Musing of a Barfly by Din Mutha:
No matter where your life make take you, to the farthest ends of the earth even, the hipster bartender has already been there. Whether you seek out a quaint British Isle pub or a steamy dive in New Orleans, the reach of the hipster is always further.
Though I spend my life pouring drinks, I haven’t fully bought all of this hipsteria—a notion that seems to be a cutting-edge cultural pandemic. Hipsters are the aggressively awkward people who skim the fringes of the mainstream world. They are everywhere, reclaiming the old in juxtaposition with the new. They even pour your drinks.
Thanks to the savvy and eloquent writers at Drinking Cup, the fashionable hipster bartender has made its mark on the urban world—it’s now even reached the Lego Lexicon. Hardly avant-garde, Lego possess a universal truth in their blocky bods. We get them. Why? Because we understand just how fucking cool having hipster Lego really is.
Still as eternal plastic bliss would have us hurling ourselves into forever playtime, we are forgetting one large, and until now Lego-less demographic: The bartendress. While there may be few female bartenders in this wild and wondrous world, here in the Nag Champa doused, uber-caffeinated hipster nation of Seattle, there are quite a few barkeeps who can make a perfect Vesper, sans cock. You can find them any Saturday night pouring copious amounts of counter-culture shots at the Unicorn, a bar that looks like a circus and a taxidermist created your every last nightmare and daydream simultaneously.
Whether it is a narrow slice of brick or a converted house with tables made of reclaimed Ouija boards, everyone can agree that the hipster bar can be defined by its microbrew cans, dented and rusty Victorian flatware, and yes, a three-legged pub dog named ‘Django’.
There are however, quite a few universal traits of the hipster bartendress. With evocative Alan Ginsburg or Tom Waits quotes inked in every nook and cranny of her flesh, she can vocalize every flavor within the plumes of a dry gin Martini. She artfully places garnish on a cocktail, yet still has the capacity to deal with the dreaded stag party.
Look a bit deeper and you can also find a wide variety of hipster ‘barchetypes’ from my side of the gender fence. Here are a few:
The Betty: The pinup who wears the pencil skirt and the appropriate blouse to accentuate flash tattoos. You’ll know her by her red lipstick, pinned hair, cat eye makeup, and well-appointed facial piercings. She drinks French 75’s…unless no one’s looking. Then she knocks back Fireball.
The Mouse: As if someone dropped a dowdy school mum off in a bar, this tender wears threadbare granny sweaters, Oxford’s, a mousy crop haircut and a perennial meek slouch. She never loses her cool and hardly smiles. When she gets off work, she slams tequila.
The Greaser: This bartenderess looks like Danny Zuko with breasts. She’s edgy and sweet with just a touch of ideological fanaticism. Rocking a pompadour, skinny jeans, and a white tee rolled up to see her sleeve tattoos, she’s a badass, no-frills champion of libations. She’s probably a slam poet in her spare time and drinks Early Times whiskey and Rainier in a can.
Hopefully this gives you a peek into the feminine hipster side of the bartending world. I never really thought I’d fall into the “hipster” category, though I am part of uber-staunch, full-throttle organic micro-roasting coffee world and prefer my Hendricks and tonic with a splash of St. Germaine. And I suppose that adding black-market celery bitters and toasted cheese garnish to Bloody Marys says something as well.
So perhaps skirting the edge of the hipsteria isn’t all so bad.
This was the Musings of a Barfly by: Din Mutha
[For further reading see: Barfly Blog]