February 1, 2015, by Gemma Coleman

I will never be a bartender

Sheldon: I’ll have a Virgin Cuba Libre.

Penny: That’s, um, Rum and Coke without the rum. So Coke. There’s a can in the fridge.

Sheldon: A Cuba Libre traditionally comes in a tall glass with a lime wedge.

Penny(sarcastically) Then swim to Cuba.

Sheldon: Bartenders are supposed to have people skills.

(Big Bang Theory)

Last week was the Student Union’s ‘Welcome Back’ week- time to try out a new society before the new term kicked in, new year new me and all that. After briefly toying with the idea of trying out salsa, I remembered I couldn’t dance and would probably end up hurting someone or hospitalising myself. Flair Soc, which teaches you the niche trick of fancy bartending, seemed much safer. How wrong I was.

Bottles and shakers or weapons?

Bottles and shakers or weapons?

“Help Gemma”- this turned out to be the buzzword of the taster session as I repeatedly dropped the bottles and shakers, threw them at innocent bystanders and generally demonstrated my poor hand-eye coordination. It was then that I remembered I also couldn’t catch.

I dropped this one too

I dropped this one too


I went with a friend who picked it up straight away, doing the ‘infinite loop’ (throwing the bottle and shaker round your back and across your body: really impressive if you don’t throw it the wrong way like I kept doing), like he worked in TGI Fridays. The guys running the session were very sympathetic and helpful, but I knew I was a lost cause the minute I pulled a muscle in my leg due to the repeated bending down to pick up dropped props. It just wasn’t meant to be.

I couldn't do this

I couldn’t do this

Bruised, out of breath and sweaty, I left knowing this would be the end of my very short bartending career. But it was fun and the week was a great way to try out things you would never normally do. Just don’t hand me a bottle of Grey Goose to practise with.

Posted in Gemma