This I Believe

ERIK - ALTADENA, California
Entered on October 16, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

“I believe in the Bartender”

There is nothing in this world that I would rather be doing than bartending. To me, bartending is a way of life, and sometimes a rush. I love the challenge of serving that person who doesn’t know what they want or what they like. As soon as they approach my bar, in a second I can look them up and down analyzing them, and then it comes to me… I know what they want. I love the surprised expressions on their faces when they have their first taste of one of my concoctions. The smile on their face is a “thank you” enough for me. The joy on their face as the walk away from my bar nursing their new favorite drink is the best tip I can ask for.

Memorizing the hundreds of drink names and recipes doesn’t make you a great bartender; it only turns you into a walking card catalog of drinks. Your imagination is your best friend behind the bar, because you’re definitely going to need it. Half of the drinks that any good bartender will pour you don’t even have names; they just come from the soul. That’s why you’ll never find two drinks that taste exactly the same; there is a different degree of love that one pours out of the bottle, over the ice, and into the glass, “it’s all in the wrist”. You need to have a working knowledge of everything on the bar back too, you have to know what mixes well with what, what’ll taste good with what, and of course what the best cure for a hangover is.

You see, not just anyone can bartend. This job in itself is a science, and the bar is my laboratory. In my lab there is no elixir that I can’t mix, “I can definitely cure what ails you”. You can find guys like me anywhere, just look around. From the night club “Flair” bartender juggling bottles and spitting flames for crazy Las Vegas party goers, to the white shirt and “bowtie” bartender at your local country club serving the perfectly chilled Martini or Manhattan (Shaken not stirred), right on down to the “Dive” bartender in the smoke filled taverns listening to the average Joe’s problems at home. So come on in, pull up a stool, and have one on me.