Monday, May 18, 2009

Labor Intensive Cocktail Night

Every now and then, there comes a night behind the bar where it seems like everyone is ordering the same drink. Sometimes it's wine. Sometimes it's beer. Sometimes it's martinis. On nights like tonight when it was warm out and our restaurant was busy, everyone wanted a mojito. If anyone knows how to properly make a mojito, you will know that there is a certain level of care that goes into making these drinks. First, you grab the lime and mint and muddle it in a mixing glass. Then you add rum and sugar, shake it all together and then strain it in a glass filled with ice and then top with soda water.

The mojitos I were making weren't that easy. These were special mojitos that are on our specialty cocktail menu (aka labor intensive cocktails). In addition to adding the mint, we also muddle orange and lemon (minus the lime). Instead of rum, we use vodka and replace regular old simple syrup with brown sugar simple syrup. We call these little beauties Moscow Mojitos. They are pretty good and judging by the hundred or so I made for the restaurant tonight, I'd say that the customers seemed to dig them too.

It's one thing to be busy trying to serve 20 people at your bar, who show up all at once and keep up with the server tickets that come to the bar. It's a whole other game when you have to muddle almost every single drink that goes out.

Luckily, my customers were cool and understanding. Everyone saw just how much work was going into each and every cocktail I made. I got props for working my bootie off and got complimented for my speed. I love that! A customer even tipped me over fifty percent of his bill because he liked my attitude (which remained positive and upbeat even in the hairiest part of the evening).

I have a funny feeling that I am going to have nightmares about making Moscow Mojitos tonight.

It's small price to pay for having a job that you love.


tikitender said...

I actually quite enjoy making mojitos. All the other bartenders hate me though, because it was me who said to the owner three summers ago "We really should start making mojitos here." It was also me that put all the content in our brand new drink menu, including seven specialty mojitos. So yeah, the other bartenders would much rather make rum runners or something.

I use a different method though, brought to me that first summer by a Cuban bartender from South Beach. There is no shaker involved. Mint, lime, and simle syrup are muddled together. In goes the ice, topped with a couple more squeezes of lime. Rum is added and then the soda, then we use a special spoon to swizzle all the ingredients from the bottom of the glass up into the drink. Oh gosh don't let my other bartenders here about the shaking, because there are some that would try to do it AFTER the soda is added. Carbonation + shaking equals me cleaning mint up from all over the bar LOL

Cielo Gold said...

I don't mind making mojitos either, just not a million of them on a busy night.

I worked at a nightclub that carried mint to make mojitos. There were a few bartenders who would throw out the mint before the club opened just so they could tell their customers they were out of mint and couldn't make mojitos. I never had the guts to pull something like that.

I think it's funny that a bartender would put anything carbonated in a shaker. That is a total rookie move!