sometimes when i'm sitting on a bar stool, i think of the bartenders who have made my drinks. i remember a tom sawyer at lei lounge, whose ID we've stolen along with a bunch of tiny umbrellas. there was also the long-haired handsome, flirty one. he was one of our favorites.
i remember a woman behind the bar in the crowded dimness of livewire and whistle stop, her movement in broad strokes, her words curt. she called back our drinks and made them strong and swift. stronger and bigger at livewire though.
once i ran into one of razz's bartenders at mond night. this was back in barcelona and everyone in the club was drugged out of their minds. wendy james, some old 80s pop legend was spinning a horrible DJ set with breaks in between. i was creeped out he kept trying to question me about being one of the only asian girls in the club. then there was pedro at subrosa in a dark alley off plaza reial where drug transactions often went down. he was big, dark, and bald with a toothy grin. for some reason, in my mind he always has a fishnet shirt on. he made great fruity drinks and was always so sweet to us.
i used to go to wong's a lot. his brother sam always greeted me kindly. he could only make me basic cocktails but i enjoyed listening to him namedrop "important people" who came into his bar from the 70s onwards. once an ex-rolling stones bassist walked in while i was out at the bar with albert. of course i didn't know who it was!
more recently i've had favorable encounters with the manwhorish swedish bartenders at hyde & seek. there are 5 of them, and they all have their shirts unbuttoned halfway down. either dannie or bennie once made me a cocktail of spanish rose, white wine, cinnamon, watermelon and some other stuff based on my "background." he also made antony an old-fashioned based on his. it was the first time i'd tried an old-fashioned and it's been my default drink ever since. they were also training some local bartenders, one of whom made very awkward conversation when i stopped by for an afternoon drink one weekend.
tonight the young bartender who looks to be in his early 20s seems drunk. his eyes are droopy and he's very smiley, pouring drinks and dancing at the same time. he just stole some of the DJ's chocolate and requested she play some red hot chili peppers but she didn't.