If the kids behind the bar these days could go back in time to watch how my generation of bartenders handled ourselves in the '70s, they'd probably laugh themselves silly. Don't get me wrong; we did some things very well indeed. Our Manhattans and Rob Roys and martinis, even at neighborhood bars with sawdust on the floor, were as good as you can currently get at any swank cocktail lounge - well balanced, well chilled and well served. We had our priorities right, too. We knew how to show the punters a good time, how to put a smile on their faces, and how to look after them as they needed looking after.
Our margaritas weren't fabulous, though - most of us used commercial sweet-and-sour mix - and we weren't the most creative bunch. We were responsible, for instance, for the Woo Woo, Sex on the Beach and the Long Island Iced Tea - a drink that tastes OK, though the recipe is something that a bunch of monkeys with keyboards would come up with eventually.
[Continue reading at: San Francisco Chronicle]