Last night, I had two older couples come into the restaurant and sat at the bar to have a drink before their dinner and stopped by the bar after dinner to have a nightcap. These people were visiting from Palm Springs, happily enjoying their retirement. When the couples first came into the bar, the gentlemen were deciding what to drink. One of the men told me that he wanted a Manhattan served up with Makers. When I looked at the other man to take his drink order, he kind of stumbled. He wasn't sure what he wanted to drink. He then quickly decided to follow suit of his friend and ordered the same thing. So I made two.
As I was making the Manhattans, I could hear the men discussing what they thought whiskey was. I could tell that they were mixing up scotch and whiskey. These guys had probably been drinking for more years than I have been alive, but sadly they had no idea what they have been drinking all of these years. I piped in and explained to them the difference between scotch and whiskey. I explained to them the difference between Tennessee whiskey and bourbon. They asked me to explain to them what the difference between single barrel and small batch bourbon whiskey was. I even threw in some fun facts such as by law, straight bourbon has to be made with 51% corn and 95% of the bourbon distilled and aged in the world comes from Kentucky. They were both very impressed and reflected their appreciation of my knowledge in the form of a generous tip.
I just couldn't let those men leave my bar drinking whiskey and not knowing what the difference between scotch and whiskey were.
Sometimes bartenders have to drop knowledge on their customers and educate them on what it is that they are drinking.