DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New York's Oldest Bartender is a God Damn Teetotaler

I have mixed feelings about 90-year-old Hoy Wong, the oldest barman in the best drinking town in the United States of America. While he has served drinkers from John Lennon to Joe Di Maggio to Marilyn Monroe, he himself quit drinking 30 years ago.

To be sure, our inspiring 90 year-old Hong Kongian immigrant is still working and loving his craft of mixology, but having not tasted a single drink he's shaken or stirred since Isaac and I were three years old (!), he loses serious credibility.

What if Colin Field or Dale DeGroff hadn't actually tasted their own concoctions since 1976?

Better yet, what if Anthony Bourdain's face twisted with repugnance at the sight of Chinese pan-seared sheep's stomach or if Emeril Lagase was truly nauseated every time he shelled a craw-dad?

Mr. Wong's 90th birthday raises important questions for the mixology community. Can we accept teetotalers into our fold? Or are they posers, through and through?

Perhaps this just further proves that New York isn't the scroungy-old drinking town that exists in modern mixologists' minds; it's just another stop on the highway where the oldest drink-slinger can be a teetotaling Christian (cringe) or anything else he wants ...


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

I've stumbled onto non-drinking bartenders before, but never one this old. I can tell you this: when I work on creating my cocktail entries for my blog with the bartender I use, she always tastes the drink to reach an opinion on it. How else would they know that adjustments need to be made?

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

I say unless the person is a stumbling, blathering, lush eminating alcoholic fumes, he has no business associating himself with cocktails what-so-ever.


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