Monday, October 22, 2007

Cocktail Incompetency: Patsy's

One would think that a restaurant and bar that has been around 60 years—stretching way back to the days when cocktails were king—would know how to mix a drink.

But if I've learned anything in recent years, it is to assume nothing when you belly up to a bar. I entered Patsy's, the old Frank Sinatra hangout in midtown Manhattan, thinking I could get a decent old school cocktail. After scanning the not-too-impressive collection of bottles behind the bar, I decided not to challenge the rather dim-looking bartender too much and requested a Manhattan. But I like my Manhattans with rye, so first I asked if they stocked any rye.

He pointed to Canadian Club and said, "This is rye." Uh, no it isn't. It has rye in it and I know a lot of people use it as they would use rye. But that ain't rye. Then he pointed at an anonymous bottle I didn't recognize that didn't feature the word "rye" anywhere on the label. "This is rye," he said. I was suspicious that he didn't know his ass from his elbow at this point. Then he pointed at a bottle of Cutty Sark and said "This is rye." Yikes! Mayday! Bail out!

I resorted with a bourbon Manhattan, made with Wild Turkey. It was OK.

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