That Annoying Bar Napkin!




Are you as perturbed as I am when a bartender delivers your ice cold beverage on top of a regular bar napkin? First time you reach for it as you are half-way through a semi-intelligent statement or doing your best to impress a new "friend" and all of a sudden - "GEEKDOM"! You look and feel a little silly because the napkin has adhered to the bottom of the glass and now is hanging like toilet paper from the bottom of your manly drink! You might as well just have your fly open!

Why does this happen? Well, water is "polar". this is to say that a water molecule acts like a little magnet. This is why water has such a high cohesion with itself. Water molecules just LOVE to hang out with other water molecules. Even though there is water IN the napkin, the polar forces between water molecules will still attract the water condensed on the glass - just like a magnet.
So, How do you correct this "Bar Napkin" Syndrome?

Sprinkle a little salt on the napkin. Simple. The salt is an electrolyte that interferes with and thereby busts the polarity nature of the water molecules so they don't know that are supposed to stick around with others. You can sprinkle salt on the napkin even AFTER it is soaked. It works wonders for your macho appearance.

This was first shown to me by one of my favorite bartenders, Josh Giddings, at the Don Pablo's Bar in Mt. Laurel, NJ. For years, I would just take my beer glass or mug off the napkin and let it sit freely on the slippery bar. This usually ticked off the bartenders. One night I complained about the "hanging toilet paper effect" and Josh threw some salt on the napkin and - VOILA - no more stickies.
It took me a week or two to figure out just why that worked. I had my suspicions verified by an old AP Chemistry teacher, John Gilligan. Cool Beans!


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