This morning, sometime around 8:30am, my Uncle David absentmindedly perused Grinder, sipped espresso, and then gave me some solid advice.
"Just do," He said, his new feathered haircut glowing in the morning light. "Constantly be doing something, even if it's the wrong thing, it's not, because doing is the right thing." This was post our four-day-champagne-binge-drinking-Thanksgiving and pre David's trip back to New York City. I took solitude in this advice, because after I was supposed to drop David off at the Orange Line, I was to drive another six miles to the Professional Bartending School to start my very first class. I was, at least, doing something. Even if the doing meant pouring colored water into a highball glass.
I signed up for bartending classes a few weeks ago. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, kind of like when you're at Starbucks and decide to get an Eggnog Latte for the first time or when you drunkenly buy a plane ticket to Portugal.
After day one, lesson one, I'm quite glad I did. It was fun.
Did you ever go to a children's museum when you were little? You know, those interactive ones where they set up bubble stations and foam playgrounds? If you have some idea of what I'm talking about, you may remember the fake grocery store, where they had aisles of "groceries," which really consisted of empty cardboard boxes and plastic containers. I worshipped these places. It was the most interactive, detailed game of house EVER. Not only could you be in your pretend kitchen and make pretend Swedish meatballs, you could go to the freakin' GROCER and buy the pretend freakin' ground beef yourself. I got the same vibe from this place, but instead of a grocery store, it was a bar. And instead of cereal boxes full of nothing, it was Jack Daniels filled with brown water. The "bar" was completely stocked, from grenadine to Maker's Mark to Drambuie. Beyond that, it was educational.
What I Learned My First Day at Bartending School
1. Have you ever gotten pissed because you thought a bartender was making you a weak, watered down drink by adding more ice? False, apparently! Adding more ice makes the drink colder, and therefore less likely to melt and water down. On top of that, a good bartender will add the liquor next, and so even if there is a lot of ice, the amount of booze stays the same. The amount of mixer (which is last) will go down, making your drink stronger and putting some hair on your chest.
2. Water enhances the flavor of liquor. So if you ever want to really enjoy the flavor of your Ketel One, add a splash of H20. It makes the liquor more aromatic.
3. There's a highball, that until now, has been off my radar. It's goes by several names: Freddy Fuddpucker, Mexican Banger, or Cactus Banger. If you like Tequila, order it. Trust me.
After four hours, I headed back to my car with a few drinks under my belt and a solid understanding of how to eyeball an ounce. More importantly, I was doing. I have no idea what this experience will bring, if anything at all. As for today, it brought new friends, new knowledge, and a pretty damn good Monday afternoon.