The Idiot’s Guide to Mainstream Media and Mojitos

 

If you fancy mainstream publications, and jocking them to get a grip on L.E.S. nightlife, drinking, fucking in The Standard Hotel windows, smack, blow, or cocktail culture, keep three things in mind: (1) first and foremost, they don’t know a god-damned fucking thing about any of these topics despite their pretense (2) the larger ones are owned, managed, financed, edited, censored and spun by douchebags, illuminati or both and finally (3) those same fuckers have zero interest providing you accurate, factual, adequately-researched, unbiased information. They are controlled like puppets by their corporate masters and motivated by greed.

The major publications, broadcast, and cable media have but one agenda: brainwash the fuck out of the masses – or at least attempt to do so. By all accounts, they do a pretty damned good job. Take one look at the correlation between recent spree killings, fucktard pundits on their soapboxes spewing misinformation and inciting hate, and you’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately, the sheep in this country fall hook, line and sinker for much of the bullshit we’re fed – day in, and day out. It’s pathetic.

Take some recent articles from The New York Post and NBC and the inevitable dizzying number of troll’ish, completely clueless, commentators that chime in.

The gist of both articles, is that we bartenders are cocky, lazy pieces of shit who’d rather endure endless hours of waterboarding, than make a few requisite, extremely popular (and tasty) Mojitos. The second point they stress is that the Mojito was a “craze” and that it’s popularity is somehow waning – that the tide of obsession needs to be over – stat.

Well, the truth is, they have no clue what they’re talking about. They’re dead wrong on both counts. The writers (or more likely, senior editors) are clearly people who do not have their fingers on the pulse of New York nightlife. More importantly, I can guarantee that absolutely none of them have ever made a Mojito for a paying customer in a bar.

Here’s the NY Post article:

No more mojitos! It’s the new cosmo — the most reviled drink in New York. And bartenders will do anything to stop you from ordering one

Then, there’s NBC’s bullshit. They basically just take the NY Post’s theme and provide little else creative:

Are mojitos really passé, or are bartenders just lazy?

Lulz! No and no. Mojitos are not passé and certainly not reviled. Mojitos are not heading the way of the DoDo bird. They fly across the bar. I make 20 – 30 on a slow night and 100 or more on busy night. It’s been that way for at least the last 12 or 13 years and there is no sign, at any bar I frequent, of the demand slowing down.

Bartenders are uber-blue-collar-laborers who bust their humps for tips. Sure, there are lazy asses just like in every other profession. But, those dumbasses who give shit service and shit attitude don’t last. Better service + more volume + sincere engagement = more and better tips. Negativity rarely enters into the equation. Have I ever been momentarily disappointed due to an order of several Mojitos? I sure as shit have. If I’m super-slammed, I’d obviously much rather churn out four Single Malts on the rocks than four Mojiotos simply from an efficiency perspective. But in the end, it all balances out. Perhaps it’s my O.C.D., but customers really appreciate a well made cocktail. Mojitos are one of my specialties.

To combat mojito malaise, bartenders have devised covert tactics — such as pretending they’re out of a key ingredient — to stop you from ordering one

I’ve seen it happen – but rarely. The reality is, most bars are very well stocked almost all the time. Moreover, at corporate establishments (as opposed to sole proprietorships and pubs), most bartenders simply do not have the authority to lie and refuse to make drinks in this fashion lest disciplinary action come into play, not to mention, getting hit by lower (or no) gratuities from a pissed off customer. Even in those well-heeled bars, I’ve had to reluctantly deny customers – bluntly and honestly – frozen drinks or those that require coffee and lengthy prep times. When the bar is insanely packed, they are pretty understanding about it. Sure, there are plenty of barkeeps who inform guests that the mint has “run out” or that the blender has mysteriously “broken” only to be magically fixed the next afternoon.

If they understood the meaning of the name itself—mojito—testy New York City bartenders might think twice about removing the popular Cuban cocktail from their menus, as some have recently done.

Say what? The heritage of the name has fuck to do with anything at all in this case. No one cares. Fluff media at it’s worst. If it’s been removed from bar menus at a handful of bars here and there, which I don’t deny, it could be for a variety of reasons including: bar theme, regular rotation, improper preparation, other promotions, matching clientele, blaa, blaa, blaa.

…various Manhattan mixologists nevertheless declared war this summer on the hand-muddled concoction, refusing to make the famously refreshing cocktail because, they claim, it’s too time-consuming, too labor-intensive

OMG, OMG! A “Mixologist!” Christ! Anoint the savior! He has returned to school us mere mortal “bartenders” (more lulz) drinks which are good and drinks which are pure evil. The media loves to print that term “mixologist.” Let’s get one thing straight: there is no official school, certification, training program, government accreditation, or degree on “Mixology.” It’s a farce. A hell of a lot of people in this town fucking love to call themselves Mixologists – especially, corporate restaurant management types with bartending experience and boutique speakeasy type barkeeps.

I’m not knocking places like Dutch Kills, P.D.T., Raine’s, Milk and Honey, and what they’re trying to achieve, but the media themselves seem to have zero understanding of the difference and what it takes to (1) craft noteworthy, attractive, bar-specific and profitable cocktails (2) ring $3,000 – $5,000 per bartender, being neck deep in the weeds, tending to a 3-deep bar for hours on end, trying to please everyone at break-neck speeds. It’s a far different world than that of some fat, grey-haired, limping old geezer in a pressed shirt, black tie and suspenders, slowly stirring “highly-inventive” vodka Martini’s at a dank steak house.

Time consuming? Labor intensive? Yes and yes – accurate. But no more so than dozens of other “time consuming” and “labor intensive” drinks people order. Case in point: Bourbon Old-Fashioned, Caipirinha, Espresso Martini, any blender/frozen drink and a host of other standard “time consuming” cocktails. When it’s slow, most bartenders are more than happy the churn out labor-intensive drinks like Mojitos. We’re here to make money by taking care of folks – that’s our bottom-line. If you’re in hell, throwing visible “Oh-God 360′s” and giving customers nasty attitude while you muddle, you’re in the wrong damned business. You won’t last in this city and you certainly will not maximize your income.

Certainly, the mojito is unlike, say, a margarita where a pre-packaged mix can help a bartender out of tight spot. 

WTF did she say? This is New York, not some strip mall in Wisconsin. Unless you’re working at the Olive Garden (I just got the chills of disgust), Bennigans, Chile’s, Red Lobster or the like, there is no such thing as a “pre-packaged Margarita.” New Yorkers expect something a whole lot better than that and would never stand for it. What she’s referring to is “batching” out complicated drinks – sometimes done as a whole, or simply minus the alcohol. Even high-end bars are smart enough to batch Bloody Mary’s for let’s say, Sunday brunch. You’d be a money-losing fool not to. Just add ice, Vodka (or Tequila for a Bloody Maria), and garnish. But Margaritas? Nope – doesn’t happen. We prepare drinks right there in front of guests. Dumping craptastic mystery juice from a Store-N-Pour into a glass simply doesn’t fly.

The NBC article goes on to goat reactions from Miami bartenders and club owners – an area obviously filled with Cubans, ex-patriots, and Mojito aficionados. The media is reaching - badly. What they’ve done is come up with their own theme on what is, and what isn’t, plucked illustrative, decisive and combative phrases, and attempted to incite a drink riot among both booze-aholics and NYC and Miami bartenders. Well, mission accomplished in some sense I guess. They’ve done what they always do – push their own agendas. Mission failed however, when it comes to dissuading folks from consuming a perfectly refreshing cocktail – The Mojito.

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3 thoughts on “The Idiot’s Guide to Mainstream Media and Mojitos

  1. This is precisely why newspaper features fluff articles are so lame (hated writing them in college). Some 25-year old with a deadline and no background on the subject has to come up with something interesting to say for a story. The relative veracity of the statements they make is not as important as their entertainment value.
    If I want the dish on bar trends, I’ll read a good bartender blog instead.

  2. True that Mandy. I think there’s an unwritten rule in those papers that stories must be edited and re-vamped by a successive number of increasingly old and exponentially more stupid people (who each earn slightly more than the last). Finally, the stories must be approved as to not offend corporate sponsorship. Just goes to show you how effed up the state of news is.

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