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!
If you have been a regular reader of this blog you would know that it has been sans advertising since inception. However the pressure of the capitalist society we all live in here in the good ole US of A has broken me. I have sold out!
Given the opportunity to cash in on the wisdom I bestowed over the years (try not to laugh.) Feeling a bit like famous TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart "I have sinned!" Yes I know I am thoroughly dating myself with that reference. So as you will see in the margins and previously vacant spaces there are ads. Lots and lots of ads of merchants hawking their wears. I implore you to visit them. If this makes me nothing more than a corporate shill so be it. I am currently hand picking these businesses to be present on the site. Fathead, Spencer's Gifts, Jelly Belly, Journelle, Proportia and a few other lucky ducks just to name a few.
I'll try my best to make these ads as minimally evasive to your viewing experience as possible however no promises made or to be kept there. You may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night thinking "I sure do want some stripper heels from Upscale Stripper! Well then feel free to jump out of bed and there it is the mall of Charles 24/7! Maybe you find yourself looking to have a giant mural of non other than yours truly or Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady (people say we look a lot alike) to covet one of your walls. Well then there is Fathead for just that occasion. A funny t-shirt? Bustedtees! A pair of PJ's that make you look like Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman? Or perhaps a lamp that looks like a female leg? Spencer's
Gifts has those! Need to send a funny card to a friend on their birthday? Jib Jab! Looking to stop eating ice cream and drink protein instead to get ready for swimsuit season? My Protein (yes I realize the name is funny too.) 50% off designer women's clothing? Journelle will have you looking trey sheik in no time. Accessorize is having a 40% off sale all accessories. Picaboo will make you a great calendar or picture book (fathers day is right around the corner.) Proportia has cell phone and tablet condoms... errr I mean protective covers! And really who among us doesn't just love Jelly Beans? Anyone that doesn't I am convinced is a member of the Taliban and should be shot on site! McCarthy-esq maybe...
So again give them a visit. Do it for our economy. Do it because you love America. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Do it for freedom, Mom and apple pie! Every time you visit these businesses it is a vote for freedom and a knock to tyranny. God bless America and each and every one of us Tiny Tim... What the hell was I even saying again???
Oh right I remember. Please take a moment to visit the new advertisers. Just under a dollar a day you to can sponsor a bartender...
Gone are the days of strolling into that lonely saloon through the double swinging doors like the cowboy you are. The clack of your boots on the hardwood floor and the cling of your spurs right behind you with every step you take toward the long bar where the old grizzled bartender with a killer moustache stands with a no-name bottle of whiskey. No words are spoken as you stare down the bar-keep. He pulls a dirty shot glass from under the bar and pours a single shot, walk away and leaves the bottle... I really must stop watching Old Westerns before bed. (side note: "Tombstone" is the best western of all time!) Now in order to order a shot you have to have an entirely new vernacular. There are more adjectives and pronouns even verbs to the names of some of these drinks.
As you may have read in past postings I am not a huge fan of guys ordering anything more than one word (Jack, Jim, Jonny, etc.) however like the old song says "the times they are a changing." So I guess if you can't beat them, join them. One of my favorite things to do when it comes to shot time is make concoctions that taste like existing treats. The reaction is always the same for someone that has never tried them. They can't believe that it tastes like the existing treat. All the flavor of the treat with half open the calories and sealed with a nice little buzz. So here is a small group of shots that taste like existing no-alcoholic treats. Enjoy!
Breakfast Shots... Shake all of these over ice and strain to make the most important meal of the day!
3 Olives Loopy Vodka
Rim the glass with light sugar
+ Tastes just like the milk in the bottom of the Fruit Loops cereal bowl
Irish Cream Liqueur
Sprinkle top with powdered sugar
+ Just like Mom use to make only drunker.
Rim the glass with a little Nutella
Coockoo for Cocoa Puffs
Desserts!Cookies, cake, candy and pie. Don't forget to chase these with a nice glass of milk, or another shot.
Rim the glass with cinnamon sugar
Lemon Meringue Pie
Shake over ice and strain
Top with whipped cream
Garnish with a sugar covered lemon wedge
+ Make this for your special lady during that time of the month and kill two birds with one stone!
Light Cream de Cacao
White Godiva Liqueur
Whipped Cream Vodka
Shake over ice and strain.
Rim glass first with icing and then dip in rainbow sprinkles
Top with Whipped cream and a candle
+ Now sing damnit! Happy booze day to you...
Rim with Cinnamon sugar
Drop a raisin in the bottom for a garnish
+ Grandma never made her cookies like this. Or did she? She was always pretty happy to see you or anyone else for that matter.
Rim the glass with cream cheese frosting
Top with whipped cream and carrot shavings
+ Tasty and improves your vision. Or is it makes you want to hump like a bunny? Either way it's a party!
Garnish with a slice of strawberry
Garnish with Sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry on top.
Jelly Belly - Jelly Bean
+ Try not to drink these by the handful
I am sure you all have a few more to add so if you do let me have them! In the meantime enjoy...
May in New England means a variety of things to people here. It usually comes in with one last blizzard and leaves with a heat wave. It means we get to see grass and sometimes flowers. By now we all know if the Red Sox are going to tank and stand idly by while the New York Yankees hand down multiple beatings or be half decent or be a contender for the pennant. It means barbeque's and women having to buy a bag catcher for their Epilady for their first shave of spring. It means it is time to put away the skis and get out the golf clubs and tennis racquet's. We get to mow our lawns and begin to til l the garden. We clean our window screens and open all the windows to let out the stagnant winter air that has collected in the house. Target is going to have a run on diet pills, while Shaw's, Hanaford and Market Basket are going to need to stock up on fruits and vegetables in preparation of crash dieting. Let's not forget your local gym gets to market their services and prey on our self confidence warning all of us the beach season will soon be here.
$5 a drink... Genious!
Spring here also gives hope to a longer that 8 day summer. The thermometer could reach as high as 95 degrees! We hope the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day last forever. New Englanders head to New Hampshire for Fireworks now instead of just cheap cigarettes and tax free booze right on the highway. Vermonter's take off a layer of flannel. In Massachusetts odd tan lines begin to appear and most of us need sun glasses not to protect from the sun but instead the ungodly radiant white skin that seems to reflect the rays as the Irish community of South Boston as they all get their first sun burn of the season. While the Italians to the North of the city become bronze. Motorcycles come out and Jeepp tops peel off. Suddenly all 10 miles of Rhode Island become a place to visit. Car radios get turned up and even people from Connecticut that have a normally high uptight "pucker factor" seems to chill just a bit. Here in Maine the locals head "upta camp" to the North of the state as all the cars from New York and Canada litter the interstate to the vacation land's South.
The overall message is that Summer is on its way and even if you are going no further than your front yard for the weekend. The sunshine makes us all think we are on vacation from Friday to Sunday night. I can't help but think about Jimmy Buffet singing Margaritaville:
"I blew out my flip-flop
Stepped on a pop-top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there's booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on."
This is the scope of my post here today. This past Sunday I was tending bar and I made a Malibu and pineapple for a patron and when her daughter took a sip she said it tasted like vacation. When it was her turn to order I told her to leave it to me and allow me to make her something to reminder her of sitting in the sand. One of my bar tending gigs a while ago was at a hotel that would bring in people to work at the resort from Jamaica. Gary taught me a few things about how they do it on the island. (That didn't come out right but you get what I mean.) So here are a few nice tropical cocktails that are easy to make and pack in your cooler. Enjoy the 12 days of summer and your next trip to the beach.
Chiiiiiillllll Rum Punch
1 oz. - Coconut Rum
.5 oz. - Banana Liquor
1 oz. Pineapple juice
Splash of Cranberry Juice
Float Melon Liquor on top
Garnish with orange or pineapple wedges
Careful this one packs a punch.
1 lime cut into wedges
2 teaspoons fine sugar
Muddle the lime and sugar
Fill the glass with ice
2 oz. - Cachaca
Cachaca is a Brazilian style of rum.
Mix well and garnish with a piece of sugar cane.
On the Beach Margarita w/ Cumin Salt Rim
Most bars will serve you a Margarita filled with sour mix. This is the right way to make a perfect margarita while sitting on the beach.
1.5 oz. - Blanco Tequila
1 oz. - Fresh lime juice
.5 oz. - Cointreau
Splash of OJ Cumin Salt Rim
2 parts - Kosher Salt
.5 parts - Cumin
Crush or muddle lightly Build the drink
Dip the rim of your glass/ red solo cup in the ocean water.
Roll the rim in the Cumin Salt.
Fill the vessel with ice and add liquid ingredients
Stir, garnish with a lime wedge, sit back in your beach chair, grab your guitar sip and strum...
In a blender. Double recipe for more people.
2 oz. - Coconut Rum
Small scoop of ice cubes
3 oz. - Coconut milk
3 large chunks of pineapple
Splash of OJ
Blend well on high till completely smooth
1 oz. - Pink Kinky Liquor (after pouring in glass.)
Kinky Colada's with breakfast. The most important meal of the day!
The top is off the Jeep and the snow has almost stopped here. My cooler is packed and I'm off to the beach. Now I'm going to let the words of Zach Brown fade me out...
I get asked all the time "how do I become a bartender?" And why not you will make decent money and have a great time doing it. I commonly refer to it as my "paid night out." Many people think they can just come in off the street and pour vodka in a glass and away they go... Now nuclear physics bar tending is not however it takes a bit more than a pretty face to be successful behind the bar although it helps get your foot in the door it will only get you so far. Unless you want to wear nothing more than a thong and roller skates to work on a daily basis. So here is the path with some good tips to help you not only become a bartender but also to be taken seriously as one. Before I get started here is a brief description of the "front of the house" positions in a bar/ night club setting:
Bar Manager: Depending on the size of the bar there may be more than one of these. With a variety of duties. Their job is to execute the vision of the owners, make sure the bar is not only operational but to ensure all the working parts are in order and making money.
Bartenders: Aka "booze jockeys." This is the front line to the customers. Your greatest job is to always have a smile on your face, be friendly and cordial and make a solid drink. There is no need to be a Picasso of hooch to be successful here. Having a outstanding repore with your customers so they not only return to your bar but even better bring friends is going to be among your greatest assets. I'll touch more on this point later. Finer points to this position is knowing how to do things in an expedient manner and make certain the customers overall experience is an enjoyable one.
Bar back: Aka beer mule and janitor and in some places you will just be known as the "Bar Bitch." doing all the grunt work for the bartenders while they make all the money and have all the fun. Many Bar Managers will try to make the job seem glamorous and profitable. Here is the fine print... They are full of shit. You will learn little more than how to hump 8 cases of beer in one trip while balancing a bottle of vodka between your toes. When looked at by customers in a crowded bar you must avert your eyes like a leper deferring to your master bartender. You will also only get sloppy seconds when it comes to female attention right behind the bathroom attendant.
Shot Girl: aka "Shot Ho." I am probably going to get lit up for this one and keep in mind it is just my opinion. I have a lot of women I consider good friends that are or have been shot girls. They are all lovely women and if given the opportunity they are all pretty smart. So hopefully they will not feel offended. However, in this position you get to walk around the bar dressed like a high priced hooker and push shots on guys hoping to drink them off your boobs or get some other sort of cheap thrill. You will get hit on CONSTANTLY and I can assure you it is not going to be for your mind or glowing personality. A majority of your time spent in your platform heels will be cleaning up spilled liquor off different parts of your body and fending off roaming hands. My advise to you if this seems appealing to you is to go get a god cozy pair of clear platform heels and learn how to take off clothes to music and climb a pole. Being a stripper is far more profitable, less dangerous and less degrading. I once heard a Bartender say when the Bar Manager asked someone to take out the trash say "that means you have to walk the shot girls to their car!"
Server: Depending on the bar/ club this position is decent money and you don't have to dress like a prostitute. Mostly waiting/ busing tables, setting up bottle service and selling VIP tables. Personality is 85% of this job. If this seems like your cup of tea make sure you watch the movie "Waiting" before you start you first day.
Security: Aka "Bouncer." Again depending on the bar/ night club, this is where you get to spend your night acting like a referee for the WWE all the while trying to keep 16 year old kids with fake ID's out. Keep in mind that angry drunks feel no pain and have no problem going to jail, so you will have to be able to take a punch or two and know how to say "you're out of here with more authority than a MLB Umpire." I have been in some clubs where this position can be the equivalent to a prison guard. It gets dangerous and the pay can be paltry. On the upside you will however get a ton of phone numbers and offers from women willing to do some seriously messed up shit in hopes of circumventing the line to get in for the future visits.
Alright now that we have a good overview of the general anatomy here is my advice in a few easy steps to getting behind the bar and making that money!
Step 1: Be Qualified
Most states mandate that you be over the age of 18 and in some cases 21 to serve alcoholic beverages. Also you must be able to lift about 30lbs and be able to work in a fast environment while multi tasking. Lastly, and this is a big one. Like meeting new people. If you are a miserable SOB and hate dealing with the public it will come out to your customers. Allow me to expand on this...
Example: This past Christmas night I ended up going out to a local bar in Biddeford, Maine called "Champs." Great name for a sports bar, terrific atmosphere too with pool tables, dart boards, a large bar and stage for bands and karaoke. Christmas night there was a solid crowd and 1 bartender on duty. She was super friendly and personable. She smiled all night even though she was busy and you could tell she was in a little over her head at times, but she worked hard and I am positive she made money. The drink she gave me was full of fruit flies (this sometimes happens especially if the alcohol isn't properly covered when not in use) and she ended up giving me a new drink and apologized profusely. This would be enough to deter any return to the bar in the future. Her work alone made me want to return to the bar. Turns out she was a bar back that knew how to bar tend! She was outstanding! The next two times I went into the bar the real bartenders were working. The bar was far from busy and it took forever for the "bartender" to acknowledge we were there. When she finally came over after finishing a conversation with her friends she never cracked a smile and acted like we were bothering her. I left her $0 tip which I never do. The bar back came over and said hi to all of us and shared a quick laugh. We decided to give Champs one more try. Different bartender with the SAME result! Once again my tip reflected the service given, a big fat zero.
The moral to that story is you must enjoy being around, listening to and interacting with a wide variety of people in this job. Some have it some don't. If you are strictly in it for the money then your attitude will come through.
Step 2: Get the Training.
Much like any other field it always helps to know what the hell you are doing. If you come in without any training or experience many places will tell you to beat it. There are bartender schools all over the country and now some of them are even now online or weekend only training. I went through Boston Bartender School. Whatever school you choose my advice here is to make sure there is a hands on lab where they teach you hands-on how to pour, recipes, glassware and how to properly build a drink. Another thing to look for is a school that has job placement. This is important because in order to get a bar tending job you must have experience. A school that provides placement will have relationships with a variety of establishments or catering companies that will foster your newly found skills and get you the experience to move to the next level.
Another piece to this puzzle is to be ServSafe or TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) Certified. Both of these courses can be found online, through your school or even in some cases the local police departments host these classes. Both classes teach you how to spot someone that has bad to much to drink, how to deal with someone that has been over-served hopefully at another location. How to spot a false Identification and protect both you and the establishment you work for. A bartender found guilty irresponsible serving can open you up to all sorts of legal, financial and professional ramifications.
Step 3: Finding the Job
Again a school with placement will help you gain the first couple jobs. Do NOT throw yourself into the deep end here. Your first job should not be at a busy night club or high end establishment where you will be the only bartender on duty. It will take you just one night behind a busy bar to make you look silly and panicked. My advice here is look for either a hotel with a quiet bar to get your feet wet or a chain restaurant with day shifts and some easy weekday shifts. Get comfortable back there. Learning all the little nuances including how to work efficiently here is the key. All the while honing your technique and building a following of regulars.
Actually finding openings in the bar world can be tough. So here is another great place for Facebook and just talking to others in the business. Craigslist seems to be were most places post their openings. Depending on your area especially the seasonal places here in Maine tend to post their openings in the food and beverage section under jobs.
Step 4: Add a Little Polish
When you go in for that interview dress neat and especially clean. Guys you must be clean shaven and wear something appropriate to the job. Don't go in wearing a suit and tie unless you are trying for a high end establishment. Most times for guys a pair of khaki pants, a good button down and a pair of clean non-slip shoes shows that you can clean up nicely. If the bar allows then you can dress down from there. Much like meeting a women in a bar and she knows in 5 seconds weather or not she will take you home that night for some naked Twister. First impressions are EVERYTHING! Ladies same thing goes here. Neat and clean. No need to look like Mother Theresa but if you want to be taken seriously keep a majority of your cleavage left to the imagination.
Have a cover letter resume. Even if it is not extensive. This will make you stand out among all the others as having your general shit together. Many times it even circumvents the need to sit there filling out a application and puts you to the front of the line when it comes to interviews.
Step 4: Build your Following
I have interviewed for a good number of bar tending jobs. I have also been asked a lot of crazy questions in those interviews. "What sort of shampoo do you use?" (uhhhh I'm a bald dude! So uhm... Irish Springs bar soap??? Awkward silence.) "Would you consider working shirtless?" And my favorite so far "Do you man scape or tweeze and would you consider waxing your eyebrows? (It was a straight bar too!) All crazy questions aside a growing common question is "Do you do any social networking and can we see your following?" Bar Managers and Owners want to know what you can do for them and will you help promote for you and the bar. I have run into bars that wouldn't even talk to me unless I had over 500 Facebook friends. Even then they wanted me to tell all my friends and then come in on a Wednesday night and see how many would show up. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are perfect for letting people know when you will be behind the bar and how they can go about seeing your shining smiley face.
Finally: Know your Stuff!
Sort of a blanket statement here but here are a few final tips to being successful in your new career as a fun friendly bartender.
+ Know your stock and have favorites and specialties. I can't even count the number of times I have been asked "what is your favorite drink to make?" The real answer is Bud Light however I have a few go to drinks that can give the customer a little wow factor. The customer is looking for something new and tasty so give them what they want.
+ Know your customers. Do your best to remember names and little things about your customers. If you treat them like friends they will be great to you. Think if you had your choice of two bars side by side with the same sort of menu and type of atmosphere would you go to the bar that treats you like a number or the one that treats you like an old friend? Treat your customers right and they will return.
+ Know your job and excel at it. There is no need to learn how to juggle bottles unless you really want to. I tell people all the time I don't juggle and I have never been to clown college. However a little flare isn't a bad thing. Constantly learning new things about your craft will only make you a better well rounded bartender. Learning about different era cocktails, new and interesting recipes and ingredients will make you stand out.
+ Enjoy what you do and you will never work another day in your life!
The other night I was watching an episode of The Amy Schumer Show on Comedy Central. The skit was one about a street magician in a bar. The magician goes up to Amy and proceeds to do a few slight of hand tricks. Fast forward to Amy in bed with the magic man and he can't stop doing magic and get to the real business which is a naked Amy. This made me think of the opening scene in the movie Now You See Me. Where a street magician once again does a few tricks and gets the girl to follow him home and do the disappearing/ reappearing penis trick. All of this got me thinking about some of the silly bar tricks I have learned over the years. What does a bar trick and how much a polar bear weighs have in common? They both have just enough to break the ice.
I think we can all agree that there are some sure fire winning no-fail lines out there... "Are you a Drill Sergeant? Because you have my Privates standing at attention!" "Do you work at Subway? Because I swear you just gave me a foot long!" "Your legs are like an Oreo cookie. I just want to split them and eat all the good stuff in the middle!" Or the ever popular "You can call me cake, cause I'll go right to your ass!" However if these doozies are seeming to crack the surface here are some silly tricks you can try to pass the time till she finally falls for one of your many other words of great sentiment and appreciation for that special lady. Even better help you score a free drink or two.
The "Announcers Test." A long time ago my Pop taught me this one. Bet your subject that they can not remember 10 simple things one at a time and recite them back to you in order. In other words you say "1 hen." they say "1 hen" back you say "2 ducks." They must say "1 hen, 2 ducks." You say "3 squawking geese." They say "1 hen, 2 ducks, 3 squawking geese" and so on till you get to 10 items and they must say all 10 items correctly. Even the most sober of suckers is going to have trouble with this one. Add a few drinks and some giggles, the odds are going to be in your favor to win this bet. Here is the "Announcers Test" list of 10 items:
* One hen * Two ducks * Three squawking geese * Four limerick oysters * Five corpulent porpoises * Six pair of Don Alverzo's tweezers * Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array * Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt * Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth * Ten lyrical, spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who hall stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.
The "Simple Knot" trick. Bet your subject that you can hold a napkin at 2 ends and without letting go tie the napkin into a knot. The trick here is pretty simple actually. Just fold your arms prior to grabbing hold of the napkin. When you uncross your arms you should have a neat little knot in the center of the napkin.
If those 2 tricks don't gain you some interest here are a few more sweet lines sure to catch the attention of the opposite sex. "Just remember: To you I'm a virgin." "I'm afraid of the dark. Will you sleep with me tonight?" "Do you wash your panties with Windex? Cause I can see myself in them!" and "You smell like trash! Can I take you out?" Alright if those don't get the digits then here are a few more tricks to add to your bag...
"Smoking Fingers." This trick requires some set up. You will need a book of matches and prior to doing this trick rip out the match striking strip. Fold the strip length wise into itself. Place the folded strip face down on a plate and burn the paper side until it is well charred. This should leave the strips residue on the plate. From here simply coat the tip of your index finger with the residue and when the time comes bet your subject that you can make smoke by rubbing your fingers together. When the wager is in place start to rub your index finger and thumb together. The friction will produce smoke.
A few more? "I think I could fall madly in bed with you." "Want to know what winks and screws like a tiger? (Wink.) "Do you like bacon? Wanna strip?" or "I may not be Asian, but I'll still eat your cat!"
The "Dime Drop." This one is a much easier set up. You will need a quarter, dime and a shot glass with a curved bottom. Place the dime under the quarter in the shot glass. The bet here is that your subject can not remove the dime without using their fingers from the shot glass without touching the glass, adding any fluid or upsetting the glass in anyway. The solution is place your lips close to the glass and blow real hard on one side of the quarter. Acting as a lever the quarter will flip the dime right out of the glass.
Last one for now... "Water into Whiskey." Jesus may have been able to turn water into wine but water into whiskey, would have made him a far better party guest. The bet here is that you can make the water and whiskey exchange glasses without utilizing a 3rd container. You need 2 shot glasses for this trick. Fill one with whiskey or whatever your spirit of choice may be. The other with water. Place a flat, water resistant card (playing card, ID, Debit card) over the water and flip over upside down onto the whiskey. Now make a small crack between the two glasses and the card. The water being heavier than the whiskey will over time (about 2 minutes) trade places with the whiskey.
Here are a few more lines to try. If you get slapped more than twice you know she is near breaking. So keep up the good work soldier! "The only reason I would kick you out of my bed is so we could do it on the floor!" "You are the reason God invented boners!" "Let's play Titanic." When I yell "Iceburg!" You go down." Finally "Roses are red, violets are blue. I suck at pick up lines... Nice tits!"
If all else fails go ahead and resort to just being yourself. Who knows maybe that will work.