I love a good cocktail. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at ordering them and nine times out of ten, what looks great on the menu turns out to be florescent pink and arrives topped with the entire contents of a can of spray cream. And glitter. Not exactly the sophisticated look I would like to project, but one I can't seem to escape.
Our industry is unrecognisable to what it looked like 20 years ago when I first started out in the licensed trade. Having good food, reasonably priced drinks and excellent customer service are no longer virtues to brag about, they are now the norm and the expectation of every customer who comes into our bars.
My colleague Jess and I were in the pub talking to Michelle, our head of communications. It was her leaving do and many of the senior managers were there. Needless to say, enthusiasm was compulsory. She was being prompted to our New York office and we were learning about her move. It was a long winded tale of logistics and house-hunting, but we listened attentively.
Whenever I arrive at a bar or nightclub and I see security, I always feel like I have ran a mile in the rain with a rucksack full of books to make a train, only to be told that when I sit down breathless and drowning in my own sweat that there are leaves on the track. I think it can be established that there are three types of nightclub bouncers...
When it comes to whisky, we like to keep things simple. Neat, on the rocks, or mixed with coke - that's how we know and love it. New York Magazine's food blog Grub Street echoed this recently when it described flavoured whisky as 'The Beginning of The End' and filed it under Desecrations. I mean, why try to fix something which isn't broken?
It's not often that one finds themselves completely at home in a strange place, yet the streets and silhouettes of the city of West Hollywood (or WeHo as it's affectionately referred to by Angelenos) feel intoxicatingly familiar and simultaneously seductive. My short stay is retreating hastily; as my plans over-flow in my mind.
I've often said that planning a party sorts the men from the boys. It's either a total shambles, with relations strained and blood shed; or as easy as, well, organising a piss up in a brewery. And as a barman working in bars that sees every single type of party, I've been privy to a few 'do's (and the very definition of don'ts) in my time.