For the Love of God, Bartenders!

Bartenders, for the love of all that is holy, please listen to what I have to say:
Quit shaking your goddamn Manhattans!
The Gospel of Whiskey is a simple drink, guys. Really, it is. It has only three ingredients. You can even speed-pour and get the ratios right. The garnish is cheap, easy, and beautiful. All you have to do is chill and dilute these ingredients, and put them in whatever glass your establishment has for cocktails. Voila! When you are done, you have created a monster classic cocktail which will have likely been requested by the more discerning and sophisticated of your customers….

So quit f*cking them up by shaking the damn things until they are a frothy goddamn mess!

I am sick and goddamn tired of having to spend more time describing to you how I want my Manhattan made than it then takes for you to assemble said drink, if I want it to look right in the glass and feel right in my mouth.
You. Stir. A. Manhattan.
It’s a clear drink. It should look like a glass of liquid topaz with a ruby nestled in the bottom when you hand it to me. It should not look like stupid, polluted beach water with a brown, foamy crust.
I have asked you for a cocktail that takes very little time to assemble. I think I’m f*cking entitled to you spending an extra few seconds with a spoon in your hand to ensure it is sufficiently and properly chilled. Yes, it takes longer to stir a drink into the twenties than it does to shake it that cold. But I’ve done the damn experiments, electronic thermometers and all, and it really is just a few extra seconds. 10-15 at the absolute outside, depending on the quality and type of your ice.

Stir. The. Drink.

See this guy?

He’s pissing me off. I want to jump over the bar and beat him down with the spoon he’s supposed to be using here. (Actually the bartender here is shaking a Grey Goose “Martini”, which is fine. But admitting this is mellowing my rant, so forget I mentioned it.)

My wife is always after me to make up cards with recipes she likes so she can give them to bartenders when I’m not around and she can get the drink she wants, made the way she wants it. Well, I’ve also decided to make up my own damn card to give to bartenders when I’m in the mood for a Manahattan. Here it is:

Actually, I haven’t made these physically because I am lazy, and because I have no room in my wallet. My wallet has no room because it is full of money for tips. Tips I give generously of when my Manhattan is not f*cking ruined by being shaken. The money stays in my wallet, leaving no room for said cards, because I keep getting shaken Manhattans.

So I wrote this post instead, so it will be read by all the world’s bartenders.
All bartenders read this blog, right? No? Well, if you know of such a non-Pegu Blog-reading bartender, give him this link at the very least.
Your next Manhattan will thank you.

Whew! That feels better. That’s really all it takes, guys and gals.

Stir. The. Drink.


Oh, and don’t forget the goddamn bitters either!

And enough vermouth, too!

And another thing….


  1. Jac

    27 May

    That should be a postscript on your card: “And how ’bout some f*cking bitters while you’re at it!”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. Evan

    27 May

    Forgetting the bitters is an even bigger sin than shaking – without the bitters it isn’t even a Manahattan! (And the same goes for the vermouth, but Manhattans don’t seem to have quite as much problem getting some vermouth as say, a Martini, does.)

    And while we’re at it, we could rant about those neon red ‘cherries,’ but that’s probably another topic….

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. Frederic

    1 June

    Wait, Manhattans aren’t chilled cocktail glasses full of Bourbon with an ice floe of shards on top?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. Doug,
    I just spent the weekend at Suncadia resort in eastern WA. I ordered a Manhattan, and should have corrected my order when, as he was walking away, the bartender asked if I wanted it “up” or “on the rocks”. Drink arrives at my table with a 1/4″ of foam and ice shards on top.

    I couldn’t help but laugh, all the while wondering how this chump gets a job as a bartender at a place that should have had first class drinks all around.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. The Pegu Blog

    10 December

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