Bartender Showing Important SkillsGuest post by Charyl Le

My name is Charyl Le. I am a hairstylist at Tangerine Hair Studio in San Jose during the day, and a bartender at Zen Lounge in Mountain View at night and on the weekends. I’ve been bartending for four years at several places. I’m a Pisces.

It’s kind of hard to sum up everything I love about bartending into one single thing, but if I had to absolutely choose, I love the interaction with people and the entertainment I get from tending bar for these people. I also can’t really complain about being able to party and make money at the same time also.

Refreshing Mojito DrinkI still remember a lot of drink recipes. Not all can be made depending on where I’m working. Some venues don’t offer as wide a range of ingredients as others do. I used to work at a club where we could make these extremely refreshing Mojitos, but the current establishment I work at does not offer Mojitos. I may still remember a lot, but I’ve forgotten the ones people don’t order very often. I noticed that the memory kind of goes as I get a little older. It feels like as each year goes by, I forget a few drinks. Hehe.

Martini With Shot Of Midori And Blue Curacao SpherificationI must also say, a drink is not always what customers say it is. Sometimes people like to make up or change drink names. For example, I worked at a nightclub that had a signature drink called The Godzilla (it was a behemoth of a drink) and in one night people would call it the Volcano, or the Goliath, or the Hulk, or whatever they wanted to call it.

If I’ve ever been asked to make a drink I’ve never heard of, I always ask if the customer knew what was in it. So, a bit of advice, try to at least remember the main ingredients in your favorite unheard of drink.

Personally, I like to get straight to the point and just enjoy a shot of Patron. Especially while bartending, there’s no time to sip on a drink. We usually have time for just a shot, get it over with, and get right back to tending bar.

My favorite cocktail to make is called the Silverback. It’s not my own concoction, but it’s made some waves in the Bay Area.

I’ve created a few cocktails, but I haven’t named too many of them. I do have a drink called The Blondie. It’s 1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin mixed with Sweet’n'Sour and Red Bull over ice. I created this drink when I was a full blonde and was stuck on this drink while I had blonde hair, so it was named The Blondie.

Bar Section With LightsTypically guys like the stronger tasting drinks and girls like the sweeter or fruitier drinks. Guys usually drink the normal drinks where it’s a liquor and mixer over ice (like a vodka and cranberry, scotch and soda, etc.). Or they’ll have AMF’s and Long Islands.

Most women will do the regular cocktails also, but a lot of women will also order the ones that are a bit sweeter like Malibu and pineapple, Midori sour, or Sex on the Beach. I’m not saying that all women drink the fruitier drinks, it’s just more often than not. Women are also more likely to drink wine or champagne at a club, if it’s offered.

In the end it also depends on the mood. When people are on a mission, they’ll go straight to shots. When people want to just chill or hang out , they’ll have a beer or a mixed drink.