The concept of the Worldwide Bartender Database, an informal organization that we started on the Ardent Spirits web site about a year ago, was born out of laziness. Who knew that it would end up making more work for me? Sometimes you just can’t win.
About a year ago I started to get fed up of all the email requests I was getting from liquor companies. They’d write stuff such as “Do you happen to know anyone in Chicago who could put together an event for us? We have 800 professional arm-wrestlers coming to a cocktail party and we need someone to create new drinks for them and organize everything by the day after tomorrow. We don’t have a location yet. The drinks need to be made from sustainable products. Organic, if possible.” You know the sort of thing, right?
I happen to know more than a few bartenders, and more than a dozen of them read our Ardent Spirits newsletter so I figured that if we got them all together on one database I’d be able to reach out to everyone at once, and hopefully the liquor companies would leave me alone. In one respect it turned out better than that—the liquor companies started to pay me to post announcements in our weekly Worldwide Bartender Bulletin, and I could really use some cash right now.
On the other hand, as more and more people heard about the bulletin, more and more emails started to pour in: “We’re looking for someone to serve jelly shots to the guests at a wedding that’s taking place under water in a tank full of sharks in Florida . . .” That sort of stuff.
Bartenders tend to talk a lot, so not long after putting the database together we had over a couple of hundred members, within a few months it got to be 500, and now we’re just about at the 1,000 mark and things are starting to explode. It’s one of those, “You tell two friends, and they tell two friends” sort of thing, I think. Thus far the bulletin has found three full-time brand-ambassadors for major liquor companies, lots of cocktail consultants have gotten gigs by answering ads in the bulletin, and bartenders have been hired at some pretty impressive bars and restaurants that have advertised with us. Restaurant Daniel, Chef Daniel Boulud’s prestigious place in Manhattan, currently has an ad in the bulletin, for instance. It’s tough to shake a stick at a job like that, right?
I could ramble some more, but I just heard from a P.R. agency that is looking to find six bartenders who are willing to mix cocktails while sky diving. If you can think of anyone. . . . . contact Gary Regan, firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ardentspirits.com; http://www.ardentspirits.com/ardentspirits/Database/