Bar Manager at Louie’s Bar in San Francisco. We’re known as your favourite bartender’s favourite bar because our kitchen is open till 1am every night and we have beer & shot combos for as cheap as $6. It was long my favourite bar in San Francisco and now I’m fortunate enough to be heading up the program.
Even bartenders hate pretentious bartenders. We understand the hours of prep before the bar opens, we understand how long a craft cocktail is supposed to take, we understand the showmanship of bartending. What we don’t understand is any smugness, arrogance, pretentiousness or any other heightened sense of self-importance that some bartenders carry around them. We pour drinks for a living. It’s not that hard. I believe that the person in front of you is far more important than what’s in the glass or the person that’s pouring it. I might be served the most delicious drink in the world but if the bartender’s rude then I’m asking for the bill and going somewhere else. A good bartender is one that you visit for one drink, but they make you stay for four.
Right now - a classic daiquiri. Not the bullshit frozen daiquiris that you get on cruise ships but a classic craft daiquiri. They can vary greatly depending on type of rum, type of simple syrup, and can be modified in multiple different ways. I call citrus-forward cocktails like the daiquiri (think margarita, gimlet, whiskey sour, etc.) “session cocktails” because you can have 4, 5, 6 of them without even thinking about it. For the most part, they’re all 2 parts spirit, 1 part citrus, 1 part sweetener (sugar, agave, or honey) and all parts delicious af.
At the movies to unplug or at someone else’s bar to unwind. In San Francisco we even have a movie theatre that serves you alcohol to your seats so I can have both in one place! They have boozy milkshakes that are just as amazing as they sound. As for visiting other people’s bars, I love seeing what other bars are doing that I can incorporate into my bar. I like to see what ingredients, techniques, styles of service that people are using as an inspiration to keep pushing my own program forward.
Something in tourism & hospitality. I’m a bartender because I love taking care of people and I also get to push a product that I actually believe in. I’m not pitching some shitty product or service that I could care less about. The only other industry that rivals my passion for booze is travel. I promote travel as if it were a basic human need, like air or water. Everyone should travel and they should travel often. Also, everywhere you go there’s undoubtedly some good bars to visit.
Stiggin’s Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum. If anyone says they want a nice single malt scotch as their one bottle on a hot desert island, I’d say they’ve been on that island too long and are probably suffering from heatstroke. If I’m on a desert island, I want something light, tropical, and can be drank all day. Unlike those artificially-flavoured rums that you see in nightclubs, this rum is actually infused with real pineapple fruit and bark, lending tropical citrus notes and a subtle spiced smoky finish. If there happens to be coconuts on the island, then this would mix wonderfully.
Dim sum. If you haven’t heard of dim sum, just google your nearest Chinese restaurant and see if they have it on the menu. Dim sum is like Chinese tapas. They’re small plates (potstickers, egg rolls, shrimp dumplings, etc.) that are walked to your table as soon as you sit down. There’s no need to order as servers walk around the restaurant with either trays or carts, carrying various plates of steamed & fried goodness. You just have to point at the plate and they then drop it on your table. No need for words. Just grunts of the hungover variety or a simple head nod suffices equally as well. Perfect for anyone trying to restore their mental faculties after a long night of debauchery.