The bartender and the tailor are both noble trades. They have tons in common and much that they could teach each other.
For those of you who can't find clothes that fit right, get a tailor! A tailor is a person whose occupation is making fitted clothes such as suits, pants, and jackets to fit individual customers.
The idea of custom clothing has been around forever because not everyone fits the same measurements but everyone needs to wear pretty much the same stuff. For a normal guy like me a couple pairs of slacks, a few nice shirts, and a jacket or two should get you through everything that comes your way. Small, medium and large exist to get you close to your size but once you have a person make something especially fit for you it is hard to go back to off the rack.
Finding A Drink Tailor
Too often I find myself buying off the rack when I go to a bar. One size fits all. I am not talking about giving the bartender free reign here. I rarely ever want the dealers choice in the same way I would never walk into a bespoke shop on Savile Row and say "surprise me." Though I may have uttered those words in a tattoo parlor before...
When I go to get a jacket made I usually try on a blank, or fitting garment, first before the measuring tape comes out. Basically something close to my size that helps the tailor know what needs to be adjusted. I usually start with a 40 short. It fits alright but I need the sleeves and the waist taken in just a touch. The shoulders usually have to come out a bit to accommodate my broad stature. Lots of people wear the same size jacket as me but no one is identical.
At a normal cocktail bar before dinner, I always order a regular drink like a Martini or a Manhattan, but I want it to fit me. If a bartender doesn't have the time for a full fitting when I place my order at a bar I am fine with the blank to start. The standard one size fits all. The drink everyone gets. For the next one, I hope the bartender runs me through some sizing questions to see if they need to bring the sleeves in a touch and tighten up the waist so the drink fits even better. More vermouth? Less? A different gin? Twist instead of olives? Then the next time I come in you have my measurements. Unless of course, I happen to luckily fit right off the rack. And hey, if the drinks are great my tailor may have to stop taking the waist in on my jackets at all.
Another thing that always gets asked at the clothier is "What is this garment for? Is this a special jacket for a wedding? A casual jacket for bar hopping? A jacket for work maybe?" Those quick questions help narrow down a great many things about the end result. One of my favorite bartenders, Colin Field, likes to say "Nobody walks into a cocktail bar thirsty." You have to find out what this drink is for, and why they need or want it, whatever it happens to be.
A bartender is a person whose occupation is making fitted drinks such as cocktails, and highballs, as well as pairings, to fit individual customers.
Measured and fitted,
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Bar To Home
A simple translation from bar to home.