Rule No. 936: TALK To The BARTENDER About MATTERS other THAN DRINKING.
There was a time when people talked to bartenders about their problems, not their drinks. This was a better time. Understand that the bartender has spoken about all of the bottles and all of the drinks and all of the techniques with many customers before you. For the bartender, a discussion of beverages is Groundhog Day. Understand that drinks are better as conduits of conversation, not subjects of conversation. Understand that bitters are neither a conduit of conversation nor a valid subject of conversation. Even the cantaloupe bitters. By all means, strike up a conversation. Ask some questions. And the bartender might actually want to talk to you. About the game last night. About GST. About you and what you think of as your problems. Or he might not. But he sure as hell doesn’t want to talk to you about what you’re drinking. Give the guy a break.