What’s the most profound thing you’ve learned about yourself, or others, as a bartender?
After taking a look at most bartender lists one thing became clear. They were dominated by headlines like, ’30 Reasons Why Your Bartender Hates You’. We want to focus on the positives in our industry.
Bartenders create temporary interactions from which we hopefully yield a happy visitor, sometimes a new favorite guest haunt, if not friendships that extend beyond our venues. At our best, we’re respected and valued members of the community. Many Bartenders are happy to view their work as their profession.
We craft consumptive art meant to be destroyed within moments.
Earlier, we talked to 10 Bartenders who provided fascinating insights that resonated in the bar scene around the world. (Click here> to read Part 1). Through coincidence the Pt. 1 Bartenders were all male. While we think that the title of Bartender encompasses men and women of talent without distinction we felt it important to hear from the ladies of the barspoon.
Here’s how some notable Ladies reflected on the question asked at the top:
“Take hospitality seriously. Take everything else with a grain of salt…
The industry is ever-changing, the trends are ever-changing. The only thing that is left when you strip it all away is that we are all there to host someone’s night, whatever that means for them. It’s our job to read them. To give them their evening to the best of our abilities.”“Ingredients for a good Bar tender: equal parts empathy, patience and a sense of humor…
Sometimes I fear technology is keeping people disconnected. Places where you can drink and share a good laugh, or cry, will hopefully keep human interaction alive.Having a 2-year-old has made me a more patient person and a better bartender.I take everything I do in life pretty seriously. Making cocktails is serious business, but having a sense of fun and perspective is so much less stressful! I try to find humor in otherwise trying situations.”– Regina Schauerte (Bartender Blackbird Bar SF \\ Co-founder of SipCraft, a cocktail catering and consulting company set to launch end of summer 2014)
“The hospitality of Bartending is what drives me. The creativity feeds me. The science behind it inspires. Through the art of it I am captured…
Life examined through a mixing glass is a path with many roads [worth] exploring to the fullest.”
“A smile goes a long way“
“If you can make a good drink without a smile then where is the joy in drinking with you”
“In all the occupations I have held throughout my life, the most important tool I have found was a smile. I have spent 6 years working for underserved populations, even teaching yoga in prisons. I’ve enjoyed over 16 years bartending.
When someone walks through the door you never know when the last time someone has smiled at them. It can turn their whole day around”
“The industry is Open Source. Everyone I have met has been fully willing to share everything they know…
I owe a great deal of my current knowledge of spirits and cocktails to those that have spent their time and energy to teach me. I was openly welcomed into this group of people who I have admired and respected for so long. This is a true community.”
“There will always be something new to learn. When you think you’ve learned enough, that is when you fail”
“Great cocktails are fantastic but they are easily duplicated…Hospitality and positivity come first. Great service cannot be doled out in 3 measures, shaken and strained “
“Be Relatable…Lose the Bartender/Guest labels”
“We orchestrate a synergistic space during each service…
As the bartender, you have so much control of the well-being of both fellow staff and visiting customers, just by the what you emanate from yourself. That moment when everyone at your bar is interacting with one another, lost in conversation and drink: Bartender gold!”
“It’s about family…People come to see you at your place, your house. The moment they come through the door, it’s about the welcome. You never know who is going to end up being your best friend or a part of the family.”
“Those of us who’ve been Bartending long enough remember that before we were making cocktails, we were making friends. We can’t lose sight of that.”
“We are all behind the stick because we believe that there is one drop, one sip, one smile or one unique moment that can alter a guests existence…
Every living moment I’m thrilled at how our community has come together to celebrate each other’s passion and creativity, all to achieve one great cause – the guests happiness.
On that level, the power of the bartender is unparalleled.”
“People visit us from all walks of life and they all have a story to share. They have conscientiously chosen to sit at our bar and give us their time. We must respect and reciprocate it, regardless of how busy we are, and enjoy their company”
“Making a living loving what you do is a rare opportunity. Remember to share that joy and excitement with your guests.”
“I get so much joy from introducing people to something that they’ll love – a locally made spirit, unusual flavor combination or even a classic cocktail that they were previously unfamiliar with – and knowing that after our experience together, it will be their new favorite, for the season. Or forever.
They can then share it with their friends, make it at home or request it someplace else. It makes that shared experience even more meaningful, knowing they’re taking away more than just a vague memory of a drink. They have something tangible to attach to that memory.”
“Order what you love. There is no judgement here. I just want you to walk away happy.”
And as a toast to the Ladies of the Barspoon, a drink from Amber Bruce (Cuchillo)
Mayahuel Milk15ml Yellow Chartreuse1 Lemon PeelCombine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir until well chilled and diluted. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express lemon peel over the cocktail and discard.