

Need a squeeze of lime in your margarita? Instead of using their own hands to squeeze that lime into your drink, bartenders will have to use either a citrus squeezer or bottled juice. You likely may not see that lime wedge on the side of your glass either. Your drink isn't the only thing that will be different during your next night out. Don't miss these Things You Probably Won't Be Allowed to Do in Bars and Nightclubs Again.

Using the fresh herbs from the bar

Bartender fixing up a cocktail

Mojitos may be a thing of the past for a little while. Having herbs on the bartop may make them susceptible to virus droplets suspended in the air.

Using crushed ice

Bartender using crushed ice

Your next Moscow Mule might not be as authentic as you're used to. While bartenders will use tongs to place large chunks of ice into glasses, the technique is a bit different for crushed ice. A larger scoop is used to pour this crushed ice out, but oftentimes bartenders will have to guide that ice into a glass to keep it from falling onto the bar top. To minimize the direct handling of food that is served to customers, bartenders may have to stick to using large chunks of ice that can be picked up by tongs.

Squeeze essential oils from a citrus rind

Bartender squeezing orange peel cocktail

To get that fresh orange flavor upon your first sip without having to drink through a thick slice of orange, bartenders use the clever technique of squeezing a citrus rind over a drink and then running that rind around the rim of the glass. Clever, right? The only problem is that there is a lot of direct handling of the citrus, which might not be safe. Bartenders will have to get clever about imparting the same flavor to cocktails, perhaps with bitters or—as a fallback—that slice of citrus. For other ways your dining experience will change moving forward, check out these 10 Shocking Changes to Restaurants Owners Are Secretly Considering.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is the Managing Editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more about Olivia