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Bartender vs Mixologist

As I was perusing the Liquid Muse’s blog, Natalie had a great topic in one of her posts. During an interview, she called Rick, from Martini Groove, a “mixologist” and his response was that the term should be banned from the English lexicon. I found that to be an odd response. But a little discussion started about which term is used where and why people would choose one over the other. I found it quite […]

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What It Takes to be a Bartender

In many conversations I’ve had with people, the perception of a bartender is rather simple. The fact is that being a bartender can be fairly hard, if you take the job seriously. It’s not so much the obvious, such as pouring a pint that is hard, it is dealing with people that presents a challenge. Not only dealing with customers, who may be reaching their drunk point, it is also dealing with co-workers. When you […]

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Five Drinks Bartenders Hate To Make

This is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle that’s been making the rounds in the blogosphere. As a bartender, and a customer of bars, I have an opinion on this list of drinks and more specifically the responses of these so called ’bartenders’. This article is the specific reason bartenders will remain on the bottom of the pile and never earn any respect. With these attitudes, a bartender will never be more than a […]

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Dueling Bartenders

It seems a post from the past (April 2006) has jumped to the forefront again and has brought with it more interesting comments, courtesy of Fark. The post was about an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle, about drinks bartenders hate to make. I basically responded to the article (Five Drinks Bartenders Hate to Make) in a way that seems to irritate some bartenders, and occasionally it generates some surly replies, similar to the […]

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Bartender Fan Mail

Every once in a while I get a comment that rubs me the wrong way. I usually ignore them and press the “junk comment” button, sending the offending comment down the proverbial data toilet. But this comment is epic. When dumb people speak, or type, the truth can be found in-between the lines. Hell, some of it is spelled out very clearly. This one is supposedly from someone who thinks they are the best thing […]

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Liquor Inventory for the Bar

With the new restaurant, Mint Restobar, opening on Thursday it has been sucking up a lot of my writing time, but things should be back to normal this week. With the opening date finalized the purchase of the bar inventory needed to be done. Since we are a fine dining establishment, I went with some better quality products, but still kept it common enough that most “calls” could be fulfilled. Mint has a clientele already […]

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Being a Bartender: Product Knowledge

There are lots of bartending styles, but some styles are different than others. The most basic bartenders pop tops off beer bottles, and mixes up a mean rum and coke, but beyond that they are just very hard working “;droids.” This is mostly because of the establishment they work in. On the other hand, there are establishments that do quality over quantity. Well crafted cocktails, interesting wine lists, micro brewed beers and a fine selection […]

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Bartending School

“He’s beyond bartending, beyond being a poor journeyman bartender, and has obviously morphed into a misinformed, opinionated, elitist snob.” At first, I thought I had a misdirected email for Jamie Boudreau. Then I realized it was for me. That is the opinion of one David Rattner, president of National Bartender’s School, regarding me. There were a few more shots fired across my bow in his email, which is included below for your viewing pleasure. Now […]

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Five Drink Predictions for 2011

It is that time of year where people like to predict what’s going to happen in the near future. And since I’ve been jumping on a number of bandwagons lately, why stop. Most of my predictions are less Nostradamus prophecy and more progressive thinking about where drinks are going. Or more likely, where I’d like drink trends to go. Feel free to opine about what you think the coming year holds for the drinking world. […]

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Bar Tools and Equipment List

Behind the bar, you need a lot of bar tools and equipment, often more than you think, especially if you want to be perceived as a professional. Most bars will have the essential equipment, such as shakers and bottle openers, but depending on where you work, they may not provide all the things that make your job easier. Aside from the most common items (bottle opener, wine key, shaker), there is a whole list of […]