Mixologist Smackdown – Eric Alperin Waxes on Douchery

I’ve written much on the why, how and when previously kind and hospitable bartenders mysteriously transform into utter assholes or douchebag mixologists. But, don’t take it just from me. I’m not the only game in this town (or The Wrong Coast for that matter). Enter Eric Alperin of Hey Bartender fame (I’m still waiting to see the movie) and barkeep at L.A.’s The Varnish.

Before defecting to that bastion of all things superficial, and that interminable, festering valley of smog – SoCal – he kinda gained some fame in the burgeoning (ugh) Mixology scene here in NYC. Having spent a good deal of time “behind the wood,” at fine watering holes like Osteria Mozza, Lupa and The Screening Room, he’s no stranger to the upper-echelon throwback scene. Later on, he upped his game even further – at arguably, the height of “the scene” here in town – working with/for Sasha Petraske at now legendary Mixology clinics Milk & Honey (sadly defunct) and Little Branch.

The video is from the the movie’s FB page – which is itself, a Bartender’s nirvana. Their page is rife with endless links, articles, cocktail tidbits and of course, movie clips and star interviews. Anyway, Eric delivers an epic win on the truth about Hospitality and how it needs to the predominant motivation in providing a memorable guest experience via fantastic cocktails and stellar service. That driver should be the primary motivating factor in any bartender’s mind – particularly in (a) the Mixology scene and (b) when in Guest Recovery / Crisis Resolution mode. Doing so ensures repeat business. Repeat business is key in keeping your bar’s doors open, and key in keeping your pockets lined with consistent tips.

I dunno about the Windsor knot though. For me, anyone under 75 caught wearing one instantly reeks of douchebaggery and begs for a swift kick in the head. Combined with the suspenders, intentionally unkempt scruff and Machinist type frame, it all screams of Williamsburg elitest attitude. Buy hey, that’s just me being hypercritical of superficial crap. The dude seems pretty cool. The message in this video (tolerance and acceptance) is refreshingly on point and what’s really important. Eric delivers in grand fashion. Kudos.

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