5 FAC T S A BOUT BARTENDERS

5 FAC T S A BOUT BARTENDERS

35 views
0

1. THEY’RE SMART ABOUT WHAT THEY SPEND
MONEY ON.
Berkeley, California-based bartender Nat Harry suggests
considering a drink’s recipe before you shell out for topshelf
liquor. “Any time you have a spirit that’s going to be
the star of the show, like in a Manhattan or a Martini, you’ll
probably want something a bit nicer,” she explains. “But if
you’re drinking a cocktail with aggressive or spicy mixers,
like a Moscow Mule for example, that is not the time to order
Ketel One or Belvedere.”
According to a bartender at NYC’s Gordon Bar, whiskeys
and tequilas are generally worth spending a bit more on.
“The quality with both spirits does ramp up quickly,” he
says. “And the difference between top shelf and well is very
noticeable.”
2. THEY DO THEIR BEST TO KEEP AN OPEN
MIND.
The customer is (almost) always right—but when they aren’t,
you won’t hear it from whoever’s serving them drinks. “I
don’t really judge people based on their orders, aside
from an ‘Ooh, you just turned 21,’” Courtney Cowie, a Long
Island-based bartender, says. “I’m a strong believer in liking
and drinking whatever you want.” Harry adds that she does
her best to put her own preferences aside when she steps
behind the bar: “With experience, you realize the important
thing about being a bartender is giving your guest a good
experience. If someone orders something I might not find
palatable, I’ll try to make the best version of that drink
possible.”
3. BUT THEY WILL ROLL THEIR EYES OVER
CERTAIN ORDERS.
Of course, there’s one (boozy) exception to the
aforementioned rule: anyone who sidles up to the bar
and orders a Long Island Iced Tea. “Even if you used all
premium spirits, mixing all those flavors together will never
be anything more than a hot mess,” Harry says. “Is there a
decent amount of booze in there? Sure. But most cocktails,
either by virtue of proof or volume of spirits can achieve
that for you, and spare you the hangover you’re gonna have
from all that sugar.” The Gordon Bar bartender agrees:
“You know immediately their number one goal is to just get
wasted.”
4. THEY DON’T MIND CREATING SOMETHING
SPECIAL FOR YOU.
All three bartenders agreed that creating personalized
drinks for customers is one of the best parts of the job—
“It makes me feel respected!” says Cowie—with just one
caveat. “I love it, but if I’m totally slammed behind the bar,
that’s not a good time for a personalized drink,” Harry says.
If you’re set on trying something different, get ready to field
a few questions: “I always ask right away what they normally
drink and what flavors they like, and then if they want to be
adventurous,” the server at Gordon Bar says. “I like to get
people out of their comfort zones.”
5. IT’S OK TO ASK YOUR BARTENDER TO TRY
AGAIN… USUALLY.
Just not feeling the drink in front of you? It’s OK to ask for
another. Says Harry, “I think customers are always entitled
to a mulligan. I hate to watch someone pull a series of
tortured faces if they aren’t enjoying something.” But that
rule generally applies only if the bartender’s the one who
led you astray. “The exception is when someone tries to
order something ‘experimental’ and I try to talk them out of
it, and then said experiment results in a yucky beverage,”
Harry explains. “If you want to come up with crazy drink
combinations, that’s what your home bar is for.”

About author