Piglet and I are running fifteen minutes late for a Mixology course that costs $250 a head. An easy walk has turned into a light jog as we make our way towards J.J.'s Bar & Grill at the Casino. Such a lovely, sunny day. It's usually one of those days that I'd spend gawking at pretty girls and running into things or finding a nice place in the city where I can have a coffee while I watch the world go by- people walking to and from work, old ladies spraying mace into a foreign person's eyes because they were startled, skateboarders jumping from high up platforms and breaking limbs, heads, spinal columns. 'Uh,' says Piglet, 'Bad news. I've just realised we're actually one hour and fifteen minutes late.' I glare at her. The light jog becomes a mad dash...
We burst into the bar and before we can mouth our excuses ( '....just crawled out of a train wreck. Thousands dead.', '....travelled through a time tunnel.', '....was all Piglet's fault I swear on my mother's eyes.') we are ushered to our seats amid the glares of impatient bar people. The grey haired bar 'Guru'
who was running the show didn't seem to mind. The cheque has cleared already. All is good.
He then runs a pretty good cocktail/ mixology course. He briefly runs through ingredients that go into the various alcohol (juniper berries, coriander, eyes of newt, ground-up hedgehog, etc.) and things like the difference between bourbon and whisk(e)y so folks who don't know get a crash course before launching into a bit more of the history and best way to serve things, possible combinations and such. But I always find the useless trivia the best reason for turning up to these things. For instance; Did you know that Lars Olsson Smith (1836-1913)
, founder of Absolut vodka, got a tad peeved about strict spirit laws and declared a vodka war against the city of Stockholm and blew shit up? Neither did I until today.
The only problem I had with the Guru was that, like all proffesionals, this guy is extremely picky about what seems to me as pretty minor things. The knife isn't sharp enough, the lemon isn't the best, the ice is crappy. O.k.- now I know this guy is at the top of the profession but C'mon! It's ice. I hope that I never get snooty about something as pissy as ice when there are real problems in the world (ie. poverty, wars, diseases, etc.)
He then fields a few questions from the peanut gallery ( 'What's the difference between a Julep and a Smash?', 'Who was the first astronaut to drink a ginger/ zucchini martini during the descent to Earth?', 'How many postmen do you need to change a light bulb?') before he hints at the insanity inherent in late night workers. 'There was someone from Der Raum
(a bar) who used a syringe to inject caviar in a cocktail,' he's saying to a room full of nodding heads. Caviar? Syringe? What the....? There are also bars out there that employ a full-time person to grill lemons. Yikes.
Make mine a beer,
(Two Days Before Eviction)