Thursday, February 26, 2009

How I Became a Bartender, Part 2

When Morgan called to tell me I was hired a week later, I thought I had won the lottery. 
Seriously, I had said. After I bombed the interview?

Apparently being a waitress since I was 16 got me through, that and my "personality."
She told me she could teach me everything she knew and that I was going to be fine.

The drinks on the menu were all named after celebrities so all I had to do was memorize names. A Madonna, 2 J-Lo's, and a Will Smith. It was that easy. I served pretty pink and blue drinks. I didn't really have to know what was in them. I just had to balance them on a tray and wear a skirt. 

Those nights were fun. Work didn't really feel like work (it still doesn't most of the time). I mean, who doesn't like to talk to people about who they are and interesting things to do. Back then, my guess is just being a resident of DC got me pretty far with the tourists and the business travelers. 


I still consider myself a little bit of a hack bartender (especially after going to Pegu last night). I have to look up things like Grasshoppers and Pimm's Cups every once in a while. I never went to bartending school. But I can carry on a conversation with you, even when I have a full bar. That's what really matters, which is what I think Morgan was getting at, that even if you can make a good cocktail (which will keep me coming back), you have to make good conversation (which will definitely keep me coming back). And yes, Morgan, after almost four years in the industry, I can go double or nothing on that interview. So here's to you for believing in a 25 year old bespeckled professor who failed your first test, miserably.


  1. Great blog Carly. And, I definitely agree that being nice to people is at LEAST 50% of the job.

    Trust me - you are probably better off not going to bartending school! I went (granted, in the early 90s) and most of the recipes had that flourescent "sweet-n-sour" in them. With regards to mixology today that would be a waste of time!

    Enjoy your new job - I can't wait to look you up next time I'm in the big apple.

  2. looking forward to cocktails with you Ms. Muse!