The speedball of alcoholic beverages is the espresso martini (Hennessy and Red Bull work, too). There’s something undeniably delicious about the combination of a nice caffeinated martini mixed with just the perfect amount of your preferred booze, and, when it’s made right, they go down way too easy.
However, bartender and TikToker Timothy Skylar (@_tvb11) said they are some of the most frustrating beverages to make and explained why. In a video that’s accrued over 1.1 million views on TikTok, he detailed a nightmare table service that included a group of a dozen or so folks.
“Last night, my espresso martini senses started tingling when a table of 12 had one person order a martini. So I made one espresso martini and bring it to the girl. And she takes a sip and goes, ‘Oh my god these are so good. Everyone you have to get one of those,'” Skylar started his story, explaining that the espresso martini chain reaction is common and annoying.
“So now 11 more people want espresso martinis,” he added. “And one of the girls asked, ‘Oh is there any way you could split mine?'”
@_tvb11 so basically we’re 86 espresso martinis whenever i work #bartending #karen #espressomartini ♬ Destination Calabria (Remix) – AJIMUSTANG
Tim said he messed up because he “stupidly” agreed to the split, and then everyone else at the table wanted their martinis split as well.
He said the customers proceeded to order their espresso martinis with a litany of customizations. He said they ordered “one decaf espresso martini;” one “dairy-free split for two;” “two regular espresso martini split for five;'” “one espresso martini with extra espresso split for two;'” “one espresso martini add simple syrup, don’t include dairy;” “one decaf espresso martini add simple syrup, include dairy.”
“So that f*cking sucked to make. We didn’t really have like two-fifths of an espresso martini glass, so I just used like the one-half glass and then poured it most of the way full. I ended up making extra batch and kind of just basically giving them one-half because I thought I was doing a nice thing,” the bartender explained, detailing how the customized drinks were a pain to make.
As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Skylar said the customers then complained about the ways in which their respective espresso martinis were prepared. One person, he said, took a sip of the beverage and claimed that it “didn’t taste like decaf.”
Skylar refuted this notion, arguing that the “whole point of decaf” is so it tastes just like regular coffee. “There’s no way to know that something tastes decaf,” Tim argued while adding, “especially when you haven’t had our drinks before. And I tried to explain that to him very nicely, but he didn’t get it. So I made him another decaf espresso martini—the exact same way. And he said oh this tastes much better.”
Skylar said that one of the women at the table said that “the math” of the drinks wasn’t adding up because the two espresso martinis that she and three other people at the table were sharing didn’t contain the same amount of beverage as the two espresso martinis that five other people at the table were splitting.
He explained that he made extra to fill up the one-half glasses he got, and he wasn’t going to charge them for that. Instead of thanking the worker for basically giving them more drinks for less money, she allegedly said, “‘I’m hearing a lot of attitude. I need more explanation and solutions as to why these people don’t have enough alcohol.'”
He recalled that the woman then suggested Skylar go and make them a “bonus espresso martini” to make up for their “troubles.”
Skylar said his manager got involved in the kerfuffle and told Skylar that, while they know it’s annoying and that they’re a frustrating table to deal with, he should just make them the bonus espresso martini. So Skylar said he made it for them, but the woman took a sip and complained that it isn’t “dairy free.”
The bartender said he was baffled by her response because she wasn’t drinking a dairy-free espresso martini in the first place. “‘Why don’t you go make it better this time dairy-free and decaf and then we can take the entire round of espresso martinis off for our troubles,'” he recalled her saying.
He said he went back and made the espresso martini dairy-free, but not decaf as an act of petty revenge so they could “stay up.” Due to the way they treated him, Skylar said he also decided to place a $5 upcharge on each of the espresso martinis they ordered as a fee for splitting them. He said this made the table really upset.
“But honestly the amount of free espresso martini I ended up giving them probably balanced out,” he said.
He said the table ultimately ended up giving him a 3% tip.
Viewers were just as puzzled as Tim was by all of the table’s customizations. “I’ve never been more confused in my life.. SPLITTING an espresso martini??? Decaf??? Syrup in it???” one questioned.
“Who on earth splits an espresso martini or any cocktail for that matter? You’d get like a sip each from it,” another said.
“Absolutely never offer to split a drink again. Give them a straw each at most. The rest is on them,” a third suggested.
Someone else joked that they would’ve taken a much stronger approach to messing with their drinks as a form of revenge. “Your patience tho, they would get an espresso martini with two pumps of spit,” they said.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Timothy Skylar via TikTok comment.