It was always a means to and end until it wasn’t. A “golden handcuffs” job. I start to love it, over time. I get paid to be out at bar or a party. Something I would probably attend anyway. There is great food. Champagne. Music. Often times, I was in something black and that I liked. Nice fabric. Comfortable and stylish and usually from a sponsored designer. Or jeans, which I love almost more. It’s social. People came to me. I learn about grapes and regions for wine. Spirits and distillation processes. People are interesting. Hospitality school comes into play along the way. I also deal with drunk assholes. “How much do I charge for a night?” “Can I get any white?” And, “you should have heard what he said when you turned your back” often came out of some colleague’s mouth to me in the service bar. Many nights, I hate everything. Some mornings, 5:am I arrive home. Some nights as early as 10:pm. Bartenders take care of bartender. Timing is everything. Multi-tasking necessary. Socialites. Celebrities. Rockstars and Playmates. Bone marrow and organ donors. Doctors. Nurses, agents, shoppers. All walks of life. I have been in the company of all, often. Forbes Five star shopped, check three times. Chefs’ tastings, many. Wine Festivals, yes. I even consider my sommelier test. All of this because I am bartender. The most asked questions; “What else do you do?” “What are your dreams?” Almost every night, feels like a party and a grind. Like my current job isn’t good enough. Bartender. In reality, some years I was making more than many “acceptable” professions. And I keep my clothes on. Cleaning up after people. Their uneaten food. Broken glasses. Spilled booze. at one point my perfume. Music. Very important. Hospitality course. Food an wine tastings. Managers, very important. Who tips and who doesn’t: remembered. Attitudes, hard to forget.
Thankfully, these days, documentaries provide insight on this profession, bartender. Hey Bartender, for example. Available on Netflix. Wine documentaries help too. The product on the shelves comes from somewhere. A Year in Burgundy and A Year in Champagne. Also, available on Netflix. Yalies are leaving their cubicles for this shit. More accurately to mix spirits. The rest comes with it. The glamour. The grit. The idea. The craft of bartending. Make beer. Apprentices lining up to learn this. The job I tried to leave for so long. The job I want always. Now it is glorified. A “Renaissance”. The egg whites. The dry shake. Five grapes in Bordeaux. Where is Champagne? What are the grapes in champagne? You know I know the answer to this one. The steps of service. Decant. Taste. The service bar. Jura. Malbec.
to be continued…
See some bar photos below. There are thousands, I have chosen the few and seemingly boring stills for this post..
waiting on some video footage.. words and photos also coming soon..
in the mean time.. here is a video of a video and some stills from the video..
Before renovations at VLBH ( I work there for a bout four and a half years)..
on a technical level, this drink isn’t Reallllly made properly… two hands not needed.. stir with spoon.. where was the ice.. although I am it sure he wanted me to stir with ice..this end of the bar wasn’t set to standard and I didn’t think I would be in a video!?..
to be continued..
Some bar tools and bottles for requisitions.. front of house and back of house…