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Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Sunday, November 18, 2007 ::

:: Server Stories: Barman ::
I've been working behind the bar a couple of times a week, which is good, except it's always during the day shift, which... it isn't bad but it's not always great. When we're busy, I get the bar experience that I like, juggling bar customers and the service bar since there's only two of us during the day. On days where it's slow, I'm behind the bar making idle chatter with whoever's working the floor. (That or I'm contemplating where in my life did it all go wrong.) Days like that, where we have maybe two tables (six people walk between 11:30am - 4:00pm, and two of those are people asking for job applications) I try to keep myself busy by pre-prepping drinks, reading bar manuals, and if it's Sunday, watching football. It's that or I go next door and take a nap or I grab a bottle of whiskey and start drinking heavily. Lucky for me, my body doesn't seem like alcohol before 5:00pm so drinking on the job isn't an option. (That and I enjoy this whole "employment" thing since it allows me to like, pay rent and buy stuff.)

Still, when we're busy and we get tourists who like to drink it gets fun for me. I enjoy cooking and making drinks is like cooking with liquids. I remember a shift a few weeks ago where it seemed every customer was drinking. I was whipping up margaritas, sourapple martinis, mojitos, and a couple of tequila sunrises and even though we were busy, I never got in the weeds. Right up until an English couple sits at my bar and asks for a "Singapore Sling."

A what?

"Singapore Sling? Can you make that?” He could guess from the look on my face that I didn't know what the hell that was. He wasn't sure either, other than there was gin in it. Lucky for me, I had the Bartender's Guide right there and found it quickly. We didn't have any cherry brandy so I probably shouldn't have tried but the poor guy seemed really set on his Sling so I made it with extra grenadine and gin and hoped the guy wouldn't know any better. Sure enough, he and his wife took a sip, smack their lips, looked at me and said, "well that's bloody fantastic. Cheers."

I'm at awe how some bartenders are able to remember so many recipes. Granted 80% of the orders at the bar are either beer, wine, something on the rocks, or some type of mixed drink like Jack and Coke or gin and tonic. I've worked with guys who can whip something up in no time even though they haven't made it in months. And sure enough, 15 minutes later, an older couple walk in and ask for a a couple of Old Fashioneds. Easy enough. "What bourbon would you like?" "Do you have Maker's Mark?" "Of course." I whip up two Old Fashioneds and they also seemed quite happy with their drinks. I overpoured just a tad (on accident, of course) as there's some left in the shaker so I sample it. Eh. It must be an acquired taste. I like Maker's Mark neat but mixing it with sugar, aromatic bitters, orange and a marachino cherry just doesn't do it for me. But I'm clearly in the minority since the Old Fashioned has been around longer than the martini.

Just before I go on my break agroup of four guys walk in and ask for a "Royal Flush."


"It's Crown Royal and Peach Shnapps." I make their shot, they slam it, and leave. At least these guys knew what went in it.

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 3:30 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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