Wet Bar Wednesday – The Bathroom Bartender

So say, hypothetically, that you’re on the road, staying in a hotel. You’re in the mood for a cocktail, but there don’t appear to be handy options. There isn’t a nearby bar within walking distance. Or the nearby bar within walking distance seems to be unsafe. Are you relegated to making do with the hotel bar (if there is one), and paying outrageous prices for drinks? Or driving to another bar and paying nearly-as-outrageous-prices-for-drinks-as-the-hotel-bar-and-then-risking-a-dui-on-the-way-back-to-your-hotel?

Don’t be absurd. You can be a Bathroom Bartender.

You can make cocktails almost anywhere, once you have a basic feel for proportions. Use your memory on the ingredients or Google it. It can be done. Here are some pointers.

Stay basic.   I recommend you select one particular cocktail that you’d like to mix. One with a single liquor ideally, since liquor is more expensive than mixers. Hypothetically, let’s say you selected the mojito. This is a great Bathroom Bartender recipe because it can be done reasonably simply while still making you look like a bartending guru.

The mojito is a good choice because it only requires one liquor and one that is relatively accessible and inexpensive. And entire 750 ml bottle of Barcadi white will set you back less than what you’d spend on two cocktails. At least in my neck of the woods.

Remember All the Ingredients.  This sounds simple and silly, but it’s easy to overlook.  If necessary, browse the web for ingredient lists.  There’s nothing more embarrassing for the Bathroom Bartender than finding out that you don’t know your drinks as well as you think you do.  Don’t forget the ice!  If you’re lucky, you can get this item for free from your hotel vending area.  Also, think about what will happen to the unused ingredients.  If you’re driving, you can pack them with you.  If you’re flying, maybe not so much.  Base some of your purchasing selections on whether you plan to have leftovers and want to get them home with you.  Also, keep your budget in line.  You’re either making drinks because, like me, it pains you to pay double digits for a drink, or because you want to show off.  In either case, getting carried away with your spending is not going to be a good thing!  

Remember to Improvise As Well.  A quick trip to a local grocery store netted you everything you need – rum, club soda, mint leaves, sweetener (a bottle of agave juice works well in a pinch and is a little more portable than sugar) and lime juice.  But there are other things in that grocery store as well.  What’s in season?  How about a package of fresh, local strawberries?  Look for something with some sort of link to the area you’re staying in.  It looks really classy!  Also, think about other things you could substitute to create other drinks – maybe grab a 4-pack of that ginger beer you’ve been thinking about.  You’re still coming out money ahead if you make more than four drinks!

Identify Your Tools.  Unless you’re going to pack a portable bar with you on your trip (which I have been known to do, which people find quite humorous until they are the recipients of one of my delicious drinks!), you’re going to need to improvise.  A Swiss Army knife can be a life saver (cutting fruit, opening wine bottles – just make sure you got a knife with a corkscrew!).  But a humble toothbrush handle can work as a fine stir stick as well as a muddler for those mint leaves and strawberries in the mojito!  

Assemble!  Have fun – you’re showing off not only your bartending skills but your ingenuity level as well.  Remember to mind your hygiene and keep your tools and work surface as clean as possible.  

Enjoy!  Maybe with some quality cable programming that you’ve already seen two dozen times!





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