31 December 2011

Bartender Trick!

How to Look Cool Opening a Jar

Looks like this guy is a lot better at it than I was,
but I could throw a little flash, too.
Bartending is part assembly-line, part dance. When you're behind the bar—especially at a high-profile, high-volume dance bar—you are on stage. Multiple pairs of eyes track your every move, critically and mercilessly. Oddly, it's perceived as a "glamour job," and everyone thinks they could do it just as well or better.

So while you have to move smoothly through the process or you'll get your covers yanked fast, you also have to handle the interruptions smoothly. When you need ice, when you break a glass (oh god, not over the ice, please!), when you run out of garnish, you can't fumble around back there and you can't hold things up. It can get all Lucy Ricardo on you in a matter of seconds!

One of the most awkward tasks, and of course it comes up a few times a shift, is the need to open more juice. (Or cocktail onions or whatever, glinting at you from inside the hermetically-sealed jar.)

Imagine. You can't be back
behind the bar doing this.

Each time you face a new jar,
you sweat and think to yourself,  
What if this is the jar I won't be 
able to open?!

So! Here's what you can do:

1. Hold the jar around the middle in your non-dominant hand. 

2. Tilt the lid end about 45ยบ down from the horizontal.

3. With the base of your other palm, smack the bottom of the jar firmly to break the air seal. 

4. Tip the bottle up, and twist open normally (maybe with a flourish).

* Don't smack it so hard that you hurt your hand. Or break the jar.
* Concentrate on what feels right for breaking the air lock, and strive for one smack.
* It may take some practice to get the smack just right; it's really more of a dull thwock.
* With further practice, you'll find the smack-and-twist steps flow into one smooth move.

Now, I did not post this because I think you are an aspiring bartender; rather, I'm showing how this bartender's trick can help when 1) you need to open a jar and the "regular" way isn't doing it for you; and/or, 2) some babe, or your child (especially if teenaged) asks you to open a jar. You know, when you're on stage. This way, you'll look like a smooth operator. Like me.

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