Monday, July 21, 2008

It's a Bloody Shame!

Sometimes a night of drinking can have you waking up in the morning thinking: can't anyone mix a decent cocktail anymore?

Not that I've been overindulging lately, I can assure you that I haven't. But sitting out on the deck at Brophy Brothers on Sunday afternoon, enjoying my favorite cocktail (and this one was good) made me appreciate the fact that it's not just anybody who can mix a drink these days.

Feral pigs may be at the top of Wendy McCaw's endangered species list. Knowledgeable bartenders are at the top of mine.

Believe it or not, bar tending is becoming a lost art. The knowledgeable bartender is joining the woman who takes dictation and the guy who delivers telegrams as people becoming harder and harder to find.

Take the recent experience I had when I was in Las Vegas at the beginning of April. We're strolling through the new Palazzo Hotel and checking it out. There's an inviting looking bar sitting right in the middle of the shopping concourse so we decide to take a break and have a drink. I ordered a Bloody Mary.

I watched the bartender, a young woman in her early 20's, mix my drink. She pours vodka into a glass with some ice cubes, then she pulls out a plastic container of "Bloody Mary" mix and pours it into the glass, and then she plops the glass and a check for 11 bucks down in front of me.

And here I was worrying about the one-armed bandits.

If you're going to be charging 11 bucks for a drink you ought to be making it from scratch and not relying on some "party mix" anyone could buy from a liquor store.

Where's the Worcestershire sauce, the fresh lemon juice, the salt and pepper, and the celery stalk to top it all off?

The miniature bottle of vodka and the can of "Snappy Tom" that you get on an airplane when you ask the flight attendant for a Bloody Mary would have been better than this.

Well, at least she didn't ask me the question that's the dead giveaway for novice bartenders who mix Bloody Mary's: "Would you like it spicy?"

In other words, "Should I load it up with Tabasco?"

For the record, my three favorite Bloody Marys in town are (in no particular order):


The Chase

Brophy Brothers (Pictured above.)

And none of them will set you back anywhere near $11.