Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bartending 101: Taking the Exam!

I decided a while ago that I was going to take the written exam.  Well, I did as much "research" as I could (step 1 of The Plan) and also procrastinated as long as I could (step 2 of The Plan).  So now it was time to face the inevitable proverbial tunes.

I don't want to fail in front of a bunch of people, so I leave work early and drive to the school.  Against my plan, four other people are already there, including a guy from my class (a huge basketball player-slash-college student).  

"Hey," I say.  "You testing today too?"
"At this very moment," he says.
"How's it going?" I ask, seeing that he's still working on the first page.
He groans and shakes his head as an answer.  I'm feeling even less confident now.

Betty emerges from the back and sees me.  "Hey, you ready?" she asks.
"Ready as I'm gonna be," I tell her, hoping she'll give me some words of encouragement.
No such luck.  "Three people have failed today already," she declares.
"Huh," I respond, wondering what the hell she was trying to do to me.
"Okay, here's your test," she says.  "You have an hour."

I settle in at the bar and get out a pen, wishing that this is a real bar and I could take the test while drinking Long Islands.

The first and second page are a nightmare.  "Under the name of each drink, write the exact recipe along with the type of glass and garnish.  Do not include instructions such as shake or stir."  And there it is: 36 drink names with 5 lines under each.  I'm so screwed.

But I actually feel like I have it until I see these three drinks: Zombie, Hurricane, and Scorpion.  I always get those mixed up!  I skip to page 3.

"Identify the glassware."  There are cartoonish pictures of each type of glassware, and I fly through the section.  Pretty simple, as I predicted.  On to page 4.

"Identify each type of alcohol."  There's a list of different types of booze, from Amaretto to Zima.  Next to each name you have to write if it's a liqueur, beer, gin, whiskey, brandy, or whatever.  There are about 10 different whiskey brands, but I can't keep straight which is Canadian, which is American, which is Kentucky.  Things are not looking good.

I keep mentally chanting "I have to get at least 90%..."

Do you think I made it?  Stay tuned to find out if I did!

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