Know Your Drink

What is it that you drink while out or in the house, alone or with your friends? Do you have a favourite drink or you are the type that says: “I’ll know what to drink when I get there” or you are an anything goes kind of a person? I think the best way to knowing your drink is first understanding yourself. By understanding yourself I mean; finding out which beverages are good or works well for you and your entire body system. I have to admit as well that sometimes in this world full of temptations, we can not resist from taking some of this amazingly created beverages despite orders from therapists or medical doctors not to. You know what I mean if you’ve ever found yourself in those moments a certain beverage and you go like; “kama ni mbaya, ni mbaya” I must take it, after all its only one drink?

Whether it’s the bartender, server, manager or the entrepreneur of an establishment, it is important to know and understand the drinks that you serve in your establishment. It is every entrepreneur’s or manager’s responsibility to ensure that his servers and bartenders understand what they are giving to his patrons. Let’s face the truth here; this is not about anyone else but you the consumer. For instance; if you are interested in drinking alcoholic cocktails, it is important to understand the basic ingredients of the cocktail that you are intending to drink. More importantly, if the beverage or cocktail menu does not list the ingredients of the cocktail, always ask the bartender to tell you what is the base of the cocktail or check if it has in most instances allergic ingredients such as cream or egg York among many more others. As much as I sympathize with anyone who does not know what he is drinking or why he is drinking, I realize the greatest responsibility lies with the bartender. It is important to share your recipe with your colleagues, servers and supervisor or manager so that they may help your clients in understanding exactly what your drink is composed of.

One of the ways I use while creating cocktail recipes is that I always try to use simple but more natural ingredients. I think that works well for me as they bring out more fresh flavors and they taste better especially if they are as fresh as they have been picked straight from the garden into the glass.

I really get frustrated during that moment when it seems as if I’m ignoring a customer because I’m being held hostage by another. To help reduce some of these scenarios, I think a more elaborative beverage menu can help along way in resolving some of the instances. For example if a customer is unsure of what they want to take, I ask them to go through the menu while I attend to the other one who is ready to order. A more elaborative menu helps in the customer somehow having a clue on what to expect from me and my drink.

It is really satisfying when a customer has a clue or knows what they want drink in the bar.  That helps me serve them on time and talk more about the drink or more similar or different drinks that are as good as opposed to spending or wasting more time trying to figure out what to serve. In my bartending world, I have sometimes felt really disappointed when a server has to come back to the bar counter to request the bartender to take an order from a customer because the waiter doesn’t know what cocktail or beverage to recommend. Product knowledge is the most important responsibility for bartenders and servers before they begin their shift or in their career. I hope all establishments hold briefings before shifts to inform their staff  all products that are not available for sell during a particular shift to avoid cases where servers end up going back to the customer 2 or 3 times just to inform him that such and such beverages are out of stock. You are wasting time and losing revenue.

If you really want to have fun and enjoy a drink at home or in a bar, I strongly once again recommend that first understand yourself and know what drink it is you want to take. Otherwise I suggest that you talk to someone like me. Bartenders are always very knowledgeable people.

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