Bartender sparks debate with reaction to ‘light ice’ order

A common theory when ordering any drink with “light ice” is that the person will get more liquid in the glass without paying for it.

One bartender, named Al, has taken to TikTok to reveal his reaction to customers making this very assumption when ordering their drinks this way. “How customers expect us to react when they ask for less ice,” text across the screen reads in his video as he acts out the scenario.

Throughout the clip, the bartender is overly sarcastic as he responds to a pretend customer saying, “You’re right. Yeah I was gonna fill this up with ice and give you less alcohol but now...”

Al then says that because the customer asked he would “definitely give him more booze” joking that the customer must be “really smart” because that was the first time someone had ever mentioned that to him.

A co-worker can then be heard in the background asking about why the ice in the customer’s cup is so low before Al tells him the customer “caught him”. The co-worker also agreed that the customer was “smart” and shouldn’t let people know about the “secret”.

As Al states in a later video, this isn’t an entirely original idea. For example, in February 2023, a bartender shared a video from the job in which a customer asks for no ice and then is disappointed by the amount of alcohol they receive.

“Just because you say no ice, doesn’t mean you’re going to get more alcohol,” the bartender in this video stated. She then added that, if someone wants more alcohol, they should simply order a double.

Al’s TikTok went on to receive over one million views, with the commenters split between people who support less ice and those who don’t.

Some commenters gave suggestions as to why customers might not want much ice in their drinks.

“I don’t want more alcohol. I want less ice,” one commenter wrote.

Another agreed, writing, “Some of us just don’t want ice in our drink melting and ruining the drink.”

“I don’t like watered-down liquor, nothing to do with less or more alcohol. a tad condescending,” a third person wrote in the comments section.

A few other commenters were in favour of Al’s idea.

“I’m looking at these comments, I was a bartender,” a user explained. “When you get asked this it is almost always followed by a returned drink for not being strong enough.”

“Don’t listen to anyone in the comments, I’ve been told plenty of times that they ask for less ice to get more liquor but they just get more mixer,” offered a second.

Al then posted a follow-up video explaining why he made his original video to respond to all of the comments.

“The video was for people that order less ice, and then they say their drink’s not strong enough, and then they try and do this thing where they try to get me to pour more alcohol,” Al said. “I’ve been doing this for a little while. So it’s happened before. It’s an old bartender joke – I’m not reinventing the wheel here.”

“For the people that have sensitive teeth, that just don’t like ice… that don’t want ice hitting them in the face, this video is not for you,” he added.