Logan R. Brouse, proprietor and mixologist of Logan’s Punch and Tacolicious, has run bars and clubs in Shanghai for over eight years. In between hangovers, he puts pen to paper in his column for That's to record his pontifications on the drink industry.
We’ve all had bad days at work, from messed up sales to missed deadlines, but when it comes to the service industry, our worst moments happen in public. This month I am sharing column space with some of my delinquent cocktail slinging friends for a bloopers reel of drinks and debauchery.
The Single Guy
Image by Betty Richardson/That's Shanghai
One night in the early 2000’s, I was working at my first nightclub bartending job. The music is loud when a man walks up and asked for a “single guy.” I replied, “I’m flattered but that’s not my thing. You can find a bunch of single guys all over the place here and happy hunting.” He said, “No, I want a single guy.” Now flummoxed with a buildup of drink orders, I apologize for my chiseled good looks, runway-ready body and smoky come-hither eyes and said, “Again, thank you, but I’m not the droid you’re looking for.” He let out an exasperated sigh and explained a ‘single guy’ is a cosmopolitan made with tequila instead of vodka. My face turned as pink as the drink I made for him.
The Case of the Missing Ingredient
A while back, one of the coolest bartenders around (hint: his name rhymes with Freddie Bang) was competing in the Chivas Masters Cocktail Competition. He presented a cocktail with a great story and excellent technique. It was an all-around-winner except it was missing teeny, tiny ingredient that the judges were really looking for – Chivas.
An Unfair Shake
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One of my favorite stories comes from my good friend and world-traveling drinking buddy, Daniel ‘The Man’ An (owner of Atelier by Taste Buds, Antique and Shrine). When he worked at a renowned hotel bar in the city, they used fresh tomato juice in the Bloody Mary recipe, and too many bubbles in the juice means that it has been sitting there for a while. One time, he shook a bottle without noticing the carbonation, and it went off like a bomb. “Tomato juice exploded all over my white shirt and covered customers’ faces like blood,” he says.
The Great Pants Switch
The next story comes from the That’s Shanghai 2018 Mixologist of the Year, Geo Valdivieso. He recalls a New Year’s Eve where he allowed himself to get particularly loose. The party was so crazy his boss knocked over a pyramid of champagne glasses, and the police kept stopping by. At 8am, he goes to change out of his uniform and realizes someone took his pants, leaving him with a pair of yoga pants with no keys or money. He borrowed some money from the manager – who was still dealing with the cops – and had to break into his house by jumping through a 14th-floor window before realizing he had to be back to do inventory four hours later. He says that the memory still hurts.
New Kid on the Block
Image by Cristina Ng/That's
One of Shanghai’s newest bartenders, Josh Freund recalls his first night at newly-opened tequila bar and taqueria. Not just new to the bar, but serving drinks in general, he (and his liver) had no idea what to expect. As his evil beady-eyed boss looked on, his hands shook while cutting limes, he also dropped an entire tray of glasses on the floor and forgot ingredients (and their proportions). At the same time his friends shouted insults and took video of the catastrophe. Still, he calls it one of the best experiences ever.
Read more columns by Logan R. Brouse.