Sidecar Discussion – An Open Letter to Bartenders

Dear Bartender,

There are a lot of words for being inebriated: drunk, wasted, blotto, gone, pissed, smashed, sloshed, shitfaced, plastered etc, etc, etc. So many names for something that happens so often. In the bar world, its the equivalent for the 50 words of snow in the Inuit language. But just because its so prevalent, doesn’t mean you have to contribute to it.

What I mean to say, is don’t make the drink so strong I won’t be able to stand afterwards. You don’t have to overload your cocktail for me to like it. I like cocktails. I like bars. I like remembering where I live and the names of my loved ones.  Those three things can co-exist together.

Yes, I am at a bar ordering a drink which can cause of intoxication, but you are working for a business, why make a drink so strong that I won’t be able to order more than one before I am legally cut off? If its decently poured, than I can have a couple. Maybe order some food. Talk to the other patrons and be a positive part of the bar scene. Which won’t happen if I’m shitfaced. IF I’m shitfaced I will yell at the TV screen, even though I am looking at a mirror. If I’m shitfaced, I will start fights, cry over the friends I don’t have anymore, or worse, I might quote you favorite scenes from Anchorman or Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If I am shitfaced I am not a paying customer, I am a lump you have to deal with and trundle into a cab later on.

These things happen of course just through the course of working at a bar, but you don’t have to contribute to the problem. Don’t over pour my drink. I ordered this drink because I like the taste of the spirits and the mixers combined. i like the way it looks, feels and tastes. I like the way it warms me. I am ordering an item that has measured parts. Let me enjoy the proper flavor. Let me be able to have more than one. Please.

I am aware that some of your customers will come in annoyed that you are making a weak drink. That they want a stiff one, they want a man’s drink. The kind of a man’s drink that turns you into a blubbering little girl. I know these guys exist. They will not tip well if you don’t over pour. For these monsters, do what you need to do. But remember, we are not all these cro-magnons. To lump us all together as a wannabe lushes is unfair and unwise.  If I was looking to just get wasted, I would lock myself at home with a bottle of vodka and watch ESPN or Lifetime Movie Channel all day until I woke up in the next century. But I choose to go to a public space to drink, not just for the drinks, but for the company. Let me be able to recall both.

Now nobody appreciates a weak drink, but it takes a true drinker to appreciate a well proportioned one. Let us strive to be that drinker.

Thank you for your time, and your judicious pouring of my next drink.

Sincerely, Dante of Worcester


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