These girls were young. Of legal drinking age but definitely young. But what struck your friendly bartender as he coaxed from each the adult beverage of her choice, was precisely how “not-so-young” all three tried to act. They were polite, they were poised (why they even called me, “Sir”), and when it came to ordering their drinks they were downright adult about it. But when girl number one lingered a bit too long on the final syllable of her order, “Stella Artois”, both of her friends screamed in girlish delight, “A-r-t-w-a-a-a-a-h-h?” The girl blushed and giggled.
And after I placed a glass next to the Amstel Light which girl number two had ordered, and she pushed it away saying, “Actually I don’t need a glass, per se,” both of her friends giggled wildly and echoed, “Per s-a-a-a-a-y-y-y???” Hilarious!
And then finally, when girl number three had reached a verdict (and not without caution I might add), and asked for a Stoli on the rocks with three wedges of lime, I waited to hear, “Three l-i-i-i-i-m-e-s???” but it never came. She just got a rolling of eyes which I thought was sweet.
And as they sipped their drinks in lady-like fashion I couldn’t help thinking as I made my way down the bar, What a wonderfully refreshing sight are these three young ladies! Stella, Amstel and Stoli… women but definitely girls which nothing could hide. They came, they saw and damn near conquered. But they also reminded your friendly bartender of a trend now afoot out in Bar-land… of young people not behaving badly in grown-up bars. And that’s a good thing.
For it appears, from what I’ve been seeing, that not every member of the youthful set chooses to suck his booze through a hose while held upside down by his ankles to a chorus of “Chug!!!”. Or to imbibe by downing concoctions of all stripe and color. And for those who do like to party this way I’m not over here passing judgment, I know it’s part of being young and blowing off steam. But for those who don’t may I say, “Good show!!”, and not just for behaving so well but for ordering so well. For I’ve noticed a return to the classics these days when it comes to the young drinking old, with martinis, Manhattan’s and sours drinks back on the table. Why even the famed Old Fashioned.. a drink I used to make ten times a year… is now front and center and rolling out right on schedule. As are Rusty Nails, Rob Roy’s and vodka Gimlets. Whatever the reason (and thanks to the young), the old is once again new and back in vogue.
In fact just last night I had a couple at the bar who fit this description to a tee… young people ordering the old, in this case Old Fashioned’s… and I asked what they thought was the reason for this current revival. Without missing a beat the guy spoke up and credited the TV show Mad Men saying, “Young people love that show, man, and a lot of us are really looking for the stuff that’s classic. And that show is loaded with it!” His date then smiled and agreed and so did I. But not so much on the part about Mad Men, at least as the sole reason, but definitely on the part about young people seeking what is “classic”. I did it when I was young… scoped out the “cool” I saw in the past and added it to my arsenal… it was a rite of passage. Change is good but so is preservation else why have a thing called Archives, and thanks to the many who get this point classic drinks are now pouring their way out of the Bar-chives.
Which reminds your friendly bartender now about music. About how a Harry Connick Jr., for example, back in the 1990’s, reintroduced song classics to a whole new generation. Now I’m not saying Connick was solely the reason for music appreciation 101, but just like Mad Men the man did have an impact. And his generation paid attention. For when you look at the juke boxes out there in Bar-land and see what is still being played… Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and my favorite, Nat King Cole… you know that the young are still seeking “classic” in music. And that’s also a good thing. Yes, just when you thought all this stuff would be lost… the best of what came before us… “Encore!” is shouted aloud by the next generation.
I went back to the Babes in Bar-land after I saw they were were out of fuel, and asked if they wanted to do it again, same way. And they did. But unfortunately they weren’t using accents this time which severely reduced the humor factor, now they were who they were and fully relaxed. And an hour after that they were really “relaxed” as some clown kept sending them rounds of lemon drop shots. Which they accepted.
“Wooooo-oooooh!” they shouted with glee, slamming their glasses on the bar after each new belt, followed by a tinkling of giggles along with the slam. Yes the party was on for my party of three… Stella, Amstel and Stoli… just as the Lemon Drop Kid had hoped it would be. But eventually it started to move into crazy and I began to fear that all wouldn’t turn out well. The shouting was getting louder, Lemon Drop was getting more brazen, and I wondered if I’d have to step in and play the big brother. But the girls it seemed were still in control which Amstel assured me with a wink, “Girls just wanna have fun!”, so I let them be.
Then fortunately, when it was time to leave they righted themselves and prepared to depart in good form, proving in spades these babes in Bar-land could drink. They got up, gave me a trio of smiles, pointed to the generous tip on the bar then wobbled on their heels to the door with a final “Wooooo-oooooh!” For good measure. And it was clear to me as they made for the street that a good time was had by all, except of course for the Lemon Drop Kid… the guy left behind much wobblier than they. Per se!
Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!