I’ve recently become fascinated by bartenders. I have the utmost respect for chefs doing traditional and creative cooking, but they are not always the best interviews. Loooong hours in a fast-paced but largely behind-the-scenes profession attracts a certain kind of personality – not one always suitable for civilized company.
Bartenders, on the other hand, are always ready with a story and are professional chit-chatters. A great bartender can effectively read a customer’s needs and make them feel at ease, hoping to cultivate a regular. Another reason bartenders fascinate me: children rarely say they want to grow up to be a bartender. It is not unusual to hear chefs say that they can’t imagine working anywhere besides a kitchen. Bartenders, however, are by-and-large a creative bunch who fell into the profession and are always looking for new creative outlets.
On June 17, bartenders from the best bars in LA were given the opportunity to showcase their creative extra-curricular activities as well as show off their drink-slinging. The beautiful patio of Sadie in Hollywood was taken over by drunken degenerates (bartenders and cocktail geeks) for one magical afternoon of day-drinking and dancing. Below are some scenes from the overwhelmingly successful event:
While it was great fun seeing so many familiar & lovely faces, it was also a great opportunity to make new friends. The problem when you mix dancing & alcohol, sometimes you have so much fun that you forget to trade contact info. If anyone knows the above dancers, please tell them to contact me – I need to learn some new moves!
A big thank you must go out to the event’s creators Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates. It was a ton of fun, plus it raised a lot of money for Inner-City Arts. More thanks must be given to the following companies for donating spirits: Infinium Spirits, Karlsson’s Vodka, Sailor Jerry Rum, Campari America, Becherovka, Akvinta Vodka, Atlantico Rum, St. George Spirits, Del Maguey Mezcal, 123 Tequila, Henry Wine Group and Pierre Ferrand.
Read more recaps of the event at Thirsty in LA. If the event ever goes on tour, you better believe I’ll do whatever I can to help a Boston version be as big of a success. I’d like to close with an excerpt from an open letter Zahra Bates posted on Thirsty in LA:
“We love this life, this world and the possibility of expression that it allows. We love what we put in the glass and give to our guests, but more than that we love the person that sits before us. To be clear, I am in love with what we do together, I am in love with how we do it, and I am in love with the unintended outcome of what we do.
Yes, this is a love letter to my city, to the people I work with and my community at large. I have never experienced such joy, such beauty or such love all in one day, all in one room and all for one thing. Art; in and beyond the glass is the celebration of…well, of everything.”
Beauty. Community. Love. – three words to sum up my favorite cocktail event of the year!