Sunday, May 4, 2008

How to Botch a Cocktail

There are few tools more powerful in human interaction than good communication. If we're able to openly answer questions, discuss hot-button issues, and explain what we're doing, then we can all make our way in the world smoothly and with much less tsuris.
The beloved wife and I were walking in La Jolla Cove a few weeks ago when we decided to head into a (seemingly) posh and refined spot for a lazy Saturday afternoon refreshment. At the start, things looked quite promising; well-appointed interior, comfy chairs, and an interesting and variegated cocktail menu.
We placed our order, Jess selecting the bartender's interpretation of the margarita, and I opted to try the lychee martini. The menu described a chilled drink made of fresh lychee juice and a brand of gin that I can no longer recall.
In due course the drinks came and, to her credit, our server told me that the bar was "out of lychee fruit for garnish, sorry about that." No problem, I assured her, as I was much more interested to explore the marriage of botanicals and exotic fruit in my glass. After our traditional toast (watch Jess and I carefully the next time our beverages arrive and we clink glasses) we sipped.
Well, instead of a complex mix of flavors and textures in my mouth, I got socked in the taste buds by the fire of pure gin. Even when chilled, straight gin packs a punch, especially if you're not expecting it. I looked at Jess with boggled eyes, who after being assured I was fine, started to laugh at the absurdity of what was happening.
I signaled for our server who came quickly to our table (and rightly so, as we were the only customers in the bar). I told her my concern that the bartender had sent me a glass of firewater instead of the drink I ordered. She promptly took it away to explore the issue further, only to return in just a few moments with this all-time classic...
"Yeah, so the bartender says we're out of lychee juice too. Sorry about that!"
OK, what the hell is this dude's thought process here!? I think the hamster must have been fatigued and the power supply dwindling when he decided to not tell us that my drink was not available, and to push right of a cliff by sending me straight gin instead.
That's just fantastic, and needless to say, Jess and I were reeling with laughter. Certainly no harm done aside from a few scalded taste buds but, bro, bartender to fellow bartender, throw me a freaking bone next time!

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