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Myth Busters

May 4, 2011

I love all the saying, phrases, rhymes,poems, quotes and myths about  bartenders, alcohol ad drinking.  I hear them almost nightly, and hope they never stop coming.  But I do want to clear up a couple things just for the hell of it.

1. Martini is a martini is a martini.   It has 3 ingredients: Gin, Vermouth, and bitters (yes, bitters). It does not include  fruit, schnapps, or vodka.  Every drink , when you change an ingredient becomes something else. take the cape Codder (Vodka, cranberry).  Add orange juice it is called a Madras.  Instead of OJ use grapefruit (Sea Breeze) or pineapple (Bay Breeze).  Take out the bitters, you have a Gibson (traditionally). Sub Vodka for gin, the drink is actually called a Kangaroo.  Take vermouth out of the martini and not use bitters, you have a double chilled shot of gin.  It just sounds cooler to say “extra dry martini up”.

2. Boobs dont make a  bartender and a penis is not a muddler.  Don’t be gender bias when it comes to your bartender.  Enough said.

3. Mixing makes not a hangover:  There are several other factors that cause hangovers but ‘mixing” beer wine and ‘or spirits isn’t that main culprit.  Time, speed of consumption, and amount along with allergens, and sugar are the biggies.

4. Professional bartenders are Professional bartenders:   There is a wonderful quote  by Mark Twain about the bartender,”…for a time, the lawyer, the editor, the banker… and the saloon-keeper, occupied the same level in society, and it was the highest. ”  We serve the public drinks at a basic level, but think of all the roles your bartender plays for you and others that come in.  I started tending, like many, while paying my way through college.  I loved it so much that I never stopped.  I believe there is honor is any job as lng as the person doing the job is honorable.

5. I dont know every drink ever: Especially the drink your frat brother came up with 20 years ago in his gaarge while cleaning out trash cans.

6. Vodka is flavorless and no one can smell it. Vodka at room temperature served neat can have a some distinguishing qualities that differ one from another. Likewise, vodka may have no smell, but the ethanol on your breath does!

&. Vodka is not better for you: I am NOT one of those bartenders that hates on vodka, and I believe that it is (1) a viable spirit category and (2) has  a place in craft mixology.  That said, many would have you think that vodka is more nutritional, or better for you than other spirits.  WWWRRRROOOOONNNGGGGG!!!!!!!  Vodka has relatively the same alcohol content and is made the same as any other distillate.  The difference is that most (not all, hence the flavors mentioned above) of the congeners have been removed.  If you have a “reaction” to certain booze, I;d would talk, not to your Nutritionist, but to your Allergist.

8. The only thing that sobers you up is time.  There is no other way about it.  Give a drink coffee, you have a caffeinated drunk, give a drunk.  Give a drunk a shower, you have a clean drunk.  Time is the only thing that sobers anyone.  Why?  look at the next myth……

9. Beer wine and spirit all have the same amount of alcohol.  Yep it’s true.   Calling me out on this one are you?  Asking why do you get drunker faster when hitting the “hard stuff”?  Here ya go: A  1 1/2 oz shot of 80 proof spirits (40%), a 12 oz beer(3-4%), and a 6 oz glass of wine(11-13%) all have the same amount of alcohol by weight, which we will refer to as “a drink” for the rest of this statement   The body can process one drink per hour.  Faster consumption causes the inebriated feeling we all love today,  but hate tomorrow.  So if you  slam down a shot and beer every 30 minutes, by the end of the round 2 you are at .06 BAC.  Greasy food can help absorb and slow alcohol getting into the blood stream, but it doesn’t soak up and take the booze away.

10. I cannot serve you even if you’re nor driving:  use a Designated Driver, let me call you a cab, a friend, or your pissed off wife as long as you get home safe.  But just because you are not driving does not mean I can give you another round.  Why again?  Ask your lawyer or judge buddy who is ready to sue me or put me in jail for over-service. Fact is, most courts in the US put the responsibility of your behavior on your server or bartender.  Even if you are not driving, you are still walking, moving and breathing, and if something happens to you while you are intoxicated and you wre drinking in my bar, the courts say it’s my fault because I served you some drinks.  Sad but true considering this is why we have a “drinking age”  and we should be old enough to take responsibility for our own actions.  But the law doesnt see it that way, so please understand, just like with the girl on the end of the bar that you have been unsuccessfully hitting on all night, No means No.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bram permalink
    May 7, 2011 2:52 pm

    So — that “original” Martini you made, with the sweet vermouth and gin (in equal amounts?), would be a Martinez?

  2. May 7, 2011 6:26 pm

    Great question, Bram, and no; the Martinez was a predessor of the Martini, and was made with Old Tom Gin which is rarely available in the US, Sweet vermouth, orange bitters and marischino liqueur.

    The Martini itself went through several incarnations before the 2:1 gin to dry vermouth with orange bitters and included various other ingredients like simple syrup, and absinthe. The cousins of the MArtini being The Fourth Defree, The Turf Club and, yes, the Martinez. Gin was differeent in the 1800 than it is today, and the interpaly with ingredients changed with it under the same name

    The one I am referring to in this post was the 1911 “Dry Martini”, which is consiidered the standard to classic recipe.

    There are many other factors that I may cover in a different post. and there is still a lot of controversy and contradiction in the cocktail world, and the answers may never be known.

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