The ego has landed: OK, you won, but it was just a comp!

Shaun Pattinson

By Shaun Pattinson

Cocktail competitions, I believe, are a great opportunity for young and aspiring bartenders to judge themselves against their fellow industry peers. They are also a fantastic way to develop a very high opinion of yourself and the importance of the role you play on this planet.

Over the years I have found that there are two types of bartender. The one who is a true all-rounder and is happy to make the watermelon sours on a Saturday night but also knows it is their duty to memorise all the classics on the off chance someone should request a “Last Word” or “Mary Pickford”. These guys and girls are the ones we want working behind our bars because they realise that even Gordon Ramsey has to make cheese toasties for his kids every now and then.

Then there are the rockstars who once won a competition with a drink combining vegemite and feijoa (in honour of the ANZACS)  but when someone orders any cocktail invented before 1950 they have to run to the toilet to google it. Yes, they have personality. Yes, they have 1000 facebook friends. Yes, they may even have a place in our industry, I just can’t think where.


Now I’ll put my hand up here and admit to looking up more recipes on the fly than I would like to admit to (I’m hoping that those new Google glasses will help me once I hit dementia), but every time I have had to do so it is a reminder to me of how far I still have to go. After that I do my best to make sure I don’t ever forget that recipe again, not to mention that a bartender with a permanent case of diarrhea won’t last long, I can tell you.

So my message is this. Instead of having to spend the rest of your life getting drink recipes wrong and then telling people “it’s a twist”, hit the books and show some respect for this wonderful profession called bartending.

* the people depicted in this article are fictional however if you think I am talking about  you, then I probably am..

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