Young and Hungry

The Home Bartender Advantage

julepAccording to industry stats, we’re all drinking more at home. But I can assure you that the worst way to beat the recession is by becoming a home bartender. The home bartender is a peculiar creature, one that collects, buys and builds their dream bar piece by piece at ghastly expenses and long toiling hours.

Scott Wolfson of Germantown, MD and his wife Jen spent four-and-a-half months and approximately $11,000 building their dream bar. I must say, it’s glorious—a Tiki lounge that rivals Trader Vic's. Replete with Tiki paraphernalia and Moai heads, they dubbed it the Moai Lounge. It’s where I want my last Zombie to be served to me before I’m dead and buried.

You see, for Scott and his wife it’s more of a culture than just another room in the house. They are Tiki fanatics and love a great drink. They're not alone.

Damon Fodge of Northwest, Washington, D.C., a close friend and home bartender, explained to me how diligently he makes cocktails for himself every night at his home bar. It’s a way for him to relax. He also stays abreast of new cocktail books and has even flirted with becoming a professional bartender, but has settled for having a dream bar in his basement under a map of his sailing exploits along the Bay. His is a sailor's bar.

As we walk through, he describes his latest addition to the bar–a working sink. The “wet bar” is the crowning achievement of any home bartender. Damon muses that, “It is that little sink that makes all the difference between a serious home bartender and the rest.”

I have to say that as a professional bartender I’m somewhat envious. Even though I know that must sound strange. Living in an apartment lacks the pizzazz of treating your closest friends to a round of homemade juleps, even if I serve them day-in and -out at a real, working bar. It’s the act of hospitality that exceeds the commercial exchange. It's the passi0n behind their endeavors. You bypass foofy cocktail lists, humiliating acrobatics to get the bartenders attention and crowds of dirty martini-stoned post-adolescents and instead get a well-made drink for the simple love of the craft. Even better, you get to do this in the privacy of your own home.

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