Each week, we dive into the world of NYC bars and meet the drink-shaking players behind them. From the latest cocktailing trends to crazy stories on the job, these are the Bartender Tales of New York City.
What’s your signature drink?
As much as I hate making cocktails, I pride myself on making a perfect martini. I can hit the rim exactly without any excess booze and get that thin sheet of ice that forms on top. My trick is to chill the glass, pour in vermouth and swirl it around, then dump it—instead of adding it to the shaker.
Why hate on cocktails?
I’m more of a high-volume bartender, and when people ask me to make something stupid like a “green-machine-Alabama-slamma’-monkey-jumper,” I tell them to grow the hell up and have a shot of whiskey with a beer. It's even worse when a guy asks me for a lemon drop. No one is going to get laid trying to present that to a girl. And I'll tell them that. I’m sassy, but it’s all in good fun.
Do you have any crazy stories from the bar?
Oh, the stories are endless—I get a new one every night. At Boobie Trap, I found a pair of boxers in the toilet tank, and another time someone flushed a shot glass. There’s some weird infatuation with the bathroom. There’s also a section of the bar we call Finger Bang Alley because people are forever getting down and dirty. I’m always just like, “Seal the deal and take her home, dude.”
Where do you go to hang out?
When I'm not at Boobie Trap (I can be a lazy little lamb), I try to find grandpa bars around the city—you know, the pubs in Ridgewood where old dudes hang out and eat peanuts. It reminds me a bit of home in Chicago, where I’d go out with my fake ID and hide out in those kinds of bars.
What’s the best part of bartending?
It’s how I met my crew. I became friends with people I’ve worked with because we went through so much shit together while on the job. We also get wasted together pretty frequently, so we’re like family.
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz