When I first read “Craft of the Cocktail” by Dale DeGroff, I fell in love with his “bar tools” page. It’s a peacock tail arsenal of all of the essential bar tools, since then, I’ve come to own several of everything on those pages. But what really makes the shift happen is the picture above. People I’ve worked with will vouch for it, I have all of these things on my person all of the shift. I know this is the equivalent of a dungeon and dragon graph paper inventory.
From Left-ish to right-ish
1. Butane lighter, will shoot flames upside down, looks cool perfect for flame zesting
2. Crappy bic lighter, the lighter I loan people that need a lighter, frequently I carry matches from Hazelwood or Carta de Oxaca in Ballard
3. Business card holder, filled with business cards.
4. Cell phone, a pizza, the cops or a cab, you’ll need to call.
5. Waiter’s wine key, I like the 2 stage because I find it works for more bottles. The ratio of futuristic wine key look is inversely proportionate to how well it works.
6. Square ring, this ring has 2 purposes, it charms homosexuals, and I open beer bottles with it.
7. Pocket watch, I’ve carried one for years, bartenders can’t wear wrist watches.
8. Speed opener, I keep this in my back pocket and use it to practice “beer iaido.” Unless I’m working in a schmance place, then it opens “sparkling water.”
9. Mints. I talk to people all day and I love coffee, truffle oil and garlic, so do most people.
10. The round ring that I use to open beer bottles when I use my right hand.
11. The crappy bic pen that I have behind my ear that loan to guys that need to get a number fast.
12. The two good pens I use to write
13. I small pocket knife, indispensable everyday, all day. Today I used it to dig a piece of glass out of my thumb.
14. A bar rag, dry hands, quick clean up, always be prepared.
This is also why I where a vest in the winter or a guayabera in the summer. Both are as functional as fly fishing vests, yet look infinitely more normal if not just cool.
Lastly, I always where boots when I work. The soles don’t slip, they are immune to water, broken glass and foot crushed by keg resistant. There is no better way to traverse a floor of flip flop clad assholes. I have also held a door shut with one boot while a disgruntled patron tried to beat the opposite side in with a bar stool. Boots protected me from broken glass and shards of wood. I have a pair for any kind of shift I’d work. Every time I get caught in shoes, I’m a bit uneasy. The boots bellow are a year and a half old, but they are my most Brock Sampson. Pictured with matching belt because, hey, c’mon don’t be bush league.