More Garbage Bar Tending!

What the Hell?? So this turd runs an in-person bar tending school in New York, with affiliates in a few other locations.

This guy runs a website where you pay for private access to similar lesson designs, and with a premium account, actually get to sit in on a Skype class with him. Actually cool idea…except for how he makes his drinks.

Oh GOD! Ok first I like traditional martinis over Vodka, and I like olives over lemon twists, but both are acceptable martinis. He also gives two valid points #1 use a larger cocktail glass and don’t fill it all the way to the brim…those things do spill real easy and people want martini in their mouth, not their lap. #2. The way your customer likes the drink is the right way 100% true. If your Customer wants a “Martini” made with 3 oz of dry vermouth, 2 oz of Midori and a live shrimp swimming in the glass, and you can make that happen for them all without grimacing while they raise that slop to their lips, you might find yourself with a big fat tip, and maybe a regular customer.

(Of course, I’ve also found that some of the pickiest customers are sometimes the most miserable bastards, and the harder you break your back to please them the more unhappy they get, and leave without a tipping)

Still all that may be true, you SHOULD start with a proper framework before you break the rules. If somebody bellies up to the bar and simply says “Martini” or “Dry Martini”, you should have an image in your head. He’s certainly asking for gin, he’s asking for dry vermouth, and in a volume where he can actually taste it, he’s asking for the drink straight up (you know, the REASON why the Cocktail glass is so frequently called a “Martini Glass”), stirred, and I might argue he’s asking for olives, but these days it might be nice to ask if he wants olives or lemon.

BTW this is why James Bond famously says “Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred.” Because he’s asking for a very different drink from the traditional. Also while the lingo is improper, if the person asks for “extra Bone Dry” or something similar, you might want to have a conversation if they want the glass whetted like in the video, or for the vermouth to say firmly planted on the back bar for the duration of the cocktail. (BTW the lingo is “Improper” because a martini is either dry or sweet, and all these “Extra” modifiers are technically just making the drink “less martini”, but this is how the lingo evolved, so I can’t change the world).

Instead this guy starts out with little to no Vermouth (the “Dirty Martini” with zero vermouth and a really big splash of olive brine looks positively revolting), he does mention at the beginning that Gin is the traditional, but I am a bit disappointed that he doesn’t specify this is a VODKA martini…hey at least he doesn’t use rot-gut vodka. He shakes the drink so a cloudy mess falls into the glass, and the glass is unchilled.

Ok the last part is probably the most minor. I like to chill my glasses for a few minutes before serving with some crushed ice and a little water, this just means that the cold cocktail won’t start immediately getting warm as it starts chilling the warm glass….still it isn’t a deal breaker, but it looks VERY professional, and let’s face it this isn’t a “Sour Appletini” or any such candy-flavored monstrosities ordered by people who just don’t like the taste of booze but want to get drunk. Somebody orders a “Dry Martini”, this is a person who likes a good cocktail, and probably has seen many a cocktail get butchered by a hack. So chilling the glass is a nice touch, and shows some respect for the drink.

As for moot points…his free-pouring is pretty good, and when I used to get paid to mix drinks I would free pour because it was faster, and I was told the customers liked seeing it because they felt they might be getting a bit more booze in the mix….and for drinks like a long island iced tea or a rum and coke, really it’s the only way to fly. Also he doesn’t use a strainer when pouring the drink…which he does perfectly.

Still both of these techniques can go horribly wrong. You can accidentally under-pour or over-pour some ingredients…this is even worse if a customer is ordering their second drink, they liked the first one, now the second tastes different….bad news for you! And what happens when you crack that shaker a LITTLE too much, or one of your ice cubes broke down more than you expected. Best case scenario you’re looking at an Up drink with an iceberg floating in it…now what? Fish it out with a bar spoon? Mix them another drink? Serve that crap to them? Worst case is a cube drops out of the strainer and splashes martini all over the customer….bad news.

Amazing that the GOOD bartenders on youtube tend to be selling NOTHING, or maybe they have a book….and the HACKS want your damn money so they can show you how to suck.

Rebuttal video:


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5 Responses to More Garbage Bar Tending!

  1. dagamore says:

    One drink I learned to love was what I was told was called an “English Martini” I was introduced to this in a Army bar while living in Germany so it might be a bit dorked up, but I really like it.

    1 part good Vodka (no need for uber fancy stuff, but stay away from the cheap stuff)
    1 part Beefeaters Gin (must be Beefeaters!!!!)
    .5 part dry vermouth.
    no garnish
    Shake over ice till cold, and serve in a cold glass.

  2. JQ says:

    How can that guy say that it’s “an advanced drinker’s drink” when it’s nothing more than chilled vodka with almost no vermouth?

    Gin, gin, gin with a little vermouth and olives, UP.

  3. Pingback: He Scared Me For a Moment | Weer'd World

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