2015 is coming! Do you have your bitters? I know that I do. I was talking to a customer at work last night at Restaurant Picco in Larkspur and bitters came up. Shocking. I love when people become surprised that I own many (more than 50) types of bitters. Not just different flavors, but brands. I guess you could say that I like bitters.
It must have been at least 9 years ago when I tried Fernet for the first time. I was working at The Sweetwater in downtown Mill Valley and Fernet had just come to the Bay Area. It may have been there already but I had just turned 21 and this was a great, new discovery. It was awful. The bitter, thick liquid sat in my throat like a hangover after red wine. I could feel my face cringe and my eyes almost tear up. Yuck! I swore I would never touch the stuff again.
This year I turned 31 and received a flask engraved with my new business' logo and full of Fernet. Why? Cause even though I still cringe when I drink Fernet, I love that bitter stuff.
I guess that it was meant to be. Me and bitters.
That's how it was with bartending. It was meant to be. When people ask about my bartending career, I always get the same questions. "Did you go to bartending school? How do you remember all the drinks?" And my personal favorites, "What else do you do, Dear? Go to school? What do you want to be?"
Well, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. And honestly, bartending requires many of the same skills; patience, the ability to settle arguments, and the authority to tell out of control people "no."
But I didn't choose to be a bartender. Bartending chose me. After the few bumps and bangs that anyone suffers in the endeavor of a new career, bartending has turned me into a wonderful woman that makes me proud. And I love bartending for that.
It is a life that challenges me every day to be better. There is always something to learn, another bartender to watch, and another cocktail to try. I get to meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life. They are amazing. And many times awful. But that all comes with the job.
On that note, I can't wait for the calming of January, after the holidays are over. Us bartenders will now take our vacations and spend time with families and friends (mostly fellow bartenders).
Happy Holidays from Bitter Girl Bitters.
Go Bitter Go Home