Many bar and restaurant industry veterans in South Florida hail from far off cold Northern climes in search of warmer, easier living and the chance to make a comfortable -- and rather fun -- living. Although, we do have a few homegrown heros in Broward and Palm Beach.
Bogart's Bar & Grille tender of bar Vincent "Vinny" Desposito, has spent years working in local institutions and graduated from Boca Raton's Spanish River High -- a rarity in these parts.
We decided to catch up with Desposito to find out about his favorite drinks and least favorite customers.
Clean Plate Charlie: Hometown/ High School?
Desposito: Boca Raton, Spanish River
How long have you been in South Florida?
Mort than 30 years.
How long have you been in the industry?
Over 10 years.
I knew I wanted to be a bartender when _____.
I realized how enjoyable it is to network and make friends at the same time make decent amount of money.
Favorite drink to make?
Lemon Drop Martini, because its a great summer Florida drink that is easy drinking and the presentation is beautiful with the sugar rim. I like to use a top shelf vodka citron with a splash of simple syrup, splash of sour mix and a handful of lemons shaken really hard over ice and strained into a chilled martini glass with a sugar rim and lemon to garnish. Yummy!
Least favorite drink to make?
Old Fashions, because I just feel its an acquired taste and its also very time consuming to make when busy.
Strangest drink requested?
Pickle Back: Jameson and pickle juice.
What's your favorite spirit?
Vodka because its nice and light -- don't feel so bloated after a few.
What's your favorite thing to drink after work?
Heineken and Jameson neat. The reason I like both because its a great mix. The heat from the scotch and the coldness of a nice refreshing Heineken. It's a great buzz too!
What is your favorite place to drink after work?
Home on the couch with the family just because I feel it's a safe place to act goofy and get projects done all at the same time. Plus, I love being home with them.
What's the best pick-up line you've heard at the bar?
"You seeing a movie?" Especially, when we are located in a movie theatre.
If someone comes in and orders a _____, you instantly think ______ about them.
Long Island Ice Tea, under age
Biggest pet-peeve while working?
Bad Presentation, bad appearance, and being late to work drives me crazy. I feel employees including myself should take pride in what they do and how they look.
Who is your favorite local bartender?
My buddy Cornelio from Deck 84, because he is a nice kid with a great personality and knowledge.
If I wasn't a bartender, I would have loved being a ______.
Major League Baseball player. My favorite team is the NY Yankees. It was always my dream as a kid. My baseball career ended after college and finished school at FAU in 2003.
Favorite kind of bar customer?
Professional, polite, and outgoing.
Least favorite kind of bar customer?
The ones that make people feel uncomfortable; irresponsible drinkers who are mean to the surroundings.
If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be? And which drink do you think would suit them?
I would make a drink for my dad Ernest Desposito: the man I love and respect the most. I feel a Heineken draft would suit him since he has been with Heineken for over 20 years.
Favorite thing about bartending?
Networking, listening, having fun, and making money.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.