The 10 things I love about Bartending: A piece in response to all of the other pieces recently circulating on the interwebs

A piece recently ran on the Huffington Post yesterday that many of my friends have been posting entitled: Confessions of a Bartender: 10 things bartenders absolutely hate about you. This angered me. ANGERED ME. This girl is making it seem like all bartenders are jaded and entitled individuals who hate all guests who come into our bars. This is not the case and I do not want her preaching to be seen as the collective mentality of those in our line of work. 

Therefore, I wrote the following to contrast her post and highlight the reasons why I love my job and being a part of this incredible line of work. I have not posted on here in a while, but if you agree with this sentiment, please share this link. I want the public to know that we do love our customers and some people behind the bar are just not cut out to be bartenders. 

_________________________________________________

1) It’s fun: Bartending is fun. Case and point. Bartending is one of the few careers that gets me excited for work every shift. 

2) I don’t have to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day: When I worked a desk job, my body felt the strains of the cubicle’s confines. Studies indicate that sitting for that length of time is dangerous for the body and people should often take breaks from their seats to walk around and stretch. Sure, working on my feet for anywhere from 8-12 hours may not be the best for my legs and joints in the long run, but I certainly feel healthier walking around for the entirety of my shift rather than sitting.

3) Meeting people from all walks of life: The bar is one of the few places where any kind of person could be a guest. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economics, age (as long as over 21), celebrity, or gender, I will treat each person with the same level of respect and service as the guest sitting next to them. Bartending has led me to forge some incredible friendships with individuals who would I have never met otherwise. I think my friend Tommy Reyescould vouch for this. 

4) Making people happy: It’s amazing how one cocktail, a few minutes of listening to someone vent, or even a quick compliment could make a guest’s day. I work in the service and hospitality industry - this is my job! There is nothing more satisfactory than serving a person a drink that causes them to grin from ear to ear (whether is be a well made old fashioned, malibu bay breeze or even a coors light). I don’t care what you order, as long as I can serve it to you to help ease the pains of your long day and create an environment and experience that is satisfactory for you. 

5) Being a resource for my friends: A wonderful perk of bartending is my extensive network and knowledge of fantastic bartenders and venues around the country. I take great pride in being a mini “Zagat” or “Yelp” for my friends who are looking for a place to drink or eat on a night out on the town. 

6) Being an artist: Bartending allows me to exercise my cocktail creation skills. The worst grade I ever received in life was from my middle school art class, and since then I believed that I pretty much had no future in the world of art. However, over the past years bartending has taught me that my eye for aesthetics maybe wasn’t the best for sketchbook assignments but certainly transfers to the creation of new drinks. There is no greater feeling than serving a beautifully crafted cocktail in front of a guest and watching their eyes widen in amazement and excitement. Part of it has to do with the look and style of the drink including the color, glassware and garnish. Every time I dream up a new drink I take these three categories into account to develop a cocktail that will evoke such a response from guests. I only wish Barbara Weiss (my art teacher) could see my and my creations now. 

7) Being unconventional: Professional bartending is certainly a very “off the beaten path” profession. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, career bartending was a well established and highly respected job by society. It will take time for bartending to be seen as a job that a well educated college student may want to pursue. Hey, I have 2 BAs and am working on a Masters degree and I see a huge future and much potential for this line of work. I am proud to be a part of the hundreds of bartenders who are leading the way to making this industry well established in today’s workforce. 

8) Working for what I get: I work in the service industry. I do not roll up for 40 hours a week and automatically get a paycheck for the same amount deposited into my bank account every Friday. It’s a line of work that has a direct correlation - the more effort I put into my job will result in a greater financial benefit. You don’t like to talk with people, have a bit of energy, deal with long drink orders or have patience for all types of people? Well then honey, bartending is NOT for you. Batenders should not expect or feel entitled to a certain amount of tip from guests. That number should be (and hopefully is) a direct result from their interaction and how well the bartender did their job. I know, I know, sometimes bartenders feel that tips are unjustified such as those times when you make 6 different craft cocktails in under 8 minutes for a group and get a $4 tip for your time. But remember those moments when all you did was pour a beer and some nice individual left you $2. I try my hardest during every shift to make sure that my guests have incredible experiences and even when they sign out their tabs, I never look at the amount that they leave for tip. I know that my actions will result in a justified financial outcome because of the service I provide and the past years have proven my theory correct.

9) The knowledge: We work in a industry that is dripping in historical value that is often under utilized. Bartenders - take a second to pick up a book or two about our line of work and how it shaped policy and influenced the development of societies. I mean, America’s first taxation was on grain whiskey because so much of it was being produced. Drop that little bit of knowledge on some guests as a conversation starter, I guarantee they will be amazed and will remember that fact. 

10) I bartend for the phrase, “So, what shifts do you work here and when can we come back to visit you?”: This is the ultimate compliment a bartender can receive. Sure, it’s nice to hear that your drinks are fantastic and the atmosphere rocks, but if you are snooty, arrogant and don’t interact with the guests, they won’t return for another round of drinks. We create experiences for these people and an escape from the real world right outside our bars doors. You could be serving vodka sodas all night long and still be hailed as one of the best bartenders in town because of your actions and steps of service. To me, this embodies the ideals of the best bartender because they are the ones well revered by the public. 

**this is not a job for everyone. Not all people are meant to work as bartenders, similar to the fact that I am never supposed to be a doctor, accountant or construction worker. Certain lines of work fit certain personality types and skill sets and the job of a bartender is perfect for those who are outgoing, ambitious, creative, inquisitive and patient. I could go on forever with this list, but these are just a few of the reasons that I truly do love this line of work and become upset with lists that bartenders publish that make us sound like disgruntled and entitled individuals. I’d love to hear some of the reasons as to why you love bartender and feel free to post them below.

Limoncello tasting and seminar with The Cocktail Gurus, Jonathan and Jeffrey Pogash @ Macao Trading Co

Limoncello tasting and seminar with The Cocktail Gurus, Jonathan and Jeffrey Pogash @ Macao Trading Co

"Summer"is here

The days are getting warmer, the sun is setting later, and summer has finally arrived in NYC. With the change in season comes new food and drink options that reflect the flavors of the warm months and keep everyones tastebuds in a tizzy.

Today is national lobster roll day (yes, it does exist). And luckily the Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck is ready to serve up some delicious lobster rolls courtesy of Chef David Burke’s recipe. But these are no ordinary lobster rolls. In fact, they are infused with the delicious notes citrus, wheat and grains of paradise notes from Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Jennifer Glanville, a Samuel Adams brewer of over 11 years, to discuss the concept of pairing food with beer and the creation of this summer roll. From the moment we began conversation, her passion and enthusiasm for her job just shined. She has been pairing the beers at Samuel Adams with food for years and is thrilled that the public is finally viewing beer on the same level as wine when creating dinner parties and events. Her biggest take away, “Do what you like….make it part of the conversation.” Glanville notes that beer is all about what the person enjoys and there is no right or wrong decisions when selecting a brew to drink alongside a fantastic dish.

When creating the pairing of Samuel Adams Summer Ale and Chef Burke’s Lobster roll, the two worked together to find a balance that would evoke the most intriguing flavors notes of each component. When sample together, the apple and slight pepper notes of the Summer Ale play upon the buttery finish of the lobster roll. Being a 50% wheat beer, it has many of the characteristics of a typical Hefewiss without being too rich. I’m not normally one who enjoys wheat beers, but this seasonal brew is much more akin to an Ale style that will keep you downing pints all afternoon and night. I couldn’t stop drinking it!

Want to make some of these lobster rolls at home? Check out the recipe below:

Samuel Adams Summer Ale-infused lobster roll
Recipe created by Samuel Adams Chef Partner David Burke:
Ingredients:
-16 oz. lobster meat (cooked)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped celery
- 1⁄4 cup chopped carrots
- 1⁄4 cup diced green apples
- 4 tsp tarragon
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice           
- 8 shaved scallions           
- 4 artisanal rolls
- 1⁄4 cup Samuel Adams Summer Ale

Method:
- Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese and            
Samuel Adams Summer Ale together in
a mixing bowl
- Mix cooked lobster meat, celery,
carrots, apples, tarragon, mayonnaise
mixture, and lemon juice in a mixing
bowl
- Place one quarter of the lobster meat
mixture into each bun
- Top with shaved scallions to taste
- Serves 4 

AND…………..

Today the Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck will be serving these boozy treats in honor of Lobster Roll day. The first 50 people who visit the truck and say “Sam Adams” will receive a free lobster roll. Want to find out where the truck is parked? Follow @LobsterTruckNY or @SamuelAdamsBeer to find the location.

Hello fellow drinkers,

It’s been some time but I am back on the circuit for Liquid Encouragement. Get ready for more updates, news from the booze world and some interesting projects and cocktails I am developing. As for now, check out this video I made with The Brooklyn Bar Chef, Max Messier, about his pop-up cocktail events in NYC and the recipe for his Brooklyn Silver Fizz 2.0 Beta version with Brooklyn Gin. A huge thanks to Ned Thorne (nedthorneeditor.tumblr.com) for his help.

Cheers!

Movin’ on Up

As of yesterday, I will be writing a weekly column for MetroNY about alcohol and spirits entitled "The Drink Wiz." Each week I will explore different facets of the industry and make this topic fun and approachable for the public.

                               the drink wiz

Check out my article from this week here. I explain a bit about why I love to bartend and some great spots in NYC for a hot drink.

Ginger Syrup….mmmm

I’ve been busy busy busy over the past few months putting together the bar program for King Restaurant in NYC, so please excuse the lack of posting.

With that said, I have assembled a remarkable team of bartenders/cocktalians who are extremely talented and passionate about the world of alcohol and spirits.

One of the bartenders, Alex, has started a great blog and recently posted about his ginger syrup which we use behind the bar at King (and it is delicious). Check out his easy step-by-step recipe here.

             ginger syrup

Picture taken from myfavoriteamendment.wordpress.com

"Smashin’ " Good Cause

               

My dear friend Steve from Employees Only is known for a few things: mixing a damn good cocktail, having one of the best mustaches in NYC and his Hammer/Ice Mallet. He loves this hammer so much that he has created and is selling a line of custom made Standard Issue Ice Mallets with proceeds going to charity.

Why get an ice mallet? How else do you expect to get your ice crushed to the right  consistency for that mint julep you want to serve up in a few months? Plus, it is a great bar tool to keep around when your staff gets out of line (just kidding). Information about obtaining one of these fine pieces of craftsmanship can be found on this facebook page, or below:


100 Limited Edition Ice Mallet / Muddler combo. Comes complete with a canvas bag and ice scoop. They are going fast! First come first serve - Like this page and contact me, Steve Schneider to reserve yours! All of my proceeds will be going to Out of the Pits, a non profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates pit bulls from the horrors of evil owners and dog fighting. 80 USD. Thank you!
Email
standardissueicemallet@gmail.com