Bartender Q&A: Dawn Werblin of Pistache French Bistro on Favorite Drinks, Pickup Lines, and More
You need certain skills and attributes to make it in a field in which you deal with people on a constant basis.
From bubbly salespeople to friendly customer service representative (OK, that's actually rarely the case these days) to kindhearted nurses to affable service industry professionals, it takes a certain level of gumption to deal with crazy people while putting on a happy face -- or voice.
In terms of handling people, tenders of bar have a finesse like no other -- there's just no walking away from the nuttiness of the general public (you're literally stuck behind the bar).
Whether it's internalizing an eye roll of a ridiculous order -- person who orders an Emergen-C martini, we're talking to you -- laughing off absurd pickup lines, or just smiling while dealing with the indecisiveness of the general public, these folks see it all.
Dawn Werblin of Pistache French Bistro has been in the industry for more than a decade. She talks to us about her favorite drinks, least favorite pickup lines, and more.
Clean Plate Charlie: First thing first: where are you from?
Werblin: From Middletown New Jersey, went to Taravella High School Coral Springs. I've been down here about 25 years now.
How long have you been in the industry?
Ten years; I knew I wanted to be a bartender when I made it through my first busy night.
Favorite drink to make?
Pistache signature French Pear Martini. It's delicious and always a crowd pleaser. If something requires more than four muddled ingredients, it's not a drink anymore... it's a salad.
If someone comes in and orders a water with sugar and lemon on the side, you instantly think eye roll.
We're going to assume that's actually happened before. What's the strangest drink someone has ever requested?
A vodka martini. Shaken with Emergen-C (the vitamin/immune supplement).
What's your favorite thing to drink after work?
A cold beer; it's refreshing after a long night. But my favorite spirit is tequila.
What's the best pickup line you've heard at the bar?
"I bet you $20 you're gonna turn me down." The worst is always, "I know the owner..."
Biggest pet peeve while working?
When someone says "I don't know what I waaaant..." and then just stares at me. My favorite bar customers are friendly people that know what they want. My least favorite is anyone that asks or expects a drink on the house is going on the bottom of the list.
If I weren't a bartender, I would be a neurologist.
If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be?
I would make a single-malt scotch for my dad. Then I would sit and join him.
What's your favorite thing about tending bar?
The energy and the camaraderie.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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