Del Rey first mentioned the song on January 28, 2018, while being interviewed by Pitchfork at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City. When Pitchfork asked Del Rey "what's coming next?", she responded saying "I've got a couple of other tracks. I've got this weird track called 'Bartender' that doesn't belong to a record yet" and mentioned that she wishes to create a music video for the song.
On July 31, 2019, Del Rey confirmed that the song would be released on her then-upcoming album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, when she revealed the album artwork and tracklist.
The track will be part of a 3-part music video with "Norman Fucking Rockwell" and "Happiness Is a Butterfly", as revealed by Del Rey on September 3, 2019. It was shot and directed by Chuck Grant in 2018, and will be released in October 2019.
"Bartender" is featured on the setlist of the Norman Fucking Rockwell Tour, played after "Norman Fucking Rockwell". Del Rey performed it live for the first time on September 21, 2019 at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York.
- Both the canyon and Del Rey's truck are mentioned in "Happiness Is a Butterfly".
- Long Beach, California is also referenced in "The Greatest" and "Doin' Time".
- Bacardi is also mentioned in "Off to the Races", "Girl That Got Away", and "Noir".
- Wine is also mentioned in "Cherry", "Tomorrow Never Came", "Drive By", "Every Man Gets His Wish", and "Dance for Money".
- Cherry-flavored Coca-Cola is also mentioned in "Serial Killer", "Florida Kilos", and "Last Girl on Earth".
- The keys are also mentioned in "How to Disappear".
- Lana Del Rey — songwriting, vocals, production
- Rick Nowels — songwriting, production, piano
- Kieron Menzies — engineering, mixing
- Dean Reid — mixing
- Chris Gehringer — mastering
- Published by R-Rated Music (GMR) administered by Universal Music Works
- Mastered at Sterling Sound