Not too long ago, Hubba-hubba and I were able to get some babysitting (i.e. pay someone a boatload of money to come to our house, ON TOP of the money we were spending to go out. Yay?) and went to one of our favorite bars. This is fairly ironic, because we don't drink a lot, yet the first place we thought of going when we knew we were going out alone was there. Well, I'll be honest, we really only have one favorite bar. I think at this point we are just looking for a place that we can be sure has NO CHILDREN. Because honestly, we are SICK OF THEM already. I don't want to pay good money to hang out somewhere where there are children, because if I wanted to hang out with them, I would just STAY HOME.
Anyhoo, we get there and strike up a conversation with the bartender, which we often like to do. He is friendly, as befits a bartender, but for whatever reason he really started warming up to us.
This particular bar is famous for it's very sweet, fruity drinks. But our bartender confided that he felt a bit constrained working at this particular bar. Apparently in the current bartending world, fruity drinks are passé. Fruity drinks are the slippery slope bartenders must climb every day in order to pay their rent.
No, the kind of drinks that are hot right now, that all the cool people are drinking are simple drinks with old fashioned alcohols and things like bitters and absinthe in them. The kind that people used to make in bathtubs during Prohibition, because that was REAL drink-making back then. None of this fancy blender crap with vibrant colors. Three ingredients, at best. That, we were told, was a REAL drink. Only the dedicated few were tending bar back in those days, and they are to be worshipped and emulated. At least, that's kind of the vibe we got from this bartender.
So he lowers his voice, and tells my husband, "Would you like me to make you a REAL drink?"
Now, my husband is not really the one-upping type, but what kind of wussy is going to say no to a question like that? No sir, I don't want a REAL drink, I want more of this stuff that's really cold and blue.
So of course he says yes, and the bartender's face lights up. He hurries around the bar, gathering what he will need. He begins his preparations, glancing at us from time to time with a glint in his eye, to make sure we are watching the master at work.
Finally, after about five minutes, he triumphantly places a highball glass onto the counter in front of my husband. He is puffed with pride, and announces, "This is guaranteed to knock your socks off."
My husband lifts the glass with anticipation, and gingerly takes a sip. He knows there is something like vermouth and bitters in the drink, but isn't sure what else, exactly. My husband is 6'1" and built like a linebacker. He has, in his former days, had probably more than his fair share of alcohol. So it surprised me when his eyes grew two sizes and was gasping as he put the drink down.
Luckily, the bartender was busy with other customers, and so was unable to see this less than flattering reaction to THE REAL DRINK. "Quick," he whispers to me, "Let me have a sip of your daiquiri, I need to get the taste of this out of my mouth."
He grinned and bore it, slowly sipping THE REAL DRINK and surreptitiously drinking some of my fake drink right after. Of course he was asked how he liked it, and of course he lied and said it was great.
It wasn't until we got home that we came to the conclusion that there is a good reason why we have all these fruity and fancy drinks now, so unlike those Prohibition days. It's because the only had three ingredients to work with! They didn't have much of a choice in their bathtub preparations! Give us fruity, colored drinks any day of the week!
In other words, we are so not hip.
*Apologies for the all caps, it just felt right today.