Opinion: A letter of apology

Other: Opinion

To whom it may concern,

I have an apology to make but I’ll get to that later.

Everyday is a school day and my god has that never been so true as this past few weeks, let me explain…

Since day one I have been making my old fashioned’s using the serial dilution method, which can take around 10-15 minutes, this is the way I have always preferred it, but its not how everyone else makes it. I would start by adding the base of sugar, orange and bitters, then a little ice and a quarter of the bourbon; then stirring whilst sequentially adding another quarter of the bourbon and some more ice until the glass is full or you’ve used your full measure of bourbon. Garnishing with a big fat horses neck of orange and a cherry. That’s how I was taught to make it some 8 years ago and no one has ever stepped in and said ‘erm… why the hell are you taking so long?’.

I had a full blown argument with another bartender at one point about how I (used to) offer a guest a speedier alternative like a Manhattan, a julep or a smash when I was serving more than two at a time (guests that is not drinks), just because if I was rushing and serving other people I would not be able to make the drink in a way that I would be proud of, after all every drink sent over the bar is our reputation personified. Back then (a few weeks ago) I thought I would be saving the guest from an injustice by offering an alternative, but not just to that guest but the other guests around them who would be forced to wait as I monotonously stirred that drink for another ten minutes, whilst sheepishly and apologetically smiling at those waiting. After some extensive reading I have not found a single recipe that describes the method I was taught.

Humble pie doesn’t taste very nice but its all in the endeavour of improvement, and lets face it in an industry where no qualifications are required to man the stick,  it is often that you’ll come across bartenders with holes in their knowledge, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. So now all I have to do it apologise to that bartender for berating him with my opinions of how the drink should be made and how you cannot ignore other people at the bar whilst your making it, although I still believe the latter whole heartedly, there is nothing wrong with taking a few orders whilst your pouring the drinks in front of you, especially if you have draught.

There will without doubt be bartenders out there who feel that multi service is rude and ignorant, with this idea being based on them having tried it once or twice and the method not sitting well with them. To them I say try picking up a guitar, when you start out learning, the bloody thing seems near impossible, but once mastered people can actually sing to the music they’re making, amazing isn’t it?  It just takes practise to perfect.

Yeah… so… sorry for that fella, you know who you are. And a special one to whom I have ever refused an old fashioned, not that they’ll be reading this.


It wont happen again… promise.

All my love

Your slightly more enlightened  bartender.

(twitter: scottktyrer)

About Author

Scott Tyrer

'Everyday is a school day' is the motto Scott Tyrer has stood by for the entirety of his professional career in the north of England. Though still a fairly new player on the mixology scene this motto has yet to lead him astray. Having cut his teeth in nightclubs in Liverpool and graduated to mixology focused bars in Leeds, Scott’s persistent search for knowledge has led him to Smoke Stack and Sandinista. Scott embodies the qualities of a great all-round bartender: the ability to make fastidiously crafted cocktails, at speed, while having a hell of a good time.

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