The winter is a time for stout and whiskey — plain drinks strong and hearty that put hair on your chest and warmth in your cockles. Spring and summer, however, mean it’s time to break out the fancy tropical fruits and the leafy green herbs — think mojitos and mint juleps. But when you request a fancy drink, do you risk annoying your bartender? Yes, yes you do.
JAEME Where he presides: Rink Bar, Midtown Favorite drink: Beer
Cosmopolitan and mojitos take awhile to make. But what can I do? We’re a high-end place and people want those drinks. What I can’t stand is the apple martini. It’s a waste of perfectly good vodka. People should just do a shot of Pucker and save me the trouble.
ZETH Where he presides: 119, Gramercy Favorite drink: Doesn’t drink
Well, that doesn’t apply so much to us because we’re just a dive bar. So, we’re more likely to be pouring beers or something. Here the worst drink to make would probably be like a margarita or something with the salt and stuff. It’s not really hard to make, but we’re used to just pouring beers.
JONATHAN Where he presides: Galaxy, Gramercy Favorite drink: Black Russian
Actually, we’re a little different. We have all our own specialty drinks. So if someone comes in and asks for a cosmopolitan we have our own version — the “cosmic”-politan. When people ask for an apple martini, I try to suggest they get something else. I’ll make it for them if they really want it, but… The biggest pain in the ass are mojitos. It’s just time consuming. You have to muddle the lime; you have to muddle the mint. It’s a big summer drink. And with the Kentucky Derby coming up, people will want things like mint juleps and mojitos. People want to feel like they’re trendy.
MATT Where he presides: The Soft Spot, Williamsburg Favorite drink: Woodford Reserve
Pabst Blue Ribbon is annoying. Now, I’m all for cheap drinks, but, let’s face it, there are much cheaper ways to get happy than drinking that stuff. The alcohol content isn’t high, and no one’s drinking it for the taste. Anyone drinking it for the hipster image, well, that’s just sad. You know what else? Caucasians. They’re a pain in the ass to make, and the only reason people order them is because they’ve seen a certain Coen brothers movie one too many times. [Ed. We sympathize Matt. We’ll be sure to avoid beer out of a can and White Russians the next time we come in for piano karaoke Wednesdays.]
MELISSA Where she presides: City Lobster, Midtown Favorite drink: Absolut Cosmopolitan
The mint julep is pretty bad. You have to crush the mint and fuss over it until you get the mixture right. The amount of prep time compared to the end result is a losing proposition for me. People end up tipping the same whether I take five seconds and draw a pint of Budweiser, or I spend five minutes mixing them a precious mint julep. Yes, I think I’ll take Derby Day off this year.
JAIME Where she presides: Josephs, Midtown Favorite drink: Kettle One up, dirty, very dirty
Any kind of hot drink drives me up the wall: Bailey’s and coffee, the expresso martini, things like that. Actually, you know what’s the worst? Pretty much every day, somebody walks up here and orders a cappuccino. And everyday I tell them, ‘Hey pal, there’s a Starbucks around the corner, across the street, and underground in the subway concourse. I hear they serve mean cappuccinos there. Anything else I can get you though?’