‘Anthony Bourdain’s for the bar.

Shocking, revealing and Happy Hour will never be the same.’
" #"$%&'(&$)* "'%+,-,./
,0 +1-"$1,2* %"-&*
"'( (1$%/ %$134*
is Certificate of Authenticity represents the genuine article and the
Limited Edition of e Long Pour, Volume 1. e book you are holding in
your hands has been crafted from select, triple-distilled A-grade paper;
hand-cut by happy foresters from the choicest, ecological trees available
on the planet. Each book has been prepared with love and commitment
by the Master Printer and touched by precisely four and a half pairs of
hands to inspect for flaws, defects or printing errors. Once printed, it has
been aged carefully atop of oak barrels for three whole days to obtain its
characteristic aroma and book-like smell, before finally being polished by
seven semi-naked European hotties, each of which have blown virgin air
kisses into the pages so as to improve the performance speed of each
page turn. It’s just how we roll.*
is genuine article you’re holding in your hands is one of only 3000
copies in the entire universe. e certificate is signed by the editor and
in doing so he has personally penned each certificate with its individual
....................... / 3000 Editor: Adam MacDonald ..................................................................

* Events referred to within this Certificate of Authenticity may or may not have
occurred. ere has been a lot of wine drunk. Events referred to within this Certificate
of Authenticity may have been presented in a slightly altered fashion for dramatic
purposes and piss taking. Virgin air kisses may not have been performed in a sober
state at the time of event and may not have been performed by actual virgins. Hotties
do like their booze. Master Printer not actual title. Conditions apply. If you are not the
intended reader of this message, look away. Now.
Certificate of Authenticity
!"#$% '()*+ ,()*+
e opinions and views expressed within this book do not reflect the
opinions and views of Working Mixer AS or any of its employees, agents,
directors, representatives and affiliates. e stories may or may not
relate to any actual and/or living and/or fictional individuals, events and/
or venues. e names and identifying characteristics of some of the
individuals, events and venues may have been changed.
Paul Flair, International Bartender of Mystery is a registered trademark
owned by Paul Flair Publishing, a subsidiary of Working Mixer AS,
Org.nr: 989 924 672.
e Long Pour, © 2012 Working Mixer AS. All Rights Reserved.
Printed in the E.U.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief
quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
For information, send post to this address:
Working Mixer AS, Waldemar ranes Gt 84B, entrance C, 0175 Oslo, Norway.
Attention: Paul Flair Publishing.
Norwegian National Library Publication Data
ISBN 978-82-998508-1-0 e Long Pour, limited edition 3000 copies.
ISBN 978-82-998508-0-3 e Long Pour, booklet edition.
ISBN 978-82-998508-2-7 e Long Pour, e-book edition.

e Long Pour, Volume One
Limited Edition, November 2012.
Compiled by Adam MacDonald
Stories edited by Adam MacDonald
Cartoons by Rafal Bartlet
All other contributions (read: not much help at all) by Christoffer Nicolin
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with
the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and
well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
golf club in one hand, martini in the other, body
thoroughly used up hollering ‘what a ride’.”
- uxkxovx.
For Mum and Dad, thanks for being so cool about
all of this. Love, Nicoljohn.
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6>LE]Y8K :]E6
We have always been gatherers. Gathering food, tools or
one-of-a-kind collectables: like this fine piece of chewed up
tree you are currently holding in your hot little hands. We have
also gathered together, in small or large groups, to form that
sacred bond, that sense of community and belonging. In the
good old days, it was the waterhole or the well that drew us
in. We would stand around discussing life, the neighbours
or the interpretations of the freshly painted works of rock
art. As times have changed though, so too have our places
of congregation. We have progressed from simple wells to
marbled forums, from brick town halls to majestic shopping
malls. But even in our modern day lives, connected as we are
through mobile phones and online chats, the urge to gather
still remains a strong and primal force.
How fortunate for us, then, to have available perhaps the
greatest gathering place of all times—the public bar. ere
isn’t a street corner anywhere in the world that wouldn’t be
improved by the addition of a grand old pub or a downtown
loft that would serve as nothing better than a cheeky little
cocktail lounge. Pubs, clubs, bars, gin joints or whatever you
want to call them, and wherever in the world they may be,
these are the places in today’s day and age where we choose
to gather in droves. We go there for any number of reasons: to
catch up with mates, cheer on our team, celebrate, commiser-
ate, or speculate.
!"# %&'( )&*+ CQ
ese are the places where the beverage reigns supreme—
where social interactions are lubricated by a little Dutch
courage, and the shackles of real life are shaken off on sweaty
dance floors. And who, pray tell, are the cogs that keep
these wheels of evening entertainment turning? ey are, of
course, the bartenders. ose highly prized social facilitators
who firmly stand their ground between punter and product,
between nervous sobriety and drunken bliss. Wedged as
they are between piles of cash, bottled beer and hot-bodied
patrons, somehow these guardians of all things fermented
and distilled find a way to keep the good times rolling.
e Long Pour is a unique insight into the remarkable world
of bartending for the gatherers. From Seattle to Reykjavík,
London to Singapore, we’ve collected some of the wildest and
most hilarious of bartending adventures, as told by the men
and women on the front line. e events of these stories are
all true—the bartenders are all real people. However, in order
to bring you the juiciest of juicy details in even the most con-
tentious of circumstances, there were a few occasions where
I thought it best to alter the names of venues or characters in
question. e brave souls wishing to take full credit for their
antics have been duly rewarded with a cartoon image of them-
selves at the beginning of their story.
ough each bartender presented in these pages is a
legend in their own right, our greatest appreciation is perhaps
reserved for the original International International Bartender
of Mystery®—the one and only Paul Flair. Paul is famous within
the ranks of elite bartenders lucky enough to have crossed
his path. His name has long been whispered in the darkened
corners of downtown bars, filling the role of both hero and
villain; it is a role the bar industry neither needed nor asked for,
but duly got nonetheless. Paul clocks in at regular intervals
during the book to bestow upon us his own unique take on
bartending for the masses. ough we are strictly compelled
!"#$%&'( *%$+ CC
to keep his identity under wraps, his exploits are also 100%
true. e man is an enigma; some say he couldn’t possibly
exist, while others swear they were working with him just
last week. On a side note, if you see him, hear from him, or are
indeed served a refreshing beverage by him, please drop us a
line at www.WhoIsPaulFlair.com. Confirmed sightings could be
generously rewarded, you never know!
Some people may find this book controversial; others may
well be outraged by the confessions told within. I merely hope
that, whatever your take on these stories, you look upon
your local bartender with a renewed sense of understanding,
respect and an ounce of vigilance. I sincerely believe these
classic tales have been ‘in-house’ for far too long and that
something had to be done about it.
anks for forking out some of your hard earned cash to buy
one of these limited editions—it’s very much appreciated and
as always, I’ll see you at the bar! It’s probably my round.
Adam MacDonald,
e Reluctant Editor.
!"# %&'( )&*+ CW
No one likes being the newbie. When you start out fresh
in the cocktail universe, those with all the knowledge and
skill above you have the uncanny ability to make you look and
feel both ridiculous and naïve for those first six to ten weeks.
Not only does the youngling have the hundreds of recipes to
memorise, the flavours and brands of all the spirits, the daily
procedures, the free pouring techniques, the regular’s names,
the rules, the laws and the cash handling, but they also have to
deal with their very own bar trainer, who relishes making the life
of the newbie hell for their own sadistic personal amusement.
Amongst a whole host of other things, for several weeks
mine had me watering all the plastic plants on the bar because
he knew I would take absolutely everything he said as gospel,
and would never have the guts to question his wisdom and
worldly ways. And he was right. But with the pranks, came
great guidance. Amazing experiences that you can only get
from months of dedicated one-on-one training. Bartending, and
even life lessons, that can stay with you for…well, life.
Unfortunately though, many new bartenders are given a
totally different start up experience. ey are pushed onto the
bar, in the middle of the shift when the shit has already hit the
fan and are lucky if they get two minutes of pep talk...
‘e bottles live here, the ice is over there…in my right
hand I’m holding bourbon in my left is vodka, we don’t give
credit…if a fight breaks out push this alarm or grab that bat.
at guy there is cut off, so is she! Try not to break anything.
Good luck, go!’
If they survive the madness and want to come back, then it’s
‘watch and learn’ for one more night and that’s pretty much it.
Congratulations, you’re now behind the bar!
But no matter if the bar training is long and complex or fast
and carefree, there is, to a certain extent, a bond, a mentoring
or big brother relationship that forms between Master and Ap-
!"#$%&# (# )**&%+$,-% CX
prentice. Likened somewhat to that of a Jedi Knight and their
Padawan learner. Yes, I said it, and you just read it. I compared
learning the ropes as a bartender to becoming a Jedi! I like to
think it has to do with all the Star Wars quotes my own trainer
used along the way but secretly I think it’s got more to do with
the fact that I’ve always fancied my bar blade as being some-
what of a cheap substitute for a light saber. Both pieces of kit
just ooze coolness. So whether you work the bench of an old
Irish pub, or you’re bartending has taken you to cocktail mecca,
the stories that follow in this first chapter should ring a bell or
two about that unweathering bond between the experienced
pourers—the Masters, and the newbie, still wet behind the
ears—the Apprentice.
is story comes courtesy of South African
bartender Tug van den Bergh. ‘Lord Tugworth’
as he is known in certain circles has ‘been there
done that got the t-shirt’ in pretty much every
facet of bartending. What he doesn’t know
about flair bartending isn’t worth knowing, and
his cocktail skills have stood up to the ultimate
measure of excellence: a tour of duty behind
the wood at the original LAB, London. He now
spends his days perched atop Mt. Fuji, mastering
complex Sudoku puzzles, drinking green tea, and
running the World Flair Association.
rrxrxirr : vrrkrxi, back in the day, when I was doing this gig
to help out a friend. He was nervous and new to the event world
and by some stroke of genius had landed a massive gig. By this stage in
my bartending career, it’s fair to say that I was detnitely more master
than apprentice. My days of being ‘the new guy’ were well behind me;
thank God! I had steady work in a London cocktail bar, but I loved
being shipped in for these extra little jobs on the side. I was like a gun
for hire, exclusively sought out by a small band of elite forces to carry
out missions of the highest calibre. I revelled in the role. There was
!"#$%&'( *+,(# &'( -(+.& /.01 20%3(. CT
nothing better than standing ready at arms with an arsenal of highly
potent liquids—primed to dispense wave after wave of quality drinks
and good-time vibes.
It was also a brilliant way to make some extra coin. Most of these
missions were on the books, cash in hand. A small brown paper bag
slipped to you at the end of the night. We called them Black Ops,
nying as we did, under the radar of the taxman. I was a mercenary
bartender—ready to pour or throw bottles—whenever and wherever
the war enort needed me.
Bar work in the event world can give you access to places that
you wouldn’t normally have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting
into. Backstage passes, secret tunnels, green rooms, and VIP tents at
the swankiest of gatherings. And just as cool as all of that is, they’re a
great way to break up the regular routine. Eighty percent of the time
the event turns out to be more hype than hard work, so you end up
having a very easy, relatively relaxed shift. This particular weekend, I was
working a private party somewhere between Manchester and Leeds. It
was a 50
birthday for some ultra rich dude, held on an historical estate
complete with its own 18
century mansion. Proper posh.
As I was admitted through the iron-clad gates, I took a moment to
take in the place. The mansion itself was made of old grey brick with a
string of thick green ivy growing up the walls. A huge white marquee
had been erected on the manor lawn, fully equipped and ready to cater
to 150 VIP guests. I had some time to absorb all this grandeur while the
touchy-feely security guards had their way with me. My audible sighing
didn’t help with the awkwardness of the man-to-man pat down—but
I swear it was less to do with the roaming hands of the burly security,
and more to do with the impressive vision of the Maybach 62 and the
Aston Martin DB9 parked on the cobblestoned driveway. I got the
distinct impression that this was going to be one hell of a sophisticated
jamboree, with no expenses spared.
As I was getting settled in behind my portable bar, I noticed one
small dinerence. Rather than a large selection of alcoholic products and
an impressive stock of fresh fruits and juices, I found only an intnite
!"#$%&# (# )**&%+$,-% C\
supply of one ingredient. It appeared that all of the cocktails for the
evening’s festivities were to be made with absinthe.
‘Seriously?’ I asked, looking dubiously at the list of beverages my
promoter friend had invented. It was an unimaginative and, to be hon-
est, a rather disgusting mix of absinthe-infused concoctions which I’m
at pains even now to describe as cocktails.
With one eyebrow raised, I pushed him further, ‘Mmmm, yummy!
You sure know how to pick ‘em,’ I said, the sarcasm dripping from my chin.
‘Seriously dude, this is a birthday party. Shouldn’t the drinks be a
little more, you know, uh…wholesome?’
Looking around to see if anyone was within ear shot, my aspiring-
event-manager friend, who was clearly the rookie in this story, said
with a hush, ‘Just make all your drinks pretty weak. Actually Tug,
better make ‘em really weak. I had no idea absinthe was so strong. You
can tx this, right?’
‘Whatever you want, man.’ If he wanted me to cut the pours—go
short—then I was only too happy to oblige; no one enters into the
world of mercenary bartending without trst fully understanding the
intricate inner workings of a pour spout. Besides, serving up full-
strength, long-pour, absinthe-soaked cocktails was a one-way ticket to
troubletown. Absinthe had just made somewhat of a comeback in the
UK, and many bars were serving the aptly named Green Fairy under
a ‘one drink only’ policy—a fact that I was now realising had washed
over this newbie of the event world. My friend’s absinthe fetish was
clearly part of some promotional thing he had going on, some kickback
deal which I imagine was a nice little extra earner. Whatever the case, I
wasn’t there to critique his integrity or question his piss-poor decision
making skills this early on in his event management career. I had a bar
to prep, and the guests were already starting to trickle into the marquee.
They appeared to be a rather random assortment, from ninety-year-
old grannies in their Chanel cardigans, blue hair, and walking frames, to
pimple-popping teens in their oversized designer denims. There was a
bunch of well-to-do aristocrats, a few polo players, and a gloomy, square-
faced group whom I guessed to be the birthday boy’s legal team. The
!"#$%&'( *+,(# &'( -(+.& /.01 20%3(. C;
one thing that these people all had in common was their familiarity with
wealth. As far as the eye could see, the money just kept rolling in.
This was no doubt the biggest gig that my aspiring promoter friend
had ever been hired for. Then, just as the bar was about to open, he
pulled me aside: ‘Oh yeah, one more thing Tug,’ he said. ‘I’m gonna
need you to get up on the bar and do a tve minute bottle-throwing-
nair-routine thingy. I don’t know when exactly, but your cue will be
the song Addicted to Love.’
‘I’m sorry, what now?’ I asked, clearly not amused.
I instantly froze and stared at him blankly in disbelief. Performing
the bottle-throwing-nair-routine-thingy was not the issue at hand. It
was the shite track selection that had me gagging. He had to be joking.
I tried to tght it, but my mind tlled with disturbing, blurred visions of
Tom Cruise’s karaoke attempt in Cocktail.
‘And that would be Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”?’ I asked.
There stands Tom, behind the bar of an Upper-East-Side saloon. He
turns down the music, the lights dim, and in the butchering that follows can
be found the reasons why bartenders the world over share a deep and well-
ing hatred of Robert Palmer’s top-of-the-table hit from ‘86. Cheers, Tom!
I kept staring at my friend, waiting for him to crack up. Nope. Then
waiting for that tiny hint of a smirk to play upon his features and give
the game away. Nada. Then, waiting for any sort of sign that he was full
of shit, that he was taking the piss—but again: nothing. He continued
his staring back at me blank-faced, not even a glimmer of sarcasm.
‘Robert-fucking-Palmer? You’re serious, aren’t you?’ I couldn’t
think of anything more humiliating. ‘Forget it man. No fucking way.
Not happening.’
‘Oh come on, Tug,’ he whined. ‘The old bag throwing this party could
become a really big client for me. There’ll be loads more gigs if we keep
her happy.’ I saw the nicker of panic in his eyes, but I was not convinced.
Last minute changes to the battle plan never work out for the best.
It went on like that for a while: I kept refusing, and he kept plead-
ing. ‘But, they specitcally requested it,’ he said, ‘and I promised you’d do
it. I told them you were the best in the business!’
!"#$%&# (# )**&%+$,-% NQ
His arse-licking was starting to wear me down, and tnally—with
the promise of a pay rise and my very own bottle of over-proof Schultz
absinthe—I agreed to his musical madness.
However, unbeknownst to him, and in a desperate attempt to
salvage at least one shred of dignity, I called forth the power of my
experience and made some slight adjustments of my own to the battle
plan. If I was going to be performing a nair routine to Robert Palmer’s
‘Addicted to Love’ on a wobbly bar counter at this bullshit birthday
party, then nobody—and I mean nobody—would be watching it sober.
I didn’t exactly have a lot to work with. ‘Stacked to the max’ was
how this portable bar was supposed to come, but not this night. Clearly
the rookie had some work to do with his preparation lists. I found
orange juice, Tabasco, and even half a bottle of Frothee in the bottom
of an event kit, so not much help there. But like any elite soldier, when
you tnd yourself in the shit, with nothing but your experience to draw
upon, there’s really only one question you end up asking yourself: What
would MacGyver do? The answer, in most cases I suspect, comes down
to duct tape, a tooth-pick, and a ball of belly button nun.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of these things on hand for the
moment. However, I did have the bartending equivalent of duct tape—
freeze dried powder-form sour mix. I had packets and packets of the
stun. Used strategically, with a good range of other ingredients, it had
gotten me out of tricky situations in the past. Unfortunately, for yours
truly, the cocktail gods were conspiring against me and I didn’t have
a lot going in the way of ‘other ingredients’. All I could tnd in the
fox-hole I was tending from was Sprite, grenadine, and Lucozade, and
even these munitions were in short supply.
The sour mix would seriously have to be top notch to get these
absinthe drinks to sing. For anyone who knew anything about liquor,
bartending, or recipes (or who had been within snimng distance of a
half decent cocktail lounge), my nimsy pre-made packet sour navour
‘cover-up’ would be spotted immediately; I’d be found out and labelled
a fraud in seconds. But this crowd of drinkers seemed more like the
types who were used to their crystal stemware and stirred cocktails
!"#$%&'( *+,(# &'( -(+.& /.01 20%3(. NC
arriving on a silver tray. I tgured it was highly unlikely they had any
understanding of the molecular structure of powdered sour mix and
where it does and does not tt into the world of cocktail mixology, so I
proceeded with contdence at full speed.
As soon as the bar opened, my stealth mission began. I sent cluster
bombs of absinthe-loaded sours throughout the room. I didn’t give a
shit. I served ‘em up to kids, to grandmas and to everyone in between.
E0" 3$25"@%++1 -$9
B$54"3 -7/0 _+)*7"9...
!"#$%&# (# )**&%+$,-% NN
The speeches came and went and there was even a slurred attempt at
singing happy birthday. Yep, these drinks were hitting the mark. People
were happily slurping down my well-disguised doubles and triples and
the Green Fairy was sprinkling her magic all over the marquee. Within
three hours I had achieved pandemonium. Teenagers were spewing in
bathrooms, mums and dads were openly groping their signitcant other
(and in some cases, someone else’s signitcant other), and the dance
noor was packed with zombies. A couple of well-dressed gents took
advantage of the general merriness to call forth the attention of their
friends and colleagues, and announce to the entire room that their four-
year secret was now over. ‘We’re lovers!’ they declared. Now that was a
speech I won’t soon be forgetting.
As the opening guitar chords of ‘Addicted to Love’ rang out around
the party, I climbed atop the portable bar and looked down upon the
mayhem I had created. A sea of glassy eyes stared back at me and I was
pleased with what I saw. I happily obliged my friend’s request and com-
menced my ‘bottle-throwing-nair-routine thingy’, while Palmer’s voice
crooned the drunken crowd into an even deeper stupor. I performed
my routine with military-like precision, not that the crowd would have
noticed otherwise; I could have been blowing an entire rainforest of
balloon animals for all they cared.
Some might say that my reckless free-pouring skills and creative
drink mixing ruined that party, but I like to think that my little contri-
bution made it a night to be remembered—albeit through strobe-like,
neeting nashbacks. And when they try to recall, ‘who was that guy
throwing bottles on the bar while that rubbish 80’s song was playing?’
Well, I also like to think I just might have managed to duct tape that
little voice in their heads that might otherwise have remembered such
details. Kudos MacGyver: Mission accomplished. Report back to base.
!"# %&'( )&*+ IN
‘I got more pussy as a bartender than I ever did as an actor…’
is a great one-liner probably said by Bruce Willis, former
bartender and major start-up investor in Demi Moore’s second
marriage. I say probably said by Bruce Willis for legal reasons,
but come on, deep down we all know he definitely thought it!
is is the side of bartending that most of us sign up for. It’s
not talked about in the glossy cocktail books or bartender
manuals, and there are definitely no pamphlets being handed
out at industry trade shows, but boys and girls let’s face it: the
bar offers you a limitless world of flirting, fornication and inap-
propriate behaviour! If you want to work the late nights and
deal with the party crowds, then it’s purely for one reason—
you actually enjoy being the center of attention. And that’s
okay! Let’s celebrate this, because being in the spotlight
brings us the two things we all secretly want: sex and fame
(or notoriety, depending on performance). Face up to the facts,
if you love working a bar and slinging drinks, then you live for
hearing those words ‘that was the greatest drink I’ve ever
had…call me when you finish work tonight!’ at sort of shit
does not happen for people sitting in an office pouring over
tax audits. ose poor souls have to wait until the company
Christmas party for even a glimmer of a slice of action; we only
have to wait until…tonight.
e bar industry gives the inner child in all of us that perfect
place to play, a place where we can escape almost anything
and, at times, do things that in a normal job would have us
sued, disgraced, or even fired on the spot. I’ve been fortunate
to have met and worked with some of the funniest and most
perverted minds you could ever want to associate with. You
could say that without a doubt, the tolerance level of owners
and management in the hospitality industry just seems to be
a little higher than that which you’d find elsewhere. Praise
the Lord! Working nine to five—and I’m talking about the
!"# %&'"( &)* +"'&,-."/0 ID
alcohol-infused, nocturnal habitat, nine to five—pretty much
guarantees a lifestyle of sex, babes and debauchery, so why
not get on board? Embrace it I say, or run along to the photo-
copying room. I’m sure there are plenty of ink cartridges that
need replacing.
is story is retold in all its glory and fame by the
International Bartender of Mystery, Paul Flair.
It is said that Paul employs a personal chef just
to look after his daily intake of toasted ham ‘n’
cheese sandwiches. ough we think this is a
great idea, it is, at least at this stage, unfounded
gossip. However, we can confirm that 90% of the
time Paul’s stories are always entertaining—and
always, always, 100% true. Well, almost.
o +nis i:., I don’t know what I was thinking. It happened while I was
in Romania for a bartending competition. This was to be my trst stop
in a long string of trips that I had lined up over the summer: New York was
next, then Amsterdam, and tnally a road-trip south to Italy. With my suitcase
bulging and my passport stickered with visas, indeed the journey looked
promising. My ‘Hell yeah, I’ll be there!’ response to everything and everyone
had left me with an overbooked schedule and no room for mistakes, missed
nights, or mistresses—well, maybe the odd mistress.
I’d been booked a room at the Marriott in Bucharest, all paid for by
the sponsors of the bartending competition. From the outside, the hotel
seemed unassuming enough, but when I walked into the gigantic lobby,
I almost had a nervous bowel movement. I was in heaven! The place
!"# %& '()* +",- IX
was, pardon the crass language, on its fucking head: golden lobby, huge
chandeliers and marbled walls—you could practically smell the scent of
wealth nowing through the air vents. It was one of those moments that
I felt completely satisted with my decision to choose the red pill that
plunged me into the matrix reality that is the world of international
cocktail bartending. When I got to my room, my eyes were treated to
even more extravagant candy. The trst of which was the fourteen plump
pillows lined up on the bed—why does anyone need so many pillows?
I answered myself with the satisfying thought of the all-girl orgies and
pillow-tght sequences that were surely to follow. Glancing around the
room a bit more, I saw a fully loaded mini-bar. Now, when I say fully
loaded, I mean like no other hotel mini bar I’d ever laid my eyes (or
grubby little hands) on. Opening the door revealed an entire backbar
of booze in mini bottles, imported beers, champagnes and pretty much
every chocolate bar Godiva has ever invented. Brands of peanuts and
crisps that you’ve never heard of and just know with the way they are
packaged are designed for Royal lips only. Yep, dinner was looking good!
I continued to pan around the room and it was clearly a cornucopia of
delicious eye candy. Very tidy indeed. It was an abode tt for a king, and
I was well and truly ready to rule over this private realm—I was Kubla
Khan with his pleasure dome. Oh, how quickly things were looking up
after my trst impressions of Romania’s dodgy airport and my wild and
raucous taxi driver. Like a colony of E. coli on room temperature beef,
this country too was beginning to grow on me.
This magnitcent hotel was largely responsible for this turncoat opin-
ion, proving to be quite the trump card in this winning hand. Best of all,
everything I looked at and everything I touched was all fully paid for by
some random liquor company trying to get their brand on the scene. So,
in retrospect, was dropping out of my bullshit arts major to become a full
time bartender a good decision? I most detnitely think so!
On my last night in tve-star-Romanian-luxury, after the festivities
of the bar competition were complete, I went out with all the other
bartenders and accidentally ended up getting completely shitfaced. This
is classic behaviour for bartenders after any sort of competition—being
!"# %&'"( &)* +"'&,-."/0 II
in some random city only adds to the appeal of getting fully loaded.
Of course we don’t call it “getting fully loaded”, we brand it with a
little more class—“research and devourment”. The quest for global
knowledge and dominance in the tner points of beverage alchemy is a
continual work in progress. And I ask: ‘How are we, the bartenders, sup-
posed to help ourselves when everywhere we turn there are sponsors,
sales reps, and global brand ambassadors lining up to pour an unlimited
number of brands down our necks all in the hope of fattening us up like
foie gras-yielding geese?’ And when all the fantastic fare happens to be
gratis—free as the air you breathe—naturally, we don’t wish to be seen
as rude for turning down their generous oners. While I’m sure you’ve
heard people preaching the ideals of ‘serving responsibly’, nobody in
this business actually abides by this practice. The only thing vaguely
responsible is that some of the time, if you’re in the right city and the
right country, that empty bottle of booze you’ve just polished on will
end up in a bin marked: GLASS RECYCLING. Trust me, that’s about
as far as the responsibility goes!
This night started out no dinerently from any other post-bartending
gig, but as events began to unfold, it started to become a little loose,
even for me. At some point during the post competition celebrations,
I left the bar for a breath of fresh air and a chance to slow the intake
for a few minutes; shot after shot had taken its toll. As I’m sure many
of you can appreciate, often the fresh air you think you’re in such need
of does nothing more than accelerate your buzz—sometimes beyond
the point of no-return. I was at a medium level drunk, ‘slightly pickled’,
when I left the bar. Two big mouthfuls of fresh crisp night air later, I
had slipped into ‘shitfaced’ mode. I picked up my time card, clocked out
for the evening and made a beeline for the Marriott. I could feel that
my brain was beginning to shut itself down, with all non-essential cells
killed on by those last tve shots of After Shock. Why did we do tve?
Why was it After Shock? And why was every other bartender from the
competition taking photos of me slamming them back? These would
be questions I would need answers for, but right at that moment I was
in a self-defensive free-fall. The shapes, sights, and sounds so familiar to
!"# %& '()* +",- IT
me during the daylight hours now seemed to dance around me in a
montage of colour and light. I couldn’t tell what was real and what was
a creation of my own messed-up state of consciousness. But I knew one
thing to be true—one lesson of survival I’d picked up after watching
way too many episodes of Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls—the only
thing that would bring me back from this slippery ledge would be a
salty, juicy, fat-tlled, late night kebab. I had to keep moving.
As is normal in these parts though, it wasn’t too long before I was
approached by a sexy working girl.
‘Hey, hot lips, want some action, baby?’ she cooed, breaking my
attention from the one-minded, over-complicated task of placing one
foot after the other whilst trying to feed my face with a kebab. ‘Only
20 euros’ she continued, moving a little closer. I’m sure I wasn’t the
trst poor sucker in these shoes. It’s worth noting at this point that beer
is like Gatorade for my cock, and I’d had more than my fair share of
brewskies this particular evening. Even though my brain was logging
out, other parts of my body were still functioning—palpably so, in fact.
But I think, more than anything else, it was the basement-bargain price
that turned me on: an incredible oner of only 20 euros for a fuck! I
almost sobered up. I hadn’t bothered with a prostitute in years, but
damn, at this price, who could resist?
‘20 euros? Sure darling, ya gotta’ deal.’ I slurred back at her, after
taking the full two seconds to concentrate on tightening my lips and
tongue just enough to form the words. And with that, the game of
seduction was over and the transaction was complete. With my hooker
trmly attached to my arm, I zigzagged my way back to base camp, not
before making yet another cheeky stop for yet another survival kebab.
Despite my inebriated state, the injection of fatty ‘mystery meats’
had sobered me up to a point of remembering with complete clarity
that her body was amazing. Long legs, an arse you could bounce coins
on, and a rack you could hang your coat on. That’s what made the whole
deal so unbelievable! As for her face though—to be honest, I couldn’t
really say either way. She could’ve been as ugly as a hat-full of arseholes.
A real BOBFOC—Body On Baywatch, Face On Crimewatch. At this
!"# %&'"( &)* +"'&,-."/0 I\
particular juncture in time, however, I felt close to breaking what I’m
sure was a Guinness World Record for the consumption of alcoholic
beverages, so to sit here now and say that she was Angelina Jolie or
Elisabeth Shue (for fans of the 80’s), might not be the most accurate
appraisal. Truth be told, if sober I couldn’t pick her in a police line-up,
L 0$328/ *+/0"1"3 -7/0 $
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5+(%3 1"979/g
!"# %& '()* +",- I;
even if she was standing next to three Furries, Divine Brown and the
entire Chinese woman’s volleyball team.
Somehow I managed to navigate us back to the Marriott, and I
remember getting a few concerned looks from the hotel stan (the con-
cierge in particular) as we made our wobbly entrance. But by this time,
I’d convinced myself that she wasn’t a working girl at all. This gorgeous
beauty on my left arm was my new girlfriend! I’d met her at the bar,
bought her a drink, taken her out for a late night romantic dinner, and
had charmed her with my wit and intellect. Who were these plebs to
look down their noses at us in our rosy bubble of new-found love?
As I had done the past four nights, I staggered on, passing under the
ginormous chandelier, through the golden lobby, then past the marbled
walls and into the waiting elevator.
Of course, as expected she started ooh-ing and aah-ing over my
room the moment I opened the door. It had probably been a long time
since her eyes had been treated to such splendour, and I was feeling like
daddy big-bollocks. Here I was in this ridiculously expensive deluxe
suite, fully loaded from a record-breaking night on the drink, with an
absurdly hot love bunny for company (who I’m sure by now was wish-
ing she’d at least asked for 40). It all seemed too good to be true. We
started getting down to business, and right away she noticed the bulge
in my pants: the latest edition smart phone.
‘Wow!’ she coughed, in a voice revealing her 25 years of nicotine
abuse. ‘That looks like a really nice phone.’
‘Fuh, fucking besht on the market, shhhhhaweetheart’, I bragged,
like a complete moron, and got back to the task at hand. I shagged her a
couple of times that night (which in my state was a monumental enort
I’m still proud of) and, let me tell you, she was worth every cent. After
a moment of post coital bliss, in which I imagine she was renecting
on my manly prowess in the sack, she rolled over and, in her thick,
street-hardened accent, purred, ‘Do you want me to leave now, Paul?’
I would like to digress from this story for a moment to suggest
to the novice reader out there, that if a cheap European hooker ever
asks you the question ‘Should I leave now?’, your automatic renexive
!"# %&'"( &)* +"'&,-."/0 TQ
response must be, and I implore you to remember this: ‘Don’t let the
door hit you on the way out, honey.’ For the seasoned veteran out
there, you’re probably shaking your head in pre-emptive disappoint-
ment, and in knowledgeable anticipation of what is coming next,
knowing, surely from experience (read: patronage of the trade) the
murky, sordid waters into which this tale is about to deeply dive. In
any case, I shall continue.
‘Nho, it’sh, all right,’ I said, ‘shtay!’ And with that, I gave her a good
old cuddle like some dumb-ass Casanova on my way to La La Land.
Yes, that’s right folks—I fell asleep while happily spooning my new
20-euro-hooker-girlfriend. Did I mention how drunk I was already?
Damn those free-pouring, triple-serving bartenders to hell! Five shots
of After Shock. Whose idea was that?
The next morning I woke up with a headache so bad I couldn’t
see straight. I could just make out that the bed was empty, and a few
moments later, as my eyes adjusted, I realised I was all alone. I looked at
the clock, and waited patiently for my eyes to bring the numbers into
focus: ten o’clock. My night was in an hour and a half. Fuck! I leapt
out of bed with newfound vigour, but my legs weren’t having any of
it. I ended up face-trst on the plush carpeted noor. This didn’t do my
headache any favours at all. I tried crawling, inch by inch, eventually
traversing the bedroom noor and making it to the bathroom. Damn
those huge deluxe hotels and their spacious suites! To hell with them
too, I say. I heaved myself up on the cold tiles, using every ounce of
leverage the porcelain wash-basin could muster. Finally after almost
pulling the whole bathroom txture down on top of myself, I was
able to splash some cold water on my face with the little strength I
had left. The chill of the water shocked my skin and I felt my body
involuntarily convulse. As it slowly dripped from my bearded chin, I
used my pinkie nail to pick bits of carpet from my teeth—or at least
I hoped they were bits of carpet. I turned my aching head ever so
gradually and glanced around the room. That’s odd, I thought. My
Cartier watch was not where I remembered leaving it. I was sure I had
placed it next to the sink. Maybe I was still wearing it. Painstakingly,
!"# %& '()* +",- TC
I angled my head towards my wrists, allowing my eyes a moment to
bring them into focus. No watch on either wrist.
Suddenly and painfully, the events of the night before came nood-
ing back like a tsunami of regret. Flash after strobe-lit nash, the night
unfolded in my mind. What the fuck had I been thinking?
I whirled around to survey the rest of the room. Watch—gone.
Wallet—gone. Phone—gone. The adrenaline rush woke me up like a
slap in the face and I ran back into the main room. Even the clothes I’d
worn the night before were gone. My suitcase had been all but ransacked,
except for a tlthy t-shirt and some dirty underwear. Everything else had
been taken. She didn’t even leave the trophy I’d won in the competition
the day before. Bitch! Instinctively, and possibly because I’ve watched
way too many movies, I even checked to see if one of my kidneys too
was missing. Phew! All clear. As I was sighing in relief over seeing that
at least my vital organs were still intact, I saw the site of true nightmares:
a white beam of light shining from inside of the mini-bar, the door
slightly ajar. I took a deep breath, leaned forward, and slowly pulled it
open. She wouldn’t, she couldn’t have…but she had. It was completely
plundered. Do you know how much a fucking Mars bar from a tve-star
Marriott mini-bar costs? I sure as shit do.
There I was, sitting naked on the bed, with an empty mini-bar, one
pounding heart, and the remaining half of a severely damaged brain-cell
hammering inside my head. And just then, a heart-sinking memory hit
me like a speeding bus: my passport was in the pocket of my jacket.
And my jacket? You guessed it—gone. I’d have to cancel all of my trips.
My mind was spinning with numbers and exchange rates. How much
would all of this end up costing me? With the plane tickets all booked,
the bartending competitions arranged, I now found myself stranded in
a tve-star hotel suite, not a cent to my name, and with dirty underwear
and an old t-shirt for company. If I could just get to the States, I’d be
tne. But not even I could get on the plane without a passport; a cheeky
grin and a sack full of charm can only take you so far. I envisioned
myself begging for loose change on the streets of Bucharest. I’d steal
a bottle from the bar downstairs, drown my sorrows, then nair for my
!"# %&'"( &)* +"'&,-."/0 TN
supper. Tourists would throw coins into my paper cup while yelling
at me, ‘Dance monkey, dance!’ But then, just as I was about to vomit,
something came into my vision. Standing tall, proud and upright on the
night table and leaning against the lamp, I saw my passport.
A gift! A precious gift from the bottom of her thieving hooker-ing
heart. I immediately lunged for it, feeling an overwhelming need to
touch it, caress it in my hands, and contrm that it was real. But I was
now on edge. A broken man. And again, from watching way too many
movies, I found myself checking the areas around the passport for wires
or booby traps. This was simply too good to be true. It must have been a
trick, she’s probably cut out my picture. It couldn’t possibly be real. But
it was. ‘Thank you!’ I screamed, as my empty room nodded right back
at me in quiet approval.
Even now, years later, I can still feel the relief and gratitude I felt
in the sobering light that morning. There are times in life when every-
thing stops, and fate itself rests on a single decision. I suppose I got lucky
that time—in more ways than one! I take this opportunity to repeat
my message as it sang through my heart back then: ‘Wherever you may
be, you cheap Romanian whore, your act of kindness has never been
forgotten. If I ever see you again, I will gladly pay you another 20 euros
just for that one thoughtful gesture; you slutty little klepto.’
I made it to the plane with only minutes to spare, dressed in my
Sunday best: one dirty white t-shirt, stained pyjama pants, and a pair of
terrycloth Marriott slippers. All done and dusted though, between the
Cartier watch, the phone, and all my clothes, that impromptu night with
the Romanian ‘basement-bargain priced’ street hooker ended up cost-
ing me a few pretty pennies to say the least. As for the old ‘everything
I touched was paid for by some sponsoring liquor company’ line, yeah,
well, that one turned out to be not quite entirely true. Consequently,
it was the mini-bar tab that screwed me over the most; the miniatures
of Jack and Belvedere, the Godiva chocolates, the Voss water and those
ridiculously overpriced quarters of Moët! At the end of the day, my
supposed 20 euro shag ended up costing me well over two grand. But
hey—at least I shagged her twice!
!"# %&'( )&*+ CDQ
Every job has its rough edges. Every job has its landmines.
Bartending is no different, except that for the most part, the
occupational hazards we face are the very same people we
care about and deliver our delicious cocktails and evening
entertainment to. Bless the general public for handing us a
never-ending supply of priceless moments—the kinds that
leave us speechless, shaking our heads, and racing for the
CCTV footage. But picking on the guests, the gullible or the
weak, well that’s just too easy. Don’t get me wrong, we’re
still going to do it. In fact, there are several stories in this next
chapter that are pure gold!
ere are times, however, when the friendly job of tending
bar is given a swift kick in the arse. When the occupational
hazard decides to get right up in your face and push every
button you have, things can really go sideways, fast. Female
bartenders get the magnificent trophy of knowing that
whenever they serve up a double shot of cheap bourbon to
pretty much every ‘testosterone filled man-whore’, that he will
soon be morphing into either a trucker-hat wearing son-of-a-
bitch, or a fully blown chauvinistic pig with wandering hands
and steely eyes. Both forms of the male specimen will end up
spraying saliva all over the poor girl the next time she leans in
close to hear him mumble an order for ‘a bowel of bar shhnacks,
shweetheart!’ Yep, occupational hazard indeed.
As for the fellas working the bar? What about the hoards of
bachelorette parties who storm the venue like they’re taking a
fortified bunker and letting loose with a volley of high-pitched,
ear splitting squeals? All of them in search of a free strip show
with their orders of ‘Screaming Orgasm’ and ‘Sex on the Beach’.
Feel free to roll your eyes, but every weekend, this shit really
happens! But, to be fair, not only are the hazards to our health
provided by the dickheads, deadbeats and drunkards (which are
secretly and bizarrely loved nonetheless), but an honourable
!""#$%&'()%* ,%-%./0 CDC
mention must be made to the random pieces of equipment lying
around on the average bar. Ever seen what the high-powered
blades of a Hamilton Beach blender can do to a few wandering
fingers? I have! e Margaritas never quite tasted the same
after that splatter-fest. Perhaps you’ve muddled mint with
the flat end of a bar spoon? Ever had the spoon part snap off,
leaving you with a long arrow-like piece of metal skewered
straight through the chunky part of your hand? It goes straight
through like a hot needle and as a result you hardly feel a thing,
right? Wrong! It’s not hot and it’s not a needle—it’s a swizzled
piece of rusty metal that’s now carved itself a brand new home
in the middle of your hand. Blood is oozing freely from both the
back and palm side of your hand and I don’t care how hard you
might be or how much coke you’ve snorted, that hurts like a
biyatch and a ‘MEDIC!’ will be shouted for.
And then we have my own personal favourite and some
would even say, sadistic, piece of bar kit. ose nasty little
predators, provoking violence with every turn. eir shininess
and their stealthy attitudes a constant thorn in our sides.
Sitting high and mighty on top of each and every liquor bottle
standing behind the bar. I speak, of course, of the polished
metal pour spout: elegant in design, simple to understand, yet
so incredibly complex to master. e medium flow ‘Spill Stop
285-50’ to be technically precise, is the focus of much of this
pain. is glorious tool provides smooth precision and grace
with the flick of a wrist, and in the hands of a professional,
the 285-50 can be a celebrated weapon in cocktail combat,
delivering accuracy and potency time and time again. But
these puppies don’t come with safety switches or medieval
chainmail gloves. Instead, they lurk beneath the surface, lying
in wait, ready to penetrate the soft flesh of any unsuspecting
passer-by. It’s safe to say, ironically, that these qualities
make the humble pour spout both admired and feared in the
!"# %&'( )&*+ CDN
same ‘bubble, two, three’ count sequence. Most bartenders
interviewed for e Long Pour had a tale of woe when it came
to handling the 285-50, so I threw in a few of these gruesome
stories too. It would’ve been a travesty not to! After all, you’re
here to learn the truth, no holds barred, right? Let’s march on.
e following tale is brought to you courtesy of
English bartender Neil Garner, who has lived the
life of a jet-set bartender that many could only
dream of. He has been to so many cities in the
name of bartending, that his frequent flyer miles
are off the charts. His greatest statistic is not
the copious amount of cities seen or people met
however, but rather the 87 missed flights and still
counting. All due to his ‘I’m sure I’ve got enough
time for one more pint’ approach to his standard
preflight routine. Disorganised as he may be, his
contribution to bartending is outstanding and
remains second to none.
nr irx·+ns +o vnicn some people are willing to go, all in the
name of a free drink, are often way beyond my grasp of reality.
We had this regular at a bar I worked at in Melbourne, and by ‘regular’
I really mean a complete fucking lunatic. In fact, I’m sure he was the
outcome of some undercover government cloning experiment gone
horribly wrong. Anyway, this barny hardly ever had any cash on him, but
he pretty much always had an unquenchable thirst for both drinking
!""#$%&'()%* ,%-%./0 CDW
and doing outrageously stupid stun. He was constantly undergoing
these crazy, self-innicted bar bets, all in an attempt to acquire a free pint
of ale. He was a tram-driver by trade, and he used to come in after his
shift (still in uniform) and stand at the bar, annoying the hell out of the
stan, his girlfriend, and our real regulars. For the sake of this story, let’s
call him ‘Stewie’.
Stewie’s bar bets just got crazier and crazier. By the time I’d joined
the team, Stewie’s bets were well past what the rest of us would consider
‘normal’. To give you an example, a normal bar bet could be something
like balancing an empty glass on the edge of a two dollar coin, or coming
up with a puzzle involving a few matches and a beverage napkin. But
Stewie’s bar bets were unlike anything I’d ever heard of or seen. Think
MTV’s ‘Jackass’ in an inner city public bar.
One day, Stewie wandered into the bar, nat broke, desperate, and
even more beady-eyed than usual. He declared in front of all and sundry
that, for a pint of free beer, he would down a pint of Tabasco sauce. At
the time, the Football World Cup was showing on the telly, so the real
regulars’ attention was drawn to the antics on the teld. As I tlled up an
entire pint glass with spicy Tabasco, tlled to the brim, one by one the
eyes of the regulars turned away from the football and focused onto a
new spectacle: me versus Stewie. England versus Australia. I’m sure they
were thinking the same thing that I was—there was no way this guy
was going to do this; surely he was all talk. And then, defying all reason,
Stewie held up his pint glass of Tabasco, said a silent prayer to the big
guy upstairs, yelled ‘Cheers, big ears!’ to anyone who was listening, and
began working his way down the long tery road to Tabasco hell! Well,
he didn’t exactly throw the pint down his neck. He took it slowly, but
by about half way through, he was getting tdgety. His moon-like face
was changing color and sweat was soaking through his shirt. A crowd
had formed around him to see this madness in close up action. He was
napping. This was the make or break point. He took the bottom half
of the pint, and in one desperate go, slammed down the empty glass
in triumph. The crowd roared. Australia 1, England 0. I began to pour
Stewie his victory pint, for a bet is a bet after all. But when I looked
!"#$ &'( )*&+' CDX
up from the beer taps, the big man was on the move, seemingly bolting
for the toilets. I stopped the now of beer mid pour and adjusted the
scoreboard back to 0-0. The crowd booed.
An hour later and still no Stewie. I felt a slight twinge of guilt and
decided I should probably go and check on him. There he was, on the
noor of the stall, covered in shit and piss, sweating like a beast with
his clothes scattered everywhere. His face and chest were covered in a
disgusting red gooey drool. ‘I’m calling an ambulance!’ I shouted out to
him from the doorway. This breaking news seemed to spark him into
action. He staggered to his feet, picked up his clothes, and marched back
out to the bar. People actually scattered as he took up his regular spot,
steaming, and reeking of Tabasco vomit. This guy was detnitely the
weirdest bloke I’ve ever encountered, but I paid up in full and gave him
his pint of ice cold Carlton Draught. He’d successfully saved himself
$4.50. He nushed his beer in about seven seconds nat, and then charged
for the front door. It turns out he ended up requiring sick leave after
his little Tabasco tasco. The sheer amount of the tery sauce had totally
destroyed his insides and, to add insult to injury, on hearing about the
incident, his boss at the tram company gave him the boot. Doctors
certitcate or not, he was shown the door!
Five weeks later, Stewie found himself back at the bar. He was
now broke, jobless, practically unemployable, and on a king’s quest for
another free beer.
‘What came trst, the chicken or the egg?’ he blurted out of nowhere.
‘Umm, okay. I’ll bite. I’ll say the egg.’ I replied, rolling my eyes at the
thought of what was coming next.
‘Neil, I’ll eat these three raw eggs, the shells and everything, for a
free pint.’ Now, truthfully, I should probably feel sorry for people like
this. I’m sure the gentlemanly thing to do in this situation would be
to say something like, ‘No, Stewie, you don’t have to do that. Here,
have one on the house.’ But as anyone who knows me will attest, I’m
not really that much of a gentleman. Besides, this was free amusement
during a quiet part of the shift, and was detnitely going to make a great
story for the lads. Like a puppeteer, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat in
!""#$%&'()%* ,%-%./0 CDI
control of his destiny, and consequently, my own short-term entertain-
ment as well. Yep, this was bartending’s tnest hour.
He cracked open the eggs, tilted his neck back, and poured the whole
lot straight in. Then he dropped in the shells too. Yummy! For a second
there, it looked like the eggs were coming back up, but miraculously, they
all stayed down. I shook my head in sympathetic bewilderment, then duly
paid up and gave him his free pint. But Stewie was far from tnished. He
reached into his shopping bag and pulled out a paper parcel.
‘What have you got there, Stewie?’ I said, leaning over the bar.
‘Well, this is for my second bet, cause I think the chicken came
trst.’ As he unwrapped the paper parcel, two raw chicken breasts came
into view. Suddenly, a wave of curiosity swept the room and a crowd
began to form. ‘I’ll eat these two chicken breasts for another free pint.
Deal?’ I shook my head. Raw chicken, as every rational thinking person
!"#$ &'( )*&+' CDT
knows, is notorious for salmonella poisoning. I couldn’t believe this
whackjob. But what the hell? He was over eighteen and more than
capable of making his own decisions. After all, the city of Melbourne
once trusted him (very recently, in fact) to drive its citizens around on
trams for fuck’s sake! Surely he’d passed some sort of psychiatric or
mental background check, right?
‘Okay Stew, you tnish on those two raw chicken breasts, if you’re
sure that’s what you want to do. You do it, and I’ll get you a free pint.’
Immediately, he sunk his teeth into the chicken. Gasps and screams
emanated from the surrounding crowd. This wasn’t Bear Grylls; this
was Stewie the ex-tram driver and full-time lunatic. Surely it was only
a matter of time before the bacteria would get the better of him. Just
the sound of him ripping into that uncooked nesh was enough for
some onlookers and thrill-seekers to start dry-retching. To his credit
though, and my utter astonishment, he polished on every last morsel,
washing it back with a smile on his face and his free pint of lager. But,
surprise, surprise, not unlike the Tabasco tasco, it turned out those
two whole breasts of raw chicken didn’t do old Stewie too much good
either. He was back in hospital later that night, and then out of action
for another three weeks.
All in all, I served the guy three free pints. It ended up costing him
his health, his job, and, as I later discovered after the Tabasco-episode, his
girlfriend too. But you know what? I get the distinct feeling that he’d
do it all again just to save a few dollars. Well played, Stewie. Well played.
!"# %&'( )&*+ C;W
The cash, the loot, the folded up bills in a secret handshake.
Making good money can be the entire reason why bartenders
stay in the game for so many years—why so many of us
start out by saying ‘I’ll make drinks for a few months whilst
going through school’ only to discover their degree sucks
and they can’t let go of the addictive work hours and tax free
cash payments. Whether the bartender works for a massive
conglomerate, a franchised chain or a single corner bar, the
issue of tips and freebies, giveaways and side bets is always
precarious. Some places have predetermined concrete rules for
giving away drinks, whilst others leave it up to the bartender’s
discretion. Some organisations, and even some local laws,
strictly prohibit the giving away or promotion of any alcoholic
beverage whatsoever. en, in other cultures, it’s an unwritten
rule that a good regular guest should receive a drink or two on
the house. And herein lays the crack in the system that is open
to interpretation. For this look into the dark side of the bar
business, Paul Flair offers his years of wisdom and personal
sticky-finger experience. Lifting the lid on how some (but not
all) drink makers keep their pockets lined with loose cash. How
they keep shoe boxes filled with unmarked bills and he might
even throw in the keys to his offshore bank accounts. Actually,
on second thought, he won’t be doing that! However he will
be sharing some eye-opening stories of schemes, scams and
entire underground systems that are even put in place (on
purpose) by upper management.
For the most part, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll
enjoy this voyeuristic look inside the tip jar, but I suspect it won’t
be too popular with the bean counters and tax collectors.
urix· x. c:rrrr I’vr worked under pretty much every rock on
this glorious planet. You could say that bartending has been my
obsession. One of those rocks used to be an extremely exciting and
busy nightclub in a capital city that shall, for reasons that I’m sure will
become evident, remain nameless. It was a city where the beer nowed
freely, birds sang joyfully, nowers blossomed in springtime, and a large
portion of the population were stunningly gorgeous women with high
cheek bones, crystal blue eyes and big plastic tits. It was fantasy camp.
This story is credited to the International
Bartender of Mystery, Paul Flair. It is said that
Paul is never without his titanium bar blade
which is twice as strong and half the weight
of regular blades. He is able to mow down
rows upon rows of unopened, unsuspecting
beer bottles with lightning speed and deadly
accuracy. ough we think this is a great idea,
it is, at this stage, unfounded gossip. However,
we can confirm that 90% of the time Paul’s
stories are always entertaining—and always,
always, 100% true. Well, almost.
!"#$"% '(()*( +,+ C;I
Unfortunately though, once the sun went down, this particular
city’s bar-going customers—guests, regulars, clientele, whatever you
want to call them—took on a completely dinerent persona. The vast
majority morphed into venomous alien-like creatures, resembling an
uncompromisingly rude, crude, and aggressive pack of Neanderthals.
Happy hour wasn’t like feeding time at the zoo—happy hour was feed-
ing time at the zoo. Now although we were making decent money
(they were the kind of Neanderthals that tipped, after all), it was still
hard to come to terms with how incredibly rude most of these people
were. In the two years of working there, I was forced to develop an
ongoing policy: anyone who came to the bar and said ‘please’ and ‘thank
you’ (in any language) would receive their drink on the house. In two
years, I gave away the colossal amount of three drinks under that policy.
That’s right, thousands served and three were free. The irony of this
is that I openly advertised the policy when it happened, encouraging
the bemused guest (who was shocked to be getting a free drink) to
spread the word: ‘Anyone using manners will be drinking for free.’ It
sailed straight over their heads, and straight over the heads of the guests
standing right next to them. They just couldn’t grasp the concept. ‘Be
nice to me, you drink for free.’ Again, swing and a miss!
So, as you can now imagine, the customers were one of a kind, out
of control meatheads that had no grasp on human communication skills,
especially after midnight. I’m sure they were very nice people during
omce hours, but wait for the sun to go down, add a drop of alcohol and
hello, those nasty fuckers nipped out their fangs and started scouring the
streets for bartender blood. Their negative attitudes started to anect me,
and my bartending was sunering. I am in the service industry after all
and, and even though I have my own unique way of working the wood,
I still pride myself on how well I look after my guests. But these heathens
were breaking me down. I was becoming a moody prick and starting
to mirror their rudeness. I knew I’d reached my limit the night a guy
walked in, made his way over to the bar, and whilst I was in the middle of
making someone else’s drinks, he leaned over the woodwork, grabbed my
shoulder and yelled, ‘You’re putting too much ice in that glass! Why are
!"# C;T
you tlling the glass with ice? We want our drinks strong, stop watering
them…’ My immediate reply was on the cun and although it put him
in his place, it was the moment I realised that they had gotten to me. ‘…
Look here pal, I don’t come to your work and knock the sailors’ cocks
out of your mouth, do I?’ I had to rise above it. Thankfully, I became
aware of this early on, and with a bit of soul searching was able to dig
deep and snap myself out of it. I’ve seen many a great bartender go down
in names with this kind of infectious disease.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom however. We did have a few nice people
too, the good quality regulars who came through the doors each night
who truly deserved to see me at my best. So, to counteract the deep feelings
of hatred and vile I had built up against the utter morons (that made up
the majority), I said to myself: ‘What makes you smile, Paul?’ The voices
in my head shouted back at me: ‘Cold, hard, cash!’ So from that day forth,
until the end of my term, I implemented a new kind of policy between
myself and the patrons. I omcially titled this legally binding agreement
‘Dickhead Tax’, or DHT for short. Any person, male or female, acting like
an omcial dickhead was smacked with a percentage of DHT equivalent
to the onensiveness of their behaviour. Some qualiters included (but
were not limited to): tugging on my shirt, poking my shoulder, pushing
their way to the bar, shouting out names, poking my shoulder, pulling
my hair, whistling for attention, knocking over drinks, using my ice well
as their own personal ashtray, or just displaying a universal persona of
rudeness and—poking my fucking shoulder!
Dickhead Tax would range between 50 cents to 15 euro, depending
on the level of dickheadedness. Usually, this meant that around an extra
10-25% would be added (discreetly of course) on top of the purchase
price. Because this bar was so busy, the cash drawers were left open pretty
much all the time. The computer system hailed from the dark ages, so
the name of the game was to punch everything into the system at the
end of the night. A slight crack in the accounting procedures perhaps,
but during service hours, the instructions from the Commander in
Chief were to ‘serve, serve, serve and sell, sell, sell. We take care of the
computer screen at the end of the night!’ Whatever you say, boss.
!"#$"% '(()*( +,+ C;\
As soon as a few of the bar team got their grubby little hands
in on the game, these tiny cracks in the system quickly combined to
become the San Andreas Fault Line of cracks. It meant it was quite
easy to sell a round of three vodka cranberries for, say 13.50 euro, but
with the Dickhead Tax Act of 2004 trmly in place, that price would be
bumped up to, say 15.90 euro. That’s an increase of just over 15%, and
we bartenders are working on percentage points. Because very little was
being punched into the system, hands were in the tills at lightning speed
and everyone was working on memorised pricelists. All you had to have
were the balls to say out loud the amount that you thought appropriate,
and people paid it. The extra 2.40 euro was slammed straight in the
tip jar and that went a very long way to keeping a smile on my face.
Multiply this by a few hundred guaranteed dickheads every night, and
there was a considerable amount of tax to be collected my friends.
!"# C;;
Multiple orders and multi-tasking kept it all too busy for the customers
or management to really question what was going on. You could look
square into their bloodshot eyes and add as much DHT as you dared.
My record amount of DHT was dished out to a complete knob
who pushed his way to the bar, screaming and hollering, looking for
attention and immediate service. The guy was clearly on something,
whether from his dealer or from his pharmacist I couldn’t say. He was
a big boy too. I remember seeing this overweight behemoth come
crashing through the front doors and head straight for the packed-out
bar as I was in the middle of multi-tasking: pouring a beer with one
hand and writing down my phone number with the other. Instinctively,
my mind switched on its built-in tax calculator and began warming
up for a hefty sum of DHT. As the elephant pushed his way to the bar,
elbowing one girl in the face and spilling two drinks all over my bar top,
I knew I had two choices: ‘Security!’, or ‘ka-ching’.
I served him quick-smart just to get rid of him. He ordered a round
of beers, a few shooters, and of course (surprise, surprise) forgot to
ask nicely or apologise to the poor girl next to him, who by this stage
was picking her face up on the bar top. Needless to say, I ramped up
the DHT on that one. I later worked out that the DHT amounted
to an extra 87%! Rough justice maybe, but he was an utter cock and
Dickhead Tax does not discriminate. To add insult to injury, I waited
until he’d vacated my area, then I called over a just-as-large, just-as-
angry member of our security team. The elephant was soon escorted
out of the building hollering something about not getting a chance to
tnish his drinks. Oops!
I should point out though that DHT was not implemented in every
instance; it was saved up for when those ‘Super Dicks’ would walk up to
my station. It was a great motivator for stan morale too. There’s nothing
quite like counting the tips at the end of the night knowing that you’ve
been duly rewarded for enduring the seemingly endless barrage of cock
smokers. Something tells me though, you’re probably not going to tnd
too many references to DHT in your typical run of the mill, goodie-
two-shoes cocktail guide—but lucky for you, that’s not what this is!
!"# %&'( )&*+ NDI
This chapter is much like its subject matter. It’s not for
everyone; it’s limited. However, if you’re reading this it means
that you are indeed one of the elite 3000 members to have
acquired a copy of the Limited Edition version of e Long Pour.
Congratulations. You’re awesome! is next chapter is only
found inside this version of the book, so consider it your little
extra something for being one of the cool kids. Now, because
you are one of the cool kids, I fully expect you already know
all there is to know about the subject matter of this special
chapter, but just in case you don’t—just in case you’ve never
seen or perhaps even heard of the American Express Centurion
card—then allow me a quick introduction so you two can get
Also known around the traps as the ‘Black Amex’, she’s
machine crafted from anodised titanium, making her much
heavier than your regular credit card. Should you ever feel the
need to bend her, scratch her or break her in two, you would
need to be wearing a long flowing red cape with a yellow ‘S’
stitched into it to have such luck. e card is only offered to a
select number of American Express Platinum members, and
is said to make its associates feel like they belong to a secret
Numerous services unavailable to regular Amex cardholders
become instantly accessible for these elite few. Such things
as the 24-hour dedicated concierge and travel agent, or
personal shoppers at high-end retailers such as Escada, Gucci
and Neiman Marcus. A flash of the Black Amex gets you into
airport lounges, Sony’s select shopping program, and exclusive
nightclubs that, ordinarily, would require you to be escorting a
herd of stiletto wearing super models to enter—not to mention
the dozens of other elite club memberships you’d normally have
no chance of getting. Want to sit courtside at the next Laker’s
playoff game? Give your friendly concierge a call and he’ll get
!"# %#&'()*+& NDT
you those tickets that everyone else tells you are sold out! If you
ask nicely, he’ll even arrange a seat next to Jack Nicholson. e
average net worth of a Centurion member is US$6.1 million, so
when you see one, you know there is some serious spending
power backing it up. Feel like buying a private jet but don’t
happen to have the US$40 million on you in cash? Just give the
Black Amex a swipe. Flying over a tropical island in your private
jet and feel like that tropical island needs a new owner? Stick it
on the card. You get the idea.
So, as you can imagine, the Black Amex to most bartenders
is somewhat of a unicorn. For those who have seen one though,
it’s often only once or twice, therefore behind every rare sight-
ing there’s usually an enthralling story.
nr .r:r v:s :oo+ and I was fresh on the boat, my trst time in London.
I was thrown in with a legend of the bar world, Ray Weeks, the 1995
World Bartending Champion. He had taken me under his wing for a week
or two. He taught me words like ‘tottie’, ‘bollocks’, ‘jubblies’ and when and
how to use the term ‘you mug’. I was just a gangly Aussie, wide-eyed in a
chaotic and fast-paced city. I landed at his apartment (his ‘gan’), and before I
could drop my bags to the noor, he gave me the news that his consultancy
company, ‘Movers and Shakers’, was in need of a bartender for the night.
‘Cash in hand me boy, 100 quid straigh’ in your sky-rocket. Welcome to Lon-
don me son,’ he said, with his broad Cockney accent and English enthusiasm.
is next tale was written and played out by
Australian bartender Adam MacDonald, a 6 ft 3
inch carnivore from Victoria who once had a bar
stool thrown at him by a pumped up, steroid
abusing meat-head because he sarcastically
enquired if the pumped up, steroid abusing meat-
head would like a protein shake with his shot of
Jack Daniels. Fortunately for Adam, the bar stool
flew straight past his head and connected with
the face of a five time world Jujutsu champion.
Violence ensued. It was awesome!
!"##" %&' ()%% ND;
I jumped at the chance to get my hands dirty and earn my trst handful
of pounds sterling. This had been something drilled into me since my very
trst shift behind the stick. ‘You must go to England. You must earn the
pound.’ Ray gave me a map and military-like instructions on how to get
there on the tube. Problem is, I’m beyond shit when it comes to directions.
The Cub Scout badge for Navigation and Map Reading was a badge that
never passed through my hands. Somehow though, by asking every stranger
I met along the way for directions, I steered my way to the event located
roughly between Oxford Street, Regent Street and Park Lane. I was right
in the middle of the most famous of Monopoly properties: Mayfair!
The gig was for a wedding reception of some English aristocrat and
his 300 closest friends, and this celebration was just for the friends that
couldn’t attend the actual wedding. Needless to say, the building the event
was held in was spectacularly British in all its extravagance. There was a
huge ballroom, adjoining dining rooms, libraries and conservatories, not to
mention billiard rooms, servants, butlers, a huge catering crew…and me.
There was a band setting up in the large ballroom when I arrived
at eight o’clock. The bar was set up at one end and on to the right of
me was another large room—the gigantic dining room. This was where
the 300 guests were enjoying their twelve course wedding feast, frosted
fruit cake and speeches with the bride and groom. The dining room
was partitioned on and would be opened up after the cake cutting.
Then the bar would open, the band would kick in and I’d be on hand
crafting cocktails of excellence until the wee hours of the morning.
The band for the night was called Fabba, the ofcial Abba cover band.
Not being a massive fan of the Swedish Pop icons’ work, it didn’t do a
whole lot for me, but they looked good and all the guests seemed to enjoy
them. One song in particular did get my attention though. During the
song ‘Money Money Money’, a well-to-do English gent of middle age—
and possibly from Middle Earth—was dancing his little legs on with an
extremely beautiful woman half his age and twice his height. She was in a
slim ttting, sparkling red gown and knew exactly how hot she looked. He
was in his best tuxedo and reminded me of a cross between Jabba the Hutt
and Benny Hill. This guy was nirting his little heart out and, to be fair, he
!"# %#&'()*+& NWQ
knew he was vertically challenged and so he was cleverly going for the
comedy approach. This was all happening just two feet away from where
I stood making the whiskey sours and dry martinis. I couldn’t help but
critique his performance. During the chorus of ‘Money Money Money’,
the pocket rocket English gent reached into his left jacket pouch and
produced a handful of tfty-pound notes. As he was dancing and grinding,
moving and grooving with this stunningly attractive young woman, he
was waving the cash around singing ‘Money Money Money’.
‘Red Dress’, playing coy, turned her back on him. She was dancing
away from him, all the while edging closer to the bar. She shot me a
seductive glance. For a second there I thought she was into me:—hang
!"##" %&' ()%% NWC
on a second—she is! She gave me the eye again. I didn’t know where
to look. This chick was way above my pay grade. Even knowing this, my
mind started bizarrely justifying it. Maybe we could hook up. Maybe
there was a chance. I was lost in the moment, lost in her eyes. Then in
an instant, she nung her perfectly formed head around and danced on in
another direction. My pipe dream was shattered. Damn it.
‘English Gent’ sconed, then chuckled inwardly as he pocketed the cash.
The song continued and more nirting and dancing ensued. The chorus burst
through the speakers once more, and just as it reached its crescendo, he
lunged into both jacket pockets and produced not one, but two handfuls of
cash. Easily, two or three thousand pounds. Again, sticking to the script of
a Shakespeare drama, she played the role of hard-to-get and danced away
from her leading man. Once more, her eyes met with mine. Sucked in like a
tractor beam, again she came dancing over to me, closer and closer. My heart
skipped a beat. DAMN YOU, WOMAN! Such a tease.
‘English Gent’ looked a bit dejected this time and I actually started making
him a stin drink. Once the song was tnished, I was anticipating a mad dash
to the bar to wash on the names. I began the preparations for a tasty Sazerac.
The third and tnal chorus started up, and it was as if the spirit of Nathan
Rothschild himself had switched a light bulb on in his head. Eyes widened,
a smug smirk appearing on his face. He reached into his right trouser pocket
and produced something that looked like a business card. He then slapped it
straight onto his balding forehead. Only it wasn’t a business card. The perfect
mixture of sweat and titanium kept the symbol of endless credit txed in one
place and, just like that, smack bang on the top of this guy’s face was the black
Centurion American Express. He tnally remembered his trump card, his ace
in the hole. His membership card to the premier league whilst I looked on
from fourth division. This was the power move that got the attention of the
hot piece of ‘tottie’, and she danced over for a closer look. She beamed with
delight and grabbed his arse, slow dancing with him for the rest of the night.
Game, set, match. She was like putty in his hands from that moment on, her
eyes never leaving the grand prize.
I drank his Sazerac in spite, and couldn’t help but think, ‘well played
Sir, well played indeed…you bloody mug.’
!"# %&'( )&*+ NIN
What is island life? Actually, before I get into that, I
think we should spend a few seconds chatting about what
constitutes normal life.
Normal life, for me anyway, is where there are rules,
commitments and accountability. Normal life is where 99%
of us spend 99% of our time. Normal life is where most
girls demand to be charmed and taken out for dinner. It’s where
most guys are a little shy, a little intimidated and would sooner
stay at home playing World of Warcraft than spend yet another
night being rejected by a female of the species, who was
probably way above their pay grade anyway.
However, taking one small step for man through an airport
metal detector seems to be the perfectly placed invisible barrier
that, for many normal folk, is the ideal excuse to leave ‘normal
life’ in their dust. Leaving town on an aeroplane has a romance
about it that leaving town in a car, or on a train can simply not
compete with. Flying somewhere offers the distinct possibility
that you will be further away from your normal life, further away
from your normal friends and putting distance between you and
your normal life is just the ticket for a little naughty behavior.
Well, that metal detector’s invisible powers are multiplied
by a factor of 5000 when someone strolls through it wearing
flip-flops, bound for a sunny, tropical island for a week or two
of cocktails and deckchairs. Like a smack junkie on a constant
teeth-grinding search for utopia, that blood soothing rush
from booking an island vacation is one that regular folks spend
all year fidgeting and craving for. Escaping to an island is the
perfect excuse to try something new, be who you’ve always
wanted to be, and get sunburnt beyond recognition! Let’s
face it, the instant that auto-reply button to all future emails
is pushed, you can practically feel the hot grains of white
sand squeezing and crunching between your toes. You’re
on vacation, and it feels good. And guess what? All normal
!"#$%& ()*+ NID
reasoning will shortly be flying out the window. e moment
you hear that first ‘beeeeep’ and ‘please empty your pockets
and remove your shoes’ is the exact same moment your brain
switches off. Don’t feel bad though; this idiotic Neanderthal
behavior happens to everyone heading for island vacations.
How else can you explain the daily inner monologue heard by
millions of vacationing commuters all over the world: ‘Hmmm,
this cappuccino, from my favourite coffee chain, is only about
200% more expensive here in this airport than what I’d
normally pay for it down at my local…ahhh, fuck it…I want a
coffee…and I’m on holiday!’
!"#$$ &'() ' *+,-$). &/'0(12#
All normal thought processes have just exited the building,
and you haven’t even left the country yet!
International travellers with their brains switched off,
no responsibilities, pocketfuls of cash and a quest to leave
normal life far behind them, flood to island destinations all
over the world, every summer. ey are to a bartender what
a bunny rabbit is to a hungry leopard…easy lunch! Week in
and week out, planes filled with new party seekers arrive
oozing fun, filth and frivolity from all their pores. All the
while, the confident bartender patrols this faux and surreal
environment, setting the tone, being that familiar face in a sea
of unfamiliarity and even becoming a reliable friend. If you’ve
ever had an amazing island holiday, then chances are you
owe a lot of it to the bartender, or team of bartenders, at your
favourite nightly hang-out.
While being bestowed with creating the energy level for
their holidaying guests’, bartenders living on an island and
playing host to this never-ending summer party have also
passed through the same metal detectors as everyone else.
eir brains are just as switched off to normal life as yours!
!"# %&'( )&*+ NIW
is is where we find that perfect fusion of sun drenched party
people, meeting with naturally charismatic and entertaining
booze hounds. It can surely only lead to one thing: trouble with
a capital T—at would be T for paternity test!
Living this high amped drink-pouring lifestyle on an island,
far away from home, isn’t for everyone. e work schedule
alone can be enough to see a bartender fall on his sword.
Seven nights per week, zero nights off for five months straight
is a monster workload that takes no prisoners. e long nights
of island life have definitely chewed up and spat out more than
their fair share of bar keeps. And yet, some soul shakers have
flourished in this elicit environment, racking up 10+ seasons of
drunken debauchery, bad tattoos and unrequited loves. While
the rest of the general public head back to their respective
countries and the normality of that long inbox of unanswered
emails, the island bartender welcomes in another week just
like the last.
is final chapter of e Long Pour, Volume 1 offers a peek
through the metal detectors from the safety of your living
room. You’ll read about gun wielding US border agents to the
misadventures of swallowing mouthfuls of Viagra. One thing
will become a consistent theme in this chapter. at is, when
you step off the plane and walk into the world of island life,
you say ‘auf wiedersehen’ to normality and say ‘hello tiger’ to
sunscreen, Smirnoff Ice, sluts, shitloads of Sex on the Beach,
Swedes, shocking comments and scandalous behavior (and any
other ‘S’ I may have forgotten)—from both sides of the bar.
is story was contributed by Dutch bartender
and part time male model, Jan Rennen. Jan is
best known for his super-human performance
which involved drinking five different flavoured
ice-cold thick shakes in under a minute (for
charity, of course), then bouncing back the very
next day to present a face and body for a Calvin
Klein commercial—‘give us Blue Steel, Jan.’
rovix· ur ix Hoii:xi, the usual thing for my family and a bunch
of our neighbours was to spend up to three weeks of our summer
vacation on the Greek islands. Even as a kid, I remember thinking the
place was amazing. The sounds of the mopeds zipping down the road,
the crystal blue water and the taste of my very trst greasy souvlaki. As
soon as I was old enough, I knew that this was exactly where I wanted
to be working in the hotter months. In fact, the dream of being a
bartender in Crete had gotten me through to the end of high school.
Well, that, a massive bong named ‘Fast Eddy’, and my ex-girlfriend’s
yummy mummy—but that’s another story for another book.
I quickly fell into the regular routine of working in Crete: mixing
drinks, drinking drinks, giving away drinks and, naturally, loving every
minute of it. We worked seven days a week, we drank seven days a week,
!"#$%& ()*+ NII
and somehow, we even found an extra drinking gear in the engine
room to celebrate birthdays and welcome in the weekend. No doubt
about it, that island (and I’m sure the rest of the Greek islands) is home
to one of the largest populations of alcoholic bartenders on the planet.
However, while drunken bartending can lead to some of the funniest
moments in your career, it can also lead to some of the most awkward.
Like the night when I was clearly more hammered than usual.
The endless run of Ursas Rotter (red vodka) shots I was doing with
my guests had taken its toll. It may have only come in at 21%ABV, but
the sloe berry vodka ends up being the perfect ‘giveaway and drink
with’ shot for bartenders all over the island. Every tve minutes it’s
‘YIAMAS’ with another group of guests as we all slam down a shot
together. It was a long night. I must’ve done a whole bottle of the stun
by the time I mistakenly zigged when I should have zagged and as a
result, ended up wearing one of my much loved souvlakis like a berka!
Let me explain. Sober.
Late in the night, or early in the morning (however you want to look
at it), a good looking girl in her early twenties strolled into my section—all
happy and smiley and clearly ready to party. She’d obviously spent a few
hours in front of the mirror, making sure her eyeliner was perfect, her lips
looked plump and her hair was dead straight. The music was loud, so I
leaned in close to hear what she wanted. She smelled nice. Real nice, unlike
the stinking bartender working next to me who had come to work directly
from the beach after a day on the jet-skis. She asked for a Bacardi Breezer
and a double shot of Blue Curaçao as a chaser; I know, I know, not exactly a
combo that inspires the saliva glands in your mouth to burst with anticipated
wetness, but nevertheless a surprisingly popular mix in this part of the world.
With a single swipe of my trusty bar blade, I knocked the top on her Breezer,
reached casually for the Bols Blue, and gave her the long pour. I carefully
slid the tall shooter glass, tlled to the brim, with the tasty blue liquid across
the bar to her waiting hand. I took payment, returned her change, and went
about looking for another customer. Standing at the bar, she took a swig
from her Breezer, and then in one nuid motion (pun intended) slammed
back the large shot of Blue. What happened next will haunt me forever…
!"#$ !#&'$ NIT
The girl lunged over the bar and grabbed my tattered t-shirt. This
girl had the grip of a gorilla. She grabbed so tight her nails went straight
through the fabric and clawed into my chest. Adrenalin surged through
my body as her face came racing towards mine: she was about to deliver
a Scottish style ‘back-alley-head-butt’ and I had nowhere to go. She had
pulled so hard on my t-shirt that I was on balance, my feet skidding on
the wet noor a la Fred Flintstone starting his car. Bottle caps, straws and
wet napkins new from under my feet as my shoes fought a losing battle
for grip with the noor. I squeezed my eyes shut, screwed up my face
and braced myself for impact, fully expecting her to smash my nose in
with her fast approaching forehead. Instead though, it was much worse.
She vomited—all over me. Yep, that’s right, from head to toe; I got hit
with the whole damn lot. The bits of bile that managed to splash on
me landed in my ice bucket, on the bar top, and in my straw caddy. Her
spew was everywhere.
It was, in appearance however, rather unlike any other vomit I’d
seen. There were the usual bits of carrot along with unidentitable pre-
chewed goodies, and detnitely last night’s souvlaki had returned for an
encore, somewhere. Instead of being heavy on the regular beige-ish,
snotty-ish, porridge-ish, consistency we know and love, this particular
brand of vomit also had a glistening element of liquid—and a radiant
shade of purple-blue-ish liquid at that. Yet, despite this odd appearance,
there was something strangely familiar about the way it all smelled. It
wasn’t that sour reek of innards’ that you’d expect; instead it carried
a hint of freshness. A hint of rainforest fresh perhaps. A familiar scent
indeed, it was like…like…like washing detergent?
As I stood there, frozen to the spot, only my eyes slowly moving
around to survey the scene, the penny gently dropped. No doubt about
it, in my hazed, blurry little world, I’d somehow mistakenly picked up
the bottle that stored the blue washing detergent and not the Blue
Curaçao. How had I done that? To this very day, I still have no idea why
washing detergent was sitting in a glass bottle, armed with a pour spout.
I blame it on the drunken English bartenders working alongside of me.
Klootzakken! However it came to pass, it was the poisonous taste of
!"#$%& ()*+ NI\
industrial strength washing detergent that hit the back of the throat of
this hot young lady in my service, not the sweet orange goodness that
she was eagerly anticipating.
As a result, I was publicly bathed in an ocean of sick, in front of a
packed out bar no less. It must be said, that giving me a thick blanket
of vomit to wear was absolutely the correct response. As a self-innicted
punishment, I took the next couple of nights on the booze, resigning
myself to drinking water, and keeping well clear of any Bols Blue bottles!
Lesson learned, and one I hope I can save you from having to endure:
whether you’re working the pine or you’ve just landed on an island and
are looking for a tasty shot, think twice about anything blue!
!"#$ &"'' DQ;
!$9/ O$%%
+ vouii ir iiio+ic for anyone to think that moving a book from
‘idea in your head’ to ‘published perfection’ is a one-man sport, or that
it is something that is achieved quickly. And this is exactly the idiot I
found myself being in 2008 as I watched the soon to be President Obama
receive his Nobel Peace Prize, in Oslo. Watching the motorcade drive by,
I was suddenly hit with inspiration. When I trst sat down that night to
start this project I said out-loud ‘Adam, write a quick E-book, with great
stories from the bar industry, write them down, throw them through a
spell checker and hit the publish button. It’ll be easy-peesy Japaneesy!’
Well, it must be said, it didn’t quite turn out like that. The more
I looked, the more I researched and the more I discovered how much
I was way over my head. The more bartenders I talked to, the more
awesome stories I was told. The more awesome stories I was told, the
more work I found on my desk. Soon enough, this side project of mine
had grown to a beast that was consuming my every spare minute. The
whole thing was almost binned several times!
However, thanks to a few people that I would now like to mention
below, the light stayed on during the late nights, the interviews continued
and the editing and editing and re-reading eventually came to an end.
Four years later and about three years over-due. Sorry it’s a bit late.
Having never written an entire book before, I’m really not too sure
of the standard practice of acknowledgement so I’m going to do it short
and sharp and hopefully not leave too many people out. If you are left
out, ‘bugger, sorry ‘bout that, I will buy you a beer the next time I see ya.’
A huge thanks to all the contributors who shared their stories and
confessed their sins. This book would not have been possible without
you. Thanks for getting involved, for taking the time and I hope we did
!"# %&'( )&*+ DCQ
your story proud. As promised, you were all turned into cartoon images,
which puts you right up there with He-Man and the Ninja Turtles.
For the hundreds of other bartenders I interviewed who do not see
their stories in volume 1; it was almost impossible to narrow down the
tales, but the good news is we have enough material for at least 4 more
books, 3 movies and a reality show. I’m sure many of you will get your
stories into print in the next few volumes.
Tyson Marshall, who was the sole source of inspiration the
19-year-old version of myself needed to get into this bartending caper.
He was there at my most proudest of bartending moments, and was also
present at some of my worst. He has not only been a legend to me (and
hundreds of other bartenders) but even believed so heavily in the book
he graciously accepted an all expenses trip to Norway to help me write
it, plan it and tll it up with some golden tales of his own.
Paul Flair, what can I say about you? Thanks for returning my calls, for
eventually emailing me back and for being the fall guy. The International
Bartender of Mystery, you truly are, but also, hands down, the coolest bloke
I have ever met. Stay in the shadows and don’t ever reveal yourself!
Holly Brickley, was the trst writer I found on my travels who
would help me with the stories from the interviews. She was able to listen
to the interviews in her home in L.A., work out what was crap and what
was gold, then scribble that down onto a blank canvas for me. Awesome
job under some pretty tough audio conditions, not to mention the salty
language and the plethora of accents she had to deal with.
Kellie Thomas, worked on the writing with me because she
needed cash to pay a speeding tne. This ended up getting her involved
with many long Sunday morning Skype sessions until tnally, her laptop
was washed away in the Queensland noods. Thanks Kel for all the enort
you put into the stories and especially the story “20 Euro Shag”. I think
we must have spent two whole days just trying to portray the correct
level of neediness that Paul had for that late night kebab.
Jodie Blaney, took on the job late in the game to help push it over
the line. Proof reading and copyediting ‘till the wee hours of the morning
was her job, and she did it well. Thanks for your massive enort Jodie.
!"#$ &"'' DCC
Olivia Egea, and her never ending smile was involved right at the
start and helped me come up with an E-book plan. The project kind of
became a little larger than we trst thought, but either way, she was there
to help out from word one, so thanks Olivia!
Magan Singh, the travel writer and sommelier who I found in
a bar in Barcelona. The only guy in the room to laugh at my Michael
Jackson joke, so I knew from that moment right there, we would get
along. He was the guy who worked the stories over and gave it a pol-
ished readability, and for that, I can not express thanks enough.
Christofer Nicolin, (Son of Professor Jens
) for being the legal brains
of the operation. Thank you for possessing the talent of turning a 20 second
story into a 4 hour saga. Although his candour and ability to tnd cartooning
talent was very much appreciated, let’s hope we all stay out of court Harvey.
Tim Goodwin, was involved early on and with his script writing
experience gave a voice to the characters and helped the stories now. I
think more booze was drunk on that trip than words were written but
either way, we got there in the end!
John “Crouton” Delany, former bartender, former car salesman and
former speech writer was never actually involved in the book per say, but
he did give me possibly the best 20 minute phone call and coaching spray a
young man could ever have. He was the one who told me to pull my head
out of my arse and deliver a book much better than what was originally
conceived and planned. Plus, his old school approach to bartending was a
constant source of inspiration and entertainment. Thanks John.
Rafal Bartlet. The artist formally known as Raf, has worked with
every illustration we have in the book. Dealing with me, not so easy, but
making his pen dance on the page seems to be an almost enortless task
for this guy and his artistic work in this book speaks for itself.
Vassil Lakov, thank you so much for bringing this project over the
line. For bringing the collection of digital scraps together. Helping me
designing the layout, now and printability of the end book. You were
wonderful to work with.
see Robert Bernard’s Death in a Cold Climate
!"# %&'( )&*+ DCN
Jay Tucker, a huge thanks for being a great contributor to the
book, and also for being one of the early proof readers.
Mark Reardon, also an early reader of the book and I especially
loved how he ignored my instructions and just read the stories from the
English bartenders trst. Cheers mate!
Tug van den Bergh, was the trst guy I met in London and
has been a great friend ever since that trst encounter. He was not
only a huge contributor to the book but one of the early readers and
his honesty about where some of the stories were headed was much
Vidman, the loveable Norwegian bartending legend who listened
to me ramble on about how I wanted to put this book together until
the wee hours of the morning in 2008. He has continued to support
me and the project ever since.
James Gleeson, was the man responsible for making the
International Bartender of Mystery
logo look exactly like Paul Flair.
He is a remarkable and talented young designer and luckily for
everyone, his voice has tnally dropped.
Natalie Mitchell, for being practically forced to read an early
version of the book. Thanks for reminding me of a wider audience.
Karen and Neil MacDonald. My parents. Thank you so much.
Both of them together have poured hours upon hours of reading and
prootng into this book, but not only that, their checking of my work
dates back to Primary school. I would never have said it as a teenager,
but now, I can. Thank you for highlighting all the errors; thank you for
being amazing as you have read these tales and thank you so incredibly
much for giving me the opportunity to travel and live this lifestyle.
Dad, thanks for the pep talk at the age of 19. ‘Son, would you
bartend even if they didn’t pay you?’ Yes. ‘Then do it, but just be the
best bloody bartender you can be!’
Mum, there is no doubt, that even with an eyebrow raised as you
read many of these stories, you were still able to spot the errors and
mistakes in amongst the clutter. Thank you for a huge enort and for
giving me the contdence to go to print.

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industry, teeming with
irect from the bar
hilarious and easy to read
stories, there is a tale for
every type of bartender or
imbiber. Taken from over
400 interviews across the
globe, no stuffed olive was
left un-skewered on our
quest to deliver you the
dirtiest of martinis.
rom the cocktail geeks in
their hidden alleyways, to
the entertaining flair hounds
on main-street, The Long
Pour is the world’s first
collection of truth bombs;
divulged from the deep,
‘inner workings’ of your
favourite bar.
‘Dripping in sarcasm,
smothered with metaphors,
and splashed with bone-dry
wit, The Long Pour is the
one book bartenders actu-
ally want to read.’
Alan Kavanagh
Founder of the Irish Cocktail Club
‘Super funny stories,
but should you pursue a
career in bartending, don't
let your mother read this!’
Alex Kratena
2012 International Bartender of the Year
Published and Distributed for