Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

The Bad Bartender Chronicles IV

August 4, 2012

There is a disturbing new breed of so-called bartenders that was first discovered in North Park and parts of Los Angeles but now seem to be plaguing once respectable bars everywhere. They call themselves mixologists because they claim to make a superior cocktail that requires mixing a bunch of random shit together to make fifteen dollar drinks that take forty five minutes to serve. Some would call these mixologists skilled craftsmen while others might refer to them as flaming douchebags. I would fall in line with the latter as a bartender who doesn’t have such a vast knowledge of the four hundred different uses of the juniper berry.

I like to call these masters of the mojito Cosmetic Bartenders because they always look good but when you peer beyond their physical makeup you will find a gross lack of efficiency. Cosmetic Bartenders dress in tuxedo gear without the jackets. Rolled sleeves expose any barbed wire tattoos they might have gotten when they were nineteen. Their hair and adjustable mustaches will be overly greased with ozone depleting hair gel.

What’s strange is that dive bars seem to be a large part of the Cosmetic Bartender plague. The only place for a tuxedo behind a bar is a wedding or four star dining. There is something extremely wrong if you are wearing a tuxedo as you work behind a bar that still reeks of whatever liquor was spilled the night before. That’s like having a restroom attendant hand out mints in a bathroom covered in vomit.

At the end of the day as long as I get my drink poured strong and in a timely fashion I don’t give a shit what the person serving it is wearing. Unfortunately, most of the stuff these Cosmetic Bartenders specialize in takes twenty minutes to prepare. This is for two reasons. The first is there are many ingredients that all seem to require a special process. All their recipes require stuff that needs to be muddled or needs flavor strands extracted from them. They also shave their own ice which is a complete waste of time if you work somewhere lucky enough to have an ice scoop and an ice machine.

The second reason it takes so long to get a drink from a Cosmetic Bartender is because they do not possess any sense of urgency behind the bar. They are too busy concocting new ways to make whiskey not taste like whiskey to hustle like most hard working bartenders. To a Cosmetic Bartender looking good and making a colorful drink takes precedent over providing speedy and efficient customer service.

I once overheard a Cosmetic Bartender brag about how he could make a mojito in just twelve minutes. That’s right, one drink takes twelve minutes and they consider that fast. I can make twenty four drinks in twelve minutes and my well crafted mai tai will take fifteen seconds and taste just as refreshing as any drink that requires the blood of a virgin to make. I like serving lots of people quickly and competently rather than wasting my time trying to re-invent the art of pouring liquor.

Perhaps the only people who hate Cosmetic Bartenders more than me are their bar backs. Imagine that every drink made at a busy bar requires a shaker, spoons, knives, muddlers, three types of glasses, a blender and a jigger. Guess who gets to clean all that? It’s the bar backs. So while these well dressed monkeys mix their twenty minute drinks as casually as one would walk along the beach, their poor bar backs are trying to keep a bar stocked where employees use more glasses than customers do.

Bar owners deserve some of the blame of this return to those glorious days of speakeasies and gentlemen bartenders. If you encourage your bartenders to take as much time as possible to mix a twelve dollar drink then you deserve to go out of business. Any good bar operates on the idea that the more drinks you sell the more money you make. When it takes a combined half hour to get two measly drinks then people begin to grow bored with the fancy appeal that these specialty concoctions offer.

There is a large customer demand amongst females for Cosmetic Bartenders which is another influencing factor in this annoying phenomenon.  I believe this is a cry for attention by the fairer sex. Where else is a man going to spend twenty minutes catering to a woman’s every desire by crafting something specifically for them while all they have to do is sit and watch?

Anyone willing to wait the twenty minutes it takes to make an allegedly perfect cocktail absolutely has my support as long as you realize that Cosmetic Bartending doesn’t exist at every bar in the country. What that means is don’t walk into an English pub and order a single plum floating in perfume served in a man’s hat and not expect to be met with laughter and possible ridicule.

BUY MY BOOK LOVE LIFE BY CLICKING ON THE LOVE LIFE LINK UP AND TO THE RIGHT FROM HERE!

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Jason C., Chicago, IL. GULPU

May 26, 2012

I don’t like to toss the words frosty and bitch around lightly, but sometimes there is no other way to describe certain females. There are just some women who make it a point to be a royal pain in the ass. There are men like that too except we call them a douche bag or asshole or dickbag. The term frosty bitch, however, is one I like to reserve for the fairer sex.

It was college night and we were slammed. I was by myself behind the bar and maintaining pretty well despite the constant stream of server tickets spewing out of my ticket printer. I pulled three tickets and on my way to making those drinks took an order from a couple at the right end of the bar. After placing six drinks in the server window I proceeded to mix the couples drinks. I served them with a smile and moved onto a group of three guys to the left of them.

They all ordered beers and on my way to the draft tower I snagged two more server tickets from the printer. As I was pouring the beers I scanned the bar. Three more server tickets had just printed out. The couple I had just served was good, the guys next to them were the ones I was serving, there was another couple to the left of them who were good and to the left of them was one guy who had just walked up and was patiently waiting with his money in hand.

I put the server’s drinks in the window and then served the three guys their beers. I gave the solo guy the head nod and then proceeded to cash out my current order. As I did that up walks a girl who I could tell from the slam of the front door had literally just walked in. She stood next to the guy I was going to help next and tried to catch my attention by bending over the bar showing her cleavage. I avoided nipple and eye contact and kept moving.

I dropped off the three guys change. Four more server tickets printed out. I approached the guy who had been patiently waiting. Before he could even begin to order this frosty bitch started waving her hand in the air.

“Excuse me I was here first.”

I ignored her and maintained eye contact with the guy. He began to order when again she waved a hand in the air.

“Are you fucking kidding me? I was like here way before him. “

I looked at her. She was in her early thirties but based on her makeup and skankified outfit it was clear she was hoping to pass for twenty-two. Her blatant attempt of looking younger was failing miserably.

“Excuse me Mam, but no you weren’t here first. I will be with you as soon as I help the customers who have been waiting longer.”

“Whatever. A gentleman would help the woman first.”

She then glanced at the guy I was originally trying to help with a crooked smile that smacked of a sickly attempt at seducing him. Instead of being interested in this forward flirt on her part he looked scared and confused. He motioned for me to help her first.

She ordered a lemon drop martini. I chilled her glass and then went about pouring the four server tickets. I placed the drinks in the server window and then began to mix her drink. The guy I had tried to help had walked away.

I put her drink in front of her and told her it would be eight dollars. She gasped in disgust.

“Really? It took long enough. I feel like that’s way too much money.”

She begrudgingly pulled her wallet out of her purse and slid a ten dollar bill across the bar. I gave her the change which she quickly snatched and put away. I saw that the guy I had tried to help before hadn’t left but had simply moved to the other side of the bar.

I went to go help him again when out of the corner of my eye I saw her reach for my fruit caddy. I was able to intervene before she stuck her grubby little hands all over my freshly cut fruit. I politely informed her that her touching my fruit was against health code and made it clear that if she wanted more fruit all she had to do was ask.

“Wow, rude. All I wanted was another lemon,” she said.

I handed her another lemon. The guy ordered a beer. The ticket printer pumped out two more server tickets. They were both beers. I poured them and then as I went to put them in the window I saw this frosty bitch with half her hand buried in the server’s fruit caddy.

I watched as she grabbed a couple of cherries and dropped them in her drink. She then stuck her dirty skank hand back in the caddy. I put the drinks down and slammed the lid of the caddy down on her. She screamed at such a high pitch it sounded like a cat was being tortured. She pulled her hand back and it was full of cherries and lemons.

“I told you not to do that once already. If you do it again I will have to ask you to leave,” I said.

She let out a defiant cackle and then threw the fruit in her hand at me. Before the fruit hit the floor I snatched her drink and threw it away. I then came around the bar and escorted her out. She kicked and screamed and cursed and skanked but her words fell upon deaf ears.

When I returned I was finally able to help the guy who had been waiting so patiently. Once he got his drink he and everyone else that had come in contact with that frosty bitch breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of her leaving.

Churchill’s Renaissance III Revisited

March 10, 2012

We survived Renaissance, barely, and once again Churchill’s Pub and Grille proved to have the best selection of craft beer and food served by the finest restaurant/bar staff in the world. That’s right, I said THE WORLD. Feel free to further expand our egos at the pub by showering us with over exaggerated compliments in regards to our exceptional skills. That being said I reiterate that some of us barely survived and that’s not even in regards to the staff. Sure we worked our asses off but you, the general drunken public, drank and ate your asses off and for that we love you.

The line to enter the pub allegedly started at 3:30 Saturday morning. We have since confirmed this to be true by consulting one of the many secret cameras we have hidden in and around the pub. By 6:30 it was already leaking out of our parking lot. When I walked up at ten it had grown to a thousand according to the crack head at the halfway house who repeatedly cursed at me to stay off his porch.

At 10:55 the staff shared one last moment of meditation followed up by a group hug. Then, the doors flung open and the madness began. People bum rushed the bar in a frenzied attempt at being the first to order Churchill’s Finest Hour. Waves and waves of customers slowly marched in and filled the entire bar, restaurant and patio. Ninety-Nine percent of the crowd was polite and patient as they realized that amongst the insanity the entire staff was doing everything in their power to keep people drunk, fat and happy. Those who were rude or impatient usually only got served once.

The vomit level was low much to the relief of our bar backs who were forced to bring their own puke buckets from home. The one glaring upheaval did unfortunately happen in the fire pit which was thankfully not on. Anyone who has ever caught a whiff of a flaming pool of vomit knows how horrible it can be and that it often leads to a ferocious cycle of group puking.

While most customers ordered efficiently so we could help them as quickly as possible there were those who decided that they were more important than all the other customers waiting for food and drink. That’s right string order boy, I am talking to you. At a quiet bar where it’s just you and your buddies making the bartender or server make multiple back to back trips for you is accepted, although still frowned upon. At a bar filled to max capacity with rabid beer aficionados foaming at the mouth to be served a drink this sort of behavior is unacceptable. If you can’t order all your drinks at once you are making others suffer. Even at my most busy and scatter brained I can handle up to eighty-one drinks in my mind at once, so please don ‘t be scared to try to overwhelm me. The quicker I move on from you the quicker I can help the cute girl in the corner, who if I keep serving in a speedy fashion may get drunk enough for you to get lucky.

Other than string orders the only other glaring ordering offense was found in those people not ready to be waited upon. As I pour beers I scan the bar and have a pecking order in mind of who I am going to serve first. It goes regulars first and then it switches to first come first serve. I generally plan out the next five people I am going to help even before I have approached any of them. If I ask you what you want and you look away to consult a friend or beer list then by the time you face the bar again all you will see is the back of my head. I will return, eventually, but that pecking order I just talked about, you’re now at the bottom.

The ultimate asshole award for the day goes to that idiot I personally had kicked out myself. While I doubt he lacks the ability to read I hope he gets a hold of this because I have a message for him.

“No, bro, I didn’t think you were drunk enough to be cut off, I just plain didn’t like you. Your constant groping and sexual harassment of every woman who walked up to bar coupled with your loud and obnoxious voice/laugh/personality/presence/face/existence was what did you in. Had I not been stuck behind the bar I would have grabbed that cell phone you were shit talking me on and shoved it so far up your ass your tongue would be text messaging every time you spoke.”

Despite these minor complaints Churchill’s Renaissance III, The Revenge of Ivan, proved to be the greatest day in the history of beer just as some brilliant writer predicted a week ago. What made it so great was the food, the beer and most importantly the people, both staff and clientele. For that I thank and applaud everyone involved in such a wonderful event. The next big pub event will be St. Patrick’s Day, which compared to the distinguished esteem of Churchill’s Renaissance will be a bro-infested slop fest filled with strewn jello shots and people’s wives being left for dead on bathroom floors. Can’t wait!

The Bad Bartender Chronicles

February 26, 2012

A lot of male bartenders think they are really cool because they work behind the bar. Let’s be honest bartender gigs are hard to come by, especially for men, so any person who has achieved that position should be proud. However, there is a line that is not to be crossed and unfortunately the prestige of pouring drinks gets the better of a lot of guys. These self-entitled fraudulent drink peddlers make the customer feel as if getting served by them should be viewed as an honor no matter how shitty or rude the service is.

I walk up to a bar and the bartender greets me with attitude and a sneer. While I order he looks past me to check out a waitress who is walking by. I order a vodka tonic but instead of hustling to mix my drink he casually walks over to the waitress he was just checking out. He says something that is in his mind witty and gets a courtesy laugh out of the girl who knows if she doesn’t play along her drink tickets will be ignored all night. He then walks over to the ice well and slowly pulls out a glass. A friend of his walks up to the bar and stands next to me. They slap each other five, bang knuckles and then act as if their hands have just exploded. There is an exchange of bros and then he goes and pours this person a beer.

As he hands the beer off they discuss whether or not the waitress is a slut. I can feel myself becoming dumber by listening to these two talk, as if stupidity were an air born disease. He scoops some ice out of the well and without taking his eyes off his buddy goes to put the ice in my drink. Half goes in the glass, the other half spills on the bar. He doesn’t seem to notice.

I hear the printer behind the bar print out a server ticket and watch as he tells his friend to hold on a minute. He then rushes to grab the ticket. Once he does he sets two glasses next to mine. He fills them carefully with ice and then proceeds to pour nice, stiff drinks. He rushes off to put them in the server window. When he returns he picks up his conversation with his buddy. He finally fixes my drink which consists of four ice cubes, half a shot of vodka and a whole lot of tonic. He slams it in front of me and says five dollars.

At first I’m not even sure if the drink is for me because he hasn’t looked at me or paused his conversation. I stare at him and wait for confirmation that we are actually involved in some sort of transaction. A minute passes before he finally looks down at me.

“What bro? I said five dollars.”

I slide him a twenty. He holds it in his hand as his buddy and him now discuss the latest UFC fight. Five minutes pass. Finally, I interrupt and ask for my change. Both of them stare at me with looks of disgust. The bartender scoffs and slowly walks over to the register. He hands me a ten and a five and resumes the conversation with his buddy. To me that means he is either expecting me to not tip or tip him five dollars. Neither of these is a realistic option. I know this arrogant schmuck deserves to be stiffed but not tipping isn’t in my physical makeup. I interrupt his buddy and his meeting of the minds again and ask for change for a five. I receive another scoff and after another minute of conversation he finally obliges. I leave a dollar and curse my tip karma obsession as I realize my tipping this waste of human flesh is simply reinforcing that bartenders can be as shitty or rude as they want and still receive a tip.

However, that dollar is the last one he will get from me as I would rather drink a warm forty of Olde English with a homeless toothless crack head on a street corner than ever stepping foot in that guy’s bar again. This self-entitled dickbag is one of many like him out there so beware. I urge you to be on the lookout for this sort of behavior and when you see it simply leave the establishment you are at and never go back.

ID’s Please

December 2, 2011

If you walk into a bar and you are under the age of 40 you should be prepared to be ID’ed, perhaps even multiple times. I don’t care what you look like, who you’re with or how old you are. If I don’t know you I’m going to ID you. The penalties a bartender faces for serving a minor are serious fines, termination and possible jail time. You think I am going to risk any of those because your girlfriend who looks 19 left her ID at home? Women make a living off trying to either look younger or older. When they are young they want to look old. When they are old they want to look young. This prospect makes it very difficult for one to determine if a girl is 19 or 35. That’s why when a 30 year old who is trying her damnedest to look 21 walks into my bar I ID her. She doesn’t like it, which doesn’t coincide with the whole looking younger routine. She states her age. I thank her but insist on seeing her ID. She states her age this time with a huff of disgust. I thank her again and point out that the three half dressed skanks drowning in makeup that she walked in with all happily showed me their ID’s. She tells me her ID is at home and states her age before adding that it’s okay for me to serve her. I thank her for her permission but inform her that the word of a stranger is not an acceptable form of ID. After a five minute temper tantrum her and her friends skank away into a dark corner to plot how to trick young, dumb drunks into taking them home. Five minutes later when my barback catches her sipping her friends drink I kick her out. They never go quietly though. As embarrassing as it is to get kicked out of a bar why do people always insist on causing a scene on their way out? She finally leaves after promising to “yelp” the shit out of me and her nasty friends flick me off as they follow her to the next bar. This sort of thing happens all the time. A guy walks up and orders two beers and two jager bombs. I look around. He is by himself. I request two ID’s. “They’re both for me, Bro.” My skin crawls as he slides his ID over. I grab the drinks. As he walks away I set my barback on him who intercepts the second beer before the other idiot can sip it. I kick them both out. They want to fight. I decline and offer a tussle with the police. They walk off amidst a mix of threats and curses. People just don’t understand. I have been bartending a long time and drinking even longer so I know when I am being scammed. I’ve seen more invalid ID’s than I care to remember and they all look different. Your expired driver’s license is not a valid ID. Your permission is not a valid ID. The fact that you have a beard is not a valid ID. The fact that you were in my bar at some point over the last month is not a valid ID. The fact that the guy who is getting you drunk and taking advantage of you later is 45 is not a valid ID. The fact that the woman you are getting drunk who is taking advantage of you later is 45 is not a valid ID. Your college ID is not a valid ID. Your library card is not a valid ID. Your medical marijuana card is not a valid ID. Either get it or prepare to be thirsty and sober for a very long time.


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