Bartenders are an amazing group. They are precise multi-tankers that can make your head spin. You can find one seamlessly prepping a cocktail from their encyclopedic mind while taking another order and yelling at someone to just "SHUT UP!" It's as if a synchronized swimmer and a clogger mated who was bestowed with both charm and snark, usually wrapped in an attractive package.
They also do way more than any one ever knew they did. Here's a short list.
1. Prep They do mountains of prep work. Juicing, peeling, chopping. The kitchen staff has nothing on the bar. With craft cocktailing more poplar than ever, it can take a bartender 2 hours + to prep for a shift. Do you think those strawberries macerate themselves?
2. Ass Kissing Sometimes they have to kiss the liquor reps ass. No kidding. How do you think your bar gets that bottle of Blantons? It's not but showing up. It takes some puckering and persistence to get that bottle everyone wants.
3. Writing the Cocktail Menu It can take hours formulating, checking stock, studying trends and experimenting with mixes to make the perfect cocktail. And that's just for one recipe. If they are doing it right they have 8-10 cocktails on there cocktail menu, which will change with seasons and trends.
4. Bouncer They have to continuously keep an eye on those that don't know their limits, have a tendency to get to loud, are angry or on the verge of being over served. I'm sure you've seen a bartender in you past jump over the bar to settle some type of dispute.
5. Maid They clean, then clean some more, then at the end of the shift they clean. Bartenders are constantly wiping away spills and and sweat from your drink on the bartop. They also have to keep up on their glassware, the bus pans and keep those tins free of debris from their last famous cocktail.
6. Therapist Quite possibly the cheapest therapist you'll ever pay for is the one across the stick. Where else can you go and have two of your favorite cocktails at happy hour prices and solve life problems with 20 buck tip. Don't be cheap, tip your therapist well. A bartenders life experience can stack up against anyone, so their advice is worth its weight in bitcoin.
7. Memorization Bartenders are constantly memorizing cocktail recipes, how to build them, your order and your name. You try it!
8. Insulting and Stupid Questions The veteran bartender has likely heard it all. So entertaining your stupid question or insults is often not easily tolerated. So be prepared to be thrown out or at the very least be put in a "time-out' for your actions.
So keep all this in mind when you are wondering why it took 3 minutes to make your cosmopolitan martini or your apple-tini. Also take a look in the mirror... nobody drinks those anymore.