We have certain criteria for bartenders that don't necessarily extend across the board in the service sector.
Obviously, they need to be able to shake up a nice drink, but we kind of like some entertainment as well.
What can we say? We're jaded.
If you're looking for a damned good drink and some witty banter, you might want to check out this guy: Christopher Hildebrandt of Pinon Grill chats to us about flaring at Starbucks, Naked Ladies, and internet daters.
Clean Plate Charlie: Where are you from?
Hildebrandt: Lake Worth, Florida. I went to Lake Worth High School.
How long have you been in the industry?
I've been in the industry for ten years.
I knew I wanted to be a bartender when flaring at Starbucks became frowned upon.
Favorite drink to make?
Naked Lady: a combination of white rum, sweet vermouth, apricot brandy, grenadine, and lemon juice.
Least favorite drink to make?
Bloody Mary; outside of the Sunday brunch timeframe, Bloody Marys should never be considered an option.
Strangest drink requested?
Nothing surprises me anymore.
What's your favorite spirit?
Bourbon; it's is a southern man's take on whiskey and has been in play since the 18th century. It's roots are linked to a Baptist minister... the irony alone should be cause enough to drink it.
What's your favorite thing to drink after work?
Cold ale. After a long shift, a cold ale displays divine characteristics. More specifically, a Belgium ale, as they're less bitter than most pale ales.
What is your favorite place to drink after work?
I love what Sweetwater Bar & Grill is doing now.
What's the best pickup line you've heard at the bar?
There's no such thing as a good pickup line at a bar.
Every one of them!
If someone comes in and orders a Long Island Iced Tea, you instantly think This is the first time you're drinking, right?
Biggest pet peeve while working?
Snapping and whistling; this one seems pretty self-explanatory.
Who is your favorite local bartender?
Ray from Boca Blue Martini; he's a class act.
If I wasn't a bartender, I would be broke.
Favorite kind of bar customer?
Fun and witty people; they understand how life is to be lived. It's about good company, strong drinks, and endless amounts of laughter.
Least favorite kind of bar customer?
If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be?
My grandfather, who was a bar owner. He owned a small, unsuccessful neighborhood bar in Lake Worth, maybe 20 seats. It was always his dream to simply own one, which explains it's unpopularity. I was nine when he passed away, so given the chance, I would have a bottle of Jameson's, two shot glasses, and one hell of a conversation.
Favorite thing about bartending? The revolving door of characters who find their way into my restaurant/bar.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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