As a few of you may know, back in a past life I was a bartender. I can thank the drinkers of California for paying the entirety of my university tuition, funding the early stages of my boot addiction and teaching me that gin comes from Jesus.
One of the bars I slung drinks behind was host to a great number of fantastic regulars. Not the aperitif swilling set, but the oldies, the goodies, the down-home blue collar workers who would could be counted on like clockwork.
The memory of one particular such man has stuck with me:
He was petite for a man, but petite was not a word one would dare utter in his presence. He wore a beard like the fourth member of ZZ Top and occasionally the leathers to match. He drank long neck Buds, and in no short supply, accompanied by a wife with blood red nails, tight jeans and a shameless bouffant. He was the head foreman for a large crew of men, that much I knew, and during the building boom in the Silicon Valley he had done very well. I was one of his favorites, that much I knew as well.
When he commandeered his seat at the bar, I would shove an entire six-pack on ice, pour a healthy shot of Jack and wait. Wait for the phone call that always made my day.
He'd call up one of his men, ask how the work was coming, if they'd wrapped up for the day. And if they had, he'd bellow into that tiny black apparatus
"Well then Com'on Down N' Hava Cocktail!"
There was no question of where.
There was no question of what (like I said, the man was a Budweiser drinker though and through).
And within thirty minutes, I'd have a crew that could raise a house crammed around my tiny bar, drinking "cocktails" as fast as I could crack 'em open.
Mr. ZZ Bud, you were one of my favorites too.
* * *
All that to say, if you've finished up for the day, com'on down n' hava cocktail with me. This big ol' bottle of Sapphire isn't going to drink it self!