Vodka pays the bills. Weather is a Bloody Mary in the morning and a Vodka Redbull or Kamikaze a Saturday Night. Any bartender can tell you that. We bartenders live a crazy life. Sleepless nights,five rows deep of people screaming your name for drinks, the loud music and that’s just club bartending. We also have our restaurant bartenders. Here we have to deal with mis-printing tickets, people delivering your food to the wrong table and corporate rules and dress codes and much more.
I’ve chosen to do both and would have it no other way. Any day you can go to work for five hours and leave with enough money to help pay for rent is a good night. We all live a blessed life. Us bartenders are part of a family. We have so many names of guest in our heads we probably will not remember yours but we will remember your drink and remember the experiences. I may not know your name but I can tell you for example the bartender at cabin tavern is one of the nicest around, or the bartender at “Simons” makes my Manhattan (stirred with no cherry) before I open the menu. Bartending has also changed the way I go out to enjoy a nice dinner. I’m always watching the bar. Looking at your display of bottles, counting pour counts and sizing up your menu. When people like me do this, don’t be intimidated, I’m not there to test you I just want to see how you work.
I know that the more I’ve learned about bartending the more humbled I get and the more I feel like,” wow, I don’t know anything, I’m a freaking nube”. Some of you feel like you are the kings of your craft because of how long you’ve bartended. My advice to you is try something new and step out of your element. Make something new or pick up a book. You are never to old or to good to learn. I’ve bartended with people like this who have never made a Sex On The Beach or a Mai Tai properly in their entire life. I remember being asked in a job interview if I knew how to make a Sex On The Beach , so I told him how and he disagreed with me ( we will keep his name out of it). Finally, we asked some his employees he had working and sure enough we were all making them the same way. The person who made them incorrectly for probably 10 plus years was the head bartender. So to all my friends (all of my bartenders), I leave you with these parting words. Stay hungry and stay humble. To my barbacks, your time will come and I appreciate you.To all of my guests and customers( my friends/ my family), Thank you. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am today.