The Return of the Jedi and The Great Debate…


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After a few months of research, travel and soul searching….I’m BAAAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!

I love this blog and what it has to offer. SO…I have decided to infuse this blog into an outlet for essay and educational learning as well as an outlet for stories from behind the bar :) I am a fan of continual education :)  With the ever evolving business we are in you can never stop learning and growing :) ENJOY :)

I would like to discuss a topic that has been coming up a lot as of lately. It is a topic that seems to be on the tips of everyone’s tongues.  It’s the dreaded ….


(Dramatics need to be used in discussing this subject ;)

O.K. go with me on this…

You walk into a local pub. It can be a sports pub, a small dive bar, or something along those lines. A place without a dress code. The bartenders are most likely dressed casually in a polo shirt, jeans, a t-shirt, etc. You grab a seat at the bar, look up at the chalk board and order a domestic beer .Your lady friend orders a Cosmo. The bartender may make that Cosmo with the liquor on the rail, or maybe they will use premium liquor. They will make your drinks for you and serve them to you in a standard cocktail glass for the Cosmo, and a traditional pint glass for the beer. The bartender chats with you, you exchange a good conversation, share a laugh; become engaged with the people around you, enjoying your drink and the company that you are in. When you depart, your check is $36 for two beers and two Cosmos. Total tab with tip is $50. The bartender thanks you and tells you to pop in again soon.


You walk into a Cocktail Lounge, a more upscale bar, or something along those lines. There is a dress code for the patrons and for the bartenders whom are dressed in a button down shirt, black slacks, and maybe they have a bar chef jacket on.  You grab a seat at the bar and a menu is placed in front of you which have several pages dedicated to cocktails and beer.  You ask the bartender for an imported micro-brew and a Cosmo for your lady friend. They may make your Cosmo with an infused vodka and simple syrup, or muddle fresh fruit and strain it in. They serve your Cosmo in a “modified” or “newer” style of a cocktail glass and your brew is in a fancy beer stein. The bartender chats with you, you exchange good conversation, share a laugh; become engaged with the people around you, enjoying your drink and the company that you are in. When you depart, your check is $50 for two micro-brews and two Cosmos. Total tab with tip is $64. The bartender thanks you and tells you to pop in again soon.

Besides aesthetically and pricing, there is no difference in the quality of service or drink that you received from BOTH bartenders. YES, the “mixologist” was a bit more refined in making your drink and you pay a bit more for it, BUT, tell me…where is the difference?????? One has been working for fifteen years with no formal education on bartending; the other has been working the same amount of time except he went through the “book education” of bartending. BOTH make a great drink. BOTH p

rovide friendly, attentive service. BOTH made your visit enjoyable.  Anyone who is anyone in this business HAD TO levitra cialis viagra price START FROM THE BOTTOM. You earn your way up the ranks just like you do in any other business. With that “time” you put in comes respect, notoriety, and personal success.

EGO is the main divider of bartender to mixologist.  It is most defined here in NYC. The best in the world are here, along with egos, divas, and pre-Madonna’s (BOTH MEN AND WOMEN). Your level of experience should have NOTHING to do with the MANNER in which you present YOURSELF AND your DRINK. PERIOD!!!!!! NO IF’s AND’s or BUT’s

about it! I have over 14 years of experience under my belt and I have been turned off from bars and lounges because of the BAD ATTITUDE of the person serving me my drink. And by bad attitude I mean snotty or egotistical, by BOTH the “Bartender AND Mixologist”.

Maybe instead of trying to DEFINE who is this or that, why not INFUSE the talents of both. I have come across a few mixologist’s who have the attitude of “I’m the best and you should feel honored to be experiencing my company and tasting my drink”. There are so many negative points that come out of that kind of attitude.  When you give someone a bad taste in their mouth, it will be a difficult task to get them to come back or even want to work with you.  They just made what they do seem intimidating. They just made the venue they work in seem “clickish”. They just made the brand look un-affordable.  And I know that drink does not taste nearly as good as it should have.

 I have a good friend of mine who is the epitome of class, style and talent. He is a “mixologist” and a bartender. Ask him and he will not say he is neither. He will say that he is in the business of making a good drink and meeting good people. There is no difference in his attitude or in his drink presentation regardless of the venue he is working in. He will wash dishes when he is working at a bar and he will wash dishes if he is working an event. His drinks are amazing. His attitude is positive and he is approachable. This all adds up to what he truly is. He is HUMBLE. He is a teacher of bartending and of social ethics.  He sets the example of bridging the gap between the bartender and the mixologist. 

The job of tending bar is a tough job and I have always said it takes a special person to be able to take on the responsibilities of that job. There is so much more to it than just mixing a drink. In most cases it is a lifestyle. Never lose touch of you roots or where you came from. BARTENDER OR MIXOLOGIST …Your beginnings

are the same. You stood behind a bar for the first time, timid, overwhelmed, but confident. You learned the same way we all did. By shaking your first drink!

One could spend hours debating why mixology is more refined than bartending, or how bartending keeps you in touch with the “real” side of tending bar. Get to the CORE of each and you get the SAME description.  generic viagra As I say all the time…this is not brain surgery. It is common sense. Never forget how you got to where you are, and always be the teacher! Job and venue aside, when you are working the bar, you need to stay on point. You never know who is watching…

Please feel free to drop a comment or start a discussion on this topic. I’m always down for good conversation :)


Posted by mugsy under Stories


This week is a special week for bogging :) I am happy to say that Heidi A Welniak, who is a friend and fellow Whiskey Chick is lending a story to us. This Tuesday is election day this story is perfect to “REMEMBER” and to reflect on the year 1920. Why you say…well get ready for a quick history lesson because 1920 was the year when women received their right to vote!!! Hedi just recently competed in “The Search for the Ultimate Whiskey Cocktail Diva” presented by Makers 46 and Whiskey for Women. Her drink was amazing, but her story as to her inspiration for the cocktail is even more amazing and we want to share that with you. So Whiskey chicks, grab a nice smooth warm ya up glass of your favorite Whiskey or Bourbon and reflect on a BIG part of American history :)

Heidi’s Cocktail was called “The Iron Angel”

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Do you know where she got that name from?? Back in 2006 a movie came out called “The Iron Jawed Angles”. It was a story capturing the fight of Alice Paul and her colleagues and their struggles with power and politics during the Woman’s Suffrage movement in the eary1900′s. 1920 was a big year for another reason….They did not just call it the Roaring Twenties for any ol’ reason. That was also the year of

the Prohibition Movement. So think about it…Women fought and won their right to vote in the same year it became illegal to consume or distribute alcohol. There is a Snapple Fact for ya :) :)

Heidi’s Inspiration for the Cocktail: “The inspiration for my cocktail is for

my Grandmother, the very first “Iron Jawed Angel “ in my family. She was sugar and spice with a powerful kick, yet was as soft in heart as a rose petal.

My Grandmother came over on the boat from Germany in 1904, wishing for a new life as many immigrants of that time did. She was raised in the “old school” way of female thought to be subservient to a man’s wishes and wants.. but this was America… a new life, with new sets of rules, not under

the watchful eye of the German Government. She did what was required of her, excelled in her studies, and learned everything about the lan

d of opportunity while growing into a young woman. She loved the freedoms afforded to her and her family in this new land, but was amazed to see how women still had lesser freedoms than their male counterparts. She realized that the rules of the female in America,were not so different than those of the homeland she had left so long ago, this did not sit very well with a young woman who wanted a better life for herself, and for the life of her future children.

Being the intelligent, defiant, young woman that she was, she mexico viagra set out to help a movement that would forever live in the history books of the United States... Women’s Suffrage. Grandma picked up her banner, and marched for a freedom that most females of today take for granted, The Right to VOTE. Grandma found her voice at a very young age, and never again let anyone quiet her, and on January 26, 1920, the United States Government passed a bill giving Women the Right to Vote in any official election.

My grandmother taught my Mother to always stand for what she believed in, to never back down from what you feel is right and just, and to always be independent no matter what. I was taught by my mother these same sets of rules and follow them with the same passion that they did.”

Hedi’s grandmother’s story is an inspiration to all women!!! This is an amazing cocktail that fits the profile of flavor, history and empowerment!!! So grab your tools, get your friends, and in honor of women everywhere, mix up this amazing drink and taste what the Women of the Suffrage movement no doubt would be proud to have pass through their lips :) :)

Cocktail: “The Iron Angel”

1 1/2 oz Makers 46

1/2 oz Domaine de Canton

2 1/2 oz SENCE Silver

1/2 oz fresh lemon sour

1 level bar spoon Silverbow cinnamon creamed honey

2 whole cloves

Preparation: In mixing glass muddle: cinnomon honey, fresh lemon sour, and clove. Add: Makers 46, Domaine de Canton and SENCE Silver.

Garnish: Dress the Drink edible rose petal


Posted by mugsy under Stories

Trade Shows, Dog Collars and Head Butting…

Trade Shows…they roll into a city, take over the convention center and bring people in from all over the world. If you can think of something…I bet there is a trade show for it. Anything from animals to toys. It can be a wholesalers dream and a royal pain in the ass for bartenders. Typically these people work from sunrise to sunset at these trade shows. When they are over they hit the bar, and they hit it hard literally…

The one trade show that sticks out in my mind was the “Westminster Dog Show” a few years back.. Now some people will argue that it is NOT a trade show. I say it is. On top of the actual dog show there are loads of vendors that set up booths out side of the show and it brings quite the crowd to NYC.


Working at one of the many hotel bars, I had the pleasure of dealing with this one lady who traveled to all the shows selling dog collars. She was quite the artist with them I may say. Well, she strolled into my bar after the second day of the show and she was on a mission. It took me all of two seconds to see that she was going to be my entertainment for the evening. She was not even done her first drink when she started to flirt with this younger man sitting next to her. I could not categorize her as a cougar because he was in his mid 20′s and she was in her mid 40′s. But she was not shy!

After about two bottles of white wine later she begins to slowly fall out of her chair. Now these are high bar stools so it can be painful if you fall out of one of these. The first time she was in mid conversation and in the midst of talking with her hands, she lost her balance, and a

lmost bit it. She regained her balance with a giggle and continued on with her conversation. She was telling us that the women who work some of these booths are lil’ old biddies who will go to blows with each other over the merchandise. The day before official canadian pharmacy she had witnessed two older well to do ladies almost get into a cat fight over a dog collar (note to self: must attend the next dog show, maybe catch a cane fight hahahaha).

She proceeds to tell us that she knew that one of her competitors was breaking into her booth and night and stealing her merchandise. She told us that if she caught her red handed she was not only going to call the cops but give her something to remember her by. Of course we all wanted to know what that was. She tells us that she would “head butt that bitch right into the next

trade show”. We were so intrigued by this comment that the guy she was chatting up asked her if she actually knew how to head butt someone. This lady got a grin on her face from ear to ear and began to tell us how to properly head butt someone. She lunged her head back to “show” us how to do it. Maybe it was the copious amounts of wine that she was drinking, or the excitement she had from actually showing a man how to head butt, or the lack of balance she had on the bar stool, she ended up whacking her head on the top of the bar and falling out of her chair.

Thankfully she did not knock

herself out. We picked her up off the floor, gave

her some ice for her head and announced that none of us would be attempting that any time soon. She had a great sense of humor. She joked the rest of the night over the fact that she “kicked her own ass” LOL!


Posted by mugsy under Stories
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