You both agree on pizza. But what happens when the common ground on drink of choice for you and your significant other is the chasm between beer and cocktails? We asked Cantine Bar and Bottle Shop bartender Courtney Gazda how to bridge the divide. "Part of the fun of our job is to help people who come in with those situations," she says. "We kind of take the pressure off."
Choose quality. Find a bar that puts as much time in crafting its cocktails as choosing its craft beers, so you both have something to look forward to. Cantine offers eight craft beers on draft, more than 400 by the bottle and around 14 specialty cocktails and martinis. "We take a lot of pride in what we do," Gazda says. "Places like Bourbon [Street Barrel Room] are just as good in their cocktails as they are in their beers."
Be open. Give sharing a try. Ask to take a sip of your date's mojito. Have your date take a sip of your beer. "Both of you can expand your palate," she says.
Blend in. Dip your toe in the cocktail water by mixing liquor with beer. It's not as crazy it might sound. "The best one I've tried was [Great Lakes Brewing Co.] Christmas Ale mixed with cinnamon liquor," Gazda says. "You couldn't taste the liquor. But it wasn't quite a beer."
Tell the truth. You might earn brownie points for trying her favorite bloody mary but forcing it down could mean drinking more of them in the future. "Even though it sucks to get a drink, start it and not like it, you need to say, 'I don't like this,' " Gazda says. "Chances are, if they recommended it, they'll drink it anyway and you can order something else."