As previously mentioned, being a bartender isn’t nearly as fun as it looks, and one of the reasons for that is that they have to deal with people – namely, the general public. Everyone knows that the general public is a spinning lottery full of freaks, weirdos, sex pests and Campari drinkers. We put it to a small mob of barmen (and women) to tell us the question that chills their bones on a lively Friday night. For job security reasons, they all asked to remain anonymous.
'Lemonade spritzer, please!'
'Spritzers, shandies, they’re the bane of my life!' says our Anonymous Woo Woo Maker. 'Hard-working manufacturers have spent their lives crafting their drinks to taste a certain way, then some punter comes along and chucks a load of lemonade into it. My heart breaks a little bit every time.'
'How was your day?'
'Believe it or not, I can’t stand small talk,' says our Anonymous Long Island Ice Tea King, 'but if someone is alone at the bar waiting for someone, they’ll often think it’s okay to kill time by boring the barman with their mundane stories. What they don’t realise is that I’ve got about a thousand things to do – those tiny cherries don’t chop themselves in half!'
'What time do you get off?'
'Because you interact with people, because you’re in front of them, and because you’re doing them a great service, some idiots will assume you’re fair game,' says our Anonymous Maker of Old Fashioneds, 'but you’re not. I might smile when I take your order, but don’t take that to automatically mean I fancy a shag.'
'Can I just try something out here?'
'Oh god, I hate it when someone asks me to make a cocktail that they’ve made up themselves!' roars our Anonymous Sex on The Beach Master. 'It’s never some genius concoction that should immediately go on the menu, it’s some godawful bullshit that only tasted good once because they were completely smashed when they had it. I actually tend to refuse.'
'Does this taste funny to you?'
'It annoys me when someone asks me this for two reasons,' says our Anonymous Screwdriver Aficionado. 'Firstly, because if it does taste funny, why would I want to taste it? And secondly, because 98 percent of the time, no it doesn’t – it tastes as it should. It just means that I have to throw away something perfectly decent for no real reason.'