Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Service is Key #2

OK. Ive done the service is key blog awhile ago, but seems like this subject needs to be re-visited. So here's an experience that I had at a VERY high profile hotel here in Chicago.... Note, when I go to a bar I do NOT announce that I am also a bartender, I just like to see what my counterparts are like with regular customers...Also I hate when people tell me that, so i tend to just let the bartender do their own thing..

Me: Hello, can I have an Aviation please?

Bartender: We don't carry those..

Me: "blank stare" ummmmm.. That's a cocktail.

Bartender: Oh well we don't have those.

Me: OK a Negroni then.

Bartender: "Shakes the Negroni.

Me: you know what, I'll just have a beer..

Now Ive been bartending and in the hospitality industry for a nice while now. And while Ive never claimed to be the best, nor am I afraid to look to others in the industry for tips and pointers.. This was UNACCEPTABLE!!!

There are about 20-25 drinks that every bartender should know. And be able to construct these drinks without any hiccups. Prep, measurements, shaken vs stirred, served on the rocks or straight up, and the Garnish. Especially when you are in a high paced environment as this bartender was in a 6 star hotel. This bartender will get guests from all over the world, from all walks of life, and will encounter some cocktails that are not of the "popular" genre and needs to be able to knock them out without any problems!!

Once again, Ive never claimed to be the best, and I learn something new each and every day, whether its from reading, or the fact that I took the AMAZING Mixology class offered by Southern Wine and Spirits and taught by the equally AMAZING Bridget Albert, or just seeking out the talents of my peers( Josh Pearson, Todd Appel, Daniel De Olivera, just to name a few, there are way to many to name), there is always room to get better and perfect your craft, So that you don't make the mistake of ruining someones cocktail. People come to the bar for an experience, and you are the gateway to them enjoying it, or never coming back to your establishment ever again! You make the decision of which you would rather have....

Until Next Time

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Are BACK!!

Hey everybody!

You know, I have been neglecting all my fans on my blog. Between guest writing for my good friend Cocktails 365, planning events here in Chicago for LeSin Vodka,  competing in drink competitions, and getting my business up off the ground ( DrinkxXx On Me Bartending Service) and oh yeah, every now and again stopping thru my bar to actually work a shift, lol.. Ive neglected my readers here. So I'M BACK!! Gonna keep it short, sweet, to the point. Keep you updated on events, new and exciting drink recipes, and share with you some of the people, places, and bars/clubs/restaurants I encounter in my search for the perfect cocktail.

I cant believe its been a month since I was at Tales Of The Cocktail. That was a week Ill never forget! My TOTC cherry finally was broken and I enjoyed every moment of my stay in NOLA. I met most of my twitter friends who I had been tweeting with since I first signed up to the Social Network.  Funny story, so I was tweeting with one particular gentleman all weekend, and trying to link up for cocktails or dinner but couldn't seem to find the time. So my last full day in NOLA started off at the Milagro Tequila Pool Party on top of the Monteleone. So while there was plenty of tequila, women in bikinis, I had some woman snatch my shirt off, and water guns filled with alcohol, it was one gentleman there who seemed to be calm amiss all the chaos. So we began chatting, talked RUM, took a couple pics and exchanged business cards. I took one look at his card and immediately it was who I had been trying to connect with all weekend!!! So with that, I want to introduce all my readers to a good friend of mine, Mr. Warren Bobrow...

I asked Warren to provide me with a short Bio so that you all can get a glimpse into this Amazing cocktailer, and a source of knowledge that I plan to consult with for any of my cocktail and spirit questions....

"I grew up on an organic/biodynamic farm in Morristown, NJ.

I am a food/wine and cocktail writer for the Wild River Review, (Princeton, NJ) NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, Saveur, NYTimes travel section, NJ Savvy Living, NJ Life Health and Beauty, Chutzpah Magazine, Rambling Epicure (Geneva, Switzerland) Taste for Travel, (Sydney, Australia) DrinkGal.com, Drinking in America, ServedRaw.com, Morris County Daily Record, the Morristown Patch, and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food/Drink in America. Ed.,2., on the topic of Biodynamic and organic food/wine. A cocktail writer for Foodista and also for Serious Eats".

Warren attended the Tales of the Cocktail as photojournalist/journalist.

Warren was a rum judge at the Ministry of Rum Sugar Cane Spirit Tasting Competition in San Francisco in 2010. He is also a rum judge for the Barbados Beer and Rum Festival in October 2011.

Warren prides himself on all of his cocktails being easy to prepare, and using organic and small producer ingredients when possible.   Rum is his medium of choice, although he published in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America on the topic of Organic and Biodynamic wines.  He's written about Bourbon for Okra Magazine in New Orleans and have work currently running in Serious Eats.com and has upcoming work in Foodista and Voda Magazine which is a good friend of mine here in Chicago.

The reason this blog post was so important for me to share with all of you, was because Social Networking when used properly and effectively can place you in positions where you will meet and be able to connect with AMAZING people. I probably would have never met Mr. Bobrow in my life, yet thru social media and both of our loves for this industry we were able to connect and he is someone who I can call friend. Cheers to you sir!

Hope you guys enjoyed learning about my friend and if you are on Twitter and Facebook, you can connect with Warren as well by Following these links...


Hope you guys enjoy reading this, and have as much fun as I had when I wrote it.

Until Next Time