The World's Greatest Wingmen

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Photo by laRuth/Flickr CC

In my bartending career, I've seen more strikeouts, flops, and fizzles than peewee baseball, but the idea that you can't meet someone worthwhile at a bar is a little absurd. After all, most of you go to bars, right? And those of you who are single find yourselves willing to meet people and even let those chance encounters bloom in to meaningful relationships. Right?

However, approaching a woman after you've polished off a few too many drinks, with a lecherous swagger or worse the "amorous gaze"-- you affix your eyes on a woman and stare, hoping that by some alcoholic-friendly technology your vision will work like tractor beams--is thoughtless, and shows just how little one believes in humanity.

I generally know if a guy will be pronounced dead on arrival.

I've even grown suspicious of the honest approach. "Hi, I'm Jack...." It's artless.

I'm often surprised when guys walk down the line, stand behind a woman and awkwardly introduce themselves, only to have the woman glance over her shoulder and offer only polite umm-hmms in response.

I generally know if a guy will be pronounced dead on arrival. Had he asked, he could've saved the embarrassment and even shifted his attention elsewhere.

Many "speakeasies" require gentlemen to ask the bartender to introduce them to women they don't know. Sounds a little old-fashioned but think about it: Who's a better wingman than a bartender? We've seen it all and, more importantly, we're sober (at least most of us).

I think it's a classy move and followed by an offer to buy the lady a drink can be more suave than you might think.

Recently I've seen men swarm one of my female regulars, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a very beautiful celebrity.

I often find myself in the awkward position of wondering whether I should bounce these guys for trying their luck and then not easing off. We don't have the same rules of conduct as other high-end bars but there is a limit, right?

There should be a "shot clock" for hitting on women -- the same as in basketball. I can't blame a guy for trying, but if the whole bar knows you're striking out, why don't you?

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Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail. More

Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He travels throughout the country and around the world in search of great drinks, and the stories behind them. Derek's methodical approach to cocktails was profiled in the Wall Street Journal's "A Master of Mixological Science" and his martini lauded as the best in America by GQ. He's been in numerous media outlets featuring his approach to better drinking, including CNN, The Rachel Maddow Show and FOX. Derek is a founding member of the D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild and on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail.

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