Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Clever Customers Who Make Up Drinks

Tonight, in the middle of the three-deep rush, a really nice, middle-aged guy finds a place at the bar, catches my eye, and I ask him what he'd like.

(The key to getting a bartender's attention has nothing to do with waving your money in her face... we get it, everyone at the bar can pay us for their drinks, OK? Instead, it's all about eye contact. Smile, look friendly, look thirsty, but most importantly, just lock eyes with her, and you're next. Works every time.)

"My wife invented a drink!" he tells me, excitedly. We're a little busy, and I'd usually be annoyed and impatient with an amateur weekend mixologist who wants to teach me a drink, but he's kind of adorable, so I take a deep breath, smile, and ask him to tell me what's in it.

"Well, first of all, you have to have a snifter, do you have one, you have to start with one," he says, with the solemnity of someone trying to explain the Rosetta Stone.

"OK," I reassure him. I'm still smiling, and I think he's kinda funny, far less annoying than the impatient patrons waving their twenties.

"Fill it with ice!" he commands, suddenly back to being all whipped-up, and I'm just kind of laughing now.

"Got it!!" I say, biting my lower lip.

"Next you put in an ounce of Amaretto... the kind in the square bottle."

I grab the Amaretto di Saronno, obediently pour in an ounce, snap to attention and look to him for more instruction.

"OK, now it's orange juice."

" Well... how much orange juice?"

"All the way to the top, and then you're done!"

As I'm pouring in the OJ, I look to him, raise my eyebrow, and say, "Are you... sure? That's it?" It comes out like an apology. "No garnish?"

"Nope! That's it! It looks good, huh? My wife just loves it, she made it up."

"Ya know, it really does look yummy, that's a great drink right there," I tell him, as I drop the swizzle stick and separate him from his $6.00.

I never thought to ask him what she'd named it, but, tonight, I met the Husband of the Woman who Invented an Amaretto and Orange Juice in a Snifter, Over Ice.

I'm signing autographs tomorrow between 5 and 7pm.

Scarface, you were out of place in Ohio
Too bad you were out ahead and you're slowin'
You were feelin' like a bomb without a target

Look out Joe, I think the sky is fallin'
Seems that all the clouds have turned to stone
I'm callin' you from somewhere deep in Ohio

- Jayhawks, "Somewhere in Ohio"