Wanted: One Good Bartender


My husband and I were driving through town the other day, and we passed a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called “Ham’s.” He said, “Remember you got mad at the bartender there? What’d she do wrong again?”

I had just an inkling of a memory, as so often is the case.

I vaguely remembered having to tell her how to make an Irish coffee. Their drink list said it contained Irish whiskey and spiced rum. I wanted to make sure that I was getting a full shot of each liquor, and that she wasn’t just pouring a little of each, for flavor. I wanted the Bailey’s on the side. (So often they skimp on the Bailey’s!) Also, I wanted a very small amount of coffee, because some bartenders give you a huge cup of coffee, which dilutes the liquor and is not good for you. (Too much caffeine.)

My little bit of bartending knowledge was a dangerous thing.

The bartender then said loudly to the other bartender, and to the whole restaurant: “She wants two full shots in her coffee and another shot on the side! She would up-charge her?”

No discretion. Whatever happened to bartenders who took orders and delivered them without comment?

When she finally got my drink together, she said loudly, “That drink is burning the hairs of my nose! It would knock me flat. Better not light a match! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Needless to say, we never went back there, unless every other bar in town was closed. (Somehow this place stayed open late, even when we were under travel advisories, like tornados or snow storms.)

My husband and I laughed about that absurd scene, and then went on to other bartenders and wait staff that had failed to meet my very high expectations.

Actually, my expectations weren’t all that high. All I just wanted strong drinks delivered fast. Is that too much to ask?

You who are still lingering in the wine and beer category of drinking can’t relate to this, but I’m telling you, once you throw a leg over that wobbly fence to liquor, you’ll want to get your money’s worth.

Here’s another scene we thought was funny: At a nice restaurant in the city, I asked the bartender for a diet coke and rum in a short glass. He delivered a diet coke and rum in a large glass. That meant that I would have to drink that whole diet coke for just one shot of rum. All that caffeine, right before bedtime, and no liquor to balance it out. How was I  supposed to sleep?

“I wanted a short glass,” I told him, handing back the drink. (I often found my ability to speak up strengthened with a drink, and I’m sure I’d had one before I got to the bar.)

He stared at me, so I pointed helpfully to the short glass that my husband had. He raised an eyebrow, but then POURED HALF OF THE DRINK I’D GIVEN HIM INTO A SHORT GLASS! That meant I was getting half a shot! Did he not understand that he had just halved the liquor in the drink? DID HE NOT GET IT ?!!

My husband, sensing a scene of some type, came to my rescue by saying, “She wants a full shot of rum in a small amount of coke. In fact, why don’t you just make it a double.”

Something clicked for the bartender, and he gave me a quick once over. He hadn’t pegged me as a serious drinker, what with my delicate features and pink cardigan. (Joking here: I actually had a puffy face and watery eyes. Signs that a good bartender would have recognized.)

And that’s just two fun drinking stories! There are so many more, even though I’ve only lived in this state for a short time.

Odd, but I have no new stories. Not since I stopped drinking. The service around here has improved dramatically. They are so much better at serving decaf coffee and creme brûlée.




27 thoughts on “Wanted: One Good Bartender

  1. ooooh, yes …. I can relate. I’ve been on quests for the best extra-dirty martini and the best house margarita …….. the martinis I make at home would lay someone out for hours I bet.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve done that!! Right now I’ve moved over to red wine — I’m sure I’ll get that crushing “wine headache” and go right back to the BIG V(odka) ………… thanks so much for commenting. I have hope for myself when I read your blog. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much! I got my hope from Mrs. D’s blog, which I read while drinking my Cosmos. 😀
        I went from beer to red wine to white wine to rum to vodka, partly because I developed an allergy to wine. (The doctor explained to me that that could happen if you drink it “in excess.”

        It took a long time until I could get an sustained sobriety, but I now consider it “failing upward.”

        Hang in there! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love the phrase “story teller” instead of writer. Much less to live up to. 😀
      And urgency is the perfect word to describe this condition. It was always urgent, and I stepped all over people to get that first drink. I still dream about it.

      Hang a wonderful day! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those are really good stories and I totally get them. I used to get very arsey if the drink that is been looking forward to all darn day wasn’t exactly as I wanted it or in real terms, as big as I wanted it. A good reminder. Katie x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i once got pretty mad at a server for taking my not quite empty wine glass away to fill it up. there was a sip left in there that now was being mixed with the new wine and if they poured it to a standard measure it meant i was paying for the same sip twice. Wow. what a lot of energy on a sip of poison. glad i’m free of the whole mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s hilarious because I’ve done the same thing. I would have a half inch left of a drink and the server would take my glass. I would secretly get mad that I was cheated out of half inch of diluted drink. I get the same way now when I have to share a dessert. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Patti, you just made my day! I am hosting a family reunion, and this is the first time I’ve been able to connect with the blogging world. Thank you SO MUCH! The timing was perfect, as I was questioning my greater purpose in life. 😀
      Thanks for the validation!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this.. such good writing.
    My Irish coffee story…. Irish coffee …usually the drink to drink when I havent quite had enough to drink at dinner and need that extra hit. I am not an alcholic mind you so I can’t very well ask for a straight-up double shot of whiskey which to lets be honest is really what I really want….I’m sophisticated so I order an irish. We were in a pub called ‘The man in the moon’ and I really should have know when I walked in that it wasnt going to end well. We walked up to the bar and ordered two Irish Coffees to which the barman replied: “Eh? You want a what mate?” We proceeded to explain what the drink consistened of and he agreed to attamt to make it with a quite unintelligeible grumble waving at us to go get a table. The waitress brought two massive mugs of cofee over. We were in shock, looked over to the barman who seemed to be very pleased with himself for trying to make it. I wanted to make a scene but my husband took a sip and said : hang on honey…this is a VERY STRONG DRINK…half this mug is whiskey. I didnt need to hear any more, I was away:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly why I ordered Irish coffee! I didn’t have enough to drink with dinner. I usually insisted on stopping somewhere on the way home, so I wouldn’t look like a lush at the previous restaurant.
      It sounds like I would have been a regular at “The man in the moon.” Giant strong drinks. What could go wrong? It’s funny, but I would order these crazy strong drinks, but would NOT do shots. Those were for serious drinkers and I had given up on shots years ago. See how responsible I was?


      1. I read right over typos. Maybe that’s because the letters are getting blurrier and blurrier every year. I often read and send text messages without my glasses, so God knows what I’m sending. Had to apologize the other day for one I sent my son that was really creepy. (Autocorrect changed some words to make it borderline obscene.) : (

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s