Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Three Drinks, The Final

Albert: Martin, can I ask a simple question?

Martin: Of course, old friend. Customers don't come in this hour anyway.

Albert: I know you've been doing this for some time and all, but what really made you want to be a bartender?

Martin: Hahaha, shouldn't you have asked this question sooner?

Albert: I don't know, I just never really thought about it.

Martin: Well then, have a drink first, will ya?

Albert: Sure. What's this one?

Martin: 1 measure Dry Vermouth, 1 measure Sherry, 1 measure Dubonnet, 1 measure Gin, and 1 dash Grand Marnier. What do you think is so special about this job, Albert?

Albert: Beats me, seriously.

Martin: For one, the job doesn't pay that well. It's more than a waiter, no doubt, but I'm sure my customers usually make more than I ever will. It's not the social networks, for sure; I would need to work at a bar more famous than this small adobe will ever be.

Albert: Then what is it, Martin?

Martin: Ever done a cocktail party before?

Albert: Haven't got the skills.

Martin: It's a rare feeling you get, something akin to giving a present. The moment where that one sip of your creation touches their palate, savoured, tasted and appreciated; the smile on the customer's face as he talks to his friends, swirling slowly the cup in his hand, occasionally bringing it to his mouth for another sip, with it a brighter smile. It is the smile of service, Albert, that keeps me here.

Albert: Why not anything else, then, Martin?

Martin: Because this, Albert, is nearly the pinnacle in service. A salesman delivers with his trademark smile products that are not his own; a waiter hardly any different. A chef serves a wonderful dish, but may never see the satisfaction of the diners who eat it. This is the pinnacle, Albert. There is true responsibility on my part, for I know the face of each and every single one of my patrons. I cannot betray them.

Albert: Betray?

Martin: Few other professions have it as serious. Have you ever seen a doctor prescribe a wrong medicine? This drink can be an elixir for the soul, or a poison feeding on the heart. Here's a question, Albert. I'm sure you remember this.

Albert: What is it?

Martin: If there was a drink out there that truly signified that you have matured, what would it be?

Albert: Fancy you asking me that question. Tea, coffee? What do you say?

Martin: What do I serve best? A person who can take this without the ill effects is one of self control, Albert. People have sought the elixir of eternity, but they search in vain, instead finding the poison of greed sucking at their very souls. Where is the line drawn? Where do the shades of grey end? This drink is proof of one who knows where the line ends, Albert. And it is my job - no, my life - to make sure that they do not cross the line unknowingly. And only when this is achieved do you see service done, Albert.

Albert: Your spirit is strong, Martin. This glass I hold here shows dedication; and more importantly it shows a beautiful sense of service.

Martin: 1 measure Dry Vermouth, 1 measure Sherry, 1 measure Dubonnet, 1 measure Gin, and 1 dash Grand Marnier. The drink of utmost loyalty to the customer. The drink to show the effort put into developing tenderness in the bar. The drink of servitude.

Albert: Apt words indeed. Might I be enlightened as to the name of this cocktail?

Martin: The Bartender, Albert.

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