Good Spirits News 8.23.11

Photo courtesy of Stephen Black/The Tippling Club (

Bartenders Take Their Work Backstage  While customers rarely assume they have the right to approach the chef preparing their meals, many drinkers are accustomed to dealing directly with their bartenders. Eliminating personal contact has the potential to grate, as I discovered while drinking at Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria earlier this summer.  I was at the cocktail den with my husband, who usually confines his drinking to soda and tea. But he was in an imbibing mood, so I approached the bar to request a liquor drink appropriate for a cocktail skeptic. I was told to return to my table and order from a server, as the bartender didn’t speak with customers. As instructed, I explained the situation to a server – who came back with a Shirley Temple.

Masters of mixology compete  Call it superstition or simply coincidence, but several things signaled that San Antonio bartenders had a shot at winning last weekend’s competition for Bombay Sapphire’s search for the Most Inspired Bartender held at Malverde here.  First, the nearby cross street is named San Antonio. Second, as you enter the upstairs bar, the entire wall is adorned with puro San Antonio artwork by Cruz Ortiz.  Add to that three competitors from the Alamo city — Olaf Harmel, barman at Mon Ami and returning winner of last year’s San Antonio contest; Chris Ware, head bartender at Bohanan’s Bar; and Mathieu Muckensturm, bar manager at Coco.

A Peek at the Upcoming Starlight Room Cocktail Program  With the closing and renovation project at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room in July came news that former Zero Zero bar manager Joel Teitelbaum would be taking the reigns of the cocktail program. SFoodie reached out to ask what to expect from the new Starlight Room once it opens again in September.

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