Apr 30, 2012

Speech Writing & Mixology

I was working with a student this week to help him improve his writing. He and I wrote from speech prompts to strengthen his ability to write off the cuff.  He wrote a speech about being in a drumline, I wrote a speech about making a drink. Let me know what you think!

As a bartender, I've been trained to make drinks. Any bartender will tell you that making drinks is easy, you simply follow the specific steps and serve the beverage to the customer. A gin and tonic, for example: fill a collins glass with ice, pour in two ounces of gin, fill the rest of the glass with tonic water. Put a lime garnish on the rim. simple. However, the showmanship, presentation and service are what truly make a great cocktail.

I like to make martinis. It's a simple drink that has become synonymous with high class and good taste. Even though its origin is disputed, most historians agree the Prohibition Era is the reason the drink became so popular. During the 1920s the illegal manufacturing of gin was so popular that gin-based drinks were the choice of most underground bars. The simplicity of the beverage only added to its fame and I think James Bond did the rest when he first asked for one "shaken, not stirred."

Making the drink is not difficult. You start with a shaker filled half way with ice. Then, you add an ounce and a half of gin and a half ounce to an ounce of dry vermouth. Here's where the service comes in. Double check with your customer because people like varying degrees of vermouth in their martini. The less vermouth, the "dryer" the martini. Next, cap the shaker and shake (or stir) it up! You want to be able to feel  some of the chill of the ice through the shaker. Then, you pour the mixed concoction into a martini glass. I like to drop the necessary olives in the bottom of the martini glass prior to the pour so that the drink fills up around the garnish. I feel doing that adds to the level of showmanship. I also move the shaker up and down and in a circular motion as I pour to give the sense of an "even pour."

That is how I make a martini to not only create the drink for the customer, but to also make a demonstration of its creation which adds to the overall presentation of the drink.

Apr 22, 2012

Finally clocked out. Long night, but was a lot of fun. More photos to come later. But for now, sleep!
Still here... *sigh*
The guests are gone but my night isn't done because I still have to cash out and count my till. There are always issues with this step. Never fails!
Less than fifteen minutes left...!
Someone just tipped me 26 cents... Just have to laugh I guess.
Suddenly got busy... That's a good thing!

One of our Signature Drinks: Rumor's Drama. Yes, it's smoking!
Look at my cute co-worker!

Apr 21, 2012

10:55pm: women are using the support beams as dance poles...!
Novelty drinks to line the bar. Dry ice makes them smoke!

Got in around 5pm and spent several hours on setup. The club is new so we're still working out all the kinks.

My bar, all set up and ready for business!
I got a job bartending recently. Stay tuned for more info about the interview process. But tonight, come behind the bar and work a shift with me...!

Apr 7, 2012

Things I like to read

I'm an avid reader. So much so, that I find it odd when someone I meet tells me that aren't into reading, or they'd rather wait for the movie to come out than read the book (something I hear from my students more and more often). Along those lines, I also enjoy sharing things I've read or found online with friends and in return, hearing what they are reading or following and checking it out for myself.

This post is just a few things I've found and like and I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy them as much as me.

Blogs are everywhere. These days most sites have a blogging component and Wordpress and Blogger are only getting more popular. I've already talked about some blogs I really like, both of which are run by friends. Sadly,  a few of those blogs have expired due to mental fatigue. Luckily, I've found some other blogs that I like and follow with enough regularity to consider signing up for email updates.

Complex Realities - Written by one of my former students, this blog is an homage to the power of words and the written form. The blogger uses the space to present her poetry, prose and general outlook on life. I like the pleasant mixture of emotions within some of the posts, though, I hope it fictional, art for art's sake, instead of art reflecting her life. All in all it's a great read. It allows me to stay in touch with one of my students even after our time together is completed.

Annals of the Southfarthing - This is a travel blog depicting the adventure a former co-worker went on in New Zealand. His trip has ended but I find myself going back over the various entries that discuss his travels and living them vicariously. The blog uses photos and video superbly to tell the story and it's just a treat to read about what he saw and did.

My friend told me that there is much more of his adventure to tell and there will be new posts and updates added to the blog. Very exciting!

Recently, I've taken to listening to books on tape. I do a fair amount of driving between my jobs and as much as a I love sports talk radio, there is something wholly entertaining about having a book read to you. It reminds me of kindergarten when my teacher would read to the class. I think it's just fun. Specifically, I've been going through the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. At the suggestions of my friend, Eric, I downloaded the first three books to my phone, listened to them and haven't looked back. They are a quick listen and an enjoyable way to kill a 25-minute drive. If you like fantasy books, check these out.

I'm always up for a good read. If you, dear reader, have come across something cool, let me know. I'll do the same for you.

Apr 4, 2012

Tales from the Service Counter pt. 4


Last Sunday, I cut myself. It didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would.

While cutting a special order for a customer, I poked my left palm, just under the pinkie, with the tip of the knife. The sudden shock made me jerk my hand away and stretch it to combat the pain. As I did that, my skin popped and split.
No longer a bloody mess

The laceration didn't seem too deep until I cleaned it under some running water. I was able to see that I had cut all the way through the various layers of skin on my palm to expose some of the muscle beneath.

Lidocaine numbs my hand

I wrapped the cut with paper towels and tape to keep it from bleeding everywhere while I drove myself to the emergency room. Once there, I was informed that I would need stitches to close the wound.

Six stitches

The MD worked deftly on my hand, first applying lidocaine, a local anesthetic which made the side of my palm feel like I had fallen asleep on it. Next, he cleaned the area with water and what I think was iodine. Then, he began the process of stitching my skin closed. It felt like an odd pressure on my palm as he pulled the thread through the gash, sowing it closed. Towards the end of the stitching, it began to hurt as he poked the needle through skin that wasn't numb.

All patched up
The area was cleaned again and wrapped in a enough white gauze to form a pseudo boxing glove over my left hand.

I drove myself back to work and finished my shift.