Sunday, January 22, 2012

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Drink What You Like (Regardless of the Mixologists' Sniffy Disdain)

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.


Andy Keck said...

''I brought my own ice."


Matthew Rowley said...

I was laughing so much that I missed "I brought my own ice" on first viewing. By 9am, though, everyone at the Whiskey Forge had seen it at least twice. Perhaps my favorite spot is the spaz shake at 1:08 (though that slushy muddle runs a close second...)

Unknown said...

Shortly after WWII my father was up to a number of things in Europe, but during this time he developed a friendship with Alexis Lichine.
My father was quite a character and loved his wine and spirits, so he was asking Alexis one day about what he should be drinking and how exactly, since my father held him as an expert on such things ( long before he was more well known).
His reply ? (Translated) "Drink what you like , like what you drink" then when on at some length about how you should enjoy what you like , the way you like to have it and when and gives you pleasure and to hell which what anyone else thinks or says- it's up to you to enjoy your drink and yourself any way you like to and not to worry about what all these people tell you and basically to think for yourself. Words to live by.

Trid said...

I was losing it by "pickled paprika"

Still my favorite "Shit X Says" video!