Sometimes Shit Happens


A year has passed.

I’ve been away.

I am back!

You’ve been warned…

This past year has been a whirlwind.  Personally and professionally, I have been on one hell of a ride.  Somewhere along the way, I lost my “funny”.  One thing I didn’t lose – my desire to connect the world through great drinks, great food and laughter.  In order to do that, I needed to go “away”.  I needed to just “shut up” for a while.

I do not believe in posting, blogging, tweeting bullshit just for the sake of keeping my face and brand out there.  There is enough clutter and noise on the world wide web and in the world in general.  I refuse to contribute to that mental litter.  Our lives have too much nonsense and bullshit.

This blog began with a simple idea – bring the WHOLE bartender to you.  

Show that bartenders are more than just the people who sling your drinks.

In the year I have been absent from this blog, I have been taking the time to create new cocktail recipes for us, experiment in the kitchen for us, observe the nonsense that comes along with my job in order to make us all laugh again.

To those of you that reached out to see where the hell I have been and when the hell I am coming back, THANK YOU!

Strap yourselves in and buckle up!

Xo, Amy

Looking for a New Year’s Eve party cocktail?

Here is a fun, festive martini – The Blue Snowflake


Malibu Rum*
Cream of coconut
Pineapple juice
Blue Curacao
Sambuca, white
Coconut flakes (for rimming glass)

Rim chilled martini glass:
Squeeze dollop of coconut cream in center of plate
place generous amount of coconut flakes on a separate plate
Hold glass by stem, tilt and dip rim in coconut cream, spin until edge is well coated
Then, use same technique and drag rim slowly thru coconut flakes, until well coated

In a cocktail shaker:**
Fill 1/4 with ice cubes
3oz Malibu rum
1oz pineapple juice
1 tsp cream of coconut
1/2 oz blue Curacao
Dash of sambuca (too much will overtake the drink)
Shake well and pour, with the ice, into martini glass


*coconut flavored vodka can be used instead
**you can turn the martini into a frozen version, just by blending it

Smoke ’em, if you got ’em

Last night, when the insomnia set in, I found myself trying to read any and all news articles on-line.  (I was hoping I would bore myself to sleep!)  Instead, I came across an article of great interest to me.  This article was about the latest trend in cocktails.

Being a bit of a “booze nerd” (is that an oxymoron?), I couldn’t help but get sucked right in.  This new trend happens to be about “smoked cocktails”. If you checked out my Drink of the Month for April, Smokey Waters, you know why this trend intrigues me.

Gin meets Smoked Paprika

Gin meets Smoked Paprika

When it comes to cocktail menus, I believe they should reflect the flavor of the restaurant and its patrons.  Bartenders are the “liquid chefs” of the restaurant.  The advantage we have over our kitchen counterparts – we directly interact with the guests.  We can get opinions, requests, feedback and actually sample concoctions regularly.  Getting the guest involved in the creative process is not only fun, it is a valuable tool.

Personally, I like to create cocktails that push the envelope, daring you into trying something out of your comfort zone.  This past winter, I added a drink dubbed When Pigs Fly to the Horseshoe Grille menu.  Maple infused bourbon, dark crème de cocoa surrounded by a chocolate rim dipped in crunchy bacon was a surprise for the palate.

Ingredients should be fresh, flavorful and unique.  People are paying greater attention to what they put in their bodies.  Restaurants are responding by creating gluten-free menus, low-cal menu options, etc.  Drink menus are following suit.


Fresh fruits, spices and herbs have made their way out of the kitchen and once again, back on the bar.  The one downfall, these ingredients drive up price.  Especially with the recent drought and poor grow season driving produce prices through the roof!  Take the lime crisis as an example.  Right now, limes have become so scarce and expensive ($1 a piece) they are like green-gold.

So, as summer slowly approaches, I look forward to using smoked salts, sugars and spices along with charred fruits and aromatic herbs behind the bar at the Horseshoe Grille.

What do you look for in a cocktail?

Xoxo, Amy

“What I lack in service…

…I make up for in personality.”

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policy

This is a phrase I coined years ago.  It is not because I give lousy service.  BUT there are times when I get so “weeded” that I cannot give the attention to my guests that I desire and they deserve.

I have a high standard for my level of service.  When it comes to giving people attention and entertainment, I have set the bar high. So, when the shit is hitting the fan, I bust out the super-watt smile and throw the charm into overdrive!

Never let them see you sweat!

Never let them see you sweat!

There is no worse feeling for me when:

*I keep you waiting
*I screw up your order
*I don’t make you feel like you are the only one

I am fully aware of these rare moments in real-time. AND you can bet your sweet patooty that:

*I feel awful
*I will still win you over
*I will spend my entire weekly therapy session on my short-comings

On the occasion when I am on the “other side” of the bar, I have those same expectations of the person waiting on me.  In fact, anywhere that “customer service” is required, I feel my blood boil when the “ball is dropped.”

Think about when you are out somewhere, be it a bar, a clothing store, the DMV, etc.  Do you ever feel like you just became a superhero and your “power” is INVISIBILITY?

"Over here!"

“Over here!”

Xo, Amy

Vegetable of the Day

Bitchy Being a bartender or a server really can be an exercise in keeping one’s sanity. I am not quite sure what happens to people when they go out to a restaurant. Sometimes I feel as though I have entered a parallel universe. This is of great concern to me.  If this is how people are operating in their day-to-day lives,  “Houston, we have a problem!” Now, we have already discussed handling people when they cannot handle themselves. (If you need a little refresher, here you go, This Is Going To Hurt Me Way More Than You) What we have not discussed is the communication breakdowns that occur between Server and Servee.


Me: “Have you decided on your dinner?”

You: “Yes.  I am going to have the Steak Tips.”

Me: “Great choice! Do you want them rare, medium rare…..?”

You: “Um, I don’t want any pink, but I don’t want overdone. Soooooo, medium-well?”

(Uh-oh, this is already showing signs of trouble ahead.)



Me:  “Medium-well it is.  Two sides come with your entrée.  Would you like smashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, french fries or rice pilaf?”

You: “Baked.”

(Um, that was not an option.)

Me: “We don’t have baked.”

You: “No baked?”

(Actually, you caught me. I hide them around the place like an Easter egg hunt!)

See any baked potatoes around here?

See any baked potatoes around here?

Me: “No.”

You: (big sigh) “I guess I will do smashed.”

Me: “Now, for your second side – quinoa, red and golden beets, coleslaw, baked beans, or tonight’s vegetable which is asparagus?”

You: “I’ll have broccoli.”

(What? Where did you get broccoli out of asparagus.)

Me: “Tonight we have asparagus, not broccoli.”

You: “How about spinach?”

(Am I having a stroke? Am I slurring my words?)

Me: “No spinach this evening. Tonight we have asparagus.”

You: “Are you sure?”

Not broccoli, not spinach

Not broccoli, not spinach

(Oops! You caught me again.  I have them hidden with the baked potatoes.)

Xoxo, Amy