Wednesday, December 27th, 2006
If a man gives a round of applause when someone breaks a glass in a bar or restaurant, he’s a douchebag.
Last year, my boss came to me with some very tragic news. News that shocked me to my core, and left me standing there, unable to speak, barely able to breathe.
“We’re going to start serving brunch on the weekends.”
Now, brunch is a tough prospect for any bar manager. The crates of oranges that need to be stocked in an already-full cooler. The cases of prosecco. And the dreaded Bloody Mary conundrum.
Offering a Bloody Mary at brunch presents the cautious bar manager with a bit of a pickle, no pun intended. Here’s the problem: Ideally each Bloody Mary would be made to order, à la minute, from scratch. But doing so would be far too time-consuming when the bar is busy. We want people to have drinks in their hands quickly. Doing so makes people happy, and we’re trying to be in the business of making people happy.
So, the obvious solution is to make a huge batch of Bloody Mary mix, have the bartender throw it on top of some vodka in a pint glass, and there you go, right? Well, the question is how much to make. If we make too little, the bartender ends up having to make them to order anyway. If we make too much, then we’ve got a bunch of Bloody Mary mix getting dumped at the end of each Sunday, because lord knows that shit ain’t gonna be fresh a week later (I’m looking at you, half of the sports bars in the country). And that ends up being a huge waste of money. And we’re also trying to be in the business of making money here.
And what about the Caesar? I happen to love the national drink of Canada, and wanted to offer it on my menu as well. But of course, nobody could predict how Portlanders would take to zesty clam-flavored tomato drink (turns out they love it) and I didn’t want to have yet another batch of mix to throw down the drain every week
What to do, what to do… And then it hit me: if we took the majority of the labor-intensive components and separated them from the tomato or tomato-based ingredients, we’d be left with something so salty and acidic that it would be (refrigerator) shelf stable for well over a week. The result is a mix that’s easy to make, totally versatile, and turns making a Bloody Mary or Caesar a simple three-ingredient process.
12 oz lemon juice
12 oz Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp finely-ground black pepper
1½ tsp celery salt
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
Mix all ingredients together and bottle. To make a Caesar or Bloody Mary, combine 1 oz premix, 2 oz vodka, and 4 oz tomato juice or Clamato in a pint glass, mix well, garnish and serve.
A side project, an experiment or just a simple curiosity that turned into a delicious phenomenon that we're still serving to much delight at our bar, barrel aged cocktails explore the gentle manipulation of a drink's flavors over time. This post details the inspiration, the history and the methods behind my barrel aged cocktails.
My problem with homemade tonic water has always been a flavor profile that was too esoteric for the general audience. This recipe takes some of the positive qualities people have come to understand from commercial tonic water and updated them with fresh ingredients.
Turned off by the glop you find in the grocery store, and unable to endure another long egg and cream whipping session, I set out to build an egg nog recipe from the ground up that retained the character of the orginal formula, was easy to make in a few minutes at home or at the bar, and tasted absolutely delicious. See if you agree with the result.
One question I'm often asked is "Do you have any drink-related book recommendations?" Well, funny you should ask, I've compiled a list of the ten books every professional bartender or home mixologist should own. I keep every one of these close at hand and have read most of them several times. I suggest you do the same.
The problem with living in Oregon is the absence of little wooden shacks by the sea that sell cases of fresh ginger beer stacked on back porches. But with some readily-available ingredients, a recipe I've been revising for several years - and a few free minutes - I can easily transport myself to a little fishing boat on the ocean as I sip a Dark and Stormy made with fresh, house-made ginger beer.
It's always mojito season somewhere, so this advice is timely in your area about half the year. Wether you're making them or simply enjoying them, this advice will help you look like a pro in no time at all.
The flavors of the Richmond Gimlet are imbued with sunshine. Fresh mint mingling with the herbaceousness of gin and the tartness of lime have made this drink a Eugene classic for many years now.
You'll get a lot of snarky advice on this site about how to make a proper drink, but if you ever need to know what not to do, this is the video for you.
Not to be confused with the Spanish wine-and-fruit-based alcoholic beverage sangria, sangrita (meaning "little blood") is a traditional accompaniment to a tequila served completo; a non-alcoholic sipper that cleanses the palate between fiery doses of agave.
The world of booze can be mystifying to people that don't work in bars or around alcohol all the time. I hear a lot of assumptions about the industry I'm in that are - much like 90% of what you hear in bars - completely false. Here are a few you've probably heard yourself.
The traditional garnish for a Pisco Sour is a couple of drops of bitters in the foam, but I've never been particularly impressed with the way these few paltry drops of bitters sat in their little egg-white mattress and didn't play along with the rest of the drink. I envisioned a Pisco Sour with a uniformly-distributed bitters-scorched foam: slightly crisp as the fire burnt the sugars, and slightly warm as the foam insulated the rest of the frosty cocktail from the heat. A pisco creme brulée in a glass!
I get so many visitors looking for tips on how to write a bartending resume that I thought I should finally post a tutorial on how to write your own. Click the headline to read more.
I always love showing up to a party with a gallon jug of pre-mixed margaritas, so I've decided to share my recipe. This margarita recipe is the perfect blend of strong, sweet, and sour. But be warned: this recipe packs a serious punch.
There isn't much I can say about this video that hasn't been said already. If you've read anything I've written about cocktails, you'll understand why this video symbolizes everything wrong with the state of bartending in America today. Watch and learn, but be warned: this one isn't for the feint of heart.
My name is Jeff Morgenthaler and I'm the bar manager at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon.
I've been tending bar since 1996 and writing about it since 2004. I started tending bar while getting my degree in Interior Architecture, and slowly I came to the conclusion that bartending was what I really loved, and that I might as well drop everything and focus on being a professional bartender. Over the years I have strived, both behind the bar and with this website, to elevate the experience of having a drink from something mundane to something more culinary.
The writing I do here is intended as a work in progress. My recipes are like my opinions: they are constantly being revised and refined as I work them through my mind and my fingers. Comments and participation are encouraged, so please don't feel the need to tread lightly here.
If a man gives a round of applause when someone breaks a glass in a bar or restaurant, he’s a douchebag.
I get so many visitors looking for tips on how to write a bartending resume that I thought I should finally post a tutorial on how to write your own. Read on, reader!
I see a lot of resumes in my position, and you’d be surprised at just how many people leave resumes with no contact information. First, print your name in large letters. Don’t forget your mailing address (if different from your home address, always use the mailing address), phone number, and email address.
You want to give employers a clear way to get in touch with you, otherwise, what would be the point of having a resume?
For some reason, it’s been traditional to include an objective section in a resume, and I’ve never understood why. Everyone’s objective is the same: to secure a good job. No matter how you dress it up…
To find employment in a fast-paced, fun work environment.
…it always comes off sounding weak. Skip it.
Believe me, if you speak a foreign language, especially Spanish, in a restaurant in this country, you’re going to be one step ahead of the game. Put it down, but don’t lie about it. If you can only count to ten in Arabic, it’s not worth mentioning.
Do you have any computer skills? I’m talking about POS (Point of Sale) systems here. Squirrel, Micros, Aloha, etc. If you’ve used a computer system at another job, put it down. More and more establishments are moving to computer systems, and having to spend two days training you how to punch in an order is only going to be a deterrent to hiring you.
I can read and write in French. Asking me to speak it may require a freshen-up trip to Paris.
I can program a Micros point-of-sale system, and I have four years of experience with Squirrel. I speak Microsoft Windows and Macintosh with equal proficiency. I have a firm grasp on the Microsoft Office Suite, the Adobe Creative Suite, and the Macromedia Suite. I am skilled in web page design, XHTML and CSS.
On a side note, I received a resume a few weeks ago and the applicant put down that he was proficient with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I almost had a stroke from laughing as I slid the resume into the trash.
Yes, it’s just a foodservice job. No, you don’t need a PhD to do it. But having some education shows that you’re a little more well-rounded than other applicants. And hey, you spent $30,000 on that philosophy degree, so get some mileage out of it!
Graduated with A.S. degree in physics.
Studied Hungarian baroque architecture as part of the Boronda Art Scholarship awarded through Hartnell College.
Graduated with bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture.
Also worth mentioning here is any special training or bar-/restaurant-related coursework. If you took a class on wine, mention it here. If you went to bartending school, put it down. Spend some time on this section. It’s almost as important as the following section.
Here’s the meat of your resume. Now, I get a lot of people asking how to fill in this section when they don’t have any bartending experience. It’s very simple: you lie. Just kidding. Always tell the truth, even if it is a bit embellished. I’ve actually hired people with “some” bartending experience only to find out that they lied about having any, and they were subsequently fired. Now I have a test that I have all my new applicants take.
Important tip: When you’re filling out the job description for each establishment you’ve worked in, I feel that it’s more important to convey a sense of what sort of place it was, rather than recounting what you did there. Face it, you did the same thing at every job: served customers, worked the cash register, and cleaned. I don’t care. What I want to know as a bar manager is what sort of establishment you worked in, as I haven’t had the chance to visit every bar and restaurant in the country. Was it a dive bar? Fine dining? Nightclub? Let me know. Some of us in fine dining are actually looking for people who come up from high-volume chain restaurants. You never know, so dont’ be shy, and do be as specific as possible.
Head bartender. Tapas and Steaks. Huge menu and an enormous Spanish wine list, complemented by my menu of classic cocktails – with a twist. Priced OLCC catalog, set up Micros POS, trained a hardworking staff of bartenders, barbacks and cocktail servers, and conducted liquor classes for the staff of two restaurants. Fast-paced atmosphere, Disco Night on Thursdays, and a very demanding thirtysomething clientele.
Bartender/waiter. Buttoned-up black-tie service for the pre-theater crowd. Northwest cuisine done in the French bistro tradition, washed down with bottles of Pinot Noir. Huge French and Pacific Northwest wine list, dessert crowd at ten, open kitchen and bistro-style zinc-topped bar.
Bartender. Full-service, fine continental restaurant. Early crowd, small kitchen, tough German chef, fast pace.
Bartender. Huge thirty-five seat bar, and the hottest club in town. Late nights, stiff drinks, intense fast pace, two bartenders and a lot of smoky blues.
My first bartending job. Four years, five nights a week in one of the toughest bars in town. Famous chili, pitchers of Olympia, loud music and a lot of smoke.
You should list any work experience you have here. The more food- or bar-related experience you can list, even if it’s as a barista or prep cook, the better.
I prefer not to list references on my resume (especially on the web, I don’t need people calling my former bosses at six in the morning) because I have a lot of experience here in town. However, if you’re applying for a job in another city, or if you don’t have a lot of experience, then you might want to list work-related references. Keep it under three, kid.
I hope this tutorial has helped, and that you’re now on your way to writing a successful resume. If you’re looking for more advice and/or some professional help with your bar resume, my friends Cheryl Charming and Darcy O’Neil have posted additional information at their own sites.
If you date a man who drinks blended margaritas, you’ll always have to hold the door open for him when you go out.
Try to avoid a man who drinks apple martinis. He’ll never give you an orgasm. Not intentionally, anyway.
I have a confession for you: I can’t remember how to make a Mai Tai. I’m serious, I can’t. I mean, I know what goes in one, I know the legend of the drink, the names of the supposed creators, and the importance of the Mai Tai in modern cocktail culture. I can [...]
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