Bartender Q&A: Kerry McCabe of Kapow! Noodle Bar on his Favorite Drinks, Big Spenders, and Hostesses
Since Top Chef and all of those other cooking shows made it big, chefs have become the new "in" celebrities: the rock stars of the the restaurant industry. And hey, we get it. It's hard not to love the person who tickles your tastebuds with amazing flavor sensations.
On the other hand, we kind of feel like someone else is losing out on some of the glory: the bartender.
That being said, we wanted to have a chat with the person who is not only impressing our palate, but getting us drunk in the process. Clean Plate Charlie chatted with Kapow! Noodle Bar's bartender and Creator of Things, Kerry McCabe.
Clean Plate Charlie:Hometown/ High School
McCabe:Boca Raton. Spanish River.
How long have you been in South Florida?
How long have you been in the industry?
Fourteen years. Bartending for twelve.
I knew I wanted to be a bartender when _______.
Not exactly sure. My dad owned bars his whole life, so I guess it is in my blood.
Favorite drink to make.
Jack Daniels. Neat. Just kidding. I really enjoy the "New Fashioned" on our drink list. Our day bartender--and owner--Angela, made an amazing bourbon by infusing Bulleit Bourbon with apples, cinnamon, and vanilla. We use that, muddle an orange slice and a strawberry with some simple syrup, finished with a dash of bitters. It is a really nice cocktail.
Anything with "pucker" in it. I just think it is a cop out.
Strangest drink request.
There are a few: Henessey and apple juice, Colorado Bulldog, which is White Russian with Coke, and Jaeger and orange juice.
What's your favorite spirit?
Grand Marnier or as I refer to it: liquid happiness.
What's your favorite thing to drink after work?
Honestly, it is kind of embarrassing: Bud Light and Grand Marnier. The Bud Light is strictly a pallet cleanser, of course.
What is your favorite place to drink after work?
I prefer to say that my options are limited at 3am. With that being said, Nippers in Boca--I am also good friends with the bartenders there.
The best pick-up line you've heard at the bar?
"I am really drunk, any chance you can give me a ride home and help me make my bed?"
"Want to go back to my house and play apples to apples and drink sangria?" This was said at 5 am... And it worked!
If someone comes in and orders a ______, you instantly think ______ about them.
A shot of Jameson. I immediately like them.
Biggest pet-peeve while working.
Probably the normal: whistling or snapping your fingers. It can also be made worse by not knowing what you want after you have already been rude.
Who is your favorite local bartender? Why?
Anna Gaskin at Bru's Room in Delray. Probably because I helped train her.
If I wasn't a bartender, I would be a ______.
Favorite kind of bar customer?
Nice people! You do not have to tip like crazy (although it does not hurt), just be nice and friendly.
Least favorite kind of bar customer?
Probably the "Big Spender." This is the person that thinks he/she owns part of the place and can treat you anyway he/she wants because he/she spends money and tips well. I would much rather have four 20% tippers that are nice, any day.
If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be? Which drink?
My dad. Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks because that was his drink... And also the reason that scotch is the one spirit I can't drink.
Favorite thing about bartending?
There are so many things I love about bartending. Basically, it's just fun. You get to meet new people, you have flexible hours, you don't have to get up at 7am, and you can just be in a fun casual atmosphere everyday... Oh, and the hostesses, of course.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in the South Florida dining scene.