if i was bartending with anyone
who said shit like that
i would pull his underwear over his head
and throw his ass
out the front door
Over the holidays, one of the local markets slashed prices on liquor. Cointreau, in particular, was nearly half price, so I bought several months' worth. As I was checking out, the clerk read the neck tag's recipe for a margarita and, sounding genuinely sad, said "Damn, I've been making this wrong for years." I asked him "Well, do you like your margaritas?" His face brightened immediately. "Oh, yeah. They're great!""Then what do you care what someone else says you should be drinking? Make them the way you like them."
Now, I like well-crafted, classic drinks as much as the next guy and hold bartenders who purport to make them to certain standards — I'll send back a Manhattan that's been shaken, for instance — but the thing about drinking is: drink what you like. Listen to what seasoned boozers have to say, but don't be intimidated by them. Do you like, for instance, your red wine chilled...or with fish? Well, cork dorks may disapprove, but drink your red wine chilled and with fish. Is what you want right now — for whatever mysterious reasons — a Long Island iced tea? Well, then, order one.
But not from this incompetent pretender:
Thanks to John T. Edge from Oxford, Mississippi who sent me this gem this morning. You'll find this guy in the video everywhere. Portland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans (well, during Tales of the Cocktail, anyway), San Francisco, Los Angeles...and probably your home town.
You know...wait. Hang on. On second thought, DO order that Long Island ice tea from the mustachioed, waistcoat-wearing, bitters-making douchebag. The theatrics alone may well be worth the price of the drink. Who knows? He might just make you the best Long Island you've ever had.
Goes well with:
- Victoria Moore's How to Drink. She writes: “It’s often said that life’s too short to drink bad wine, but I’d go further. Life’s also too short to drink good wine, or anything else for that matter, if it’s not what you feel like at the time. There’s no point in popping the cork on a bottle of vintage champagne if you really hanker after a squat tumbler of rough red wine.”
- Brad Thomas Parsons' book Bitters. It's a good read for regular folks wanting to know more about the history and use of cocktail bitters, but beware that it's also kindling for the fevered prejudices of guys like the ridiculous fool in Shit Bartenders Say above.