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March 27, 2021

How to trick your bartender into pouring a taller drink

There is nothing, in this economy, like a tall, stiff drink at the end of a work day.

Though once more, there’s that disclaimer: in this economy. With many belts still tightened since the downturn, drinking at a bar isn’t exactly an exercise in reserved spending.

There may be one way, however, you can nudge your way to a little free booze at a bar, even if you don’t have the musk of Jon Hamm or the body of Betty White. 

All it takes is a little behavioural economics.

If you’re not the kind to flirt with a bartender, getting respect when you’re belly-up can be tough. But try this little ruse:

*Bing: What is the legal blood alcohol limit in your province?

According to the book Mindless Eating  by Brian Wansink, the author explains how the shape of a glass greatly affects how much liquid we pour into it.

By a study cited in the tome, Wansink notes that you or I or bartenders tend to skimp on the amount we pour into tall, long glasses, while it may well be Niagara Falls when stouter glasses are used.

How much more gets put in shorter, fatter glasses? As much as 20 to 30 per cent more, according to the study.

So cover up that tramp stamp and take the motorcycle helmet off the bar. In order to con your way into some free alcohol at a bar, try asking for your booze to be poured into a short, fat glass and see if the con pays off.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...