You Ask, We Answer: Don’t Call It a Cuba Libra, Mr. Fancypants

Posted: April 26, 2011 by VT in Daily Ramblings, Q&A: Ask Your Bartender

Okay people, apparently there have been a few of you turning questions in to Miss Vodka Toxic. So today with be another lovely question and answer day.

I love these days for a myriad of reasons. The first being that I don’t have to do much thinking, and the second, that after a few days of work in a row, sometimes it’s just easier to have someone do half the work.

And now … drumroll please … It’s the Weekly Q&A with the divebardiva!

Let’s get right to it.

Q: Is there a particular drink someone orders that puts you on automatic douchebag alert? Like, uh oh, we may have a problem with this one.

A: Not really. Drinks are drinks as far as I am concerned. However, oddly enough a little tidbit from the bartenders movie nemesis “Cocktail” immediately comes to mind.

If you’re ordering a rum and coke with a lime, just say fucking rum and coke with a lime. Calling it a cuba libre just makes you a douche. A really big one.

Q: How did you get into bartending? What was your first bartending job?

A: I learned how to bartend at a little bar by the airport called J.J. Whispers in Atlanta. Not to be confused by the gay leather bar of the same name which resides in Florida (or at least that’s what I’m told).

My bartending mentor was this sassy lesbian named Leslie (and yes, I do find that ironic), and she was amazing. She taught me how to deal with even the most surly customer, the fact that vodka and diet coke has absolutely no smell whatsoever, and it is perfectly acceptable to embellish if it entertains the hell out of everyone you are talking to. And as a sidenote, I was 17 at the time…damn I’m old.

Q: I’m very picky about my margaritas and sometimes they’re not made how I like ‘em. What’s the best way to get the bartender to fix my drink? (I don’t wanna look like a douche and end up on this blog.)

A: I am also really picky about my margaritas, and I like to ask how they make them before I order. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to make a bartender not hate you. They might just be having a bad day. Or, much less likely, they’re just hateful people by nature.

I love my bartenders, and the vast majority are the coolest people on the planet. But occasionally, you just get one where there is no cure for their stellar bitterness.

However, if you have not run into such a bartender — and you know what the drink in front of you might be missing — asking nicely or starting with, “Hey, I don’t mean to be a pain…” really works.

Tipping well and being polite will pretty much get you anything at my bar. That’s just how I roll.

Q: Wines by the glass. Okay to ask for a taste before ordering?

A: Absolutely, and as a matter of fact a good bartender will offer. The bar where I work is about as far from a wine bar as you can get. But we sell a decent amount and carry several kinds.

A bartender worth their salt will always try to help you figure out what you’re looking for in a wine — sweet, heavy, citrus, or dry – and let you taste whatever it is that you decide on first.

Q: I read your weekend offender post about the guy that got banned from your bar. Have you ever allowed someone who got banned to come back? What did they have to do to get back in your good graces?

A: An apology usually helps. But sometimes people are just so difficult that it doesn’t make sense to allow them to return.

You have to look at it in the big picture. When you’re a monumental ass, chances are you are going to be pissing off the customers AND waitstaff. The same people that keep the place running like a well oiled drunken machine.

It’s not always worth it to have a person who is a constant drain on the party lurking about. No matter how much money they spend on any given night, it will never make up for the damage they cause. And like Dante’s 9 circles of hell, there are levels of douche-baggery. Including ones that cannot, and should not, be forgiven.

So that’s it for today, party peeps! Thank you for your questions and your constant support of our little venture. Blogs ain’t no fun if no one reads them.

I have said it before and I will say it again…I have the best job, customers and friends in the whole fucking world! Cheers!!!

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