Putting The Cock Back In Cocktail (Part 1)


  • Bartending, which, for better or worse, consumes a great deal of my time, is a subject that evidently interests people to no end — judging, at least, from the sheer number of questions I get on the matter — and often I’m asked: Ray, why bartending?

    The answer is, my love of literature, which I felt bartending would best facilitate. I wasn’t wrong.

    Years ago, when I dropped out of college and decided to be a writer, I very consciously chose bartending as my occupation. There have been other jobs, of course, many, many other jobs, but bartending is the one I’ve always come back to — in part because the money is good, in part also because bartending does, I think, lend itself to the literary lifestyle.

    Still, many people out there who only know me through my books don’t, it seems, believe that I actually am a bartender. This question, in fact, refuses to die, I’m not quite sure why.

    The video is some real-life footage of me at the jazz lounge where I work (music actual, amateur video-editing my own — thank you for watching)




    January 10th, 2012 | journalpulp | 17 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning as the constant in my life.

17 Responses and Counting...

  • Cindy 01.10.2012

    First, thank you for not calling yourself a “mixologist”.

    Second, in your video I love the hint of a Bruce Buffer fake when serving up the first cocktail. Always keep them guessing!

    Finally, for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to see you “live” … saying Ray is actually a bartender is like saying John Hiatt can actually write songs.

  • Hi Cindy.

    You’re very kind. Thank you.

    Bruce Buffer fake? your reference is as arcane as it is intriguing.

    I do, for the record, loathe the term “mixologist” and would never in a billion years refer to myself as something so pedestrian.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  • Hi Ray,

    I was listening to a podcast with the comedian Larry Miller and I immediately thought of you. He read a poem called “A Drink with Something in It” by Ogden Nash.

    There is something about a Martini,
    A tingle remarkably pleasant;
    A yellow, a mellow Martini;
    I wish I had one at present.
    There is something about a Martini,
    Ere the dining and dancing begin,
    And to tell you the truth,
    It is not the vermouth–
    I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

  • Hiya Greg!

    I really like that. I’d never heard it before. Another martini poem I like, by my favorite poet, begins:

    In hell,
    said Randall Jarrell,
    Americans tell each other
    How to make a martini.

    Thank you for your comment, and thank you for dropping by.

  • What a fucking incredible ride! Thank you, Sir!

  • It’s been an incredible ride for me as well, friend.

    I can’t even tell you …

  • She is always … you will always be … hope to witness what’s next, if not, such is life
    https://youtu.be/NduGJ0F5sdI

  • If not!?

    Perish the thought!

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