Few career fields demand more multitasking than tending bar. Sure, the personal assistant is expected to track appointments, book travel, stay on top of meetings, pick-up dry-cleaning, and take notes all at the drop of a hat. Big deal.
The bartender, on the other hand, executes creative cocktails at lightning speed, smile, entertain customers, and pretend to actually care about all of your life's drama. He or she is a therapist and provider of fun all in one good-looking package.
This week, we've decided to chat with bartender-extraordinaire Hunter Broggi of Red Tapas Bar & Grille
in Palm Beach Gardens about life behind the line of the bar.
Clean Plate Charlie: Hometown/ High School?
Broggi: Sag Harbor/Mercy High School, Riverhead, NY
How long have you been in South Florida?
6 years, seasonally.
How long have you been in the industry?
I knew I wanted to be a bartender when ______.
I realized I had a gift for making more than just a martini.
Favorite drink to make?
Raspberry Vanilla Mind Eraser -- layered and lethal.
Least favorite drink to make?
Mojito, of course.
Strangest drink requested?
Moosh Moosh, I am still not quite sure what it was.
What's your favorite spirit?
What's your favorite thing to drink after work?
Jefferson Reserve on the rocks
What is your favorite place to drink after work?
Anywhere where the view is water
What's the best pick-up line you've heard at the bar?
Honest and sincere, "I think you are beautiful. May I sit down..."
"Want to have kids? Tonight?"
If someone comes in and orders a _____, you instantly think _____ about them.
Cosmo, they've watched too many episodes of Sex and the City
Biggest pet-peeve while working?
When everything is not put back in its proper place.
Who is your favorite local bartender? And why?
Mitchell at Crush in Stuart, because he is going on 70 years old and can still make a martini better than half the state. And the conversation is twice as inviting.
If I wasn't a bartender, I would be a ______.
Favorite kind of bar customer?
Anyone that is willing to incorporate new flavors into old standbys, like the Dewar's Smash-a scotch mojito.
Least favorite kind of bar customer?
"The Taster"-everything is sampled, yet nothing is ever quite right for this person.
If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be? And which drink do you think would suit them?
My grandmother, and I would make her a Manhattan, old school, with bitters. This was the first cocktail I ever made behind a bar. Unfortunately, my grandmother was not around to share it with me.
Favorite thing about bartending?
It has given me the ability to create memorable experiences either through my conversation or my concoctions, or possibly, a mixture of both.