Bless this Blog.

Looking for a Bartender for your next function? E-Mail or Call Me! (207) 432-5056

Thoughts, stories, ideas, recipes, cheers, and more... What else did you think you would get for a $1 tip?

For those of you looking for something on the more sophisticated side you have my apologies. This blog unfortunately mirrors the author (yours truly.) Some of the humor is not for everyone but I liked it and it's my blog so there! My patrons sometimes ask me where I come up with some of this stuff. I am glad to tell them my mind is a lot like Canada. It is sometimes a bit cold, there are a few dark corners, some of it down right confusing and even a bit dirty but there is also a lot of neat stuff up there. So I hope you all enjoy this blog! ... Cheers!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to cut someone off 101.

As a bartender the worst part of the job is having to cut off someone who has had too much to drink. Many of us go through TIPS or Safe Serve classes to learn how to do this. However when the rubber meets the road it is still the toughest part of the job and we all hate to have to stop the good times but it must be done.

So tonight along my way home I stopped at this little redneck type bar where they have good beer and terrible atmosphere (more people than teeth) but it does the trick if you need a quick drink. Now these bartenders probably have to do this more times in a month than I ever will have to in my career so they have a lot of practice. The guy they where cutting off was well over the limit and was starting to scream in my ear.

The bartender took notice and then said and did the following which was "textbook."
"Sir, I can not serve you anymore. You have had too much to drink and I will not serve you anymore. When you finish your beer (he had 2 sips left) I need you to leave the bar." Then she went to her caring side by saying "are you able to get home or do you need me to call you a cab?" He stared her down for a bit and she said nothing and maintained eye contact holding her ground. When he retorted with "well that is a slap in the face." she held to her guns however still treated the man with respect. "Sir, are you okay? Do you have a way home or do I need to call you a cab?" He returned with "No I am walking." To this she said "alright I will see you again soon." Then when he walked to the other end of the bar to alert his friends she simply told security of the decision and passed it on to them.
I was so impressed by her confidence and then caring that I had to tell her what a great job she did. I took note and next time I must do this part of the job I will be copying it word for word.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Upcoming Brew Festivals Around New England

The New England area has always been among the front runners in the microbrew revolution. Not only do we know what it takes to make a great craft beer but we also love to drink them. So here is a listing of the upcoming beer festivals in New England for the rest of 2010.

Tapping into Twain Oktoberfest - Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT
Friday, October 1st - 5:30 to 9:30 pm - (860) 280-3130

Tickets: $45 at the door, $40 in advance, $35 members and $15 designated drivers
This is the 3rs annual Oktoberfest held at the Connecticut home o
f the famous author. There will be over 20 microbreweries represented at this event. Snacks on hand from many of the area restaurants and live music.

Killington Brewfest - Killington Ski Resort in Killington, VT
Saturday, October 2nd - 1 to 6pm - (800) 621-6867

This festival is held in the snowshed lodge at New England's premier ski resort. Tickets for this event are limited so be sure to get yours in advance. Tickets for this event are $25 each. There are over 20 breweries being represented, many of them from Vermont itself. Your cash donation gets you the following: Commemorative drinking glass, 12 beer sampling tickets, Over 60 brews to sample, Live music, Additional beer tickets will be available for $1, Designated drivers and people who choose not to sample beer can purchase tickets at the door for $5
Here is a current list of the breweries being represented at this event: Harpoon Brewery, Long Trail Brewing Company, Magic Hat Brewing Company, McNeil's Br
ewery, Northshire Brewery, Otter Creek Brewing Company, Switchback Brewing Company, Wolaver's Certified Organic Ales, Woodchuck Cider, Anheuser Busch, Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, La Brasserie Unibroue, Peak Organic Brewing Company, Red Hook Brewery, Saranac Brewing, Shipyard Brewing Company and The Olde Burnside Brewing Co., LLC

Brewfest at Acadia's Oktoberfest -
Smuggler's Den Campground in Southwest Harbor, ME
Saturday, October 9th - 11:30am to 6pm - (207) 244-9264

This is just one part of a huge Columbus Day weekend celebration. Many of these brews are like the Poland Springs made in Maine over 88 brands of the crafty suds. There is also many main gifts and crafts, live music as well. There is also a wine and cheese tasting on Friday night the 8th for $22 per couple and $12 per person.

New Hampshire Brewers Festival -
Radisson Hotel in Manchester,
Friday and Saturday, November 12 & 13th - Day and Evening Sessions - (603) 625-1000 Tickets are $29 and this event does not just feature beer and music. This festival seems to have it all! Lots of microbrews being represented as well as food, seminars and even a brewers dinner.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Specials.

This weekend as I do every weekend I have a few special drinks lined up. Most of the time to keep life interesting and sometimes because management wants to push one spirit or another. This week the specials where the Sunset Martini, Chocolate Raspberry Torte Martini, Hazelnut Ice Coffee and the Fuzzy Frozen cocktail.

Sunset Martini
2 oz - Orange or Clementine Vodka
1 oz - Melon liquor
1 oz - Pineapple juice
Splash with Grenadine for the sunset effect.

Hazelnut Iced Coffee
3 oz - Coffee (regular or decaf)
*Be sure to start with hot coffee to bring out more of the aromatics in the remaining ingredients
1 oz - Frangelico
1/2 oz - Cream
1/2 oz - Vanilla Vodka
Pour this over ice and Top w/ whipped cream

and Frozen
1 oz - Orange or Clementine Vodka
2 oz - Peach Schnapps
2 parts - canned peaches with syrup
1 oz - Cream
2 parts - Ice
Blend until smooth & top w/ whipped cream.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte Martini

1 oz - Vanilla vodka
1 oz - Raspberry vodka
1 oz - Dark creme de coco
Splash of Godiva Chocolate Liquor
Serve in a chocolate swirled glass

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cheer for the night!

On the chest of a barmaid in Sale
Were tattooed the prices of ale.
And on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in Braille!

Beers with more than just the beer taste.


A big thing that many thought would be a passing fad has become a lot more than that. Flavored beers, marrying fruit with beer and micro brews in the fairly recent past have become big business. For those of you who are traditionalists not to worry the Budweiser's, Miller's, Coors and Michelob's of the world are not going anywhere. However if it is a departure from the norm you seek than look no further than your local beer distributor and you will find some tasty options. Here are a few I have found that I like.

Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale
I have only found this at a few select places throughout New England. One place in particular is $3 Dewey's in Portland, Maine. This is a great pub. Perfect atmosphere for all the beers they have on tap and they have a bunch. I always suggest the "Black and Blue" which is Guinness and Bar Harbor Blueberry. I have tried other blueberry flavored beers including Budweiser's version which was sickeningly sweet. Sea Dog Blueberry is a distant second.

So here is what there marketing geeks came up with about the Ale... "A light fruit ale, made with Maine wild blueberries. As opposed to many of the sweeter fruit beers on the market, our addition of fresh Maine wild blueberries in this light ale yields a subtle blueberry aroma, without the sweet aftertaste. A mixture of the following Mutton malts, pale, crystal, and Munich, are combined with wheat to give this ale its lighter body, and we only use minimal amounts of Target and Willamette hops."

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic
Honestly I use to see this piece of brew heaven all over the place in the Boston area around fall. Now the only place I have even heard of it is in a "Winter Variety" pack. and even then I have yet to see it. This was the only beer I would buy by the case load knowing in a few short months it would be gone. I must admit I have been sort of bummed about not being able to find it anymore.
At any rate here is what the Sam Adam's beer experts have to say about this brew.
"Tart and sweet with complex fruit, maple and vanilla notes."

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
This Ale only comes around Fall. So just as the leaves start to change color here in New England, the air gets just a little bit cooler and the women start to formulate their most provocative halloween costume, Shipyard comes around with their Pumpkinhead Ale. This stuff is the nectar of the gods. Now Blue Moon makes a Pumpkin Ale that is pretty good in its own right However, I can honestly say I have never enjoyed pumpkin anything till this fall treat came around. It is pumpkin spice meets an already great Ale. They date for a bit and have sweet pumpkin sex. The results are many little Pumpkin head's. Not to mention the cool label art. Shipyard really hit this one out of the park. (Fenway Park of course.)

Here is how the Shipyard people describe this Ale. "Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is a crisp refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spice flavor."

I am sure there are many more that fall under this special category and if I can think of them or try them I will let you know how they are but for now there are a few outstanding options next time you make it to your local ale house.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Bloody - Tini and a show.

The other night I was working behind the bar of a busy Italian restaurant. I was in the middle of a pretty good rush and making a Lemon Drop Martini while I had a few orders for wines and mixed drinks coming from my servers. Just as I grabbed the bottle of Citron the glass I was using in my left hand started to slip. My hands where wet and so out of shear reaction I pulled the glass into my body and my right hand holding a full bottle of Citron followed. As the two connected the glass in my left hand shattered and left shards of glass everywhere including a few in my hand!

Would you like some type A+ on the rim of your martini?

I quickly not to break my rhythm grabbed a bar rag and kept about my work. I was bleeding like crazy and trying to get through the rush before I fixed myself up. The look of horror on my customers face as I spun around to give her the show of the pour into the martini glass while blood ran down my other hand was priceless! Thank goodness one of the servers (thank you Carlos) took note of me trying to do it all with one hand and jumped in for me sending me to the back to tend to my wounds. A few pieces of gauze and tape later I was patched up enough to get back to work. Unfortunately the location of the cuts where such as to not lend themselves to covering. So throughout the night I would get a good healthy dose of vodka, gin or some other spirit right into the cut. OUCH!

I could just see it on the ride home as the cop pulled me over for swerving... Have you been drinking this evening? No however I have been taking it pretty intravenously periodically throughout the night Officer. OK Sir no need to push I will just show myself to the back of your cruiser.

So in the spirit of this all I will share with you all the Bloody-Tini and the Lemon Drop Martini. The Bloody-Tini is a great take off the old Bloody Mary. I always hate when I have a Bloody Mary and all the ice melts and just dilutes the thick texture of the drink. With the Bloody-Tini this issue is resolved and it is very simple to make. The Lemon Drop Martini is light and just the right mix of sweet and sour. It reminds me a lot of the old Lemon Head candy I use to have by the box as a kid. Just be sure to leave out the actual blood in both even if the vampire movies are a big thing now days.


2 oz Vodka
3 oz Bloody Mary mix
2 dashes of Tabasco
In a pint glass filled with ice dash with 2 shots of Tabasco sauce.
Pour 2 oz of vodka or for an extra kick use pepper vodka into the pint glass.
Fill the rest of the glass with Bloody Mary mix of your choice or my homemade mix below.
Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Bloody Mary Mix
Clamato juice (The clam juice mixed with the tomato juice gives this a good brine saltiness flavor. Don't worry if you don't like seafood this is not a strong taste of clams.)
1 oz olive juice
1 tablespoon Wocester sauce
1 oz lime juice
few dashes of hot sauce
1 tablespoon of horseradish

Lemon Drop Martini
2 oz - Citron Vodka
1 oz - Limonchello (clear)
Splash of sour mix
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Use a lemon to coat the rim before sugaring it.
Garnish with a lemon wheel

Saturday, September 11, 2010

College Football Today! Notre Dame vs Michigan!

Today marks the start of the first full week of college football! Fall is quickly coming upon us and one of the big games today is University of Michigan Wolverines vs The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A huge game for both teams and should be a great excuse for the guys to come out and have a drink or two with yours truly. So to mark this occasion here are a couple of the drinks of the day.

Notre Dame Pick Me Up
1 oz - Vodka
1 oz - Rum
1 oz - Triple Sec
1/2 oz - Simple Syrup
1/2 oz - Ginger Ale
Top with Orange Juice

Fighting Irish Gold Shot

1/2 oz - Irish Cream
1/2 oz - Goldshlager
* Layer this with the back of a bar spoon.

1 pint of Light beer
2 oz - Absolute Citron

Maize and Blue
2 oz - Gin
1 oz - Cointreau
1 oz - Blue Curacao
Garnish with a lemon Wheel

Friday, September 10, 2010

Herbs & fruit working as one.

Next time you want to really kick things up a notch try using a mix of fruit and herbs to make an aromatic and tasty cocktail. Below is a list of fruit and their herbal pairing and then a few cocktails to give it a spin.

Fruit - & - Herb
Strawberries - & - Basil
Pineapple - & - Mint
Kiwi Fruit - & - Thyme
Blackberry - & - Oregano
Cucumber- & - Cilantro
Cantaloupe - & - Dill
Pear - & - Sage
Watermelon - & - Shiso
Pink Grapefruit - & - Tarragon
Green Apple - & - Parsley

1/2 - Lemon
2 Mint Leaves
2 - Chunks of Pineapple
2 - Wheels of Cucumber
1/2 oz - Agave Nectar
1 1/2 oz - Tequila Blanco
1/2 oz - Sprite / Club Soda
Ganish with a slice of English cucumber

Muddle the first 5 ingredients then add the Tequila, soda, ice, shake and pour into a high ball glass.

2 oz - Grey Goose Pear
1/4 oz - Luxardo Maraschino Liquor
1/6 - Anjou Pear
2 - Sage Leaves
1/2 oz - Simple syrup
3/4 oz - Fresh Lime Juice
- Muddle the pear, sage, and syrup.
- Add, the maraschino liqueur, grey goose, lime juice, ice.
- Shake and double strain over ice.
- Garnish with a slice of pear and a sage leaf.

Cheers to know by heart!

Here's to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer-and another one!

Manly Men and fruity frozen delights.

I have had the opportunity of working in what I call an "everyday" type of bar and then the "vacation" type of bars. It always kills me when I see guys in the "vacation" bar. These guys are normally the guys who work 9-5 and at the end of a long day sit down with a good single malt or a manhattan and sip their stress away. Even the way they order it is rough, manly and abrupt. "Jonnie Black up" or "Chivas rocks, no fruit!" These guys wouldn't be seen dead with anything any other color than brown or tan. Something red or pink is almost an assault on their manhood.

Now get these same guys out on a beach vacation or even better on a cruise ship and the scenario is completely different. I think these same guys think this is the best way to catch up on their fruit intake. I had a couple of frozen drink specials the past few weeks and wanted to see what the general consensus would be. My thinking was that the women would really enjoy these fruity tropical concoctions. The crowd was a bit older say late 40's to mid 60's and boy was I wrong when it came to my demographic. It was the men that really took to these! Good for them! Vacation drinks are suppose to be fun.

So before the sun has completely set on this summer for these guys let me share a few of these happy frozen delights with you and hopefully them while they still can take the time away from the business world to enjoy them...

Honeydew Colada
2 parts - Ice
1 cup chunks of honeydew melon
1oz - Pinapple juice
1 oz - Coconut cream
1oz - Rum
Splash of lime juice
1 oz - Coconut rum
Blend it all up! Serve in a Margarita glass
Splash with Melon liqueur and garnish with a cherry in the middle.

Lava Flow

2 oz - Ice
1 oz - Light rum
1 oz - Coconut rum
2oz - Strawberries in sugar with juice.
1/2 - Fresh banana
2 oz - Pineapple juice
2 oz - Coconut cream
Blend it all up! Serve this in a hurricane glass or even a beer mug.
Splash with a generous serving of grenadine (lava flowing)

Pina Martinique
2 parts - Ice
2 oz - Rum
1 oz - Cointreau
1 oz - Coconut cream
1 part - Frozen strawberries
1 part - Pineapple chunks
1 oz - Pineapple juice
Blend it all up!
Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Enjoy MEN!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Manicures and Martinis Party

I realize this one is very female focused but another great way to get women into the bar early. We ran this party a few weeks ago and it did amazing! We hired an outside manicurist (Is that even a real title?) and Charged each lady $10. The entry fee got them a manicure and two $2 coupons to go toward any martini of their choice. I am sure if we reached out to the local businesses we could have put together simple gift bags with goodies for the first 50 or so ladies through the door. Maybe even linked it in with Breast Cancer awareness and made a nice donation. We started the event at 7pm and then at 9pm we let the guys in the door. The place was packed!

I asked for some different types of melon to make drinks and the only thing I got was cantaloupes. So there are a couple of drinks featuring cantaloupe. Here are a few of the specials I had for the night...

Cantaloupe Martini
1 - Cantaloupe puree
2 - Vodka
1 - Cointreau
1/2 - Lime juice
Pinch of salt

Just Peachy Martini
2 - Vodka
1/4 - Drambui
1/2 - Peach schnapps
Splash - Lime juice

Carmel Apple
2 - Vodka
1 - Apple Pucker
1 - Butterscotch schnapps

Raspberry Cosmo
2 - Raspberry Vodka
1 - Lime juice
1 - Cointreau
Splash of cranberry juice

Tropical Peach
2 - Malibu
2 - Peach schnapps
2 - Ginger ale

Cantaloupe Cooler
2 - Cantaloupe puree
2 - Vodka
1 - Lime juice
Splash of Creme de Menthe
Top with Sprite