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eje

Drinks Bartenders Hate to Make

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I'm amazed that no-one mentioned blender drinks either.

Every bartender I've worked with has positively hated them.

I actually have never met a bartender who does like to make them.

One even went so far as to order the barbeque ribs at work and when he finished eating them, he deposited the bones in the blender and turned it on and burnt out the motor so he wouldn't have to make any that night.

My least favorite drink to make is Sex on the beach.

It has at least 15 variations that I know of and everyone likes it a different way.

It is a pain in the ass. The last time someone asked me to make them one on a really busy night, I gave them a shot glass full of sand and a condom and said, "There's your sex on the beach!"

That's why I like being an oyster shucker.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy


"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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This will not stop me from ordering Manhattans, even if the yahoos do have to go back and look it up. Gimme whiskey!

Any bartender who has to look up a Manhattan is a hack.

Just saying. :wink:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Fine.  The average bartender can think whatever he or she wants.  I want a fucking Manhattan, and I'm paying, and he or she is just going to fucking have to fucking make it.

Sneakeater, I feel that you're not really expressing yourself here...how do you feel about it? :wink::raz::laugh:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I had a VP once that only drinks Manhattans and he is VERY particular about how he wants his, Makers or better only, tall glass, extra dry etc. BUT, he understood the nuances to his particular manhattan and would spend extra time with the bartender mapping it all out for him the first time, practically coming around and making it himself. He would tip heavy if the bartender got it right.

I can't imagine the scene if he were told sorry we don't make Manhattans. :wacko:


-Mike & Andrea

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The drink, well shot really, that I hate to make the most is chilled Sambuca. The amount of time, and energy it takes to get the anise smell/taste out of your shaker is not worth the $2 tip you are going to recieve on the four to eight shots.

Cement mixers, hate them. And the people who think it's funny to put one of thier "friends" through that experiance.

Actually most shots with sweet craemy liquors. One because unsophistocated drinkers don't tip as well, as your average Sazarac drinker. They also are hard to get off your shakers. Not the drinkers, but the sweet creamy liquors.

I love to make manhattans. especially when the person knows how to order them. To drag the order out of the a little at a time, ca be frustrating. One shoould not say "I'll have a manhattan" (or martini for that matter) It should go a little like this.

"Please, may I have a (Brand name) rye manhattan, up, perfect, with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters, thank you"

If you have a term that can be misunderstood, (like dry, does it mean less sweet vermouth, or only dry vermouth) specify.

The other thing a would take issue with, in the artical, is the Mojito. In my opnion you shouldn't muddle the mint for a couple of minutes. A light brusing is better, it doesn't bring out the grassy flavor, just the minty.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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They also are hard to get off your shakers. Not the drinkers, but the sweet creamy liquors.

I've known bartenders that brought their own plastic disposable cups to work with them to use for smelly/sticky/creamy drinks so they could save time and just toss the drink between two plastic tumblers and then serve. Saved a lot of time and definitely helped their tip averages from that perspective.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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mojito is about as taxing as a seabreeze these days,

for no real reason bloody mary's tend to piss me off the most,

anything with archers, malibu, midori or baileys as a close second.....................


'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

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In the bigger picture (and I'll probably start a new topic on this) is that to be a bartender doesn't require any special training. Most people just walk off the street and start pouring beer, learning as they go. This included some good habits, but mostly bad habits. If a person takes a bartending course, they are looked down upon and the general recommendation is to remove that info from your resume prior to applying for the job. At my place of employment, bartenders are hired based on appearance, not skill. The company is a chain with 40 restaurants, a couple of hotels and a dozen lounges.

The money is pretty good, especially for no education. And when money is immediately good, there is no motivation to improve. The majority of the bartenders I work with couldn't care less about making a good drink. They'll make an average drink. I also can tell you that most of them couldn't make a Manhattan or real Margarita, no joke. They also throw lime in single malt scotches, which usually ends up as a disaster. Also, if they make a mistake with a draught beer, they'll set it aside and top up other pints. Problem is that they two beers are never the same. So you could get an ale and pilsner in the same glass. And yes we are an fine dining establishment. Like I said, people pick up bad habits that are never corrected.

Here's the worst part. For all my knowledge and great customer service, I'm the black sheep of the team. It is perceived that I take to much time with my customers. Also I get heat for making quality drinks. The general concensous is that more drinks equals more tips so wasting time helping a customrs is frowed upon. Sad eh. Here is what I know though, my tips are much higher when I take care of my customers, so I continue to do so.


Edited by dsoneil (log)

Darcy S. O'Neil

Chemist | Bartender | Writer

Website: Art of Drink

Book: Fix the Pumps

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In the bigger picture (and I'll probably start a new topic on this) is that to be a bartender doesn't require an special training. Most people just walk off the street and start pouring beer, learning as they go.

Very true. Around here a lot of the bars (especially college bars) are manned by students. Most of them are friendly and fairly keen on their jobs, but there's no way you're going to find any interesting mixed drinks in most local places - people just don't know how to make them.

In some cases it's perhaps not an unwillingness to make a drink as lack of knowledge. A friend of mine took a bartending course, and she said they had to memorize something like 80 or 90 drinks - something someone who just walks into the job is unlikely to pick up.


Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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The memorization of any number of drinks is not as important as understanding how a cocktail is constructed. Understanding prioritazation, some basic chemistry (luckily spelling isn't a must) balance in acids vs. alcalines, points of service and presentation will get you much further than knowing whats in a Sloe Comfortable Screw Against The Wall.

Also I have worked with a few graduates of bartending school who were quite sure they were bartenders, though they had never worked in a bar. It usually only took one friday night of them in the weeds for five infinitly long hours to prove differently.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I once took a blender and all the trappings, put in a box, sealed it, and put it in the attic when I started as a bartender at one place. Far as I know, they never found it...

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The memorization of any number of drinks is not as important as understanding how a cocktail is constructed.  Understanding prioritazation, some basic chemistry (luckily spelling isn't a must) balance in acids vs. alcalines, points of service and presentation will get you much further than knowing whats in a Sloe Comfortable Screw Against The Wall.

Also I have worked with a few graduates of bartending school who were quite sure they were bartenders, though they had never worked in a bar.  It usually only took one friday night of them in the weeds for five infinitly long hours to prove differently.

You have the right idea but it is actually acids vs. sweetness. There are very few "basic" of alkaline solutions behind the bar. Plus they would just neutralize each other and you'd end up with water. But you are very right, and it is all about balance.

There are three key parts to bartending. The first is knowledge. As a bartender you need to know your stuff (drinks, technique, basic sense of taste and interpersonnal skills).

The second part is the ability to multi-task. Doing all of the first part at the same time is standard. You'll be pouring two draught, shaking three martini's, making a couple of shots, all the while you'll be maintaining a conversation with your customers and sometimes placing orders for food. Where I work the standard is that from the time the drinks are ordered, you have three minutes to get them to the guest.

The third is endurance. You need to do these things non-stop for sometimes 12 hours, usually without a break and you must maintain for interperssonal skills and be happy, even though you are exhausted. On average 6 to 8 hour shift is normal.

The recipes and techniques you can teach, but the other stuff can only be experienced. However, if part one is solid then part two will come naturally. Sadly, this is were many bartenders cop out. They trim their menu and cut back on service to make it more convienient for themselves and neglect the customers needs.


Darcy S. O'Neil

Chemist | Bartender | Writer

Website: Art of Drink

Book: Fix the Pumps

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My pet peeve is any novelty drink -- sex on the beach, slippery nipple, slow comfortable screw -- you get the picture.

I hate those drinks because they are almost always ordered by kids who are already drunk and hovering on either side of the legal age. Who are lousy tippers to boot. Ugh.

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I guess as long as most customers are willing to pay for and possibly enjoy the drinks that most bars serve. it will be very difficult to convince a bar/restaurant to improve their staff and offerings. There are very few bars in the US that actually pride themselves on a well made cocktail. They have their faithful followers. The rest of us will probably continue to drink at home and be very circumspect about what we order when drinking out. It is really a shame. I believe that if enough folks were presented with well made drinks, they would expect more from bars and be willing to pay more to get something besides sweet slop.


KathyM

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I had to chuckle at this comment in the linked article

Bartender Eric Berchtold of the Cinch in San Francisco says he doesn't like to make Manhattans because, "Too many things go into it and everyone wants them made a different way."

It goes on to mention that the ingredients consist of whiskey, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters... and maybe a maraschino cherry. Three ingredients is "too many things?

I'll take a Manhattan or a Martini order any day - you just aks the customer how they like their drink... sweet, dry etc.

I will side with those who can't stand getting orders for sweet, sticky concoctions especially when it's busy. My rule of thumb as a bartender when we did events that drew large numbers of college aged clientele was this: if you can't tell me what goes into the drink then I can't make it for you. Tha simplified things greatly.

Many years ago when i was waiting table our head bartender - apart from grimacing when people order Pink Squirrels, Grasshoppers or Brandy Alexanders - reserved his greatest ire for those who sullied any of his favorite liquors by diluting them with anything other than water or a splash of soda. We all knew to cringe when ordering a Whiskey Sour made with Crown Royal - the greatest sin of all.

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birdie53: dont hide at home. go out and demand something better. its a matter as you say of supply and demand. most bartenders arent responsible for their ignorance. if you closet cocktail drinkers go out and teach them to make one good drink you could perhaps enlighten an unsuspecting bartender and set the wheels of progress in motion. dont keep your secret at home spread the good word.

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I think you have to keep context in mind. Some forty years ago, my grandfather was a part-time bartender in one of three taverns in a small town in rural Illinois. Most of his customers were local farmers, blue collar workers and small business people. One day a stranger entered and ordered a Martini, to which my grandfather replied, "If you want a fancy New York drink, go to a fancy New York bar. Here, you can get a shot and a beer."

In fact, at that time, the tavern likely had no gin, no vermouth, no olives and no onions because all of it would simply take up space and grow dusty for lack of demand. The absence of vermouth meant my grandfather couldn't even make a Manhattan, which was a little ironic because the tavern was in the town of Manhattan.

Some bartenders should not be asked to make some drinks. Who would order a mojito in the local pub in Bettyhill, Scotland, for example? However, if a bar holds itself out as having any level of sophistication, any and every drink should be willingly and expertly prepared, no matter the individual preferences of the bartender.

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I think you have to keep context in mind.  Some forty years ago, my grandfather was a part-time bartender in one of three taverns in a small town in rural Illinois.  Most of his customers were local farmers, blue collar workers and small business people.  One day a stranger entered and ordered a Martini, to which my grandfather replied, "If you want a fancy New York drink, go to a fancy New York bar.  Here, you can get a shot and a beer." 

In fact, at that time, the tavern likely had no gin, no vermouth, no olives and no onions because all of it would simply take up space and grow dusty for lack of demand.  The absence of vermouth meant my grandfather couldn't even make a Manhattan, which was a little ironic because the tavern was in the town of Manhattan.

Some bartenders should not be asked to make some drinks.  Who would order a mojito in the local pub in Bettyhill, Scotland, for example?  However, if a bar holds itself out as having any level of sophistication, any and every drink should be willingly and expertly prepared, no matter the individual preferences of the bartender.

I agree that all bars should not be expected to produce cocktails. But once they present a cocktail menu, they should back it up with well trained staff who can prepare a well made, nicely balanced cocktail. It's disconcerting to order a drink from the establishment's menu and then have the bartender ask what is in the drink. When you watch someone look up the drink and then start freepouring, it rarely turns out well. A lot of bartenders don't have enough training to know how long to shake or stir a drink to get a proper chill on it. I was at a very nice bar last week that had a Mojito on their list. My sister ordered the drink. The bartender spent time with the muddling, but he gave it a half-hearted shake resulting in a warmish drink. She didn't want to send it back because she didn't want it watered down. There are bars that could increase their cocktail sales if their staff were trained on how to make a drink. They have someone who makes up their cocktail menu, why can't they bother to deliver on the promise of a good drink. The kitchen has to deliver on their menu, they should give more thought to how they prepare the people who tend bar.


KathyM

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A lot of bartenders don't have enough training to know how long to shake or stir a drink to get a proper chill on it.  I was at a very nice bar last week that had a Mojito on their list.  My sister ordered the drink.  The bartender spent time with the muddling, but he gave it a half-hearted shake resulting in a warmish drink. 

As a discerning drinker, you know that a Mojito should never be shaken. If the bartender took time with the muddling, then gave it a vigorous shake, it would be bitter, with torn bits of mint that you could spend the rest of the night picking from your teeth.


Marcovaldo Dionysos

Cocktail Geek

cocktailgeek@yahoo.com

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Like many have said here, it's all about the place and time... If I'm going to a nice cocktail lounge in the early evening, I'll order my mojito. At 1:00 in the morning at a busy club, where the bar is surrounded by people throwing in orders and you'd better have your order ready when you throw it in, I stick to my vodka & soda water order, or just get a beer. Knowing lots of people who have bartended in both kinds of environments, the fact that a bartender at 1:00 in the morning in a busy can't be bothered with anything complicated and somebody thinking that might hurt their business, is pretty laughable... By that point in the night there are plenty of idiots who are more than willing to throw their money around, because they are looking for who they plan to go home with, and the quickest drunk for their buck. Anybody in that environment ordering something complicated just looks like they are just out to impress somebody - and those are usually the cheap tippers.

I usually try to avoid places like that, but sometimes the drink comes second to the "social environment" (usually my friends and I laughing at the idiots, and they're probably laughing at us.. :rolleyes:).

Shaking a mojito though? Wouldn't that just fizz all over the place??

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A lot of bartenders don't have enough training to know how long to shake or stir a drink to get a proper chill on it.  I was at a very nice bar last week that had a Mojito on their list.  My sister ordered the drink.  The bartender spent time with the muddling, but he gave it a half-hearted shake resulting in a warmish drink. 

As a discerning drinker, you know that a Mojito should never be shaken. If the bartender took time with the muddling, then gave it a vigorous shake, it would be bitter, with torn bits of mint that you could spend the rest of the night picking from your teeth.

I haven't made a Mojito in quite a while and did not realize that shaking it was all wrong. :unsure: The bartender did barely shake it and then strained it into a martini glass and garnished it with mint leaves. He also shook my Negroni and then dumped the whole thing into a tall glass. It was quite a mess. At least it wasn't warm. :wink: This guy needs a weekend at Cocktails in the Country!


KathyM

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I haven't made a Mojito in quite a while and did not realize that shaking it was all wrong. :unsure:  The bartender did barely shake it and then strained it into a martini glass and garnished it with mint leaves.  He also shook my Negroni and then dumped the whole thing into a tall glass.  It was quite a mess.  At least it wasn't warm. :wink:  This guy needs a weekend at Cocktails in the Country!

Since the rise in popularity of the Mojito, I am less likely to order one. For this reason, I dread the revival of the Negroni: my favorite cocktail and my litmus test. If a bartender can make a drinkable Negroni, I am much more likely to try the house cocktails. If no, I switch to beer.


Marcovaldo Dionysos

Cocktail Geek

cocktailgeek@yahoo.com

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the occasional negroni gets ordered in my area. From someone who knows more what they should be is a 2:1:1 gin-campari-vermouth the right mix? I'd love to know, but not many people know how to make them, and I sadly have to one to ask locally. Cheers

Sean

I'm also not sure if a lemon twist is right or if I should use an orange

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the occasional negroni gets ordered in my area.  From someone who knows more what they should be is a 2:1:1 gin-campari-vermouth the right mix?  I'd love to know, but not many people know how to make them, and I sadly have to one to ask locally.  Cheers

Sean

I'm also not sure if a lemon twist is right or if I should use an orange

Most recipes call for equal parts of gin, campari and sweet vermouth. Since campari works well with citrus, either an orange or lemon garnish is good.


KathyM

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the occasional negroni gets ordered in my area.  From someone who knows more what they should be is a 2:1:1 gin-campari-vermouth the right mix?  I'd love to know, but not many people know how to make them, and I sadly have to one to ask locally.  Cheers

Sean

I'm also not sure if a lemon twist is right or if I should use an orange

The classic recipe is equal parts, but I prefer a little less vermouth for a sharper cocktail. Orange twist or slice is great, if not, skip the citrus altogether. Don't get lemon anywhere near my Campari...

In Italy, the Negroni is almost surely served on the rocks, but in these parts a cocktail glass is more common.


Marcovaldo Dionysos

Cocktail Geek

cocktailgeek@yahoo.com

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