New rule: I gotta get paid.

This is in reference to the liquor companies, bar owners, brand managers and bar managers, writers and PR people that ask me to make cocktails for their bars/publications/websites/product booklets. My rate, at this point is $75 a drink. This all popped up when in the past 2 months I have created (in some cases with Christina Kuypers) no less than 18 drinks. Some of these are for the new restaurant that I am working at; Rock Lobster Food company. These drinks I expect to make more than $75 for (over time), so that’s fine. Liquor companies need to know that while having my face in newspapers and on TV is awesome, and I am greatful (grateful? Really? English is so dumb sometimes), this does nothing to buy me the jeep that I have wanted for years, or to pay off debt from a divorce or a bike accident. These drinks take time, product and creativity for me to work out. So from now on I will require $75 for every original cocktail I create for a party*, TV show, newspaper, blog, video shoot or restaurant that wants my input. Hopefully I am not selling bartenders short. If someone doesn’t want to pay me for my services, that’s cool, because I am sure someone else will be pumped to be on youtube.


On the “professionalism” tip: Stop dressing like a clown. In the next year or two I fully expect to see “Bartender” right next to “Arachnoman” and “Beekeper” costumes for halloween. Arm garters? Wide ties? Moustaches? These things do not a bartender make. Dressing in these outfits looks like a disguise for people that haven’t done the research to familiarize themselves (their palates) with the cocktails and spirits and liqueurs that they should, and instead just want to look the part.  Like the kid that listens to dubstep but wears a back patch and has a mohawk. I instantly distrust bartenders dressed up as “bartenders”. I am happy to show up in jeans and a t-shirt with my drinks made of ingredients you never thought of. If your defense starts with “traditionally…” I don’t want to hear it. You want to recognize a time when all people were not allowed to vote and people died of all things from polio to having a cough? We have running water and electricity to create the blocks of ice that you’re carving. I’m not saying that the appearance of cleanliness should be frowned upon, I’m saying that the clothes do not make the barman.**

*The biggest exception here is The Victim Party. They are my favorite band in Toronto right now and have one LP and one 7″ out so far. For their next 7″ I will be creating a cocktail called “The Victim Party”. I have been thinking about this drink for awhile. It’s gonna be a beast. The members of The Victim Party are and have been some of my best friends for the past ten years and this band, and the other bands they have all been in have inspired me, cheered me up, let me wallow etc… when I needed to. Also, Kyle Cook is in the band.

**This is not meant to be mean spirited. I also know that some establishments (mostly hotels) have uniform policies that require bartenders to dress a certain way. It’s just cartoonish is all.