Valentine's Day is an odd day in the bar trade. It's busy, but it's not busy. Sure, you get a lot of tables in, but they'll all be tables of two that will - for the most part - want to be left alone. Waiters and bartenders fade into the background, smiling sweetly and trying not to look at that one couple who are totally going too far in a public place. The Valentine's Day barshift is not a lot of fun. It's even worse when you know how happy your better half is that you're working it. So, we do what we always do: take the most cynical sarcastic view we can. That guy? He's totally punching above his weight. That couple over there? It's the most romantic day of the year, spend some damn money. And, sorry, dude? Buying the cheapest bottle of sparkling wine and calling it Champagne? Stay classy for me. From a service standpoint, we'll pour lots of white wine and bubbles, and every once in a while we'll get a check for a Cosmo from the guy who really wants his girlfriend to treasure the evening.
It's not a shift you get many volunteers for, but at least we can take a degree of pride from helping people have a great night. And that guy on table 7? He's totally getting dumped.
Valentine's Day Massacre
45ml bourbon (I used Elijah Craig 12yr old)
15ml Lillet Rouge
15ml lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a raspberry and a twist of lemon zest.