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michaeldauphinais

Mixologist incompetence

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I went into a swish members bar in Kensington, London, with a friend and ordered one beer and an oldfashioned. As the two of us were (and still are) bartenders we watched the bartender as he prepared the oldfashioned. Bourbon was poured into the ice-filled rocks glass, at least two shots. This was followed by a shot of sweet vermouth!?!

We, of course, stared at each other.

The bartender administered bitters and an orange twist, then gave the old fashioned to my friend, exclaiming

"I am sorry I made your oldfashioned with bourbon, it is meant to be made with brandy, but that is how we make them here."

We think the bartender was bluffing as he gave us both our drinks free of charge.

i went out to drinks with a friend of mine that lives in wisconsin, and he said they make old fashioneds with brandy there too. . .

i try to have a drink of the summer every year, one summer it was an old fashioned, and i always had problems with old fashioneds. . .i once ordered an old fashioned, and the waitress returned with a shot of bourbon. i said, ummm, this isn't an old fashioned. the waitress took it back, and came back emptyhanded saying, we can't make that here.

the next year, i chose a harvey wallbanger. i gave up on that one pretty soon.

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I convinced our local place to carry Plymouth Gin and I gave them a bottle or orange bitters telling them that at least 5 of their regular patrons like that as a martini. All went well for 2 weeks until a bartender came back from vacation and unsrewed the orange bitters cap poured a bunch into the gin and served it. We now patronize a place with a real Bartender. :raz::raz:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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One thing I don't understand is why more bars don't simply maintain some kind of computerized recipe database (either customized by the establishment or with off-the-shelf recipes). If I were designing a bar where I expected to serve a wide variety of drinks, I'd put some kind of touch-screen searchable cocktail dabase screen under the bar (out of the customer's line of sight.

Because it's not rocket science to make a basically good cocktail from a basically good recipe -- even if you've never heard of the drink and never mixed one before.


--

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I've had so many bad Manhattans in so many places that I wonder why I still bother ordering them. So far, the only place in the San Diego area where I've had a really good one has been, ironically, Manhattan of La Jolla. If they'd screwed it up with a name like that, I would have been forced to egg their front door or something.

My old Seattle drinking buddies and I used to love dive-drinking at the Nite Lite. We weren't really trying to play stump the bartender there--hell, it's a dive bar, you gets what you gets--but we did derive a lot of amusement-value from their approaches to our drink orders. I would almost always order a Mai Tai--hey, if you're gonna trash-drink, you might as well go for the gusto, right?--and even though it was the same bartender every time, I never got the exact same concoction twice. Dive Mai Tai == "clean out the fridge"? :laugh:

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One thing I don't understand is why more bars don't simply maintain some kind of computerized recipe database (either customized by the establishment or with off-the-shelf recipes).  If I were designing a bar where I expected to serve a wide variety of drinks, I'd put some kind of touch-screen searchable cocktail dabase screen under the bar (out of the customer's line of sight.

Because it's not rocket science to make a basically good cocktail from a basically good recipe -- even if you've never heard of the drink and never mixed one before.

Special software on the POS machine. They could offer it as an option. Go for it programmers. :laugh::laugh::laugh:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Special software on the POS machine. They could offer it as an option. Go for it programmers. :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

I know some restaurants do this already. When we asked for the recipe for the Ginger Rogers Cocktail at Absinthe, they simply printed it out from their POS terminal.

Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Special software on the POS machine. They could offer it as an option. Go for it programmers. :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

I know some restaurants do this already. When we asked for the recipe for the Ginger Rogers Cocktail at Absinthe, they simply printed it out from their POS terminal.

Erik

Yet another reason I'll never be rich. :biggrin:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I recounted this story to slkinsey and Megan B. a few days ago as we were enjoying quality drinks at Pegu... I was staying with relatives in California over Thanksgiving and was stuck in Blackhawk -- which for those that know, tends to be somewhat void of entertainment. I perked up when I found there was a high end tequilla mexican "cantina" that offered a huge selection of tequillas.

When we got there I spied a nice bottle of Espolon Anejo that I fancied in a margarita. Unfortunately while I was looking at the menu I watched them crank out marg after marg using this florescent green sour mix. I couldn't believe people were paying upwards of 15 bucks for a marg made with this. What made matters worse is their house marg was made with Patron Silver and Gran MarnierReserve and this fructose sour mix.

When the bartender came over to take my order I asked him if he could make my drink without the sour mix, at which point he told me it would be sour and I wouldn't like it. He kept persisting that there needed to be at least some sour mix for it to be sweet.

Finally I convinced him to make it with the promise that if I didn't like it, I would still pay for it.

I told him make it on the rocks, 2 parts Espolon, 1 part fresh lime, 1 part Gran Marnier. It was amazing -- slightly sweet, sour and the full flavor of the tequila coming through.

He only checked in with me 5 times asking if it was too sour.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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The late, great Albert was barman at the ADC theatre here.

A flashy tourist came in and asked for "the best whisky in the house"

Albert reverentially poured a fine single malt. The tourist then asked for ginger ale as a mixer. Albert with great presence replied "I'm sorry Sir; I seem to have poured you the wrong whisky", took it back and poured a well whisky (Vat 69, which dates the story, but may have been Johnny Walker Red) with the ginger ale, and charged the tourist for both. He enjoyed the single malt in private later.

Albert would also have fun with people asking for gin and bitter lemon mixer. He would balance a small piece of lemon on top of the gin, waiting for the query, so he could point out they had got their "bit of lemon".

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I've had so many bad Manhattans in so many places that I wonder why I still bother ordering them. So far, the only place in the San Diego area where I've had a really good one has been, ironically, Manhattan of La Jolla. If they'd screwed it up with a name like that, I would have been forced to egg their front door or something.

My old Seattle drinking buddies and I used to love dive-drinking at the Nite Lite. We weren't really trying to play stump the bartender there--hell, it's a dive bar, you gets what you gets--but we did derive a lot of amusement-value from their approaches to our drink orders. I would almost always order a Mai Tai--hey, if you're gonna trash-drink, you might as well go for the gusto, right?--and even though it was the same bartender every time, I never got the exact same concoction twice. Dive Mai Tai == "clean out the fridge"?  :laugh:

"Mai Tai Roa Eye" (My Tahitian spellin isn't what it once was.) "Means something like "best stuff on earth". A far cry from "Clean out the fridge".

2 Oz. Good, Aged Rum

Scant .75 Oz Curacao

.75 Oz. Fresh lime juice.

1 bar spoon Orgeate (My french spellin is as good as my Tahitian)

On the Dry Manhattan topic I have had patrons mean both, "Little sweet vermouth", and "Only dry vermouth." It's good to ask.

I can't call it a trend, but there are a few people now drinking Perfect (Gin of course) martinis at the establishment where I work. I have found using a bombastic gin is best to stand up to the sweet vermouth. Millers, Juniperio Old Raj.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I once got a Mojito made with parsley instead of mint. The bartender and I realized it about the same time, and we had a good laugh about it. It wasn't disgusting, but not good enough to make into a signature cocktail...


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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back in 2000 a fellow bartender used basil in the Mojito they were making. Basil leaves look totally different to Mint leaves, so I am not sure how he managed it.

Little did we know that a few years later bars would be muddling strawberries and basil together.

Cheers!

George

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Hmmm... Basil Mojito doesn't sound so bad. Better than parsley IMHO.

My three bartender pet peeves are:

1) The Dry Martini-ization of other cocktails. You order a negroni and get 4 oz of gin with a dash of campari and a dash of sweet vermouth.

2) Under chilling cocktails. Bartender gives the shaker a couple anemic shakes, pours you out 5 oz of barely chilled gin, and calls it a martini.

3) Filling Martini glasses all the way to the rim. It is impossible to carry these to your table without spilling, I don't care what anyone sez.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I once went to a restaurant and asked if they could make me Kir (not on the menu). They knew what it was, and they graciously obliged. I got cocktail glass filled with white wine, about a teaspoon of creme de cassis, and a few ice cubes...

At another restaurant Kir was actually on the menu. If it's on the menu, they must know how to make it, right? Another cocktail glass filled with white wine, slight more creme de cassis than the other place, and

crushed ice.

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