We once invented a drink called the Wounded Fop, which was really just Chartreuse topped off with whipped cream from a spray can. The next day we had a headache for three years and had lost the respect of our platoon.
Deborah Where she presides: Sixth Ward, LES Favorite drink: Shaved Beaver
What I’ll do is I’ll say we don’t have one of the ingredients here. Or what you can do if you’re in a touristy area — although this area isn’t really touristy — is just make whatever and then tell them that that’s how we make them “in New York.”
Nathan Where he presides: The Pinch, Greenwich Village Favorite drink: Guinness
If I was alone, I’d ask the customer what was in it, and if they didn’t know, I’d have to tell them they couldn’t have it. Mostly we just sell beer here, though, and Bloody Marys in the morning. We do have a guide, but it has more classic recipes. I only found it this morning; this is my third day. Not knowing the drink has come up, but I think the guy was making fun of me. He asked for a Donkey’s Flip-Flop, which I don’t think exists.
Where he presides: Hecho en Dumbo, Dumbo Favorite drink: Maker’s Mark on the rocks
It’s pretty rare, actually, that that would happen. If it did, I’d just consult the bar guide. Every place has one. One time I got asked how to make a Grasshopper, and I didn’t know that one. I guess there’s been a few. Usually the customers don’t mind if you do that, they don’t think its unprofessional, but, like I said, it’s rare.
Whitney Where she presides: Professor Thom’s, LES Favorite drink: Dirty Vodka Martini
I’d ask the customer what was in it. If they didn’t know, I’d ask what flavors were in it and try to make something close. We have a lot of flavors back here and know them all. The customers always come first, and if they tell you what they’re looking for, we can try to make them happy, or suggest something better.
Joe Where he presides: Mason Dixon, LES Favorite drink: Miller High Life
Normally I’ll just ask them what’s in it. But people are always like — “I don’t know, you’re the bartender, you’re supposed to know what’s in it.” What are you doing drinking something when you don’t know what’s in it? I had a guy ask me to make a Flying Rat once. He’s like, “You don’t know what’s in a Flying Rat?” as if I should know. He ended up ordering a vodka tonic or something.