You Want What in Your Vodka???

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In honor of National Vodka Day this week, I’ve decided to research the most absurd flavors of vodka.

At the bar that I work at, we have many flavored vodkas! Some of the most bizarre include bacon, pickle, pepper, and root beer.

After researching, I found that the options get crazier. There are vodkas that taste like:

  • smoked salmon
  • gummy bears
  • buttered popcorn
  • bison grass
  • fruit loops
  • serbert
  • s’mores
  • peanut butter & jelly
  • donuts
  • tomatos
  • green tea
  • scorpions
  • cookie dough

I have no doubt that there are several other flavors that are weird, but these are the ones that I found the most interesting.

Some actually made me interested to know what they would go well with and what I could make with each vodka. Others on the other hand made me screw up my face and hope to never come into contact with them (i.e. scorpion and bison grass).

National Vodka Day

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Happy late National Vodka Day! The holiday has been celebrated on October 4 since 2009. National Taco Day also falls on the same date.

I am not sure if the Russians and Mexicans planned this event or if it is a coincidence. The date was chosen at random by some random guy. Americans obviously needed another excuse to drink the distilled spirit that did not even originate in America.

Personally, I think the reason is not as important as the celebration! If you did not get to have any vodka this past Friday, be sure to make up for it next weekend. 

The Drink Recipe Your Bartender Has Never Heard Of

If your favorite drink is the drink that your best friend’s mom’s boyfriend’s daughter made up and named herself, please do not be surprised when your bartender has never heard of it before.

Last night as I was working, a person ordered a drink from me called a Blonde Barbie. When I asked her what was in a Blonde Barbie, the patron said, “You’ve never heard of a Blonde Barbie? Who taught you how to bartend?” 

…think for a minute how many made up recipes there are in this world. There is no way your bartender will automatically know them all. It is not like there is a drink recipe database in your bartender’s brain that updates every hour with the most recent made up drink recipes. There is no ‘What’s Hot’ category or ‘Alphabetical Listing’ for your bartender to mentally search. Although, that would be amazing.

Most bartenders love learning how to make new drinks, and would probably love to know how to you make your version of a Blonde Barbie. When you go to order it, however, please realize that if it is a drink that isn’t commonly known, your bartender may not know how to make it. Do not look at him or her funny, have a bad attitude, or sulk in sadness because your favorite drink is never going to replace the Cosmopolitan. If the bartender does not know how to make the drink, TELL THEM HOW TO MAKE IT. Odds are, the next time you go to that bar, the bartender will make you your Blonde Barbie before you even ask for it.

If you do have an attitude, the next time you go into that bar, you may be presented with this: barbie

Martini Terms

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Have you ever tried to order a martini and the next thing you know, you feel as though your bartender is interrogating you with the game of 20 questions and you are parched by the end of the order?

Or have you ever tried to order a cocktail and use the terms affiliated with martinis and sounded like this, “I’ll have a Kettle One Martini, please. I’d like it up, dirty, on the rocks, kind of dry, shaken not stirred, very wet, with just a dash of olive juice.”

I can promise you that if you have, you are not alone. If you haven’t, now you never will! Below I have defined the terms affiliated with ordering a martini.

The terms are simple to learn, but can make a GREAT DEAL of a difference in the cocktail you receive.

            Up– martini is served in a chilled martini glass
            On the rocks– martini is served in a rocks glass over ice            

            Dirty– olive juice is added in the martini
            Straight up– no olive juice is added in the martini

            Dry– a small amount of vermouth is added in the martini
            Wet– a large amount of vermouth is added in the martini

            Shaken– the contents of the martini are shaken in a shaker to chill the contents
            Stirred– the contents are stirred without ice, preventing ice crystals in the martini

Also, be sure to decipher whether you would like a vodka martini or a gin martini before you place your order.
Cheers!

Grey Goose, Schmay Schmoose

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Here is a little tip that you should remember for the rest of your life, or until you win the Mega Million: Grey Goose tastes just like any other vodka when it is mixed with anything.

Vodka is a nearly tasteless liquor. Unless one is a vodka connoisseur, he or she is lucky to be able to tell the difference. It is true, however, that different brands of vodka have different hangovers to offer. Do your research and a couple tests to figure out which vodka tickles your fancy. You can save yourself a little bit of money and order the well-vodka or call-vodka when you want it mixed in a cocktail, unless you are drinking Red Bull and vodka. After drinking Red Bull and vodka all night, you will probably wake up poor (from the giant upcharge on Red Bull) and with a terrible hangover; therefore, I guess it does not really matter what vodka you mix.

If you are that girl at the bar who says your drink is gross because it is Absolut and cranberry rather than Grey Goose and cranberry, your bartender may stare at you blankly. Odds are, you cannot taste the difference.

Grey Goose is only fancy if you are drinking it on the rocks, in a martini glass, or on your birthday with a giant sparkler coming out of the bottle. When that is the case, drink on my friend!

Seven Rules to Barroom Etiquette

 I think the best way to start out this blog is by laying down some house rules. Below, I have listed the top 7 rules of barroom etiquette. READ, MEMORIZE, and FOLLOW, or else your bartender will despise you and mentally plan revenge.

  1. Tip your bartender– Most service industry workers do not get paid by the hour, including bartenders. If they do, the rate is not much. Bartenders are paid with the tips of their patrons. In South Louisiana, an acceptable tip for a good server or bartender is twenty percent. If paying cash, it is a good idea to tip after buying each round of drinks. Although the tip will still be appreciated if you save it for the end of the night, your bartender may think you are stiffing (or refraining from tipping) him or her throughout the night. Tipping after each round will ensure a happy bartender and prompt service.
  2. Quit asking for free drinks– Everybody wants them, but no you cannot have them. Unless the bartender owns the bar, which is highly unlikely, the bartender has a running tab just like you do. If your bartender gives you a free drink, it is because he or she is BUYING you a drink. Sure, if you are a regular, if it’s your birthday, or if you’re just an awesome person, your bartender would probably love to buy you a drink. When they do, consider yourself the coolest person in the bar and then TIP them! 🙂 If you walk into a bar for the first time and ask for a free drink, do yourself a favor and just leave. Your bartender now thinks you are a cheap person who will not tip, and will be sure not to let an extra drop of liquor fall into your cocktail.
  3. The bartender does not care if you know the owner– Everybody else knows him too, and you are still not getting a free drink.
  4. You cannot start a tab without a card– Unless you are the bartender’s best friend, he or she does not know you from Adam. Often times, people get aggravated when they have to hand their card over to the bartender to save their tab. Without your card, your bartender is likely hanging on to false hope that you are going to come back and pay for your drinks. Let’s face it, not everybody is as honest as Abe. If you would like to keep your card to yourself, pay for your drinks with cash.
  5. Don’t ask what’s good– Everybody has different taste buds and likes different things. I have no idea what you like to drink, and neither does any other bartender. Instead, maybe ask to see the drink menu or if the bartender recommends a drink with _________. (fill in the blank with your personal preference of liquor)
  6. Don’t tell your bartender to smile– I get it, you want to see my pearly whites; however, I’m not at your desk demanding smiles out of you all day. Bartenders live a busy life just like every one of you do. Sometimes it’s hard to remain jolly at all times. Plus, I think it would look like I had a mental disorder or did some serious drugs if I smiled as much as patrons ask me to. If you want your bartender to smile, SAY SOMETHING FUNNY! That will usually do the trick.
  7. Don’t clutter the bar– If you are in a nightclub, there are 30 people behind you waiting for a drink, and you already have your drink, please stop using the bar as an arm rest. Your bartender will hate you and want to spray the soda gun in your hair until you move. By blocking the bar, you are preventing others from buying drinks; this means less money for the bartender. You are in a nightclub; GO DANCE.

After all, going out for a drink is supposed to be fun! I do not want to scare anybody away from bars with these rules, but they are important to follow. These rules ensure a happy bartender, and therefore, happy patrons.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog! My name is Kristen and I am a bartender in South Louisiana. Although almost everyone visits a bar at some point in his or her life, most people never get to view the bar from the bartender’s perspective. I decided to write this blog in order to allow my readers that opportunity. For my readers who are bartenders or have retired your shakers, I think you may find this blog informative as well as comical. Through this blog, I would like to share my experiences and lessons learned with my readers, and give a few tips along the way. Cheers!