Balance

Balance. It’s a word I keep hearing over and over again in the world of food and drink.

But while balance in the world of food requires controlling Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (a must-watch TV show for all food lovers), drinks are a slightly different species.

A good cocktail has to have spirit. Literally, otherwise it would be just a mocktail. It has to have sweetness, sourness, bitterness. And bringing it all together is ice.

I’m not a bartender… yet. And most of the drinks I make at home are functional eg. to kill a bottle of liqueur lying around, to enliven a carton of juice, to put guests at ease.

But gone are the days when all I do is pour vodka into pink guava juice (or milk). 30ml of lime juice can go a long away in taking a drink from just okay to yum.

Although, I don’t always follow this rule. One of my favourite things to drink, especially at night before bed is a mix of 30ml amaretto, 90ml milk.

(I measure it out with a jigger. Does that make it a cocktail?)

I guess it’s also about finding that balance between making what I like, and trying to grasp the craft of making good drinks.

SOP

Sliding open the door to the bar feels like opening the door to go home. It’s familiar, it’s comforting. 

Los Flowerpecker has been my happy place in the last four months. 

I’ve been disappointed by many things in the last quarter of 2018, one of which was the loss of my team. I made the mistake of thinking that we were more than just colleagues, that we were friends as well. 

Water off a duck’s back, is what I tell myself. And LFP is where I feel the most duck-ish. Where I’ve somewhat become part of a new team. 

At LFP, the rest of the world fades away and nothing matters except the now. There’s beauty in standard operating procedures. 

The way the bar tools are laid out before the day’s service starts. How the bottles click against each other as I take them off the shelves, wipe them, put them back up. The straight lines of jiggers and shakers. 

The bar on a busy night is a balancing act between chaos and order. 

The front of house is chaotic — people are indecisive, they’re messy, they don’t know if their friends are going to show up. 

But behind the bar, there is a system. There’s a reason why everything has its place. There’s a reason why you wash dirty glasses anytime you get the chance. 

That confluence of opposing forces and navigating within them makes me come alive.