(( Introductions ))
Most nights, when the weather and mood is right, we step out on our terrace and sit with a cocktail, glass of fine whisky, a bottle of beer, or a goblet of wine, enjoying the night air, the mellow conversations of our nearby neighbors, and the hum of our surrounding Brooklyn. We sit, talk about the world and our lives, but invariably our conversation turns to the glass or bottle in our hands. We find ourselves fascinated, intrigued, disgusted, inspired by the Drink – something more than an indifferent imbibing, something like religious or scientific interest. Sure, we’d like to pretend a drink is never a means to an end, never the medication to ail a stressful day or an avenue to escape. We’d like to, but we’d be lying.
Sometimes it’s nice and fun to drink too much, enjoy life in a different perspective, and fall together with unexpected people in wholly unexpected places just for the hell of it. We’ve done it, and we’ll damn well do it again.
But that’s not why we’re here.
The writing of this journal – this companion to the young imbiber – is meant as an exploration of the fascinating world of spirits and cocktails, beers and wines, food and night life, and almost anything else that might cross our path. We live and work in New York City, so forgive us if we seem too focused on our surroundings – flights are expensive. We say ‘young’ for only one reason: because we are young (mid-20s, perhaps) and because we are ignorant, still very much in the process of learning. We spend hours working behind some of Manhattan’s bars every week, and while this in itself has taught us a lot, there is a whole world out there full of dialogue and fascinating people who can teach us so much more. They write their own blogs and contribute to various magazines and publications. While we respect and aspire to that level of knowledge, and spend a substantial (some say pathetic) amount of time reading their works, there are far too few people documenting the road to becoming an expert. We are not experts in experience or palate, so we’ll do our best to steer clear of didactic and unnecessary reviews because, frankly, we’ll end being wrong.
We’d like to be experts. We’d like it very much, thank you, but we have a long way to go.
Therefore, this journal is meant as a companion to our education from the perspective of young, passionate bartenders as we explore from behind our own bars and bent-elbowed, keen, and wide-eyed at our favorite night time spots on the other side of the stick. We work at various levels within the restaurant and bar world, seeing very different perspectives of what many think to be the same thing, so we hope that by writing this, we can inspire more young people to take a passionate interest in the profession without focusing too much on the prestige of their restaurant or bar. We’d love to see a bartender at a dive bar use bitters, ask “rye or bourbon?”, and stir a Manhattan if we were big enough jerks to order one.
Be warned: we’re total geeks about this stuff. If the reader expects detailed accounts of the debaucheries last month that started at an Irish pub in SoHo, made its way to a party boat that circled the island, somehow got into an after hours spot in the East Village with those terrible, terrible margaritas that we can’t stop ordering, and for one reason or another ended at dawn with us convincing a guy named Mark from Texas to drive us over the bridge to our apartment, all the while getting a hefty 5:00am sermon on the virtues of this-or-that by our jolly host, you’re probably not gonna get it. We’re here to talk about the things we learn and observe, the experiences we have that teach us something, our evolving opinions, and the general world surrounding our profession. We’re newbies, and that’s totally awesome.
If the reader finds all this interesting, good. If it sparks conversation, all the better. If not, at least we get to flush out our thoughts and ideas.
To quote the text for which this blog is partly inspired, and from where we respectively pilfer our name: “…we are still heartily of the opinion that decent libation supports as many million souls as it threatens; donates pleasure and sparkle to more lives than it shadows; inspires more brilliance in the world of art, music, letters, and common ordinary intelligent conversation, than it dims – as even a brief glance into the history of our finest lyric poets, musicians, artists, authors, and statesmen, will attest – right from the day of Wull Shaksper to our own generation” (The Gentleman’s Companion, Vol II, Charles H Baker Jr.).