Sunday, November 13, 2005

the Olive Juice Shortage

So, here’s the latest thing that’s annoying bartenders across the land: Dirty Martinis. They seem to be the trendy drink right now, and while they’re certainly less esthetically offensive than an Appletini or a Cosmo, there’s one problem with the Dirty Martini: Unless a bar has an incredibly large inventory of olives, they’re going to run out of the ingredient that makes it dirty: Olive Juice.

Most bars keep garnish trays containing just enough limes, lemons, cherries, olives et al to get them through the shift. And while bars usually buy olives in large bulk jars, there’s still only a finite amount of juice in there. And you have to keep some in the bulk jar to keep the olives fresh. So, for the most part, any bar that you patronize is likely to have enough olive juice to make a mere handful of Dirty Martinis. After that, the olive juice has run out. You can have a dozen olives in your Martini if you want, but you ain’t getting a dirty one after that. But try explaining that to the trendy drinker (oh, and note to Soledad O’Brien: There’s no such thing as “Martini Mix”.... stick to offering opinions on BABIES, since that seems to be the extent of your expertise).

People are utterly predictable at a bar. Bartenders can almost always guess who’s going to order the bad light beer, who the Guinness drinkers are and who’s gonna ask for some double-entendre-named shot that belongs in a house with Greek letters on the outside. Underage kids who attempt to get served almost always show their hand even before they order. First they stand about six feet away from the bar and carefully survey the scene while they try to work up the nerve to ask for their illegal drink. Then they walk to the bar and usually do one of two things: nervoulsy sputter out a too-sweet drink order that screams “I should be drinking milkshakes!” or, much funnier, order with a jaded vocal inflection that intimates that they are just so OVER IT: “Yeah, man, just gimme a beer,” the kid with the sprig of facial hair and the carefully held cigarette will say, not making eye contact with the bartender. He’s so world-weary and casual in a bar that he doesn’t even care about what BRAND of beer he gets. Kiddies, listen up: You’re not fooling anyone.

Now, when you ask the underage kid for ID, they have three options (four if you count offering a fake one): Pretend they didn’t bring or lost it (the usual tack), honestly admit that they’re not old enough (almost never happens), or (my favorite) SHOW the ID that proves they’re NOT old enough to legally drink and then PLEAD THEIR CASE. I’ve had this happen a dozen times. “C’mon man, it’s only a few months!” as if the law is flexible and the bartender’s prerogative. Or, even better, since I work in a rock club, “But I’m in the band!” as if the law is, You Must be 21... or in a Band.

Jesus, as if we don’t have enough crappy bands already!

Oh, and on an unrelated note, another thing to add to the list when I rule the world: The failure to properly cap a felt-tip marker, causing it to prematurely dry out, will be punishable by a hefty fine or imprisonment of up to two months per Sharpie killed. There’s just no excuse.

1 comment:

Miss Tanya said...

Hey now! Don't crap on the long term dirty martini drinkers out there. I don't know why dirty is the new cosmo, but I do know I could drink olive juice straight from the bottom of the jar interspresed with shots of vodka and die a happy woman.

The Jefferson makes their own special "olive juice."