Ladies and gentleman of the bar, Scott Reitz sees past your straw-wielding machinations, your one-act play of a drink prep. You aren't fooling him.
Perhaps it's too strong to say this: Scott "Hipster Dreamboat" Reitz would appreciate it if bartenders would quit trying to pretend like they can make drinks. It might be more in keeping with his rant this morning on City of Ate to say SHDR would like bartenders to stop taste testing his very expensive Scocktails (that's right, Scott + cocktails = Scocktails) because they never ever ever tweak the recipe after doing so and the straw thing is all for show and he hates it.
Bartenders never ever go in any direction after tasting a drink. Instead, they invariably top the frothy mixture with a little Crème de Violette and push the finished cocktail across the bar. Every damn time.
When the phenomenon of bartender drink-tasting started in top-shelf bars, it made sense. Drink prices swelled way past the $10 mark, costing more than many appetizers. If you expect a chef to taste and adjust the salt in your soup, why shouldn't you expect the same from a master mixologist and his drinks?
But now bartenders at dive bars are sampling whiskey cokes without even thinking about adjustments. That's not monitoring quality and balance; that's getting drunk a centiliter at a time.
So quickly forgotten are the bartenders, whose drinks aren't one million dollars, who have sipped and adjusted. The Gabe Sanchezes (pictured), the Omar Yeefoons, and yes, the Jason Kosmases (though the price thing might better apply before his transition off Henderson Avenue). At least two of them have earned some Hipster Dreamboat lovin' in past posts.
And although it's humanly possibly Reitz has taken his eyes off his Scocktail for one second and missed an adjustment... Upscale bartenders, is the Dreamboat always watching? Best mind your straws.
Gabe Sanchez of Black Swan Saloon. [Photo: Andrea Grimes/EDFW]