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ByRiley Runnells|Jan. 2, 2023 1:19 pm EST
For any person looking to go out and have a fun night,safety deserves to be a priorityand a basic right. In this day and age where there are mass shootings, countless #MeToo sexual assault stories, and other present dangers, going out can feel like a huge risk.
In other words, going to bars or clubs should not be stressful. However, the unfortunate reality is there will be people with malicious intent looking to prey on those who let their guard down. This person could be a total stranger, who tries to tamper with your drink, or it could even be someone you went to the venue with that is making you feel unsafe.
Luckily, there is a solution for those who go outand need immediate help. Most of the time, bartenders can use their best judgment to figure out what people need, but it is important that those going out learn about the angel shot, its variations, and other uses that can not only protect them but potentially protect others.
What is an angel shot?
The angel shot, though not a drink, is a call for help in the form of ordering a drink(per Restaurant Clicks). The act of ordering a shot is done to avoid exposing your intention or compromising your safety if the person trying to harm you is still around.The order will not get you a drink off of some secret menu but will be a discrete wayto alert the bartender you need help. In other words, it is a way for people to get emergency assistance in any situation.
It's set up to rescue an individual from different circumstances, such as someone making them feel unsafe verbally, getting physicallyaggressive, or for those who believe they have been drugged and need to be removed from the bar. A number of bartenders throughout a variety of locations will know that the shot is a method people can use to receive assistance, and as awareness of sexual assault culture increases, the angel shot becomes more widely used for those in need.
Where did it come from?
The angel shot hasn't been around for too long, and it hasn't always been known by the same name. In fact, itpicked up in the United Kingdom in 2016 when it was referred to as "Ask For Angela" (per Nottinghamshire Police). Bars would put up signs in bathrooms that encouraged people who were on uncomfortable dates, felt unsafe in general, or were catfished by their date to go up to the bartender and "Ask For Angela." By doing so, the bartenders would know that you needed some help and would handle the situation in whatever way was most appropriate.
The creator of the campaign, known as Hayley Child or Hayley Crawford, got tens of thousands of people to share it on social media and was even recognized by celebrities, such as Ashton Kutcher, for its legitimacy and brilliance of it, accordingtoBBC News.Child said, "Angela was a play on the word (guardian) Angel. The posters are up in male and female toilets, and provide reassurance there is support available if needed." From there, Angela evolved into angel. Instead of asking for Angela, people started to ask for the angel shot as a way to be more subtle, but still get the message across. Nowadays, Inspector Crawford is still doing great work as Nottinghamshire Police's district commander for Bassetlaw (BBC News).
How do you order one?
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Ordering an angel shot does not need to be intimidating or a big deal (via BinWise). It can be as quick as ordering any other regular drink. Because of the widespread campaign, a number of bartenders are trained to know what to do when someone orders one.
To order an angel shot, just go up to the bar and act like you are ordering a drink. If you are able to get away from the situation, you can be less discreet and hastier with trying to get the bartender's attention. However, if you are unable to get away from danger, do not panic. Instead, try to stay as calm and as natural as possible. Odds are the person you are with will not know what that is, and the bartender will be able to get the message. In the unfortunate event that the bartender does know what it is, again, do not worry. There's a good chance, at least one staff member from the bar will get the message and call security. However, there are three different variations of the angel shot that are important to know to get you specific help for various situations.
Neat or straight up
The first variation of the angel shot is neat or straight up(per Budget Branders). When you ask the bartender for this version of the shot, they will know that there is a deeper meaning to it. The neat angel shot is code for when a person needs an escort to their car. This could be because you do not feel safe walking outside alone, or because you physically need help finding the vehicle.
However, calling a car by ordering a neat angel shot is not necessarily because too much alcohol or any drugs were involved. It could be that there is a dangerous person giving you a hard time, and the only way to avoid it is by having the bartenders help usher you out quickly to your car. Fortunately, for those still uncertain about how the situation would play out in a real circumstance, Los Angeles bartenderBenjamin Smithtakes it up a notch and goes on to demonstrate how the situation could go on social media.
Ice or on the rocks
The second variation of the angel shot is by ordering it with ice or on the rocks, explains Budget Branders. Both terms are interchangeable and are used in typical drinks to indicate wanting your drink chilled. However, when you ask the bartenders for this version of the angel shot, they will know that it indicates a deeper meaning than just asking for the generic shot. By asking for it with ice or on the rocks, you are really asking the bartender to help you order a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.
Again, this could be for several reasons, including theperson being too intoxicated to get their own ride or was drugged and needing assistance to be taken back to their residence. Whether the situation is because of present danger or excessive alcohol, the angel shot on the rocks will help you get back home safe and sound.
With lime or a twist
The third variation of the angel shot is by ordering it with lime or a twist, according to Budget Branders. When ordering a drink with a twist, you add a citrus fruit of your choice to the drink, which is why ordering it with a lime is another way to get that effect. By ordering an angel shot with a lime or a twist, the staff will know to get the police involved because the situation has escalated past what they can handle.
In this case, it could be for someone who is being overly aggressive and needs to be removed from the bar or other intense situation. Though bartenders are able to diffuse a lot of situations, they are certainly not equipped to handle these over-the-top aggressive patrons that make the environment dangerous. Therefore, it is very important for bartenders to quickly and discreetly get the police involved so that no one gets hurt. Of course, the angel shot with a twist is reserved for the direst of situations, and is to be requested responsibly.
Other uses for the shot
Though there are three main variations for the angel shot that are widely known, there are many other uses for requesting the shot too (via Budget Branders). First of all, if you believe your drink has been spiked, ordering the shot can help get the police, get you to the hospital, or determine the best course of action.
Another good use for the order is when you need to call someone but you physically cannot. This type of help is similar to having the bartenders call a car, but instead of spending the money on the car, the bartender can call someone you trust to come pick you up. Other circumstances consist of when the environment is tense, but the police are not yet needed. In that particular case, an employee might need to get the manager to intervene. However, the uses of the order are not limited to these, though. It could apply to a variety of situations.
How to keep the system going
The angel shot has gained widespread popularity, with most bars having the exact system, or one similar to it, in place to help people. However, that's not to assume that every bar will have their employees aware of the meaning behind the angel shot or have any plan in place for that matter. Luckily, it's easy to implement.
For starters, come up with a system you want to use (via Budget Branders). Whether that is going back to the Ask for Angela method, using the angel shot, or other terminology your place of business prefers, having a system in place is crucial. Next, spread the word about the method by putting up signs in the bathrooms with the specific phrases or terminology people need to know. Bars can also promote their safe terms on social media, leaving some of the more discreet phrases to the bathroom signs or coming up with a system that works best for that particular location.
Regardless of the method chosen, as long as there's awareness and it can easily be used, it's doing its job.