Sitting at the house restaurant ( Blue Mermaid) of the Argonaut hotel in San Francisco I found myself ordering a “Happy Hour” special. The drink was a bourbon and ginger ale cocktail that seemed to be a bourbon lovers way of relaxing after a long day. This particular drink was made with Cock n Bull Ginger beer and Bulleit Bourbon. While I usually have this cocktail with Blenheim Ginger Ale of South Carolina. I found the Cock n Bull version very good. It was definitely less spicy, but hugely satisfying.
How often do you get asked by a bartender if you liked the way he or she made a particular cocktail? In a world where there is a presumption of increased services, it is surprising to me that so few bartenders ask this simple question. Is it because their egos can’t handle the answer?… Lack of self confidence? … Or simply they don’t give a crap??
My unscientific study says this happens far too often. Too many people don’t ask if their services meet their customers’ expectations. This reflects both a lack of respect for customers and more importantly of your craft.
This was not the case at the Cortiina Bar, where the very capable bartender Tim asked me if my first ordered Manhattan was to my liking. He made it with a 4:2 ratio of bourbon to Vermouth blend. I was honest with him and said that I was a self proclaimed “bourbon guy” and I liked to savor the taste of the Kentucky liquid over the Vermouth. He quickly remedied the situation with a 5:2 ratio and made me the perfect Bavarian version of this classic. If your are ever in Münich and need a rest from the beer that flows out of the taps here, stop by and see Tim at the Cortiina Hotel bar, … Tell him Micko sent you
So what is the proper etiquette…?
Do you tell a bartender in Manhattan, that the Manhattan he just made with pride and flare should NEVER be shaken? Or do you simply sip it and smile and enjoy? … knowing you are the wiser.
I always assumed that Bartender 101( taken at some liquid trade school) would have taught that one of the most famous cocktails shouldn’t ever see the inside of a shaker. A drink like the Manhattan needs to be stirred so you are able to achieve the appropriate coldness without interrupting the clarity of the ingredients in your customer’s class.
Side Note for other drinks: Shaking is needed when you’re using ingredients that don’t combine well without a vigorous shake.
Coming in May 2014 is the annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. This event never fails to impress. Go to their site to learn more or stay tuned
About the Manhattan Cocktail Classic
Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture. With nearly one hundred events spread across five days and four boroughs, and a multi-day trade conference to boot – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic offers a vast array of unique experiences to enthusiasts and professionals alike, expanding the very definition of what constitutes a “cocktail event”.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Classic and are looking to get your bearings, start by taking a spin through the FAQ. From there, you may want to peruse some of the fabulous news coverage, or (if you’re not so keen on reading) flip through some photos from last year’s festival. Or, if you’ve read plenty already and just want to find out how to get involved, head on over to the contact page to get the ball rolling.