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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Pappy Takes a Bartending Course
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Pappy Takes a Bartending Course
pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-11-15 11:11 am   Permalink

Dammit, Pappy! Aren't you through with this course yet? Nope. And there was no class last week cuz of Election Day.

Week 7: (one week to go!)

We took our final test on the F*****G Fifty. I finally took a stand and gave the correct recipes to all the classic drinks. (I didn't care about stuff like the Woo Woo.) (So in my test, a Tom Collins is gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, (stir), soda, stemmed cherry, lemon slice served in a Collins glass!) Anyway, I'm sure I failed miserably but I still have my pride.

First, we had an introduction to wine! Eight minutes! "Well, there's red wine and there's white wine. You chill white wine and you serve red at room temperature. White Zinfandel is kind of pink but you serve it chilled." Four brands of wine were listed, two red and two white--I forget which ones. The movie Sideways has evidently had little effect on Merlot sales after all. That's good.

Next we had our beer discussion. This consisted of us naming all the beers and breweries we could think of.

Then we got a handout of 150 drink recipes. This was a photocopied freebie from the people at Smirnoff. He put "asteriks" next to all the Polynesian drinks including the Alabama Slammer.

It was handout day 'cause we got another handout on bar setup. Coincidentally, you get the same setup here:
http://www.webtender.com/handbook/barsetup.html
Prof. then went over the various liqueurs on that list saying which ones we really needed. Then he said the all-time best line from the whole course: "You don't really need maraschino liqueur because you'll have grenadine." I almost fell on the floor.

He promised us, next week for sure, we'd get to make some (simulated) drinks. Even better, next week's class is optional. So you heard right, the part of a BARTENDING course where you actually mixed a drink is OPTIONAL--we'd still pass if we never saw him again. Tempting but I'm waiting around to fill out the course evaluation.

One week to go!


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thinkingbartender
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 62
From: London, England
Posted: 2006-11-15 3:35 pm   Permalink

Hey Pappy,

Jerry Thomas and Dale DeGroff both have the Tom Collins down as a Shaken drink; and in the article I wrote for a UK Cocktail Magazine (CLASS) I also came down on the side of shaken.

It seems like your contempt for this bartending course has lead to some kind of arrogance on your part. Passing the test, by writing down the expected answers, would have given you more credence when talking down to the examiner/ teachers on your course later on. Behind real bars, the recipes you need to know are:

1) Your way.
2) The bar's way.
3) The customers way.
4) The next customers way.
5) and so on.


I have been keeping up with your bartending course posts, very interesting; I am still glad I never went to a bartending school.

Cheers!

George


 
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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-11-15 4:56 pm   Permalink

Wow. Collinses--stirred. Fizzes--shaken. In fact, that's the difference between them.

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-11-16 06:24 am   Permalink

Now, just to remind you of how a cocktail is really supposed to be made, take a few moments to watch this bartender in action. In a more perfect world, this guy would have been teaching your bartending course.

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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-11-16 06:53 am   Permalink

Wow. And cool website. Makes me want to be a better bartender.

 
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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-11-22 11:47 am   Permalink

Week 8:

Prof. was supposed to arrive an hour early so we could practice drink simulation. He did not. The four of us who showed up early listened to him talk on his cell phone for 20 minutes. Then we sat around gabbing. He went off on another "glass" lecture. (Mostly everything in a highball glass.) Then he talked about Polynesian drinks. Things went pretty quickly--he started dissing Polynesian drinks, then he started dissing people who wanted Polynesian drinks then I put on my coat and walked out. Class over!

I plan on writing a blistering course review (I saved the form).

Lesson learned: You're crazy if you take a bartending course. If you own the Grog Log and you give a crap, you're already a better bartender than your average #^@*head with an apron.

Happy Thanksgiving, TC Ohana!


_________________
"I can't die until the government finds a safe place to bury my liver."
Phil Harris


 
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thinkingbartender
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 62
From: London, England
Posted: 2006-11-22 4:52 pm   Permalink

Pappy, pappy, pappy. Why don't I just send you my Tom Collins article, then you can have all the facts in front of you.

thinkingbartender@gmail.com

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DrMike
Member

Joined: Nov 24, 2006
Posts: 1
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-11-24 2:28 pm   Permalink

Hey Pappy,

Great posts! Very entertaining! I always wanted to take a bartending course... until now!! Sounds like a surreal experience... you probably needed a Mai-Tai or two before the class!

I heard someone say once that "the only true education is self education" This guy may be full of baloney, but in the spirit of self-improvement, I've been working thru the Beachbum books and I've bought a number of Trader Vic's books (the old out of print ones from the 40's- you can get them thru Amazon.com), which are a total hoot. Vic shoots from the hip and tells it like it is!

Those old guys (Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomer) relied on fresh ingredients (juice, limes, etc) and premium rums and liquors. Also, the drinks are complex and take time to make. All this means it isn't economical to do at a bar these days - so you have to do it at home - or be disappointed (unless you are in the right bar!).

Thanks again for the great reporting!



 
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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-11-25 04:12 am   Permalink

It's funny you should say that. I just got a copy of Trader Vic's bar guide from 1974 (or so) thru Amazon this week. It was less than 8 bucks including shipping. I love the 21st century! (except for the lack of cool cars, cool tiki places and the decline of American culture generally)

 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2178
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2006-11-26 1:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-22 11:47, pappythesailor wrote:... You're crazy if you take a bartending course....



Crazy is as Crazy Does......

I owe you the biggest and best Mai-Tai I can make. Thank you for suffering through the course so that we too may enjoy the course and learn what little that man has to offer.






I still wish you would have stabbed him with a pen....


 
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DJ HawaiianShirt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 04, 2006
Posts: 148
From: NoVA, DC
Posted: 2006-11-29 07:19 am   Permalink

Pappy, do follow up on the course evaluation.

I'm presently a senior in college and have just taken a foreign language course that I found horribly taught, as compared to the various other foreign languages I've learned.

Anyway, yesterday I sat down at the computer and typed for about an hour on how poor the curriculum was and why. Come evaluation day, I plan to anonymously slip my "essay" into the pile.

My advice is to not make it too offensive, because you don't want to the teacher to put it down after having read halfway through, and also, try to establish some sort of credibility you have on the subject (if any), just so the teacher doesn't think it's the ramblings of a disgruntled student.

_________________


[ This Message was edited by: DJ HawaiianShirt 2006-11-29 07:20 ]


 
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JTD
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2003
Posts: 407
From: J'ville
Posted: 2006-11-29 07:30 am   Permalink

Pappy,
Thanks for chronicling your travails. I thought for sure week 8 was going to be flair week.
JTD


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5019
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-11-29 08:10 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-24 14:28, DrMike wrote:
...Those old guys (Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomer) relied on fresh ingredients (juice, limes, etc) and premium rums and liquors. Also, the drinks are complex and take time to make. All this means it isn't economical to do at a bar these days - so you have to do it at home - or be disappointed (unless you are in the right bar!).

Thanks again for the great reporting!



Um... wrong. I point to a few examples
A) Trader Vic's International
B) Mai Kai - perenially the highest grossing restaurant in the nation
C) Forbidden Island
D) Hala Kahiki
etc.

The fact that 99.9999...% don't do it is not the same as saying it is not economical. This is really a big ol' secret that people like Martiki know.

Secondly, at Hale Tiki in Augusta, they bought a bag of fresh limes and hand squeezed them and compared the cost to the store bought lime juice and found it was actually cheaper to make the fresh.
_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5019
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-11-29 08:15 am   Permalink

Pappy,
Was this a bartending course meant to get your a license? I know each state has some sort of rules on these things and a course is required and it usually focuses on health requirements and legalities, etc. That does not sound like what you did. But, if so, I can understand the lack of interest. This guy gets paid regardless and there is a never ending stream of customers.
But if this was supposed to be a fun and enlightening course, jees. Makes me want to come up with something and see who joins. You could do a course and set a fee, plus assign each student to bring a certain siz bottle of a certain liquor. Cover all the bases and allow tasting and making real drinks that way. Hmmm.
_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-11-29 08:52 am   Permalink

Swanky, are you sure about the Mai Kai being the highest grossing restaurant in the nation? As much as I want to believe that, I just don't. If they're so rich, why does it still look like the Hurricane happened yesterday?

I had fantasies about doing some part time bartending but this class soured me. I don't think I'd ever bartend for real (unless Bargoyle opens a place nearby!) so no, I wasn't going for my license. Indirectly, it probably did help me though. It made me sure I was going to be better than that guy with every drink I make!


 
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