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Jun 3, 2001 11:14 PM

Wacky Bartender at Empress Pavilion

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So, we're waiting in the bar at the Empress Pavilion for Dim Sum today (for about an hour, but worth it) and I was dumbfounded to watch the barman pour the last remaining inch left in a bottle of Smirnoff into a bottle of Absolut!

He did this in full view of anyone who cared to watch and seemed oblivious to the idea that this might not be appropriate behavior.

Granted, this is more of a service bar than a cocktail lounge but, still in all, this is pretty outrageous conduct.

Does anyone have other examples to share of this kind of nonsense. I've always thought it was silly for people to order top shelf vodka for a Bloody Mary, since you could hardly taste the differnce through all the tomato juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco, but God help the poor fool who paid for an Absolut on the rocks.

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  1. Stick with the tea.

    1. I'm willing to bet the vodka was neither Smirnoff nor Absolut. Substituting cheaper brands for the premium stuff is a not-unheard-of practice, especially for the booze you'll use in mixed drinks...and how many people are ordering Absolut on the rocks @ EP? Probably not many who can tell the diff, and for those people there's the "real" bottle. (I learned this unpleasant lesson in New Orleans, where I worked both as a bartender in a dive bar and a cocktail waitress in a seriously spendy establishment..both places pulled this little trick. Now I pretty much stick to beer.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lisa Bee

        There's a place in the delightful and depressing book, A Goose in Toulouse, where they talk about the myth that French people know their wines. As you might expect, many know their wine names, but really can't taste the difference.

        (slumming from the Pac NW board)

      2. I never cease to marvel at the lengths a bar will go to to make $0.30 -.60 more per drink. Calculate the wholesale difference between a 1 1/2 oz shot of Absolut and White Sail or other "generic" vodka; even the priciest spirits divided by 16 or 17 [the number of shots in a bottle] is not enough to justify cheating on an economic basis (short of premium cognacs). I think it's a mind set.