Hot Takes

Just Turned 21? Here’s What You Need to Know Before Your First Time at a Bar

Your first time at a bar can be a memorable experience, but it’s important to approach it responsibly.

Updated May 9, 2023

Congratulations, you just turned 21! This milestone birthday is a rite of passage in the United States, as it marks the legal drinking age. Now that you’re officially able to enjoy adult beverages, you may be looking forward to your first time at a bar. But before you hit the town with your friends, there are a few things you should know.

First and foremost, it’s important to drink responsibly. Alcohol can mess with your judgment and coordination, so it’s crucial to know your limits and pace yourself. Drinking too much too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, blackouts, and other dangerous situations. It’s also important to have a designated driver or plan for a safe way to get home after your night out.

Now that that’s out of the way, secondly, consult your favorite drinking blog on where to drink in Miami! Are you looking for a dive bar with cheap drinks and a laid-back atmosphere? Or do you want to go to a trendy rooftop bar with craft cocktails and a dress code? The type of bar you choose will likely depend on your personal style and preferences.

If you’re unsure where to start, ask your other 21+ friends for recommendations or do some research with us. Yelp and Google Maps can be great resources for finding bars in your area that we haven’t covered, and they often provide helpful reviews and ratings from other patrons.

Once you arrive at the bar, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and follow the rules. Make sure you have your ID with you, as most bars will require proof of 21 years of age before serving you. If you’re not sure what to order, don’t be afraid to ask the bartender for recommendations. They’re there to help you have a good time, and they’re usually knowledgeable about the menu.

It’s also important to be respectful to other patrons and staff. Don’t be that person who gets too loud, aggressive, or rude after a few drinks. Remember that everyone is there to have a good time, and it’s not worth ruining someone else’s night.

If you’re feeling nervous or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take a break or step outside for some fresh air. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little anxious or out of your element in a new environment, especially if it’s your first time at a bar. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re there to have fun and enjoy yourself.

When it comes to ordering drinks, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be aware of the prices and don’t be afraid to ask about specials or happy hour deals. It’s also a good idea to stick to one type of alcohol rather than mixing different types, as this can lead to a rough next day.

Another important tip is to stay hydrated. Drinking water in between alcoholic beverages can help prevent dehydration and hangovers. Plus, it can help you pace yourself and avoid getting too intoxicated too quickly.

Finally, don’t forget to tip your bartender. It’s customary to tip 15-20% of the total cost of your drinks, and it’s always appreciated. Bartending can be a tough and thankless job, so a little extra generosity can go a long way.

All in all, your first time at a bar can be an exciting and memorable experience. But it’s important to approach it with responsibility and respect. Know your limits, enjoy being 21, choose your bar wisely, be aware of your surroundings, and stay hydrated. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy this new chapter in your life!


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