I got nearly laughed out of the 19th hole when I asked for a manhattan in Key West. The barkeep had a good laugh, eventually found the sweet vermouth, and made a very good (and slightly too sweet) manhattan. My next drink was a beer for me and one for the barkeep for his troubles.
Come to think of it, I really want to go back there. We were a twosome and joined up with a single during the round, he gave us a ride back to our condo so we wouldn't have to pay cab fare.
PSS: I too tend to make my manhattans on the rocks, but at a nice bar, I'll order them up.
'Absorb what is useful; Discard what is not; Add what is uniquely your own.'
I have bartended but never in a particularly classy place. Usually the name of the drink ordered was the ingredients in the drink. I also knew the classics of course, but for more obscure drinks I always had my iphone or some other web enabled phone. My little pocket bartending buddy. Before that, I often just asked the customer. If they were indignant because I didn't know how to make their drink and had to ask or look it up, well, I simply pointed out that they were probably in the wrong sort of bar and might be more comfortable somewhere else. When you walk into a bar populated with shemale hookers, crackheads, fading over-the-hill strippers, stoned goth/punk/neo-vampire types, drunks falling off their stools, freshly robbed tourists, and feel something slippery underfoot that might or might not be blood, and see a big fishbowl full of condoms on the bar, ordering anything much more classy or complicated than a martini is probably a mistake. If you get snickers when you ask about the celery stick that seems to be missing from your bloody mary, you are definitely out of your element.
Yes, a Manhattan is, unless otherwise specified, supposed to be served up, in a martini glass. I have had customers order it on the rocks, though.
I once got an order for a Harvey Walbanger and the dive I was working in did not even have Galliano. I told the customer that I was sorry, but I couldn't make him one, and why. He asked why I didn't just use margarita mix, like the last place he was in did. Go figure. He looked so sad when I told him the painful truth about what makes a Harvey Walbanger, particularly the Galliano float, that I took pity and made him one with Anisette, vanilla extract, Amaretto and powdered ginger in place of the missing Galliano and he gleefully pronounced it the best Harvey Walbanger he had ever tasted. He stayed for several more, and tipped me out well, leaving well after daylight and not too steady on his feet, either.
Bartenders are made, not born. As a responsible consumer of alcohol and a loyal member of the brotherhood of boozers, you should try to help the novice bartender along. Many bars won't hire a bartender from one of those bartending "schools" and they are expected to learn on the job. Help the guy out. Share pointers and offer encouragement. You might run across him again some time and be glad that you offered kindness instead of scorn. That is worth a lot more than an undeserved tip when you are just starting out and he will remember you for it.
Banned for Life from "Over There"... TWICE!
I learned to tend bar at a college joint in the heart of a big city, everything from easy shots to complex cocktails, oh and lots and lots of beer. I only learned by making things a few times and asking questions (a lot of people know what they want and how they want it, they may even know whats in it). Its also odd how some drinks are made differently depending upon what region of the US you're in.
Blender drinks are popular with younger drinkers, especially young ladies. Roll your own. Don't need no steenking recipe. White rum, ice, a little cream or even ice cream, and fruit juices such as orange, pineapple, banana, or guanabana, one of my favorites. Create your own blend instead of using just one juice. Run the blender and pour into a frosted goblet with a big straw. For more body, add a half of a banana to the pitcher. Chicks get giggly and wiggly pretty quick on this stuff, so ration it out if you don't want them to get too blotto. (irony not necessarily intended)
A Tawny Port is something different to offer, when you are not anticipating a big drinking marathon. Warre's or Sandeman's are good, and fairly inexpensive, though both labels also sell 20 year old and older premium Tawnies. Usually all the Ports, Sherries, and other fortified wines will be shelved together in the shop, so if you see one, the others are close by. If you think you have had port but you haven't had a Tawny Port, you haven't really had Port. A Tawny is especially good with a cigar or even a hookah. A Vintage Port can also be quite good but it must be decanted before serving, and if you mess up, well, it's messed up. An opened bottle of Tawny port can be saved and Tawny can be poured straight from the bottle.
Banned for Life from "Over There"... TWICE!
Il faut reculer pour mieux sauter.
I think one of the skills all drinkers need to develop is being able to enter an establishment, evaluate your surroundings, and order something accordingly. Maybe you really want a Ramos Gin Fizz, but sometimes a bottle of bud is the best choice. Sometimes ordering something "meh" is better than getting a bad version of something good.
A friend of my sister in law was trying to convince a bartender that the "dirty" part meant pickle juice. Poor guy. He served her an enormous dill spear as garnish and she was happy. YMMV
BOTOC RAD bad
Be there or be square. Only I can do both!
I've got a cat named Beefeater and a dog named Beefeater, and two goldfish called Beefeater and Beefeater. There's Beefeater my hamster and Beefeater my horse, and my piglet, known as Beefeater of course.
Veteran of the Great Irisch Moos Campaign of 2008-09
Went to a Happy Hour with my wife tonight.
I ordered a martini, and this was the dialog
Me: A martini please
Waiter: What kind of vodka?
Me: Ummmmm. Gin please.
Waiter: Oh, ok. What kind?
Me: Beefeater if you have it.
Waiter walks off.....
Me (to my wife): A martini is made with gin, a kangaroo is made with vodka.
Wife: Leave it alone, just leave it alone.
Sir Loin of Angus - Knights of the Maillard Table and Loyal Arkolyte
3017er "Load it like you hate it"
The easiest solution, when ordering a martini, is to specify the brand of gin you want. Example - "I'll have a Sapphire martini, please."
My mileage does vary.
If you are a bartender, or if you set foot behind a bar for that matter. You better at least know, Short, tall, neat, on the rocks, long island, and texas long island. Don't be puttin tequila in my long island if I didn't ask for a texas long island. Martinis can also come with and olive or a twist, dirty, or not with or without vermouth. Bartending is not rocket science but it does pay to know what you are doing. Messing with a man's drinks can get ugly real quick.