Ahh… the time-honored Bloody Mary. This cocktail has been with us for an eternity. Even today, it’s as wildly popular as ever. Yet for some reason, most of us have it in our heads that this buzz-inducing, yet seemingly health-conscious concoction, should only reasonably be consumed on Saturday and Sundays before dark (a.k.a., Brunch). Where’d that idea come from?
This is one of those standard cocktails that every barkeep – from the buffoon at your hog-roast/bait-n-tackle shop on the Gulf Coast, to the master mixologist at the Occidental – must be intimately familiar with. Despite the commonality, like a dozen or so other standards, bartenders routinely muck this drink up for some odd reason. Typically, their establishments (a) use gasp – use commercial Bloody Mary mix – perish the thought or (b) they’re so disengaged, that they’ve become much more interested in pumping out a sub-par drink and moving on, than creating repeat business by offering exceptional cocktails. From my experience, “b” is far more pronounced a problem.
When your dumb ass has lost the bar’s last can opener and you’re in the weeds, there’s only one sure-fire way to open #5 tin cans – a nicely squared, steel corner of a nearby cooler. We’ve all been there. Ill-advised or not, slam the end of the can into the corner, hopefully opening a good-sized gash like the one above. Pull back quickly and you’ll lose maybe an ounce or two of content. Don’t try this at home folks… you’ll destroy your counter tops and create one sticky hell of a mess on your residential floor.
The can is perfectly clean. What you’re seeing is just gooey, particulate-laden, post-pour, Pineapple goodness on the lid.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not claiming this is what I practice. It’s just a demonstration of Bartender-Survival-Fu in emergency situations. Among other health code requirements, you must have a proper can opener, gloves, tongs, etc. at your bar at all times.
Black Booster Whisky
Today’s Advertising Fail: Witness Kadco “Brewery” and it’s fine, fine Black Booster “Whiskey.” Its cost: $3.65 per 5 liters (1.3 U.S. gallons). I don’t know which denomination/currency this is was quoted in. But, whichever it happens to be, it’s damned cheap.
- Ghetto-approved plastic jug: check
- Looks like Dextron III, 100,000-mile antifreeze (and could efficiently substitute as such): check
- Mass produced: check
- Made in third-world, Junta-ruled country with lack of infrastructure and reliably clean water: check
- Supposedly “distilled” and
bottled packaged by an obscure company: check
- Carlo Rossi, Ernest & Julio Gallo approved: check
- Fonzi would drink it: check
Other practical uses:
- Scale, lime and rust removal
- Porcelain polish
- Temporary blinding agent
- Mix with dish soap to make cheap Napalm
- Efficiently destroys Louse and simultaneously dissolves unwanted hair
- Relieves Constipation
Within the bartending and retro-bar (read: Speakeasy) circles of New York City, one person’s name is uttered more than most as having been the most influential in recent years. That name – the man – is Sasha Petraske. I don’t know a ton about the guy. But, I do know a ton about his venues and reach. I’m a huge fan and infrequent guest. To say he’s had a slight impact on the “haute-imbibery” (which few might describe as douchebaggery in some cases) would be akin to denoting Danny Meyer – and his Union Square Hospitality Group – has had a “small role” in shaping the downtown NYC dining scene. Rather, these folks are 10,000 pound, gargantuan elephants in Hospitality in terms of influence.
Regular readers will no doubt be aware that I’m a big fan of Gawker media sites. Gizmodo rocking my top spot. Whoever the geniuses are behind the content management system over there, they’re brilliant. Gizmodo frequently toes the line between tech-talk and booze and boobs. Both of the latter categories frequently require scientific examination from my perspective. So, I guess they do have some kind of rational basis for these kinds of posts.
Photo courtesy of Jezebel.com
I live and work in New York City – the epicenter of uber-Liberal extremism as well as what’s likely the biggest melange of races and ethnicities the world has ever seen. I reckon it’s the first place a vast majority of Bible-Belt Southerners envision if asked about those damned Yankees trying to impose their will. I absolutely loathe extremists of any kind. The Westboro Baptist Church, N.A.M.B.L.A., the N.R.A., The Brady Center, various white supremacist organizations, their corresponding violent and separatist black power organizations, militant Islamic Jihadists all come to mind first. I preach and practice M.Y.O.B. and “live and let live,” so long as you don’t infringe on my rights.
Can you say “awkward?”
More often than not, wealthy (or well backed) owners have far too much discretion in designing and building a operational bar. Those folks are typically focused (arguably) on aesthetics – form over function. The problem? From what I’ve experienced over the years, the owners spec’ing out bar architecture, construction, and equipment procurement have little to no experience bartending. That tends to create a myriad of long-term problems which lead to all manner of bartender frustration, O.S.H.A. risks, employee collisions, re-stocking difficulties, guest annoyances, and in general – reduced income through all those inefficiencies. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes in bar design…