Slideshow: Ask A Bartender: What Do You Drink Behind the Bar?

Astoria and Laphroaig
Astoria and Laphroaig
"Recently, my drink of choice behind the bar is an Astoria (50/50 gin martini w. orange bitters) on the rocks with a grapefruit twist. There almost always is a Mama's Little Yella Pils somewhere in the night, if I'm working at Lantern's Keep. I usually close out the night with a Laphroaig in a champagne flute." — Theo Lieberman (Lantern's Keep, Milk & Honey )
Guinness and Shots (That I Name After You)
Guinness and Shots (That I Name After You)
"Depends on what time of the day it is really. Earlier in the evening it tends to be soda with a few squeezes of fresh lime juice and plain old water is great for keeping you alert—ICE cold. Later on, if you buy me a drink I'll have a Guinness—not a pint though; only a glass (a half pint). This is nothing to do with the amount of alcohol in it—I could drink it all night, but it'll go flat! Shots with pretty girls... yeah I do that... if I really like you, I'll make you an original and name it after you and of course, I'll have one too." —John Cummins (The Dawson Lounge)
Negronis
Negronis
"Negroni. There are so many different gin options these days that you can create subtle variations depending on your mood. Lately, it's been Old Raj gin or Bluecoat gin. I typically lean towards even more bitter flavor profiles, so Punt e Mes is my vermouth of choice. If I'm feeling less bitter, which is unusual, I'll go for Carpano Antica or Dolin Rouge. Garnished with an orange peel, stirred, and served over ice, the Negroni is a great drink behind the bar. It's quick, it looks good and it's always delicious." —Dave McCabe ( Punk's Backyard Grill )
Water, Then Negronis
Water, Then Negronis
"At the end of the night, I'm usually craving a killer negroni.  I used to work for Tempus Fugit, so I've come to love Gran Classico as a favorite as far as the bitter goes, but since starting at Amor y Amargo I've been afforded the opportunity to serve virtually every imaginable iteration of negroni, so sometimes I'll experiment with something like the Bittermen's Amer Sauvage or Varnelli's Erborista.  During my shift, just water.  Surprisingly, drinking makes it hard to focus." — Aaron Polsky (Amor y Amargo, Neta, @ontopofthebar)
Dublin Dr. Pepper and Daiquiris
Dublin Dr. Pepper and Daiquiris
"This depends on the time of service. Dublin Dr. Pepper, to get the night going and the sweetness of the cola gives me a great baseline to match the collective pallet of most customers. I'll often keep sparkling mineral water close by as well. Post-shift I love to throw back a very tart Banks Five Island Daiquiri with palm sugar syrup and a couple drops of orange flower water. Honestly, it changes every day." —Dave Shenaut (Riffle NW)
Bitters, Bitters, Bitters
Bitters, Bitters, Bitters
"I usually have a bitters and soda nearby most of the night, lots of ice and a lot of bitters 4-5 dashes each Angostura and Peychaud's; later on in the evening it is not uncommon for me to be drinking a cup of coffee. I keep late hours so I don't think twice about having a cup at 11pm. State law in Oregon prohibits drinking behind the bar, so the beer and shot happens when I get off the clock." — Adam Robinson (The Bent Brick)