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