We understand that sometimes it’s hard to remember your favorite bartender’s name or what their favorite drink is. So that’s why we decided to introduce you to some bartenders around the country who are interested in sharing a little more about their craft. Bartending isn’t easy — it’s long hours, busy nights, slow days, and sometimes the occasional rude customer or two. Take a step into a bartender’s shoes and get to know them a little better! Once you learn their favorite cocktail, maybe you can offer them a drink or two after their shift…
The Daily Meal: Where do you work?
Alex: In New York City's Lower East Side and Midtown East.
TDM: How long have you been bartending?
A: Two years.
TDM: What is your favorite drink to make for guests?
TDM: What is the worst thing that’s happened to you behind the bar?
A: I had an older gentleman order a Scotch from me. Apparently, he was not allowed to be drinking, so he was sipping secretly at the bar while his wife waited at the table. Eventually, he was caught and the gentleman then informed me (and the whole restaurant) that he was caught because of me — I was awful at my job and should be fired. All of this shouted loudly and peppered with some curse words. It was my first day.
TDM: What’s the best pickup line you’ve received from a guest while bartending?
A: I have a stack of phone numbers that people have written on their credit card receipts, all with a "call me," or "you're cute." But the best face-to-face moment was a younger guy who had been staring me down for a while and finally asked what my nationality was. Apparently, I reminded him of a girl he had spent a "magical night" with in Russia, which he described to me in detail, and he was under the impression that it was a sign that he met me and it was fate for us to be lovers.
TDM: What’s the worst part about being a bartender?
A: The hours can be long. And when you have sour and negative people sitting with you, it can be difficult to stay upbeat.
TDM: What’s the best part about being a bartender?
A: When really amazing people sit down with great energy and an amazing story. I've met so many cool people.
TDM: What’s your go-to cocktail when you’re out with friends?
A: I love a good Old-Fashioned. Sometimes a nice gimlet.
TDM: What’s your favorite alcohol to create cocktails with?
A: I like whiskey cocktails. The same cocktail can become new just by changing the whiskey.
TDM: What’s the most ridiculous bartending story you have?
A: I don't have a story so much as a series of ridiculous customers. Like the man who asked me to bite him, or the man who dresses like Shaft, or the couple who threw a drink at me because I wouldn't give them a to-go cup.
TDM: What else should we know about hitting up a bar and talking to bartenders?
A: Don't be cheap. We work on tips.