What is an ‘angel shot’? The secret menu item that could ‘save your life’

·2-min read
Ordering an ‘angel shot’ or asking for Angela will let bar staff know you’re in a distressing situation  (AFP/Getty)
Ordering an ‘angel shot’ or asking for Angela will let bar staff know you’re in a distressing situation (AFP/Getty)

The dangers of dating range from mild heartbreak to seriously shady behaviour from strangers you met on the internet.

Mystery dates can hold romantic allure, but there’s only so much you can do if they turn out to be less than ideal.

Whether your friend is ready with a phone call or your ‘head’ begins to ‘hurt’, we all have a list of excuses ready to go.

Well, bar staff to the rescue have now developed a code to help you make that swift and safe exit from a meeting gone wrong.

Here’s what you need to know:

Angel shots

Bartenders are known as society’s casual therapists – there to listen, serve some liquid courage and send you on your way when you’ve had one too many. But in rowdy, drink-infused social settings, a lot can pass them by.

So staff at bars, pubs and clubs have created a system for people who wish to discreetly request help – usually an exit strategy from a dubious date.

Patrons can ask for an ‘angel shot’ to let staff know they feel unsafe. This is not an actual drink but a signal that something is wrong.

The protocol may differ at various establishments, with some choosing to organise a cab home and quietly guide you to an exit and some asking the reported person to leave due to unsafe behaviour.

For more detail on the severity of your situation, there are three ways to order:

  • “Straight up” or “neat” means you need someone to walk you to your car

  • “On ice” means you need to be called a taxi or Uber

  • “With lime” means a request for police assistance

TikTok user @benjispears shared his explanation of the angel shot after re-enacting a scenario where it might be needed.

He said: “Angel shots are becoming more common and more known throughout all bars and it’s being brought to bartenders’ attention.

“An angel shot is key – it can save you or your best friend’s life.”

Ask for Angela

The angel shot, which is now a widely recognised symbol in the US, actually stemmed from a scheme in Lincolnshire, UK.

A campaign called ‘Ask for Angela’ was designed by the Lincolnshire Rape Crisis Women’s Centre and has made its way around the world in different forms.

Both the angel shot and Ask for Angela are initiatives formed to keep people out of harm’s way.

This content is for informational purposes.

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