Bar Bandits

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Flor De Cana

     Although I’m not a huge fan of Silver rums, I have to say for the price point, this rum is a steal. Since the liquor laws are so rigid in California it is hard to get any real “support” from your vendors, so why sell their product if it’s not the best product you can offer your guests? I find over all, that people our very receptive to trying new products even in this rather horrible economy.
     Recently, I have replaced Bacardi Light for Flor de Cana 4 yr old silver rum. Not only is the bottle a few bucks cheaper thus helping my pour costs, but the taste is by far superior. I did three blind taste tests and each time the 4 yr old rum was the favorite. I made the switch 2 weeks ago and all the diehard Bacardi drinkers have not put up a fuss at all so far. On the contrary, they have all appreciated their drinks and come back for seconds.  Some have even been thankful for the introduction to a new type of rum.  After all you really have two kinds of drinkers in a bar, those who could careless and are there just to get hammered and those who want to enjoy their drinks while having a good time with friends.  I suppose these two roads often end at the same destination.
    The age statement on this rum lets you know that it is 100% aged rum where as Bacardi has no age statement. So the only thing your guests will find missing from their cocktail is the burn that Bacardi gives. Go ahead and try a shot of each straight up and tell me which one you prefer. This rum is Bandit approved for both your guests satisfaction and for your owners pour cost.
    Furthermore, they have a full line up of delicious dark rums that are a great addition to any back bar that is dedicated to finding the best spirits available. Their rums are aged 7, 12,18, and 21 years. I find them all to be incredible, I use the 7 year old rum as a float on a Mai Tai, or I pour it over the rocks with a squeeze of fresh lime.

To learn more about this product check out their web site at


December 14, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment

Never Rush Perfection! How To Pour A Pint of Guinness..

Why don’t people understand that a Guinness needs to be poured in a two stage process? You need to let it settle in order to enjoy the beverage with a good head on it, one that follows you through the entire pint! The Head should leave rings down the side of your pint glass. Don’t argue with me over the bar when we are busy, try arguing with decades of tradition. If you didn’t know, that this is why the bartender puts the pint down for a minute, well then now you know, and I will forgive you. However, if you know this and you just think your right, well then may God have mercy on your soul for messing with something so perfect!
Put down your blackberry, put away the keys to your sports car, and relax. Enjoy life with your friends in a nice environment and stay awhile. Not everything needs to be done in such a rush. Furthermore, no one should ever serve a pitcher of Guinness so don’t ask! If you do pour from a pitcher you loose out on the experience of being able to drink from underneath the foam. This is an art form so kick back and watch perfection happening right in front of you. Stop asking people to rush your pours, if you want a fast beer drink a bottled beer of some sort. If you still don’t want to take my word for watch the movie I posted here.

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment

Pernicious Barflies


    ” I’ve been in the restaurant/bar industry for years. And I’m a grown up. So I understand the bare bones and economics of serving people. We provide food and libations to hungry and thirsty patrons, who chose our joint over some other joint. Good service people, bartenders and waiters alike, recognize this and treat their patrons as such. Not only are we happy to avoid a soul crushing, mind numbing cubicle job, but we actually like serving. It feeds us, both literally and figuratively. We meet interesting people. We are paid relatively well. And, with a mix of 3 parts skill and 1 part luck, we help those interesting people relax and have a little fun.
       That’s the bright side. The balanced, professional, life-affirming outlook. But there’s a dark side to this too. I go there when I’m forced to deal with that certain contingency of “patrons” who like to shit on me and the other the people who serve them. People who ask for more that they need and give less than they can. I don’t know why these people are this way. Possibly because they think all servers are groveling little incompetents. Maybe they just want to get over on somebody and get something for free, and they know if they pitch and fuss enough they probably will get something for free. But, as the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Said cost should be assessed in terms of the number of minutes taken off the end of the server’s life due to the fact that he or she had to deal with such a jerk-ass.
      I suspect that the people who mistreat their servers are just bastards. Little Napoleonic shit birds who catch hell from Napoleonic bosses all day and feel the need to kick the dog. Miserable people, seemingly built like a virus, designed only to spread their misery to any host they encounter. These turds are legion.

    Everybody should hate these people, not just those of us in the industry. They are blights on our society and they bring down the cumulative value of our culture. No one’s happy when they’re around. They stand side-by-side with the fucks who yell into their phones in a crowded movie theater. They’re like insurance cheats. Sure, they’ll make a buck, but you better believe your rates will go up. We need to expose and eradicate these parasites. Air quality would improve. Global warming would subside. Places like the DMV would blossom into amusement parks. Definitely restaurants and bars would be better.
      Next to a kid-toucher, and maybe a horse thief, one of the worst shit sucking, yellow-bellied dogs on the planet is the tip welsh. These are the bastards who repeatedly promise to tip, promise to tip, promise to tip, and then stiff you. They’re on the shit scale somewhere in between pathological liar and chronic shoplifter. But welshing is not a felony. It’s not even a misdemeanor. Victims like me can only tell their story and hope that it helps other victims. So, in the interest of disclosure, here goes.
    The advent of the running credit card tab has created a sort-of tip shelter for fraudulent jerks, allowing them to dangle the carrot in front us poor saps only to yank it back, and gobble it up, at the last minute. Every time their antics cross the line and make the bartender re-evaluate his decision not to go to law school, these fiends wrinkle their noses and nod toward the general area where the credit card tabs are kept. It’s a form of blackmail, really. The bartender can do nothing but sigh, and mix up another goddamn raspberry lemon drop.
     Many welshers are liars and cowards, as well as cheapasses. For whatever reason, they are philosophically opposed to the concept of gratuity. They however, do not have the balls to say it to your face. So they masquerade as a descent person until the transaction is done and then slink away at the last minute like a hamburger-stealing cocker-spaniel at a backyard barbeque. You know you’d kick that bastard if you could, but he keeps going under the table or out into the rose garden. Plus, it’s not your place to kick the neighbor’s dog.
     Sometimes these welshers are too slow to avoid being caught and they’re forced to come up with a lame excuse. A lot of these jerks will give you the old, “I know this 2 bucks aint much. I’ll come back later with your tip.” To this, I just shake my head. If I feeling diplomatic, I say, “Why don’t we just take care of that now?” Other times, when I’m tired of diplomacy, I say, “No. No, I don’t believe you will.” At no time do I say,” All right then, see you tomorrow.”
      The other night, some loud-mouth started a tab with me. “I’ll take care of you if you take care of me,” she said.
“That’s usually how it works,” I replied, smiling.

“No. I mean it,” she said, “I tip well. Just take care of me.”

      Now, usually we bartenders can tell who we’re dealing with. If it’s built like a horse and has black and white stripes; it’s probably a zebra. And if it whinnies and snorts, brags, demands, complains, and promises; it’s probably a horsefaced douchebag. So after years of having conversations like the one above, I’ve learned that it generally precludes an annoying evening of service on my part and a bullshit tip on theirs. And as this nag was bragging about how well she was GOING to tip me LATER, she was inadvertently, but explicitly, saying two things to me: Number One, “I’m classless enough to brag about tipping, which means I’m not classy enough to actually tip well. I just use it as leverage.” Number Two, “I am a douchebag and a cheapass.”
      But I’ve been wrong before. And since she was buying drinks for her friends, I reasoned that she might just be indelicate, and not altogether cheap. So every time she waddled up to the bar, I dutifully served her. When she called my name (these types always want to know your name, and they always overuse it), I responded. When she expressed irritation that I couldn’t remember all of the drinks from her last round, I made a point to remember (Ketel tonic, Goose cran, etc). All the while, I suspected she would welsh.
      So, since she was a loud-mouthed jerk, of course she got wasted. And of course there was drama with her friends. And of course she was crying in the corner by the door. And of course their “Driver” (drunk as the rest of them, of course) tried to close her tab. And since I could see her, I politely refused and explained that people need to close their own tab. So, of course, she stomped up to bar, wiped the tears and snot from her face with the back of her fat hand, and snatched up her tab. She scoffed and rolled her eyes, insinuating, I think, that the bill was too high. She shook her head, mumbled something incomprehensible, and hunched over the thing, as if she were afraid I would try to cheat off it. Her friend came over. They looked at the bill together and began to bicker at one another.
        Since it was closing time, and I had work to do, I turned my back to close out my register. After a second (almost because they noticed that my back was turned), the bickering stopped and they started to walk away. Seeing that they were leaving, I yelled, “Thanks” and walked over to the spot where they’d been working on the bill. I immediately saw that they hadn’t left the tab (classic welsher tactic). “Hey,” I shouted after them, “Excuse me. You forgot to leave my copy of the credit card slip. I need your signature.” I deliberately did not mention the tip, although I probably should have. “Oh,” said horseface. She padded her pockets and turned her palms upward to show me they were empty. “No. I left it.” She pointed to the empty spot on the bar where they’d been working on the bill. I shook my head, “Did you accidentally put it your pocket? Or did it fall on the floor?” I was being generous. I was pretty sure she’d picked it up in a deliberate effort to welsh. She looked to the floor and shook her head. “Here,” I said, “I’ll print another.” I put the copy in front of her with a pen and leaned on my forearms, looking her right in the eye. Now I knew, and she knew I knew.
     Quickly, she signed it, leaving both the tip and total spot blank. “You should fill the total in,” I said smiling coyly, “or I’ll have to.” Here I’d finally breeched my own edict; I’d mentioned the tip. All the chicanery had forced my hand. I don’t bartend for sport; I’m there for the dough. Her face dropped, and quickly tensed up again. She reached into her hip pocket, pulled out some wadded bills, and dropped the pile on the bar. Wadded bills are another tactic. They figure by the time we unfold them all, they’ll be gone in a poof of smoke. They’re tossing a net over us and we have to wriggle out of it like a Dik-dik trying to escape the bushman’s knife. But it only took a glance for me to see that there were three or four dollars in the pile. Her check was over eighty bucks. I waited for her to reassess, but she turned and walked away.
      We’ve all heard the story about the mythological server that chased a tightwad into the parking lot, throwing loose change and yelling, “Here! Take it! You must need it more than me!” I did not do that. My employer wouldn’t dig it and I need to keep my job because my kids like food. All I could do was sarcastically thank her for the “hook-up” and tell my coworkers to short-pour her if they ever saw her again.
       But I can also write. For me, it’s kind of like taking the bandage off of a festering wound. Once it’s exposed to the sunlight and the fresh air, hopefully it will dry up and heal. I also want to expose these people. And I want service people to collectively say, “I can tell right away that you’re a jerk. I may have to serve you, but I’m not going to pretend you aren’t an asshole.” It’s a subtle distinction, but maybe it will deny these welshing sons-of-bitches the satisfaction that they got over on us.”

Guest Blog:  Find more information on the following social network site, created just for the bar and food industry at Biteclub

December 11, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment

Gripes From the Servers: 10 Things I Hate About You….Sacmag

Found this and thought we could all relate!

“Gripes From the Servers: 10 Things I Hate About You

Ever wondered what your waiter, bartender, busser or chef really thinks about you? We asked several local restaurant pros to tell the truth—strictly anonymously, of course—about the kinds of customers who get on their last nerve. Ready?
By Cathy Cassinos-Carr

From December 2009

1. Talk down to them
“It happens a lot. Customers speak to us with clipped tones if we can’t hear them, or if we ask them to repeat their order.”
2. Overstay their welcome, then chintz on the tip
“Diners should keep in mind that when they stay a long time at a restaurant without ordering more, they could be costingtheir server money. Waiters make their money on tips, so they want to serve as many tables as they can in a night.”
3. Play God with the menu
“I wonder why some people choose to come to a restaurant when they have no idea of the kind of place it is, look at the menu and ask, ‘Why are there no mashed potatoes or Caesar salad?’ Or ‘Can I have this sauce with that dish or no vegetables, extra potatoes?’ I would never dream of going to a restaurant and rearranging their menu.”
4. Lack manners
“I hate it when people sit at the bar and point to a drink to indicate they want a refill. The lack of manners makes me crazy.”
5. Ignore the “please wait to be seated” sign
“They waltz in, ignore the sign and seat themselves—usually at a dirty table. Ugh.”
6. Use cell phones in the middle of an interaction
“It’s particularly annoying when I am asked to hold on while they continue their conversation.”
7. Are verbal tippers
“Servers haaaate verbal tippers—the ones who compliment a dish big time, but in the end don’t back it up with money.”
8. Complain after the fact
“If there’s a problem with your food, servers want to hear about it immediately so they can help. Nobody likes an angry lecture of what’s wrong when the bill comes around.”
9. Play supervisor
“It’s annoying when cust-omers stand and watch as you make their drink in order to ensure their drink’s perfection.”
10. Forget what they learned in kinder-garten
“You wouldn’t believe how many customers forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ A little common courtesy goes a long way.””

By Cathy Cassinos-Carr

From December 2009  Sacmag
If you want to read more by this author go to this website.

December 11, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment

Your speaking Japanese I want to talk Scotch!

    This whiskey is just fun because its Japanese whiskey acting like a Scotch. If you were to close your eyes when drinking this whiskey, images of Scotland would surely work their way into your mind. There is a light air of peat in this whiskey, just a subtle smokiness that I find really enjoyable. Professionals say, whiskey is all about the water, and I think this product shows this to be true.  If you really focus when drinking this product you will find amongst all its bold flavors, whispers of this whiskey’s origins.  Make a night of it and go out for sushi, have some sake, and finish with a pour of the 12 or 18-year.  I think you too will become a fan of this product.
     This Whiskey is a conversation starter and a crowd pleaser. As a bartender I find people are rather excited to buy it when you tell them where it comes from. We carry the 12 and the 18-year, and I have been very happy with this whiskey. Even though we have over 140 whiskey’s this product still moves off our back bar at a steady pace.

The following review was taken from their website,


First Japanese Whisky Honored at International Spirits Competition

NEW YORK, May 12, 2005 – Suntory Yamazaki has won Double Gold for its 18-year-old single malt whisky at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Yamazaki was the first and only Japanese whisky to pick up an award at the competition, beating out a host of other international competitors to claim the gold.

“We are very proud of this recognition by the spirits world,” said Shin Adachi, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Suntory International. Yamazaki 18 impressed an esteemed panel of judges, including F. Paul Pacult, Dale DeGroff and Richard Carleton Hacker, Spirits Editor of the Robb Report. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is overseen by Anthony Dias Blue.

“We introduced Yamazaki only last July,” added Adachi. “Winning Double Gold affirms our 18-year-old whisky meets the highest international standards for excellence.”

Yamazaki single malt whisky is made from the purest natural ingredients and has a smooth, honeyed taste. Suntory whiskies are handcrafted at Japan’s oldest distillery, built by Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii in 1923. The distillery is situated in the Vale of Yamazaki on the outskirts of Kyoto, an ideal environment for whisky production where the same exceptionally pure waters used in Japan’s most famous tea ceremonies are used to produce Yamazaki whiskies.”

For more information go to

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment


Why do girls travel in packs when it comes to the bar scene? As men, we have all experienced the impossible unforgiving friend, a.k.a. the “gatekeeper”. This is the friend that we all love so well. Where is this over protective and snappy friend at the witching hour?

Why is it that when we close bars all over the world at least once every month or two we find a lone woman, there, passed out in the bathroom? There in all her glory, head leaning against the stall, half way through her first dream, on the toilet! There she is alone, amongst the confetti like paper towels, the empty drinks, and cell phone parts on the floor. Where is the gatekeeper then???

I hope that whoever distracted the gatekeeper from the pack at least made it worth her while. After all, we have to gather up people as witnesses,( a few girls and a door guy or two) and we now have to help this girl off her porcelain throne back to some form of safety. This process is not so simple, usually amongst our repeated attempts to find out what’s going on we hear slurs about, friends, ex-boyfriends, and lost car keys. In this situation a car is never the right choice, however we humor her for a moment, in-order for her to trust us enough to look into her purse for a cell phone, an I.D., anything at this point!

Fast forward 30 minutes and finally she remembers her I.D. was stuffed in her bra and she now recalls something about a late night rendezvous with greasy food of the drive through sort. We finally get her cell phone turned back on, ( which was most likely turned off in order to avoid drunk texting), and now have the task of convincing her that a bar is no place for anyone to be walking without shoes on, especially after closing time. If you have never paid close attention to a bar floor at two in the morning it resembles a war torn country or a C.S.I nightmare!

All of us at this point have had our laugh or two, and now realize that we still have to clean the entire bar and somehow get this girl home safely. Don’t get me wrong, we have all had a moment or two in a similar situation, but when you are quickly approaching three a.m. you over look that aspect of your past. So over a few more repeated conversations you walk the girl slowly to the door, offering taxis or to call a friend. At this point you’re willing to call a limo if only you didn’t have to listen to her same story of her best friend this, and her ex-boyfriend that. Just as the thought comes over you to hit this re-run of The Hills as hard as you can, you hear the one sound that kills all bartenders. There is never an excuse for this sound, and is hated around the world by every kind of bartender and server. It’s the shrill of excitement that comes out only when girls reunite over drinks, after being separated, or just after they black out. After forty minutes of broken record conversation, tears, and drama, we now stand in the presence of utter joy felt by the forgotten drunk girl as she reunites with her equally hammered and screaming “girls Night” friends. We too are overjoyed by this child like reunion and can only think about a cold beer and bed. This Idea of cold refreshment is only intensified when we realize that this friend had been outside the entire time arguing with her ex-boyfriend on her cell phone. Yelling at him for whatever he did or did not do, including the fact that her damn girlfriend had left her alone at the bar!

Want an example of the screaming??? Watch this…

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | 1 Comment

A few Basic Facts. Whisky…or whiskey?

Here goes a few basic facts taken from a web site To get us started.  For more information please go to.

There are two legitimate spellings of whisky. One is ‘whisky’ – as spelled by Scotts and Canadians and the second is ‘whiskey’ – as spelled by the Irish and Americans.

There is a dispute between the Irish and the Scotts, as to who were the first to make whisky.

Scotch and Irish whisky are made the same way, with the exception of malting and distillation process.

There are five basic classifications of whisky – Irish Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Bourbon, Canadian Whisky and American Whisky.

The dark color of whiskey comes from the wooden barrels in which it is aged. The wood expands and contracts with the change in temperature, making the movie in and out of the wood. The compounds from wood give whisky its dark color.

The barrels made from American White Oak have been claimed to produce the tastiest whisky.

Tennessee whiskey gets its distinct flavor and aroma characteristics from a unique process called “mellowing”.

There are more than 5000 types of Single Malt Whisky.

Whisky can be called Whisky only when it matured for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks.

Single Malt Whisky comes from a single distillery and a single grain. However, it is possible that it underwent maturing in multiple casks.

Blended Whisky is called Blended Whisky because of the mixture of Grain Whisky and multiple Single Malt Whiskies.

Around 90 percent of Single Malt Whisky comes from Scotland.

A whisky stops maturing after it is bottled.

A closed bottle of whisky can be kept for more than 100 years and it will still be good to drink.
After opening, a half-full bottle of whisky will remain good for five years.

Pure malt whisky is produced only from malted barley.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment




Basil Hayden’s 8yr
Buffalo Trace
Eagle Rare
Eagle Rare 17yr
Four Roses
George T’ Stagg
Jim Beam
Jim Beam Black
Johnny Drum 101pr
Knob Creek 9yr
Maker’s Mark
Michter’s US 1
Noah’s Mill
Old Bardstown Estate
Pappy Van Winkle 15yr
Pappy Van Winkle 20yr
Pappy Van Winkle 23yr
Pure Kentucky XO
Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90pr
Rip Van Winkle 12yr 107pr
Rowan’s Creek 12yr
Wild Turkey 101pr
Willett Reserve
William Larue Weller
Woodford Reserve


Crown Royal
Crown Royal Reserve
Crown Cask No’ 16
Leopold’s Peach
Seagram’s 7

Rye Whiskey

High West Rendezvous
High West 16yr
High West 21yr
Michter’s US 1
Michter’s 10yr
Rip Van Winkle 13yr
Sazerac 6yr
Sazarac Thomas Handy

Irish Whiskey

Bushmills Black
Bushmills 10yr
Bushmills 16yr
Bushmills 21yr
Connemara Cask
Jameson 12yr
Jameson Gold
Jameson 18yr
Jameson 21yr
Jameson Vintage
John Powers
Knappogue Castle
Michael Collins
Michael Collins SM
Midleton Rare
Red Breast 12yr
Slane Castle
Tullamore Dew

Tennessee Whiskey

George Dickel
Jack Daniel’s
Jack Daniel’s SB
Gentleman Jack


Courvosier VSOP
Remy Martin VSOP



Ardbeg 10yr
Bowmore 12yr
Caol Ila 12yr
Lagavulin 15yr DE
Lagavulin 16yr
Laphroaig 10yr


Balvenie 12yr
Balvenie 15yr
Balvenie 21yr
Cragganmore DE
Craigellachie 16yr
Dewar’s White
Dewar’s 12yr
Dewar’s 18yr
Dewar’s Signature
Glenfiddich 12yr
Glenfiddich 15yr
Glenfiddich 18yr
Glenfiddich 21yr
Glenlivet 12yr
Glenlivet 15yr
Gelnlivet 16 Nadura
Glenlivet 18yr
Glenrothes Select Rsv’
Glenrothes 1991
Macallan 12yr
Macallan 18yr Singleton 12yr
Speyburn 10yr


Highland Park 12yr
Inchmurrin 12yr
Talisker 10yr


Chivas Regal 12yr
Clynelish 14yr
Dalwhinnie 15yr
Glen Garioch 8yr
Glenmorangie 10yr
Glenmorangie 18yr
Oban 14yr
Oban 1993 DE
Stronachie 12yr
Stronachie 17yr



Glenkinchie 12yr
J.W. Black 12yr
J.W. Blue
J.W. Gold 18yr
J.W. Green 15yr
J.W. Red


Pig’s Nose 5yr
Sheeps Dip
Yamazaki 12yr
Yamazaki 18yr

December 5, 2009 Posted by | Bars, bartending, beer, bourbon, culture, drinks, drunk, gin, mixology, nightlife, pub, rum, sacramento, saloon, scotch, tequila, whiskey, whisky, wine | Leave a comment