Aspiring Bartenders

Posted: December 24, 2006 in Cocktails

its been a while now since ive been behind a bar making drinks and i do miss it quite a bit,although one thing i dont miss is the odd hours i used to work and being sleep deprived,but i do miss being able to make up a beautiful drink with seasonal produce for a new menu or a beverage to accompany a meal.
what really got me thinking about cocktails again was what i experienced last night at a bar in vancouver,so my night started out harmlessly enough when my girlfriend kylie and our friend olivia perched ourselves at the bar oggling the cocktail list and at that stage im in shock with the list,and our ever so helpful bartender took my list off my hands and said “dont worry about the list i will make you a drink thatll blow your mind……”and he smiles at usand takes our order.ill have something sweet…(olivia)ill have something fruity….(kylie)and ill have a very dry martini stirred with gin,so my drink was made first ,shaker full of ice…so far so good,bombay sapphire ok so far,but there was no glass ready being chilled with a wash of noilly prat,ok not to worry hes just off tempo and will do it last,maybe the glas has been in the fridge chilling all this time and was just chilling the gin before giving the glass a wash with the noilly,by this time im feverishly looking in his fridge for a martini glass chilling away but i couldnt see it.so i look over his next step as he puts the boston shaker together and before i could stop him he was shaking my martini which i asked to be stirred,and then he proceeds to strain my gin into a glass which the bar back just pulled out of the glass washer steaming hot,what was the use of chilling my spirit when your just going to put it in a steaming hot glass,you wouldve been better to just have poured me a double shot of gin in a rocks glass neat.i wouldnt even dare describe what concoction he made the girls but they wouldve been better off drinking sugar syrup with food colouring.what im trying to say is if your a bartender willing to impress know how some of the classics are made,ask how they like it eg.martini i would ask the patron,how would you like your martini?sweet,dry,perfect or dirty then i would proceed by asking gin or vodka,and wait for a reply,then i would ask shaken or stirred,but preferrably i would stir it as i would have my spirits in the freezer whether it be gin or vodka,and i would also have them on my shelf so as you can see it then i would proceed to put it together with all the theatrics,making the drink deliberately slow in front of the customer so as to get them going like its the main event they were waiting for and to have some pride when putting this classic drink together,its simple but it is perfect,not too hard to make but it seems that everyone who is in the industry seem to wreck and i was one of those many years ago as a newbie behind the bar all gung ho and thinking i knew how to make it and totally demolish this simple drink.then after all that when everything is in place i would serve the drink with an olive cocktail napkin in front of the customer put the drink on the napkin and look the customer in the eye and smile and wait for the reaction,if everything goes well they should end up with a smile on their face and coming back for more.james bond may like his martini shaken but i like it stirred,knowing the classics will help you develop new drinks by giving old ones a re vamp with your own interpretation as long as the drink is well balanced in flavour

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