Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What The Hell Is Triple Sec?

Every professional bar and even some home bars have a bottle of triple sec behind it, but what the hell is it? Triple sec is made from dried peel of oranges that are found on Curacao, an island in the Caribbean. It's strong (usually contains 30% alcohol/60 proof). It's a sweetening/flavored agent used in a variety of mixed drinks.

"Sec" in French means dry. Dry then indicates a lack of sweetness. This doesn't apply though when you are talking about triple sec. In the case of triple sec, it just means triple distilled.

Most of the time it's also colorless unless if it's blue curacao which is basically blue-colored triple sec. Anytime you hear the term "blue" used in the name of a drink or see that the actual color of a drink is blue, it has blue curacao in it.

Triple sec can come in fancier forms such as Cointreau and/or Grand Marnier. These are considered "top shelf" triple secs (aka: more expensive). Grand Marnier has a slightly yellow/light brown tint to it because it is a cognac-based triple sec. How is that for fancy?

Here is a list of some popular drinks that have triple sec in the recipe:

Long Islands
Adios Motherfuckers (AMF)
Margaritas (Cadillac and Top Shelf)
Mai Tais

Monday, December 29, 2008


New Years Eve is one of those days/nights where every bartender has to work. If you are a working bartender, you know better than to ask for the night off. It's a given that you will work that night. New Years Eve is an amateur night to me anyways. People who don't go out all yearlong are all out on New Years. I hate the crowds. I hate it when stuff is overpriced. I hate dealing with amateurs. I would rather make money than spend it on a night like NYE.

The really good parties don't start until well after midnight anyways....long after most of the amateurs have gone home.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Not A Delivery Service

I appreciate when customers come into the bar and want to buy drinks for other customers. It's a nice gesture. It's thoughtful. It also increases my sales, which helps to increase my tip amount at the end of the night.

What I find really annoying is when I am taking an order from a customer, in particular a male customer, and they spot a female whom they find attractive standing at the bar (usually all the way at the other end of the bar from where the customer is placing his order with me). After he places his order with me, he then tells me..."And I want to buy whatever she is drinking." as he points to the woman standing all the way at the opposite side of the bar. This is when I grit my teeth and pose a fake smile. I have to keep my cool and not let these little things get to me. I now realize that this whole order transaction is going to take a lot longer than I originally anticipated. Plus, it screws up my order taking flow. Now I have to walk all the way to the other side of the bar, ask the woman what she wants, explain to her that the nice guy at the other end of the bar wants to buy her a drink, make her the drink and then close up the rest of the transaction with the well intentioned male customer. His sorry attempt at landing some ass at the bar ends up costing me more tip making and order taking time than it's worth. Plus, most of the time the pretty woman at the end of the bar isn't alone. All her friends are standing right behind her. So when I go to ask her what she is drinking, she then takes that as a green light to place her order with me for her and all of her friends.

Oh man. The chaos that ensues.

So please guys (Yes, I am addressing the guys directly on this one because I have yet to have a woman customer do this to me), if you are going to buy someone else a drink, ask them themselves what they would like and then deliver the drink to them directly. Don't make your bartender the middleman/middlewoman. Besides, going up to a woman directly and asking her what she would like to drink and letting her know that you want to buy her a drink is a surefire way to get a conversation going. That is what you are seeking, isn't it? It also shows confidence (which women love) and you will be saving your bartender a whole lot of unnecessary legwork.

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Found Out Why Patron Is So Popular...

Thanks to T-Pain and his "Bartender" song:

I like the bartender
(Oh if you're lookin' for me)
I'm at the bar with her
(Uh-huh, OK)
I like the bartender
(Yeah if you're lookin' for me)
I'm at the bar with her
(Oh uh-huh, OK)

Got a brand new girl so I'm feeling all good inside
(all good inside)
Feel like I put some brand new 24's on a brand new ride
(on a brand new ride)
Triple shot of patron on the rocks with little bit a lime
(with a little bit a lime)
I'm just keeping it real
Baby still working at the club so I'm getting in free
(so I'm getting in free)
Wednesday night I'm on the list T-Pain plus 3
(T-Pain plus 3)
Every time I hit the spot baby girl taking care of me
(taking care of me)
How do you think I feel?

**I want to know how ordering a triple shot of Patron on the rocks makes you keep it real T-Pain? Just curious.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Customer Who Order A Bellini On A Thursday Night

The other night, I had a guy order a Bellini. I kind of wondered why he was ordering a brunch drink on a Thursday night, but whatever. To each his own.

What made me raise an eyebrow is when he asked me to make it strong. For those of you who don't know, a Bellini is just peach schnapps and champagne, served in a champagne flute. I was curious in how he wanted me to make his drink any stronger. I figured the only way I could make the drink any stronger is if I made two.

I decided to ignore his request and made the drink just as I make all my other Bellinis. Something tells me that this guy had no idea what he was really ordering in the first place.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ordering Beer

When people order a beer at the bar, I generally ask them two questions:

"Would you like bottled or draft beer?"
"Import or domestic?"

For most beer drinkers, they already know what they want to drink. Ask them these two questions and you wont have to rattle off your entire beer inventory. But every now and then, there will be customers who aren't really sure what they want. Once you recite every single type of beer you have in stock, they will then ask you for a beer you didn't list. It happens all the time. Why? Why?

Why are some people so stupid?

My usual response to someone who orders a beer we don't have after I have listed off every single beer we have in the house:

"I didn't say we had blank beer".

I will then just stand in front of the customer and wait patiently for them to place their order. I secretly enjoy it when other customers overhear the conversation taking place with said clueless customers. When those customers nearby give me the "Are you kidding me? You have to deal with that crap?" look, I feel slightly validated. After the transaction, I happily I proceed to help the next person who actually knows what he/she wants to drink.

I Want To Know...

Why is it my problem when someone takes your drink? I don't know how many times a night I hear people bitching to me about how someone took their drink. Since when did it become my responsibility to watch your shit? I have enough things to worry about over the course of the night. I have a bar to run, drinks to make, customers to please and money to make. I can't be worried about you not keeping track of your own drink. Sorry, but if you can't keep tabs on your own cocktail, then maybe you didn't deserve to even have it in the first place.

The best part about this is these people that bitch about losing their drink expect me to make them another one for free. They EXPECT me to. These are probably the same people who order tap water and don't tip.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tap Water

Do people who order tap water tip?


I just wanted to make that perfectly clear. People who order tap water at the bar are not a huge priority to me in the whole scheme of things. That's why you will see me use the sink to pour glasses of water instead of using my soda gun. The facet runs a lot faster than the tap water on my gun does. The faster I can get the cheap asses out of my face, the better.

One time long ago, a guy got in my face about not wanting to pay five bucks for a bottled water (People always think I have something to do with the way drink prices are set at the bar). I told him he could go to the bathroom and get water from the sink. As you could imagine, he didn't like my comment very much.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hold The Ice?

Every now and then I get someone who comes into the bar and orders a drink with light or no ice. I am not talking about the people who order a shot of something "neat" (aka without ice and in a nice sipping glass). I am talking about the people who think that the less ice they have in their drink, the more alcohol their drink is going to have. I have news for these people out there. If you order a drink without ice, you are going to get the same amount of alcohol. Your drink is just going to have more non-alcoholic mixer/juice in it and it's going to be warm. Gross. And I am going to assume you are cheap. Weak.

So about a month ago, I had this thuggish-type guy at my bar who ordered a Tokyo Tea without ice. A Tokyo Tea is a green Long Island: vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, Midori and sweet and sour mix garnished with a lemon wedge. The drink alone isn't exactly what I would consider tasty or refreshing so without ice it would seem to me that the drink would be downright disgusting. But hey, who am I to judge? Different strokes for different folks. I am the bartender. I will make you whatever you want to drink and charge you appropriately for it. Just make sure to leave me a tip and we're cool.

My thug guy must have liked his drink because he ordered two more over the course of the night and paid for each one of them himself. You know those types (mainly girls but I have seen guys do it too) who order their first drink and then spend the rest of the night getting someone else to sponsor their liquid thirst. If this guy was a cheap bastard on a budget, I didn't know it because he paid for all of his drinks and tipped me pretty decently.

Who am I to hate on a guy who enjoys warm Tokyo Teas? This guy just was out of the norm because most people who order drinks without ice are in fact cheap.

Monday, December 1, 2008


On Saturday night, I saw a number of guys sipping drinks out of martini glasses (like the one pictured here) with a straw. It was the weirdest thing. I had never seen anyone use a straw to drink out of a martini glass before. Not even those annoying women who order apple martinis. ;)

Just wanted to share my weekend twilight zone moment.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Vodka outsells all other spirits 3 to 1. Vodka is void of a distinctive flavor, taste or smell which makes it the easiest spirit to mix anything with. Vodka can be made out of anything that has sugar or starch such as potatoes, grains, corn or rye. Vodka comes from the Russian word "voda" which means "little water". The classic cocktail, Moscow Mule introduced Smirnoff vodka to the United States in the 1940's. Popular vodka brand names include Grey Goose (France), Ketel One (Netherlands), Stoli (Russia), Absolut (Sweden) and Sky (San Francisco).

Absolut was the first on the scene to introduce flavored vodkas. Any guesses on which was the first flavored vodka to be introduced? It wasn't Absolut Citron or Absolut Mandarin, but Absolut Peppar in 1979. Absolut Citron wasn't put on the market until 1988. It is said that Absolut Citron created the Cosmopolitan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Busting Bar Myths #1: Grenadine

When I ask people what they think grenadine is they always say.....cherry juice.


Grenadine is a red syrup that was originally made from pomegranate juice, cherry juice and sugar. Not just cherry juice like most people like to believe. In fact, grenadine actually comes from the French word, "grenade" which means pomegranate. Now grenadine consists almost entirely of a high-fructose corn syrup base. Yummers!

Grenadine is used to make drinks like "cherry" cokes, pink lemonades, shirley temples and tequila sunrises.

So if someone asks you what grenadine is, you can tell them the correct answer. It isn't really just cherry juice. It's actually pomegranate juice with a bunch of sugar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My First Bartender Competition

On October 20th, I entered my very first bartender competition.

I know. It's been awhile since the competition and my last blog entry.

The competition was at Elixir here in San Francisco and was sponsored by Square One Vodka. We had to use the new Square One Cucumber vodka (which is quite tasty on it's own I must say). The competition itself was pretty cool. Five, city lady bartenders who all had to design their own concoction using the product. We had to not only come up with the drink, but batch it out for a crowd of 50 plus. It's hard enough coming up with a cocktail, but making it for 50 people to enjoy is something else. Lots of pressure. On top of that, this was the same day that I taught my very first bartender school class. October 20th was quite a big day for me.

My Winning Cocktail:

Some Like It Hot

Square One Cucumber Vodka
St Germain (elderflower liqueur)
Muddled basil, cucumber and serrano chili
Fresh lemon juice

Shaken and served chilled, up in a cocktail glass with a cucumber and serrano chili garnish

I didn't take first place, but my drink did win the "Best Hair of the Dog Cocktail" and I walked home with a super cool goodie bag. My drink also made the cocktail menu at work.

Boo Yah!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doing vs. Teaching: A Big Difference

It's one thing to work behind a bar for five years. It's another thing entirely to get back on the other side and teach people how to do it. I spent a solid week shadowing multiple instructors at the bartending school. I feverishly took notes on the topics they covered, how they presented their ideas and questions students asked. But nothing really can prepare you for the real thing.

The night before I taught my first class, I thought I was going to throw up. I was scared shitless. Even though I know the material, it's still a bit scary doing anything for the first time. Just like working your first shift at any new bar is always a bit scary and stressful.

Now I am coming up on my second week of teaching. I have to admit with each class I teach, it gets less scary. I still have the school's director leaning over my shoulder critiquing me. But I hear that he doesn't critique me as much as he has some instructors in the past. So maybe I am doing something right? I spent the last two nights researching material and putting together my lessons plans for class. I have one more class to teach tomorrow.

Whoever thought I would become a bartender school instructor? Not me, but I am glad that I have. It's sad, but I am making more money now as an instructor than I am bartending. Either I work in a really slow spot or the economy really sucks. At least people are still signing up for the bartending school.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't Ask

I hate it when people ask for or expect free drinks. The beauty of free drinks is they come without you needing to ask. Nobody is entitled to a free drink unless you own the place or (by lucky chance) are given one. So if you have to ask me for a free drink, the answer will always be no. I don't go into the place you work and ask for free shit so don't do it to me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I just completed a whole week of training to be a bartender school instructor. When I say training, I mean shadowing the current instructors during their classes. I have been following both the morning and afternoon instructors because I wanted to observe the different teaching styles. I have been taking notes like crazy.

I am nervous!!

They want me to start teaching next Monday morning. Oh my goodness. I am excited and scared all at the same time. I am sure I will be fine. I know the material. I know the flow of the classes. It's just I am nervous doing anything for the first time. Why would getting in front of a crowd and teaching them something be any different?

I have always wanted to be a teacher of some sort. Well, here is my chance.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ice Scoop vs. Tin

Hey all you bartenders out there. Which do you prefer: ice scoop or tin? I have been known to toss my scoop aside and use the tin directly to make drinks, but that move makes me a "ghetto bartender" in some peoples eyes. In all reality, I think it ultimately depends on the type of place you work in. Their house, their rules.

In my opinion, there aint nothing wrong with being a little ghetto....The tin bypasses a whole step and helps me make your drink that much faster.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday is the New Friday

It is really nice to NOT have to get up early and work on a Monday morning. F that!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bartender Instructor

I am in the process of training to be a bartender instructor at a local school with a really good reputation.

How cool is that? They want to pay me to share my bar stories and spread the bartender knowledge to you folks. I am beyond excited. It's really fun so far.

Stay tuned for stories. I am certain that I will have plenty of stories to share here in regards to the classes I teach.

Don't Touch Me!

Word to the wise: bartenders don't like to be touched by people they don't know.

I mean, I don't know too many people in general who like to be touched by complete strangers. In the bartending world, if a customer touches you without your permission, it's kind of creepy. For example, tonight I was taking a drink order from a guy and with each drink he ordered, he got closer and closer to me. I understand that the bar is loud. There is music and there are a lot of people, but I can hear you just fine. If I can't hear you, I can read your lips. Besides, after you tell me your drink order, I am going to repeat it back to you in it's entirety for verification. The last thing I need is for you to try and grab my hand or smell my hair.

Yes, this fool tried to smell my hair.

On top of that, he wanted to look me in the eyes and tell me how much he appreciated my great service, all while holding my hand. You know what guy? Show me your appreciation through the fat tip you leave me without trying to touch me. Cool?

Don't touch your bartender. We don't like it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Time To Go

What is the deal with customers who sit and chat at their table well past closing time? I mean if it is 10 or 15 minutes after closing, no big deal. But today, we had a table of three that stayed an hour and a half after we closed. An hour and a half! Were these ladies completely oblivious of their surroundings and didn't notice that they were the only ones left in the establishment except for the staff? Didn't they notice the music had been turned off? Didn't they see all of the servers polishing the silverware out on the floor? Didn't they have anywhere else to go?

It's Sunday afternoon at 4:30. We have been working all day serving you. Chances are we were up all last night serving you too. Don't you get it? We want to go home! People who linger in bars and restaurants like this obviously have never had a service industry job in their life or else they would understand that the staff wants to go home after their shift.

It's always the Sunday brunch crowd that pulls this crap too.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Did You Really Just Ask Me That?

Last night, I had two separate incidents that made me stop, scratch my head and ask myself and the customer(s), "Really?" Don't get me wrong, I deal with all kinds of different scenarios all night long, but the following two really took the cake last night.

Scenario #1: Party of Three (two girls and one guy)
I believe over the course of their three-hour stay, they had three or four rounds of drinks. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Some wine, vodka crans and shots of Macallan served neat. But when it came time for the party wanting to close out, the guy asked me for a to-go cup.

A to-go cup? Are you serious?

Maybe you can take your alcoholic drinks with you in the state of Nevada, but not in the state of California. I thought they were joking until I realized I was the only one laughing when I told them no. On top of that, they forgot to sign their credit card slip for the $140 tab and left their credit card on the bar.

Scenario #2: Party of Three (three girls)
This group of ladies approached my bar and decided to have a pow wow about what drink they were going to order. Finally after the whole group had come to a consensus, the leader of the pack ordered one margarita. I asked the other two what they wanted to drink and they shook their heads no, saying that didn't want to order anything. Okay. I made the margarita and finished the cash transaction with the ring leader. Then she asked me for two cups, with ice.


That's when I realized that the reason for the pow wow was for the group to decide on which drink they all three were going to share together. I was left speechless and didn't know what to say to that one.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What Kind of Drink Is This?

No joke. I was asked to make this drink last week while working behind the bar:

In a wine glass:
Half a serving of white wine
2 shots of Jim Bean
Triple Sec
Served on the rocks

Did someone take this drink they concocted at an old high school party and try to bring it back to life? Was it a dare? Were they just trying to come up with the foulest thing to drink? Could they possibly have truly enjoyed this creation?

I am beyond puzzled. So was the server. Crazy cocktail concocter customer, you get the WTF award for the night.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Business of Comped Drinks, Drink Tickets and Other Free Drinks

If you ever find yourself being given a comped drink of any sort whether it be the bartender buying you a drink or a promoter or bar manager giving you a drink ticket, consider yourself lucky. Free drinks are always an awesome thing. Keep in mind that free drinks are a gift, not a privilege. Obviously someone, somewhere on down the line thought you should be entitled to a free cocktail. Lucky you.

Comped drinks. Drink tickets. Free drinks. You may not have to pay for that round, but we (the bartenders) still have to make the drinks so please tip accordingly. In fact, since you aren't fronting the cash for the cocktail in the first place, show the bartender a little "extra" love and appreciation. Otherwise we are going to think you are bottom feeding pond scum, you will get served last and your drinks will only get weaker and weaker over the course of the night.

My rule of thumb and reasoning is if you can't afford to tip properly, you can't afford to go out so you might as well stay at home.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Ordering Appropriately

Doing something as simple as observing the traffic at a bar and ordering appropriately will not only speed up the process time of getting a drink in your hand, but it will greatly enhance your overall bar experience.

First and foremost, before you approach the bar, know your party's entire drink order. When the bartender looks at you and let's you know that it's your turn to place an order, have the drink order complete and your money ready. Don't look back at your friends to see what they want or else I will move on to the next customer who is ready to place their complete order.

Once you place your drink order with the bartender, don't add to it. This will only slow your bartender down. The more you slow us down, the longer it takes for us to get you a drink.

If you see that the bar is busy, another way to enhance your drink service is to order appropriately. At busy times, it's always best to order drinks where the name states all of the drink's ingredients such as vodka/soda, rum and coke, gin and tonic, tequila/sour, Redbull/vodka, etc. Busy times are not appropriate for lemon drops or mojitos. If I have to muddle or serve something up in a cocktail glass, it's going to take me that much longer to get your drinks to you. At times like these, bartenders also appreciate serving bottled beer and shots (not chilled of course). The faster we can serve your drinks, the faster you get them and the more money we make. It's a win-win situation all around.

When a bar isn't so busy, all bets are off. These are the times when it is appropriate to chat up your bartender and ask them for a drink recommendation. This is also when we will take our time and put a lot of pride into serving a labor intensive, muddled cocktail. I actually enjoy making labor intensive, muddled cocktails, but not when I have 100's of people staring at me waiting to be served.

Being a smart customer and gauging the activity level of the bar will only help enhance your bar experience. Please order appropriately.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Tippers Make My World Go Round

I noticed today going back in my blog that there haven't been a whole lot of positive entries lately. I don't want my dear readers to think I am one of those bitter bartenders who hates my time behind the bar. In fact, I have never been happier in my life, Bartending for a living is just icing on the cake for me at this point. I am really thankful that I work at such a fun place with such cool people. The customers aren't bad either. ;)

Tonight, I had an exceptional night, especially for it only being a Wednesday. Tonight was technically my Monday. I strongly feel that if your work week starts on a good foot, the whole week can only get better.

Let's face it. Big tippers make every bartender's world go round. Bartenders here in the U.S. make most of their money through the tips they earn because the hourly minimum wage we get sure doesn't pay the rent. So when someone comes in, is pleasant and fun to deal with all night long and leaves me a big tip at the end of my night, I am more than grateful. I am overjoyed and sometimes overcome with emotion. It doesn't happen very often when someone will tip higher than 20%. When it does happen, I remember their name, face and type of cocktail they drink because the next time they come into my bar, their first drink will be on me.

I had a couple different people tip me over 50% of their total bill tonight. 50%!! I haven't had that happen to me in a long time. One of the tips left me so confused, I approached the customer and verified that he left the right tip amount. He just hugged me and told me he loved me. I love you too Buddy!

For all of the crap I do put up with on a nightly basis, it sure does feel good to be handsomely rewarded once in awhile.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Name is Not "Hey"

My name is not "Hey". When you are waiting at a crowded bar and desperately want to get the bartender's attention so you can get served next, jumping up and down, waving your hands and screaming "Hey!!" will only get you served last. If someone calls me "Hey", my reaction will depend on my current mood. If I am having a good night and this person is the first retarded customer of the night, I will smile at them as I am helping someone else and tell them that "Hey" is not my name. If I am three deep and I have been a rough night so far, I just might ignore their impatient ass. If I am really feeling like being a dick, I will make sure to help the person standing right next to them, next. Usually, I don't have too many problems with the "Heys". Once I quickly correct them on their manners, these customers usually learn to be patient and polite. Sometimes you just have to remind people that they need to be polite.

Last week, I had two girls come up to the bar and ask about our infused vodkas. After I explained to them what they were, they wanted to try one and asked for a mixer suggestion. I told them what I had in mind for them and then went to make their drink. When I came back, the girls already had another cocktail in front of them. I looked at them and then they looked at me with a guilty look on their face. Apparently as soon as I stepped away to make their drink, another bartender approached them and they double ordered.

In this situation, I could have easily gotten pissed off and told them a thing or two about how I felt. They not only wasted my time, but wasted alcohol. Instead, I took the opportunity to properly educate these two. I figured they wouldn't be a lost cause because as soon as I came back with their drink, they both knew they had screwed up. I explained to them that if they start a transaction with one bartender, then they need to end the same transaction with the same bartender, Otherwise, duplicate drinks are made. I think they were relived that I didn't go off on them. They apologized profusely and even told me they wanted to pay for both drinks. And on top of that, they tipped me well.

Sometimes, you just have to show them the way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apple Martini = Bitch

Being a bartender, I don't remember people's names the first time they are told to me, but I do remember a person's face and cocktails they order.

Bartenders judge you by the drinks you are ordering. Long Islands? You want to get drunk on the cheap and don't really care about the quality of your drink. Cosmos? You watch way too much Sex in the City. Jack and Coke usually screams frat boy. If you drink Fernet, I know you work somewhere here in the city in the service industry.

When a woman orders an apple martini from me, she always seems to be a broke ass bitch. Yeah I said it: broke ass bitch. This group of cocktail drinkers are bitchy, bossy, high maintenance and don't tip for a damn (if they tip at all). It's like she spent all of her money on the outfit she got at Forever 21 and didn't have any money leftover for her night out so naturally, she would be the first girl who would gladly chat up a random guy in hopes of scoring a free drink from him. Trust me, I see it all night long. I should know because I am the one making the drinks and taking the cash.

I don't know what it is about this cocktail that makes these women so bitchy. Could it be because of the hangover she always get the next morning from her syrupy sweet cocktail? I just know that most of the time when I serve a woman an apple martini, she is nothing but a bitch to me and it makes me want to slap her bitch ass face.

I am always open to meet someone who defies my drink stereotypes, but I have yet to meet any nice and considerate apple martini drinkers out there. Any bitches up for the challenge?

On the other hand, if a girl is drinking shots of Jack at my bar, she gets the big, double thumbs up from me. Over the years, I have met some of my best girlfriends through a bottle of Jack. Those girls are usually hardcore and always cool by me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fernet About It

If you are a bartender in San Francisco, chances are you love and live by the Fernet bottle. Fernet has instantly transformed me into a better mood during a rough shift. Fernet has helped me make it to the bitter end with a smile on my face. There is nothing like a shot of Fernet with a ginger back. It must be a San Francisco thing.

Just in case you didn't know:

Fernet Branca is a popular brand of amaro produced in Milan, Italy. It is a bitter, aromatic spirit made from over 40 herbs and spices, including myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron, with a base of grape distilled spirits, and colored with caramel coloring. The recipe is a secret, and was created by the young Maria Scala in 1845 in Milan as a medicine. Scala's name became Maria Branca through marriage, and the product's name was born. The Fernet-Branca is still produced in Milan by the company Fratelli Branca, overseen by the Branca family, though the recipe of the Italian product differs slightly from that of American bottles. Fernet-Branca is 40% alcohol by volume and is dark brown in color.

Fernet-Branca is usually served as a digestif after a meal, but may also be enjoyed with coffee and espresso, or mixed into coffee and espresso drinks. It may be enjoyed neat at room temperature or on the rocks (with ice).

Widely popular in Argentina, it is often taken as a national beverage. The most common preparation is with Coca-Cola. To make a Fernet and Coke, use a tall glass filled with ice, then pour the Fernet up to 1/3 of the glass, top off with Coke. Serve with the can of Coke and a straw.

Fernet has recently gained popularity the Czech Republic where it is served as a shot, or with tonic in a tall glass.

More recently, it has become very popular in San Francisco. The local bars often serve Fernet as a shot followed by a ginger ale chaser.

Fernet gained additional national visibility when it was reported that it is the favorite drink of 2007 U.S. Open winner Ángel Cabrera.

The drink was also the subject of a comedy routine of the same name from Bill Cosby's album Fat Albert, in which he describes his own experiences with the drink.

Because of its mysterious list of ingredients, there are a number of home remedies that call for Fernet-Branca, including treatment of menstrual and gastro-intestinal discomfort, hangovers, baby colic, and (once upon a time) cholera.

**Thanks Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Could We Have Made It Anymore Clear?

True story. Sunday brunch never fails to bring in a wide variety of characters. They all seem to really dig our Build-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary bar. One guy this past weekend was rather upset and asked his server why we didn't have the bitters bottle clearly labeled. Of course she was confused and asked the man to point out the bottle to her so she could see how we had it labeled. He grabbed the bitters bottle that still had the original bitters bottle label on it just like I have shown in the picture here. At this point, what could the server do? Read it to him? I think she ended up just walking away.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Make Me Something Good.

I can't stand it when people tell me to make them something good. This statement could mean that you automatically assume I make shitty drinks and want me to step it up a notch just for you. Or maybe you don't know what you are in the mood for. But if I ask you which spirit you would like in your cocktail, don't look at me like a deer in headlights. Then I will know that you are just an idiot who doesn't know squat about cocktails and are just trying to be a pain in my ass.

If you aren't sure what you are in the mood for, cool. Give me some idea as to what you do like to drink. You don't even have to break it down into spirits. Even telling me the type of cocktails you like can give me direction. Telling me to make you something good is like telling me you need oxygen to breathe. Duh. People don't normally request disgusting tasting cocktails unless they are ordering Liquid Cocaine shots. But then again, people who order those drinks are in a class all of their own.

If you come across as one of those people who don't know squat, but are trying your hardest to pretend that know what you are talking abut and are trying to be all fancy pants/pain in my ass about it, you better believe I am going to make you a $15 cocktail. Just call it my "Pain in the Ass" price.

When I do make you something good, be sure to show your appreciation in the form of a decent tip.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Big Bartender Pet Peeve

A Big Bartender Pet Peeve

Skip ahead to 2:45. This is a big pet peeve of mine. My fruit tray is not your personal buffet people!

Nobody wants your nasty hands and germs on their drink garnishes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friendly Bartenders

There is some unspoken rule here in San Francisco. Most San Francisco bartenders make Fernet their drink of choice. It's a total local, industry thing. I don't know where or why it exactly started, but I am glad it did. I heart Fernet.

I have a new favorite, local bartender. I met him last night. I got off of my shift last night early because it was slow. Instead of going home and going to bed to rest up for my Sunday brunch shift today, I went out. The club I went to was packed. I headed to the side bar only to find one bartender and a packed house. I patiently waited my turn and ordered when asked. I wish my customers would do this more often, especially the ones on Thursday nights!!

I couldn't help but like this bartender. He was friendly, had a huge smile on his face, moved fast and drank shots of Fernet with me. It was so awesome. I love meeting bartenders like him. They rule!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Weird Dream

I had a really weird dream last night. In my dream, I had gone back to bartending at a nightclub I used to work at. When I got to my well, I looked around and noticed that there wasn't much alcohol in my well. In fact, 3/4 of my storage area was stocked with frozen food like Hot Pockets, frozen buffalo wings, fajitas and basically anything frozen you could throw into a microwave and eat. I was obviously confused.

I went up to my manager who was actually one of the owners of the bar I am working at currently (I am telling you this was a strange dream!) and asked him what the deal was with all of the frozen food in my well. He told me that they were selling more food behind the bar because people were asking for it. I reminded him that this was just a bar, a busy nightclub in fact and that we were bartenders here to serve and sell drinks, not microwaved food. I tried explaining to him that we could make more money selling alcohol then this other crap. He refused to hear me out and told me to deal with it. I told him that I couldn't take it anymore and would not work in a bar like this and walked out.

Side Note: I have NEVER walked out on a job before ever. I have always put in a notice or at least waited until the end of my shift.

What kind of nightclub would rather their bartenders serve frozen, microwaved food than alcohol? I wonder what my dream means? Is someone putting impossible or ridiculous expectations on me?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bar Rot?

Last week, my right ring finger started to get really dry and itchy. Then a couple days ago, the dry and itchiness started to spread to my middle right finger.

What the hell is this?

It could be from my fingers being submerged in water and sanitizer while washing dishes at work. It could also be from excessive exposure to lemons and limes.

I tried researching online what this could possibly be, but I wont be truly sure what it is until I see my doctor.

Just a gentle reminder for me to wear finger condoms at work.

This sucks. Bye bye pretty hands.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


It looks like this guy came into the bar on Christmas and drank 2 shots of Jameson and an IPA, broke the toilet and then couldn't pay his tab. He must have been plastered and broke by the time he got to this place to begin with. Now the poor bastard is forbidden from ever coming to this establishment again.

Shame on the bartender for even serving him. Sometimes Christmas can be a rough time for folks, but damn. I haven't had anyone this obnoxious in awhile. I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Toothpicks Are Not A Fashion Accessory

Women who have toothpicks in their mouth are not cute. Guys who have toothpicks in their mouth aren't either. Who decided this was a cool thing to do? Stop using my toothpicks on the bar as a fashion accessory. It's just plain gross!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Two Double Shifts In A Row

You want to know why I have had to work two double shifts in a row this weekend? One of our bartenders quit yesterday. He quit at about 2 pm when he was supposed to show up for a 4 pm shift. No worries. I was the girl to the rescue.

I can't say I am surprised. I had a feeling that was going to happen. We were overstaffed and he didn't quite click with the bar manger. A little notice would have been nice though, but I ain't complaining. Rent is paid and I got money in the bank. Shoe Weee!!!

I am really looking forward to my lazy three days off this week. All I want to do is write and finish up the third issue of my zine. I don't want to shower or put on an ounce of makeup. I am such a dirty, closet nerd!

Nightmare Night

Last night behind the bar was the kind of night I have nightmares about. It was weird because just the night before, I had a dream that I was a server who got slammed and kept getting everyone's order all messed up. A little foreshadowing perhaps?

Last night's shift wasn't my worse night of bartending ever, but it was pretty close. First of all, I had to work a double (4pm to 3:30am). Working the double was the easy part. Over the course of the whole night, we ran out of everything: Grey Goose, Kettle, Belvedere, Fernet, Don Julio, Patron, ice, ones, fives, glassware, manpower. Our bar got slammed at 11 pm and didn't let up until 1 am. My side of the bar was deep with thirsty people all night long. And just as Murphy's Law would have it, it seemed like most of the people I helped were very high maintenance with their double cadillac margaritas, cosmos, lemon drops and chilled shots of whatever we had left to pour. It was so frustrating. All I wanted to do was go fast, but the customers I had kept making me go slow, not only with their order and their add-on orders but with their credit cards.

Have I mentioned how much I hate credit cards? One girl wanted me to split her tab on to two credit cards in the middle of the rush. I could have slapped her.

We made it through the night and I ended up making decent money so it was worth the pain and drama. I just hate bartending nights like that. I am a hard worker, but I have to be prepared for something like that in order to feel good about my night. I think every bartender would feel the same way.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who Are They Talking To?

I want to know who the cabbies are talking to as they drive you around the city at night. Other cabbies?

Last night my cabbie was talking to someone about packing up the cooler with plenty of juice and fruit. I wonder where he was planning on going. Camping? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sometimes I Feel Like A Water Facet

And it's always right before we stop serving for the night. It is like people realize all of a sudden that the lights are about to come on and they have to rehydrate themselves. Some of them wished that the water could sober them up, but we all know the only thing that sobers you up is time.

So right around 1:30, I always get a crowd of people who ask for water. Asking for water is fine, but please keep in mind I am still providing you a service. Throwing me a dollar here or there is always greatly appreciated. If you are one of those people who only orders glasses of water all night long and doesn't tip at all, I think you are annoying.

Moral of the story is the more high maintenance you are, the more you should tip. If I have paying and tipping customers at my bar and you yell at me in the middle of another transaction to ask me for a glass of water, you will just get ignored. Seriously. How would you react if I interrupted you like that at work while you were in the middle of doing something else? You would be pretty annoyed too.

I remember one time working behind the bar when I was really busy and this guy asked me for water. He did not specify bottled or tap so I gave him a bottle and told him it would be five bucks. Yes, that is how much we charged for bottle water at that bar. The guy told me no way and asked for tap water. By that time, I was already onto the next set of paying customers. He asked me again and actually got into my face about it. I stopped what I was doing, took the bottled water back and told him he wither paid me five bucks or he could go drink out of a sink in the bathroom. He didn't have to get into my face over a glass of water. He called me a bitch and without missing a beat, I motioned to a nearby security guard who ushered the guy right out of the club.

I felt kind of bad about having him kicked out over water, but he did call me a bitch and that's where I draw the line.

Don't piss off bartenders over glasses of water. Just ask nicely and be sure to show your appreciation through a measly tip.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bartending Is Hard Work

I know that bartending is glamorized in our culture and in our movies, but it is a lot of work. Sure, you can work a six hour shift and make more money within that amount of time then you could working at a lot of other jobs. All of that money also comes to you in the form of cash. Plus, you still get a paycheck for the minimum wage for all of the hours you worked. But don't let the hype fool you. Behind all the mirrors and smoke, bartending is a lot of hard work. You are on your feet all night long. You are at the mercy of every customer you help. They depend on you to know how to make the cocktail they are ordering and expect you to make it in a relatively short amount of time. Depending on the type of bar you work at, you might also have to provide a full menu service at the bar as well. Trust me, whenever you add any type of food into the equation, it can be a bitch. I wont lie.

I just got done working a full week behind the bar. When I say full week, I mean five nights a week at at least 6 hours a shift. That's a lot of time to be working behind the bar. Being on your feet all night long and the late hours eventually takes its toll. The exhaustion is so much more different then say working a 9 to 5 in an office where you get to sit on your ass all day.

I am not complaining in any way. I am much happier where I am at now. I love making most of my money in the form of cash. I like getting paid after every shift I work. I like having my days free. I enjoy having three days off a week (usually). I am just making a note that being a bartender requires a great amount of work as well as any other job would require, both physically and mentally. Can you tell I am looking forward to my days off this week?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

How I Became A Bartender

A customer asked me the other night if I went to bartending school. I told her that I didn't, but people do go to bartending school to learn the industry. I didn't have time to break down the pros and cons for her. I only had time to tell her what I did. My training was all on the job. That's usually how most people start in the industry.

I was very fortunate in that I had an "in" from the get-go. I had a friend who owned a few places and was willing to take me under his wing. This is the best way to get into the bar industry, in my opinion. You not only become well versed on the technical sides of things, but having an "in" like that also sets you up for future networking opportunities abound. Sometimes, it really only comes down to who you know, not exactly what you know. Sad, but very true.

I got my start in bartending over six or seven years ago. At the time, I was going to college full-time and really wasn't digging my job. It just didn't make me feel happy or very good about myself. I called up my friend one day out of the blue (who owned a few bars in the city I lived in) and told him that I wanted to learn how to bartend. The next week he had me on the schedule at one of his bars. To this day, I still can't thank him enough for helping me like that.

I fell in love with bartending immediately. I had never been a real big drinker. In fact, I knew next to nothing about all of the spirits. I was a fresh, clean slate and eager to learn. The first bar I worked behind was on the restaurant side of a restaurant/nightclub venue. I worked there for a year learning all about the bar and restaurant industry, building up my repertoire of regulars and developing my specialty cocktails and shots. Once my friend felt that I was ready, he moved me on to one of his more busier bars.

I worked at the busier bar (which had a large college crowd and lots of late, crazy nights) for almost two years. This is where I continued my education on beers (we had several beers on tap) and spirits (we had a healthy selection of everything). We even made blended drinks! This is also the bar I really started to focus on my speed and taking numerous orders at once.

Once I graduated from college, I headed to the big city. Here, I had hit my bartender prime by scoring a bartending gig in a very busy, two-leveled nightclub, three nights a week. In addition to pouring the standard cocktails, shots and bottled beers, I also became well-versed with working with cocktail waitresses and taking care of the bottle service at the bar.

I had a lot of fun in those earlier bartending years, not only discovering a new profession in a new industry, but discovering myself as well. After five years, I decided that I couldn't bartend for the rest of my life. I had reached a form of bartending burnout. Now that I had my college degree, I fely like I had to grow up and get a day job that required me to work 40 hours a week, behind a desk, in an office downtown.

The job was fine, but I had never been more miserable in my life. I gave it a go for two years until I took the time to do some serious soul searching and realized that I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. I opted to come back to bartending so that I could have my days free to do the things I really wanted to be working on.

Now, I am happy to be focused on what's important to me and to be working behind a bar again. I was fortunate enough to have another friend who recommended me to the current bar I am working at. See, sometimes it really is all about who you know. This time around bartending, I am expanding my horizons even further with working in a restaurant/lounge that encourages me to learn, in detail, about all the the different spirits and liquors we carry and to try the extensive wine list while pairing it with the foods we serve from the kitchen. I am even encouraged to develop my own drink recipes for our specialty cocktail menu. And here I thought I had learned all that I could about bartending. I hadn't even begun to scratch the surface!!

To the customer who asked me about bartending school the other night-I honestly have no idea. Some people in the industry are strongly against people going to bartending schools and others don't seem to mind at all. I am neither for or against the schools simply because I have never gone myself. How could I possibly recommend something I have never even tried personally?

What I tell anyone who is thinking about becoming a bartender is that 10% of the job is knowing the drinks and 90% of the job is your personality. It takes a strong personality to conduct a bar and entertain patrons. Just keep that in mind.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stepping Outside of the Box

Stepping outside the box. That's exactly what I feel like I have been doing since I went back to bartending back in June. Maybe not stepping outside of the box in the traditional sense, but just me getting out of my own comfort zone. Trust me, being in my comfort zone is where I usually like to be. Don't most people? There is no room for growth inside a comfort zone. In the past, I have been used to the type of bartending that doesn't require much thought or creative capacity. Basically, being a bartender at these places means being a beer and cocktail factory and cashier. I have worked at bars where you serve the same drinks over and over again. There are no specialty cocktail menus and rarely are there any fresh ingredients, except for the standard lemon and lime wedges, cherries and olives. One place I worked at even stocked mint which surprised me when I first started working there. Nothing wrong with that.

Now, I work in a full restaurant/lounge type of place that has a specialty cocktail menu, uses a number of fresh fruit ingredients, has an extensive wine list and where I am encouraged to come up with new cocktail recipes and discover all the different spirits we carry. It's a great learning environment. After being behind the bar here for almost two months now, I am really starting to appreciate the fact that I work at a place that forces me out of my comfort zone and encourages me to learn new things. I feel like I have had a whole new aspect of bartending added to my repertoire. Hello fine dining!

I can honestly say, I am no longer a lazy bartender. My barback doesn't set up and tear down my bar for me. I run and fetch the items I need in a pinch. I stock my own bar. I can even sell you food off the menu and pair it with a really nice glass of wine or refreshing cocktail.

And here I didn't think I could quite possibly expand my horizons as a bartender. Boy I was wrong. No wonder why people are bartenders for a living.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

High Maintenance Customers

Why are some people such high maintenance? I don't know what's worse-people who work in the industry who are high maintenance (because really, they should know better) or the people who don't work in the industry and have no clue. I pride myself on delivering exceptional customer service, having a wide knowledge of alcohol and mixers in general, serving drinks in a timely manner and making a tasty beverage. What I don't pride myself on is keeping up my peepy attitude when someone repeatedly has me make their drinks for them, has me running into the kitchen for some obscure ingredient for their obscure cocktail or people who just bitch and complain because they are on the other side.

Case in point, I had a couple of different incidences last night with high maintenance customers. The first situation was with a customer who asked for a Cosmo with a splash of cranberry. When I brought her the drink, she told me it was too pink. I immediately offered to make her another drink. No problem. The second time around making the drink, I took careful care to just add a splash of cranberry. Maybe even a smidge. I brought her the drink and she told me that it was still too pink. What the? I didn't know how else to make the splash of cranberry any lighter. Luckily my co-worker (who had dealt with this customer before) offered to make the third drink and showed me just how light she wanted it. We are talking a splash of cranberry, but with your finger over the gun so only half of a splash got into the drink, not a whole one. The customer swore up and down that she could really taste the difference. I guess the customer is always right. She eventually got drunk later on in the evening and stopped being so picky with her drinks.

The second situation was with a customer who asked for vodka and soda with muddled basil. Normally that would be fine if it was a drink we made on a regular basis. We have mint and we make a ton of mojitos. We have strawberries and make a slammin muddled strawberries and strawberry infused vodka drink. We don't use basil in our cocktails, ever. But I know it's in the kitchen for some of the dishes the chef prepares. This customer that ordered the special request drink works within the company and knows how our operation works. She knew I had to go into the kitchen to fetch the basil. With a smile on my face, I retrieved the basil from the kitchen and proceeded to make her cocktail. It just interrupted my work flow for a bit. At least I was ready for her round two and three.

At least these high maintenance customers tipped well. Sadly, sometimes it is common for a customer to be high maintenance and not tip well. As long as my customers take care of me, I will happily take care of them. Even if that means bending over backwards for them in the form of fetching rarely used ingredients or remaking a drink a number of times, just the way they like it.

Just don't ask me for a "Strong Island" and then tell me you are going to "take care of me" and only give me a dollar. That type of shit will really send me over the edge.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wise Bar Rules To Live By

I found this online somewhere and saw a lot of truth in each of these rules. A funny, yet honest read.

1. Our names are NOT "Hey" or "Yo", nor do we respond to whistles or banging your bottle or glass on the bar!

2. Mouth closed, money out! Just because we look at you, doesn't mean we're ready for you!

3. If we are making drinks, do NOT say, "When you get a chance." Cause when we get a chance, we'll ask you what you need!

4. NEVER EVER EVER touch the bartender!

5. DON'T tell us you bartend too! We know who does, and who doesn't by how you conduct yourself!

6. There is NO SUCH DRINK called 'Kettle One and Vodka'!!!

7. If you order a "Diet Rum and Coke" instead of "rum and Diet Coke", I'm going to laugh at you like the drunk asshole idiot that you are!

8. Do NOT start the order off with, "GIVE ME A STRONG DRINK!" You are guaranteed to have the WEAKEST DRINK EVER!!

9. Don't say, "I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU" if you don't know what that means! $1.00 tip is NOT taking care of us!

10. We don't care who you are or who you know- the old lady before you hit on me too and the old lady before her and the old lady before her... We're bartenders, we want your money--I'm NOT GOING HOME WITH YOU.

11. Waving your money at us just annoys us - We know you're there and we'll get to you when we get to you!!!

13. DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT PRICES!! You drink expensive shit, you pay for it!

14. Yes, there IS alcohol in it! If you can't taste it, you've drank too much and I should cut you off!


16. Know how to order/pronounce your drinks. Do NOT say, "Can I get a Stoli's and Tonic?" It is ONE Stoli ! The same goes for ordering "a Jameson's" Look at the bottle! It's: JA-ME-SON. No..'s "

17. I can't wait to throw your stupid drunk ass out, once you cross the overall rule-of-thumb: "DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE!"

18. Last but not least, if you do tip us well and we buy you a drink, DO NOT announce that to the WHOLE bar that the Bartender "hooked you up"You will NEVER get a free drink again!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Tricky Business of Being Nice

Ah, the tricky business of being a nice bartender. This a big grey area for most female bartenders. Maybe not so much for the bartenders themselves, but more so for the customers. When working in a service industry, you want to be as nice and efficient as you can. The nicer and faster you are, the more likely you are to make more money. As a bartender, your work is a stage. You "perform" for a crowd as everyone at the bar watches on. That is why it is so important to leave the bad days and bad moods at the door, before you start your shift. You always have to have your game face on when working behind a bar.

With that said, I have been hit on many times as I have worked behind the bar over the years by both men and women. It's just the nature of the beast. When you are in the business of serving alcohol, people's inhibitions are lowered. People develop liquid courage over the course of the night and really, what is there not to love about a bartender? I have to say that I am the most social when I am behind the bar. Way more than if I were to go out for a night out on the town. You have to be social in this type of position or you will never make it.

Last night, I had a couple of guys at my bar who were really cool. They were just these two normal guys drinking beers at the end of the bar when I started my shift. Over the course of the night, I approached them and got into conversation with the both of them. The night was a bit on the slow side and I was getting kind of bored doing sweeps over the entire bar without having any drink orders to take. Basically, time was standing still and I was craving a shot. We have this new policy at work where employees can no longer pour their own drinks. But, if a customer buys you a shot, then that's acceptable, as long as we use our best judgment and not get carried away (AKA: remember to do our J-O-B). Without expressing my desire to have a shot to my male customers at the end of the bar, they asked me if they could buy me a shot the next time I came to check on them. I was more than happy to accept. I then explained our staff drinking policy to them and told them how ironic it was that at the moment they offered to buy me a shot, I was actually craving one. Usually, I don't like to drink when I am working behind the bar, for obvious reasons).

The first round, we each took a shot of Fernet with a ginger back, a staple drink of San Francisco bartenders. We quickly switched to tequila by the next round. ;)All in all, these guys were super cool and helped my shift fly by. They were fun, painless and entertaining.

At the end of the night when my guys were closing out, one of them wrote down his phone number and told me to call him. This is the part of the transaction I hate the most. It's flattering, but I have a boyfriend who I am in love with. I know that I will never in a million years call this guy. But I want them both to come back and be patrons of the bar. All I could do was thank him, accept his note and throw it in the tip jar. I guess you can't blame people for trying.

When I worked in a big, busy nightclub a few years back, anytime a guy asked me for my number, I would give him one, the phone number to the club. I saw no harm in that. It was rather amusing actually to see how many times I could give out the club's number over the course of the night. Then I would report back to my fellow bartenders at the end of the night what I had done and laugh about it. Ah, the good old nightcap, bonding bartender stories with coworkers as we all sat around counting our tips.

So, if you are a bar patron out there (male or female) who gives your number to a bartender in hopes of a call back, don't hold your breath. Just remember the bar is a stage and we are just doing our J-O-B. Just enjoy your drink and the company, but don't take it personally when we don't call.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stop Yelling At Me!

One thing that really irritates me when I am super busy behind the bar is when customers yell their drink order out to me before I make eye contact with them. Sometimes they yell. Sometimes they grab. Sometimes they put their boobies on the bar and expect you to be so distracted you can't do anything but help them. Sorry ladies, it may work for some guys but it doesn't work for this female bartender.

Last night, this guy started yelling his order out to me when I was in the middle of helping someone else out nowhere near him. I stopped what I was doing, looked at him, shook my finger and told him he had to wait his turn like everyone else. When I was finally able to get to him to take his order, he not only apologized, but he tipped well. I think he watched what I was doing while he waited his turn and saw that I was moving and pouring as fast as I could. It was a good experience for the both of us. I really like it when customers who are in the wrong, see the light and apologize. That's nice.

Then there are the annoying girls who feel like they don't have to wait because they are girls. Sorry honey, attitude like that will only make me want to help you last.

Also, when it's your turn, do me a favor and have your entire drink order ready. It helps me serve you and the rest of the bar faster. There is nothing more annoying than making an order only having to make four more drinks for it. That kind of going back and forth sucks up time and money. The girl that did that to me last night repeatedly didn't even tip.

I hope she broke her heel or maybe got a nasty hangover from all of her apple martinis. Just remember Karma is a bitch lady!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Overheard This Conversation

I just happened to overhear an interesting conversation at the bus stop yesterday. Of all of the conversations I could overhear, I was really surprised that I heard this one. Fate maybe? Luck of the draw?

There were two women in their older twenties sitting at the bus stop. One woman was bitching to the other woman about the crappy service she received recently at a local wine bar (name withheld because it's not important). From what I could gather, it sounded like the woman had two bad experiences with the same bartender. When her and her party were first approached by the bartender for their drink order, everyone knew what they wanted to order except for one of the girls in her party. The bartender took everyone elses order, made their drinks, gave them their drinks and asked the girl if she had decided on what she wanted to drink yet. She hadn't. The bartender told the group that he had to move on and take someone elses order and that it would be awhile before he would get back to them. The woman telling the story was pissed.

Please excuse me while I interject. I can see both sides of this coin. Sometimes when you go into a bar and especially if it's your first drink of the night, you don't always know what you want to drink right away. That happens to everyone from time to time. It's all good. As a bartender, I can see exactly why he would have reacted that way in this situation. More than likely, the bar was packed and he was just trying to move fast and take as many drink orders as he could. Every bartender knows that the more drinks you make, the more tips you will get. Every now and then on a busy night, you come across someone clueless or has no idea what they want. It's all good, but most bartenders aren't going to wait around and babysit the customer until they decide what they want. They are going to move on to someone who is ready and holding cash. ;) On the otherhand, if the bar wasn't all that busy and a bartender obviously had time to work with a customer and figure out his or her's tastes, then that reaction would have been an inappropriate one. Customers have to realize that time is money in the bar world. There are a lot more customers then there are bartenders. Please help us help you and be prepared in the really busy times.

Later on in the story, the woman was bitching to her friend about how the bartender had made a drink for her that she did not like. She told her friend that she didn't even drink the drink and asked the bartender to take the drink off of her tab. When the woman got the bill to sign off on, she noticed that the drink in questioned was still on the bill. The woman asked the bartender why the drink was still on the bill when she had asked that it be removed. He told her that he had already ran her card and asked her what she wanted him to do about it. It was at that point she asked him to speak to the manager.

I am going to interject again. In most service industries, the customer is always right. When alcohol is involved, that above statement may not always be true. In most of these cases, the general manager is going to side with the staff because usually it is the staff who is sober and the customer is not. Generally, the manager will present some sort of comp to the customer and tell the staff person not to worry about it. Situation resolved. In this woman's case, if this situation is the way it really went down, I would have to side with the customer. If a customer didn't like a drink I had made for them, I would offer to make another drink immediately. If they weren't interested in another drink and had clearly not drank the drink in question, I would refund them or take the drink off the bill without hesitation. Maybe the bartender in this case was still frustrated with this group from earlier and just didn't want to deal with them in any way shape or form. Who knows? Maybe the woman's group did other things to piss off the bartender that she had selectively left out in her story to her friend. We will never know.

Bottom line, when you work at a job where your salary is based solely on the tips you make, it's in your best interest to please each and every one of your customers within reason. Pissing off people for no good reason or having a holier-than-though-attitude never flies, no matter which industry you may work in.

PS: Customers that order all their drinks at once, pay in cash, tip well on each round and are polite will not only get my attention faster, but might even get a shot or two bought by me over the course of the night and be deemed "Awesome Customers" of the night because that's the type of bartender I am. You take care of me, I will bend over backwards to take care of you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Bartending jobs here in the city can be hard to come by if you don't know the "right" people. By "right" people, I mean knowing someone on the inside of the place you want to bartend at. It seems like this city is filled with a ton of bartenders and not a whole lot of bartending positions. Every place that I have ever bartended at, I have known someone on the inside first. Craigslist is a great idea, but realistically people in this industry don't hire anyone off the street. It's like this weird insider thing. Bar people feel more comfortable hiring someone they know or who has been recommended to them.

I have responded to a few ads on Craigslist calling for bartenders. Not once have I ever gotten hired from one. Those ads usually generate cattle calls for local bartenders or people who wish to be bartenders. You generally have to wait in line outside of the establishment and one by one you are summoned in for a brief interview and chance to drop off your resume. It's great interview experience, but I don't need interview experience. I need the job!

This is one industry where you have to know someone who knows someone in order to get your foot in the door. Networking and persistence. Eventually, someone will hire you. Seriously.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bartender School Instructor?

I am thinking about becoming a bartending school instructor during the day, three hours a day, five days a week. I have a friend on the inside and he told me I should do it. I am seriously considering it. Sounds like it could be a fun gig in addition to the bartending.

Hey, I have always wanted to be a teacher. At least this way, I don't have to go through the lengthy procedure of getting certified. My work experience seems to be good enough. Plus, this would help me network more in the San Francisco bar industry as well. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Must Read For Bartenders

If you are a bartender, I highly suggest you read, "The Joy of Mixology" written by Gary Regan. The book was recommended to me by a fellow bartender. I started reading it last week and haven't been able to put it down. This book has everything one would ever need to know when it comes to bartending. This book discusses the history of cocktails and mixed drinks, what every bartender needs to have or be able to do, the theory of mixology, foundations of the bar (garnishes, mixers and supplemental ingredients), bartending tools, glassware, a very clear explanation and chart of cocktail and mixed-drink families and hundreds of recipes.

Do yourself a favor and don't just skip to the recipes chapter. Really read this book from start until finish. I have read a few different bar books and I feel like this book really gives it's reader the whole spectrum of how things work and function behind any bar. I have been bartending for a few years and thought I knew a lot about bartending and cocktails already. Now that I am reading this book, I am realizing that I still have a whole lot more to learn. I love books that expand my horizons!

The book itself is easy to read and hard to put down. It isn't super long either. I wish I had known about this book when I first started bartending.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Getting Up Early

It sure is hard to get your butt out of bed early in the morning and get it into the gym for an hour long workout when you work nights. But once that workout is done, it feels so wonderful and rewarding.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Don't: Bad Bar Service

Last night, I had really bad bar service. I am not going to name names or point fingers. I am not in the business of bad mouthing. The service (or I should say lack of) should reflect more on the individual than the establishment so I will just leave it at that. I just wanted to note the experience here as a major "Don't". For those of you who already work in the industry or have ever had any sort of customer service type of job, common sense would tell you that this sort of experience should never happen to any customer in any sort of business. Period.

A group of five of us walked into the bar and were deciding on what to drink. Everyone in our group worked in the industry at some level (server, bartender, barback and a dj). We are all pretty well versed in the bar scene and have a pretty good idea on the cocktails we like to drink. Our bartender came up to us and wanted to take our order right away. He acknowledged our presence and was efficient in wanting to take our drink order. There were a couple of us in the group who hadn't quite decided what we wanted to drink yet. The bartender became irritated and quickly moved on to someone else in the group who was ready to order. I can understand this sort of behavior in a busy atmosphere, but at this point, we were the only patrons at the bar so I didn't understand the rush.

I ordered a beer because I didn't feel like I even had a chance to scan the specialty cocktail menu. Plus, I didn't want to irritate our bartender anymore than I needed to. Mental note-the customer should NEVER have to worry about irritating the bartender. That's bad customer service. My boyfriend on the other hand hadn't decided what he wanted to drink at that point. The bartender fetched my beer and immediately asked my boyfriend again what he wanted to drink. He still hadn't really had a chance to decide on what he wanted to drink. I told the bartender to give us a few minutes so he could decide. The bartender told me he couldn't leave until I paid for my beer. What? Was he seriously afraid of me walking out and not paying for the beer I ordered? I looked at him and asked, "Really?" He looked at me square in the face and said, "Well, that's how it works. You order and you pay." I told him I was a bartender and I understood how it worked. He thought I was agreeing with him, but I wasn't. Obviously he has never worked in a busy enough atmosphere where he has had to take multiple orders before. All I wanted was to give my boyfriend some time to think about what he wanted to drink and then pay for our drinks together, all at once. Seeing that this wasn't going to happen, I paid for my beer and reluctantly left him a dollar tip.

When my boyfriend finally decided on what he wanted to drink, the bartender questioned his order. He asked something like, "Are you sure you want ginger ale in that?" What!?! I just wanted to tell him to shut up and make the damn drink. We even thought about just getting up and leaving at that point, but I kept my cool. I have taken some abnormal drink orders in my day, but never have I had asked a customer, "Are you sure you want that?". No matter how weird or outlandish an order might seem, you take the order, you make it and then you charge the customer appropriately. Bartenders are not in the business to judge someone's drink and question their orders. They are in the business to provide good customer service, make delicious drinks and make them in a timely manner.

After we ordered our drinks, the bartender kept coming over our way with a scowl on his face. I felt like we were inconveniencing him in some way just by being there. I didn't feel welcomed at his bar by any means. I even watched as another customer came up and requested something in her drink. It looked like she said it didn't taste right and wanted a little more of something added to it. The bartender added whatever she asked and then replied in a snotty tone, "Your Welcome!". I was shocked. I had seen the whole transaction take place. The customer was polite and had even said thank you. I could tell from the look on her face, she was just as shocked with his service as I was. What was this guy's deal?

Later on in the night, we watched as another bartender and the crappy bartender had gotten into it with each other behind the bar. We couldn't hear what they were saying, but their body language spoke loud and clear. It was obvious that we weren't the only ones who thought this guy had a major attitude problem. The crappy bartender ended up either getting sent home early or had gotten fired because we didn't see him for the rest of the night.

I want to believe that this guy didn't give crappy customer service on purpose. I want to believe that maybe he was just nervous and through his ignorance, just didn't understand the natural follow of things behind the bar which ultimately lead to his poor customer service. I know we all have our bad days and off nights. We are human and it happens, but when it comes to a service industry job such as bartending, you have to leave the crap at the door and put your game face on for your entire shift. The customer may not always be right (especially when there is alcohol involved), but all customers deserve a certain level of friendliness and respect.

Without customers, you have no need for bartenders. Period.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Pressure To Drink Behind The Bar

This post is more aimed at those who work behind the bar.....

Do you ever feel the pressure to drink while at work? Working in a restaurant/nightclub/bar is a very different kind of work environment. Your job is to not only serve good food and/or tasty drinks, but you are responsible for entertaining your guests. With that said, the entertainment is usually focused around alcohol. Go figure.

I know a lot of places out there forbid their staff to drink while on the clock. And with good reason. I have seen many people abuse the drinking privilege (yes, being allowed to drink on the clock is a privilege not a right) in every single bar I have worked at. Some people can't control themselves and let themselves get carried away with the shots. Some people can't control their liquor. Some people just can't control themselves. A lot of people can get carried away with the night and forget why they are there in the first place.

I am a bartender that likes to always be in control of the situation, no matter what type of situation it is. I always want to be of sound and mind when I deal with cash, balancing my drawer, dealing with intoxicated people, breaking up nasty conflicts or having to cut someone off. A bartender always has to be ready for anything-the bad situation, the rush and the clean up. I always like to ready stone cold sober.

Don't get me wrong. I have had my moments. We all have. I remember bragging about back in the day when I went through my whole 6 hour shift on 12 shots of Fernet and finished with balancing my drawer to the penny and was still able to stand up. But that isn't something I am necessarily proud of. I certainly wouldn't do that to my current employer or my body today.

I feel like no matter which bar you work at, there are always pressures placed on you to drink. Even if there is a no-drinking policy put into place. There are pressures from co-workers who slip shots throughout the night to one another. There are pressures from customers who want you to drink with them and try to buy you shots. As an example, I had this really nice customer the other night who seemed to really vibe off of me. He insisted on buying me a glass of champagne (my favorite BTW) even though I told him I couldn't drink it while I worked. So I poured a glass, charged him for it, thanked him and then had to stare at the glass for the rest of my shift. What a waste, but I appreciated the gesture.

If bartenders drank with all the customers who wanted to drink with them, could you imagine what that night would be like? Or how about the next morning for the bartender? Yup, I have been there too. That's how I became an expert at disguising my shots. Coke looks like a lot of dark liquors. A mixture of juices can pass off as an sort of fruity shot. Water looks like vodka. You get the idea.

So my question to you is how do you deal with the pressure to drink while at work? Are you one of those bartenders who caves in easily and says "F It?" and drinks anyways? Are you one of those bartenders who stands your ground and refuses any drink that might come your way? Or are you one of those bartenders who plays along and tricks the customer into thinking you are drinking with them when you really aren't?

Let me know. Post your stories....

Sparkling Wine vs Champagne

Yesterday, we went to the Domaine Chandon winery and took a tour and did a special tasting. The special tasting was awesome because it was just us and the tour guide tasting the different champagnes and one of their still wines (the pinot noir). In this kind of setting, I was encouraged to ask as many questions as I wanted to. The first question I asked was one that I never quite understood-what is the difference between sparkling wine and champagne?

Honestly, the only difference between sparkling wine and champagne is the name-not the way it is produced! Originally, I thought that only grapes used to make champagne from the Champagne region of France could be called champagne and that everything else in the world was called sparkling wine. Part of that is true actually. The Treaty of Madrid made it so that most countries in the world such as Italy, Spain and Africa could not call their champagnes "champagne". The treaty made it so that all of the countries who signed agreed that champagne produced in the Champagne region of France could be called "champagne". That's why is Italy its called spumante, Spain its known as Cava and in South Africa its called Cap Classique, for example. The reason why the United States can get away using the term "champagne" is because during the time when this treaty was put into effect, the United States was in the middle of Prohibition. We didn't sign the treaty, hence we didn't have to follow the rules. How very American of us! The reason why Chandon refers to their champagnes as sparkling wines is out of respect for the French. Their parent company (Louis Vuitton) is French. Go figure. The French are VERY protective of their language so the explanation makes sense.

Whatever you want to call it (sparkling wine or champagne), after our tour and tasting yesterday, I now have a deeper appreciation for the bubbly stuff! Did you know the foam you see in the glass when you pour it from the bottle is called the "moose"? It's the same as the "head" in a beer. The more moose you have, the better the quality of champagne you have. The bigger the bubbles in the glass though, the bigger the headache.

As for what to look for in a good glass of champagne, there are three things: the moose, the bubbles and the taste. You should never judge a bottle or glass of champagne on the price alone. Just because a bottle of champagne is $100 doesn't mean its going to be amazing. You must take into consideration the size of the moose, the size of the bubbles and how it tastes. If you don't like the taste, it isn't going to matter what you spend on it. As a rule of thumb when it comes to champagne, the most expensive is not necessarily going to be better. It really comes down to your own personal taste.

Did you know that "Extra Dry" means that there is extra sugar? The order of sweetness from least sweet to most sweet is: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, Demi and Doux. Also, do you know what makes a "Rose" a "Rose"? It's just a mixture of champagne and pinot noir. That is what gives it the blush color. There are also three types of grapes used in producing champagne: red pinot meunier, red pinot noir and chardonnay.

When it comes to champagne in general, the basic rule of thumb is to chill it and then kill it. Once the yeast is pulled from the bottle and the contents are corked, its ready for consumption. The aging process for champagne ends when the yeast is extracted from the bottle. So the longer you wait to drink a bottle, the lower in quality it becomes.

I now have three new champagne cocktail recipes to try this week at work!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cash. I Love Cash.

In general, if there are two people standing at the bar, one is holding cash and the other one is holding a credit card, I am going to help the person with the cash first. Why? Because credit cards can be a pain in the ass if you are busy and want to make a lot of drinks. Basically, the more drinks you make, the higher your sales are. The higher your sales are, the more tips you get. Plus, credit cards slow down the whole process. Don't get me wrong. I will eventually help everyone. It's just I prefer dealing with cash customers first. They are faster and easier.

I love going to work in a good mood and staying in that good mood during my entire shift. My Thursday night this week was like that. Even though it was our busiest night of the week, people were cool to me and relatively painless. Plus, I walked home with a fistful of cash. I love nights at work like that.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Drink Recipe: Strawberry Tequila Mojito

Muddle fresh strawberries, mint and lime
Add ice, white tequila. triple sec and simple syrup
Pour in a glass
Fill with soda
Garnish with a strawberry

Yummy delicious! Perfect for summer!

Never Realized How Much I Missed The Bar

I never realized how much I missed bartending until I came back this time around. Granted, I bartended all through college (five years or so) and I loved it back then. I think its just now that I took two years off and worked a 9-5 during the week, I have seen the "other side" and have yearned to come back. I have a deeper appreciation for the bartending profession. I am very thankful that I have such a skill to fall back on.

I had a lot of good times bartending all through school. Bartending is one of those skills you can take with you and make a living anywhere. It allows someone the schedule flexibility to make money and be productive during the day/week which is exactly why I decided to come back to bartending in the first place. The only way I would have been able to even think about doing a video production internship was if I gave up my 9 to 5 and worked nights. Bartending will essentially be the tool, the stepping stone I need to get to where I ultimately want to go.

Also, this time around bartending, I am taking more pride in the drinks I pour. Before I was just a "cocktail factory". Now I work at a bar where I am encouraged to try new recipes and be creative. My goal is to make delicious drinks that people enjoy instead of just getting patrons drunk.

I never realized how much of a homebody my 9 to 5 made me. Once I was away from the bar, my social life basically shrunk. I would opt to go home and get to bed early rather than go out all night, drinking. With bartending, you can still go out all night, but at least you are getting paid to be social. I like the idea of being social at work. I don't feel the pressure to drink either. I am thankful that my bar has a no drinking policy while on the shift.

Two more days at the day job and I am home free. Wednesday will be my first day off in three weeks!

A Saturday Night

Tonight was a salsa crowd. Lots of people asking for glasses of water and not tipping. What is with that?

I also had a large request for White Russians tonight. It seems like every night there seems to be one drink that dominates all of the others. Some other frequently ordered drinks: glasses of water (annoying), Long Islands, shots of Patron and Coronas. You can tell a lot about a crowd by what they order. Bars are funny that way.

I have to turn around and go back in tomorrow morning to serve up Sunday brunch. This is my easiest shift of the week. Then I am two workdays from having my first day off in three weeks.

God have mercy on my soul.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Drink Recipe: Hemingway Daiquiri

I learned a new drink recipe from a fellow bartender last night to add to my book of recipes. It's called a Hemingway Daiquiri (as in Ernest):

Light rum
Fresh squeezed lime
Simple syrup
Served on the rocks

No blending required!

Thanks buddy! I love learning new drinks. :)

Bartending Underground Parties

Last night on my night off (I had worked my day job earlier in the day but had the night off from the bar), I was asked to bartend an underground party here in the city. Let me tell you right now, bartending an underground party is a whole different animal then bartending in a regular bar. It takes a whole different level of patience and people skills to be able to work in a situation like this. For the most part, the night is fun. If it's busy, its super easy cash. No one is watching your drink pour. No one cares if you aren't cleaning in your downtime. There is no food to serve. You can usually wear whatever you want. You never have to deal with credit cards.

BUT, with all of that said, there are a whole new list of circumstances you have to deal with that you normally wouldn't have to deal with working behind a regular bar. For one, people are always trying to haggle the drink prices. First of all, drinks at a party like this are generally way cheaper than what you would pay for in a normal bar. Also, consider yourself lucky that you are being served after 2am (a big no-no in the state of California). If it's after two and I tell you the mixed drink I poured for you is six bucks, it's six bucks. It's not five or four. I don't care if your ass is broke. If you are broke then maybe you shouldn't be out partying in the first place. The person running the party has to pay for the booze and so should you. I also don't care if you are friends with the party promoter. If you guys are such good friends, then he/she would have hooked you up with drink tickets. So don't ask or assume I am going to pour you a free drink just because you name drop.

As for drink tickets, the general rule of thumb when it comes to comps in general is (as in complimentary), if you don't have to pay for your drink, you have NO excuse why you can't leave your bartender a tip. A measly dollar will do. I mean come on. If you are getting your drink for free, the least you can do is tip a buck. You are already coming out ahead by not having to pay for the drink. Don't be a cheap ass and stiff the bartender. You "free" drink will continue to get weaker and weaker throughout the night.

I had a lot of fun working the party last night. The thing with these parties is that you are dealing with much more than the typical drunk bar crowd. A lot of these people are on a wide variety of drugs in addition to the alcohol. Be prepared for the touchy feelies. People are feeling good and are going to be searching out for extra human contact. Give hugs, high fives, smiles and even give them your ear. Don't break their high with a shitty attitude.

I do have to say that the biggest downer for me throughout the evening last night was right at the bitter end. Apparently our free water jug had ran out of water. Since I was the only person running the bar, I was not able to leave it. No one was around to refill the jug for me. This girl came up to me and asked me for water. I told her bottled water was two dollars. She got pissy with me right away and told me she knew the guy who owned the space. Um yeah, so? I knew him too. In fact, I gave him a drink or two throughout the night and he didn't tip, but that's neither here nor there. I certainly didn't tell her that. Instead I just smiled and reminded her that the water would be two bucks. Then she told me she was really good friends with the guy throwing the party. I told her if she was such good friends with him then she should ask him for a drink ticket. This girl was quickly turning into a bitch and I wasn't going to let up. I firmly stood my ground and told her the water was two bucks-take it or leave it. When she realized that I wasn't going to give in, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a twenty. A twenty!! She had money the whole time and was bitching about having to spend two dollars on a bottle water. Then she turned to her friend and started talking shit about me and the situation. At that point, I didn't care. I had the money. She had the water. It was five o'clock in the morning and I was ready to go home and get my ass in bed.

I wonder if people go into her place of work and bitch when they have to pay for the product or service? I should have asked her that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Got Stumped: Drink Recipes

Maybe its me or maybe it is the fact that I hadn't been a "real" bartender in a couple years. Here is a list of drinks that people have ordered from me in which I got stumped on. Stumped meaning I had to ask or look up the recipe. Don't laugh. I want to see how well you bartend after being away from the entire industry for two years. In no particular order:

Light rum
Dark rum
Grenadine (We don't carry this at our bar for some reason)

Slippery Nipple
Butterscotch schnapps

*Generally served as a shot.

Fuzzy Navel
Peach schnapps

*Served on ice.

Old Fashioned
Slice of orange

*Muddle the orange and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Fill glass with ice and add whiskey. Garnish with a cherry.

Tom Collins
Lemon juice
Soda water

*In a shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice and sugar. Shake and pour into a collins glass. Add soda water. Garnish with a cherry and orange slice.

At least I remembered how to make a Kamikaze, Cosmo and a Long Island.

Drink Recipe: French Martini

Serve up in a martini glass

PS: I got to go home early tonight because its my birthday AND I have to work early in the morning.

Less than a week to go now....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tired. One More Week To Go.

I have one more week to go of this two-job-craziness-not-having-a-day-off schedule. I am beyond exhausted. There are moments when I feel okay and well-rested and then there are days like today where my eyes wont stop burning and I can't stop yawning. Yesterday I had to be at work by 8:30am, work until 5 and then bartend from 6pm until 3am. I had a total of four hours sleep before I had to come in and work my day job today. Money is a great motivator.

Last night, we were slammed all night long. It wasn't even a normal night for us. Usually we are closed on Tuesdays, but we were open to a private event last night. Lots of champagne. Lots of mojitos. Lots of flippin credit cards. It seemed like every order I took wanted to pay with a credit card. As soon as I would get into my groove of things, something would slow me down like making two mojitos, pouring countless glasses of champagne or closing someone's credit card tab out. Nothing is more annoying then being slammed and having people repeatedly ask you for glasses of water and then not tip.

We ended up making decent money. I was there for 9.5 hours so I am glad that it was worth it. I even got a Moet t-shirt that I plan on wearing in the future. I love White Star. It's my favorite champagne of all time.

Some chick at the bar last night got mad at me for asking to see her id because her name was "Michael". Not Michelle, but Michael as in the boys name. I asked her if she would rather me not ask for her id and let anyone use her card. She still gave me attitude.

Another customer at the bar last night fell in love with me and bought me a glass of champagne. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to drink it, but I appreciated the gesture.

One more week of the double duty madness and then I will be a full-time bartender. It feels good to be back behind the bar again. I think I made the right choice. No, I know I made the right choice.