TALES FROM BEHIND THE BAR
If there is one profession that places its workers in ringside seats to the world, it’s the men and women who tend bars.
Much like psychiatrists, bartenders stand witness of a host of human behaviors, and they’re adept at listening to people with stories to tell. The only difference is that pulling the ear of a bartender is free, except for the money spent on whatever libations they sling.
We reached out to a handful of esteemed bartenders throughout San Diego to ask what customer interactions remain forever etched in their minds.
What we heard were narratives ranging from good to bad to comical and racy. We also gave them a opportunity to share with us their signature cocktails or latest and greatest concoctions.
Case in point is when a gentleman sitting at the bar asked for a “spicy gin martini.” Lopez had never heard of one, and the patron wasn’t sure if it had a name. But he was insistent.
“I looked it up on Google, and couldn’t find it there,” said Lopez. “I don’t think he really knew what he was ordering. But we had Sriracha sauce and jalapenos in the kitchen, so I did my best in trying to make what he described. But he wasn’t crazy about the end product and was condescending, even though the drink really doesn’t exist.”
Signature cocktail: In an effort to make smoky mezcal “drink- able,” Lopez offers an off-menu unnamed concoction made with equal parts mezcal and coconut cream, plus a a half-ounce of fresh lime juice.