I spent my Christmas morning curling up with my new stuffed giraffe named Genevieve, and reading Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide, 75th anniversary edition.
A giraffe because I love giraffes, and a guide to bartending because I plan to go to a bartending school when I turn eighteen this spring. Y'know, college tuition.
In my mom's words, since she's the one who kindly gave me this guide, I'm reading this for "professional purposes." That's mostly true, but it's also just fascinating. Relax, I'll only be practicing the non-alcoholic chapter for now. Can't forget about them Shirley Temples, Peach Melbas and Flamingos.
It's amazing, really, how the details makes a world of a difference with serving drinks. This guide really does get down to every last detail imaginable. Every here and there, one sentence stood out as snobbish. I never really appreciated how much of an art form serving drinks is. I'm sure I'll be just as snobby some day, much like how becoming a barista is slowly turning me into a coffee snob. The people who contributed to the guide certainly are particular in the way they like things done.
"Clean, polished glasses show off good drinks to great advantage. The best glasses should be thin-lipped, transparent, and sound off in high registers when 'pinged.'"
"A good number of cocktails are finished with some kind of fruit or savory garnish. (Well not discuss nonedible doodads like paper umbrellas, but really, they might be appropriate for some retro drinks. Stock them according to your aesthetics.)"
What if I waste a bunch of fruit because I can't slice it properly? I imagine myself behind a bar frantically trying to slice fruit and failing. File that under stupid fears I need to get over.
Rimming a glass:
"Rimming separates the pros from the amateurs. The crust must only cling to the outside of the glass. If it is inside the glass, the inner crust will fall into the drink and overseason it."
The precision of it all is honestly quite intimidating. I wouldn't want to accidentally overseason someone's margarita. Goodness.