little grey cells


I realized I shorted all the folks who were wanting back room gossip about bartending school. It wasn’t very salacious, just dim and loud and squalid. Rather like the 1st few days at a new job where they demonstrate everything to you, then walk away leaving you to rinse and repeat until you get to a point where you can say ‘lookee, I did all by myself!’The sign on the faux bar wall declared ‘It’s not rocket science, it’s just bartending.’  Mike, the teacher assured us that a good bartender is a personality type not a drink mixer, and that he could teach a monkey to mix drinks.   After  many years of watching it done, I can say I didn’t suck, but my personal opinion is that I haven’t drunk enough. Aside from typical barkeeping duties, and pouring techniques one needs to learn about 50+ basic recipes which I liken to memorizing a cookbook of recipes with no idea of their taste.

The two Romanian kids got perfect scores and I squeaked in behind them with a 98;  I confused the recipe for a Kamikaze with a Pearl Harbor. I can say  I was the teachers pet,  which may have been due to the fact that he and I are the same age, that of the oldest kid in the class and the youngest one added together, or maybe he was just hitting on me, and after all these years I have become immune.

I don’t think anyone will be interested in a putting a newly minted bartender behind a bar until after the busy season, so I can go back to reading liquor books and  experimentation. This week’s drink is Kir. A glass of dry white wine spiked with an ounce of Creme de Cassis. A black current liqueur, Creme de Cassis, was a favorite drink of Hercule Poirot.   I found a small bottle at a high end liquor store in a high end town, tasty stuff, goes nicely in soda water or Coca Cola too. if you can’t find it you can use Chambord, which is black raspberry liqueur.

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