The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

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Page 8 of 148

FROM THE EDITOR Alcohol Attitude Back in the dark ages (about a decade or more ago) bartenders had to ight for relevance. That's when they started calling themselves "mixologists." There is no question that their skill and creativity needed to be recognized. But that was then. PHOTO: CATHY TWIGG-BLUMEL Nowadays, mixologists are well appreciated for their ability and importance. The battle for recognition has been won; bartenders have become celebrities just like chefs. But unfortunately, the ight for respect has, in some cases, spawned an arrogant, overbearing attitude which lies in the face of the concept of personalized service, the fundamental standard of the hospitality industry. I have seen this snooty attitude manifested in bars around the country, but nowhere seems quite as attitudy (is that a word?) as some of the trendy drinking establishments in New York City. At many of these places you need a reservation, or you have to put your name on a waiting list and give your cell phone number so they can call you an hour or two later when a coveted spot opens up at the bar. I guess that proves these places are popular or, because they're hard to get into, people are more eager to get in, even though they know they're going to be abused once they get there. "I don't carry vodka or light beer because they teach morons to like things that have no taste," one mixologist boasted to The New York Post. "I don't carry Coke either. It ruins palates." Fine. I haven't had a Rum and Coke since my sophomore year in college, but many customers have tastes that are not quite as evolved as those of these militant bartenders. Let them be. They came to the bar to have a good time, not to be lectured and humiliated in front of their friends. My advice to these crusading mixologists: Dial back the attitude and remember that you're in a service industry. Give people eficient, friendly and cheerful service even if you wouldn't think of drinking what they ordered yourself. Your job will become considerably less stressful. And you'll probably make more money too. 8 / the tasting panel / may 2013

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