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

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

White Russian

Do consider making your White Russians with vanilla-flavored vodka (Stoli is forever the best, and it keeps it Russian) instead of regular vodka. And do consider making them with nothing lighter than heavy whipping cream; it should be a delightfully decadent concoction. And do consider serving them in a snifter instead of a rocks glass. And do consider giving them the slightest little swirl with a swizzle stick after pouring.

It's a gorgeous drink, isn't it? An absolute classic, the kind of beverage that I forget about until "The Big Lebowski" comes on, which I watch every single time it pops up on television, and then I crave a White Russian endlessly, until I actually make and guzzle one or three.

So, apropos of nothing, a couple comes into the bar at 6:00.

"What's your pleasure?"

"Hi, we're with the party. (The party is in our private room, and beer/wine are included.) We'll take whatever they're serving for free."

"Well, the party starts in an hour and a half, so whatever you care to drink until then, I'm going to have to charge you for."

"But?? We're with the party!! Drinks are free, it said so on the invitation!"

"Well, yes. But the host specified to us that the party begins at 7:30."

The couple, looking quite angry, decided on ice water with lemon, and lots of it, until 7:30 sharp. They declined when it came to leaving any kind of tip.
Fine with me, honestly, but who comes to a fiesta an hour and a half before it starts, expecting to booze it up for free? Would you do this if it were a house party?

(Here's a tip... bartenders really, really appreciate a $1 tip for an ice water, the moment it's served. It's the kindest gesture, and it will ensure that your glass of free liquid remains full. May this tip come in handy the next time you've indulged a bit too much at your favorite nightclub, and your cotton-mouth is craving an endless river of cold, quenching water.)

We entertained their successful surprise party, and they left their helium balloons behind. After closing, Chef was the first to grab one, skillfully untying it and immediately offering her best Vern Troyer impression from the Geico commercials. "New tailpipe, it's your birthday." She sounded like a drunk baby, and I laughed and laughed.

Maybe you had to be there, buzzed from post-shift White Russians made with Stoli Vanilla and heavy whipping cream.

This strange, gray, rainy week has an old, great Crowded House song stuck in my head...

Walking 'round the room singing "Stormy Weather"
At 57 Mount Pleasant Street
Well it's the same room, but everything's different
You can fight the sleep but not the dream
Things ain't cooking in my kitchen, strange afflictions wash over me
Julius Caeser and the Roman Empire couldn't conquer the blue sky
Well there's a small boat made of china

It's going nowhere on the mantlepiece
So do I lie like a loungeroom lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather

Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather, the weather with you

- Crowded House, "Weather With You"

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