Ariana Madix knows how to make a pretty fabulous cocktail. She also knows what she doesn't like to hear when serving one.
Currently in her seventh year starring on "Vanderpump Rules," the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" spinoff that follows the employees of Lisa Vanderpump's West Hollywood hot spot, SUR, Madix can tell you just about anything about what life is really like for a busy a bartender. She's a straight-shooter who's been shaking and stirring up flawless drinks for over a decade.
The eighth season of "Vanderpump Rules" premiered Jan. 7, on the heels of Madix's first book, "FANCY AF COCKTAILS: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers," which she created with boyfriend and co-star Tom Sandoval.
Madix told TODAY Food she and her beau will appear more sporadically throughout this current season, as they've been traveling on the book tour. Fans have anxiously awaited the duo's tricks of the trade for years, and now that "FANCY AF" and its many hand-crafted cocktail recipes have arrived, Madix is dishing up even more anecdotes about her life.
So what are some of the worst things customers can say to a bartender? Madix had all the answers.
1. Never ask a bartender to smile more
Madix said being asked to smile can be annoying in general because no one wants to be cheesing all the time — but it's especially infuriating when she's working a crazy shift.
"My job is to make sure you get a really good cocktail in a timely manner," Madix told TODAY. "I’m not a cheerleader back here. I could make a really good drink or I could sit here and smile, which maybe you prefer."
2. Don't ask for a stiffer drink on the house
Anyone who's spent an evening out at a bar has probably spotted the customer whose drink is never strong enough. These are the people who accuse the bartender of skimping on the booze.
For Madix, this a serious no-no, along with the phrase, "hook it up," which is basically just asking for free extra alcohol.
"I could be fired," Madix said. "You can pay for the extra shot of alcohol if you want it stronger."
Madix's worst experience with this type of patron ended with her witnessing a theft. After a man complained his drink had no alcohol, Madix's coworker stepped in to assure the customer it had the standard amount. But when the bartender turned around, the patron actually swiped a full bottle of liquor from the bar and ran out.
3. Think your bartender's cute? Do not hit on them
This seems like obvious etiquette but, unfortunately, Madix said it happens all the time.
"When people are drinking, their inhibitions are down. They're much more likely to say things that you should just think. We're used to it behind the bar, even though it's annoying or lame," Madix said.
The most bothersome come-on Madix has experienced usually involves a cheap tip coupled with a phone number.
"A lot of times they’ll give you this look and they’ll be like, 'I'm gonna give you a really good tip' — and the tip is $2 ... and their phone number," Madix said. "And then they come back, and say, 'Remember me?'"
That just sounds like the best way to get a bartender to scream out, "Last call!"