Being in the hospitality industry, bartenders don’t like to grumble. But there are certain drinks they hate to make.

The primary reason a particular cocktail earns bartenders’ ire is the time it takes to make. On a busy night, with patrons three-deep, most bar professionals don’t want to spend five minutes muddling mint leaves.

Other dreaded orders are popular drinks that have no accepted, consistent recipe; the martini is a classic example. These invite the customer to say the drink was made incorrectly, no matter how it was mixed.

It is not always the drink itself the bartender hates; sometimes it’s the timing. Even the most simple shaken cocktail is a hassle during Friday-night rush hour.

But some drinks are the bane of bartenders at any time of day. Here are five examples.

The Lemon Drop. This very common cocktail can come as a shot or in a martini glass. It’s a combination of vodka (commonly citron-flavored), fresh-squeezed lemon juice and sugar that threatens to leave you with a hangover.

People love Lemon Drops because they’re fruity, sweet and often come in a glass rimmed with sugar. However, this drink is time-consuming to make and leaves the bartender with sticky hands.

Paschal Smith, bartender at the Bitter End in San Francisco, says he hates making them “because of the damn sugar.”

If the bar is busy and you crave that citrus flavor, consider having a Kamikaze, which doesn’t include that bothersome sugar.

The Manhattan. The Manhattan is a classic cocktail usually made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters, served straight up or on the rocks with a cherry. Devotees favor this cocktail because of its old-time flavor and potency.

Bartender Eric Berchtold of the Cinch in San Francisco says he doesn’t like to make Manhattans because, “Too many things go into it and everyone wants them made a different way.”

Some insist on bourbon, others on Canadian whiskey or rye. Some people want cherry juice or Cointreau added.

Berchtold has had patrons order the drink because it makes them seem debonair, yet when it arrives, they decide they don’t like the taste of bitters.

When ordering a Manhattan, help the bartender by specifying the type of whiskey you want. If you want anything more than whiskey, vermouth and bitters, ask for it.

The Cosmopolitan. The popular Cosmopolitan carries the same pitfalls as the Manhattan. A basic recipe is vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice and triple sec (an orange liqueur). But ever since the character Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex in the City” demanded perfection in her Cosmopolitan, people have had high standards in what was originally a fairly simple drink.

While fresh lime juice is usually preferred, some people insist on Rose’s Lime Juice. Others want sweet and sour mix added to sweeten the cocktail and give it a pinker hue. Sometimes Cointreau, a more expensive orange liqueur, is substituted for triple sec.

Without specific instructions, every bartender makes Cosmos differently. If you want it made your way, you have to specify.

The Mojito. Mojitos are delicious — they’re minty and fresh, and they provide a strong buzz.

But, to most bartenders, the Mojito is the quintessential “it takes too long to make” drink.

The Mojito embodies every reason a bartender hates to make a cocktail. First of all, it requires fresh mint, which must be muddled — mashed with a special tool to release its flavors. This alone takes a few minutes.

Sugar and fresh lime juice — two sticky ingredients many bartenders dislike — are added, along with rum and soda water.

To top it off, Mojitos must be shaken.

Bartender Noah Esperas of le Duplex in San Francisco says, “Go to a restaurant if you want a real Mojito.”

He warns, “Honestly, if I am slammed at 1 a.m. and someone asks for four Mojitos, I won’t make them. If it costs $9 for a Mojito and $8 for a Grey Goose (vodka), the bar isn’t losing much and I can make up for it in tips with the other people by saving time.”

Specialties of another bar. Just because you had a Lavender Martini at the Redwood Room in San Francisco, or an Angry Bleeding Minnow Farmer on vacation last spring in Hawaii, doesn’t mean that you will find those drinks at every bar.

The Bitter End’s Smith says, “I hate making stuff I’ve never heard of, which are most drinks these days.”

If you must have a designer drink, you’re going to have to know the recipe yourself. It won’t help to bark a crazy name at the bartender and then get upset when she’s never heard of it.

That said, most bartenders like to experiment. Pick a time when the bar isn’t busy, describe the drink you had, be willing to pay for whatever the bartender concocts, and you just might re-create your vacation drinking experience.

Finally, a nice tip can turn any of these cocktails into a drink your bartender loves to make.

Source - Bartender’s Most Hated Drinks

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Philadelphia is home to the least attractive people in the United States, a survey of visitors and residents showed.

The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the “America’s Favorite Cities” survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News.

About 60,000 people responded to the online survey — at www.travelandleisure.com — which ranked 25 cities in categories including shopping, food, culture, and cityscape, said Amy Farley, senior editor at the magazine.

For unattractiveness, Philadelphia just beat out Washington DC and Dallas/Fort Worth for the bottom spot. Miami and San Diego are home to the most attractive people, the poll found.

But Farley pointed out the results don’t mean people in Philadelphia are ugly or the city is a bad place to visit.

“We were asking people to vote on attractiveness, not unattractiveness. Travel & Leisure editors believe there are a lot of attractive people in Philadelphia,” she said.

“The relative attractiveness of its residents is only a minuscule factor in evaluating a city’s merit.”

Philadelphians’ self-esteem has been undermined by national surveys showing they are among the fattest people in the United States. The American Obesity Association ranked the city in the top 10 for overweight people every year between 2000 and 2005.

And sporting pride in a city known for the fierce loyalty of its fans has been hurt by not having had a national champion in any of its four main sports since the 76ers won the National Basketball Association title in 1983.

Source - Philadelphia is the home to least attractive people in the United States

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http://www.subwayrecords.com/

Andrew Rallo was standing on a New York City subway platform in his nicest suit, waiting for the B train to take him uptown for an interview at a marketing outfit when he heard music in the distance. The guitarist across the platform wasn’t much to look at, but his talent was obvious. “People just started coagulating around this guy,” Rallo recalls. “They were talking to each other and smiling and giving him money. They were doing things that New Yorkers don’t normally do.” And so the idea for Subway Records was born.

For the next two years, Rallo worked as a technical sales engineer for an online advertising company while saving money and scouring the subway for musical talent. He finally launched his fledgling record label and Web site in the fall of 2002. His vision is to create a comprehensive search engine — a “Google for subway musicians” — to get their music heard and market its energy to the public.

How does a 26-year-old launch a record company with no experience, no marketing, and no capital behind him? Well, for starters, Rallo has always believed in his mission to bring that unique subterranean energy above ground — he’s committed to helping those who have a surplus of talent but no voice. And he knew he had to take advantage of the most accessible and inexpensive media outlet out there — the Internet — while tapping a product that markets itself constantly to the 3 million to 6 million people who ride the New York City subway every day.

Many artists on Rallo’s label, like Lorenzo LaRoc, an electric violinist who has played the subway for years, already have their own promotional Web sites. They just need someone to work on their behalf. With Subway Records’ backing, LaRoc was able to trade the screech of passing trains for the screams of Madison Square Garden fans. “Playing the halftime show for the Knicks game was a dream come true,” he says. “And I got paid $500 for two minutes of work.”

To book the performance, Andrew Rallo relied on the age-old practice of cold calling. “To me, it just made sense,” he says, “Subway music and Madison Square Garden are the perfect match. I just didn’t stop calling until I made it happen.”

Believed to be the only search engine for subway musicians, Subway Records delivers its service in tiers. First, it gives musicians Web-based exposure by listing and marketing their music online. Most times, artists have already produced their own albums, and Subway Records sells them on their behalf. However, unlike traditional record labels, the Subway Records musician pays nothing for this service. For its cut, the company charges the consumer an extra couple of dollars on top of the musician’s asking price.

Rallo also acts as agent, booking his artists’ paying performances at gallery openings and other events for a negotiated fee, generating additional revenue. He’s constantly networking to find opportunities for his musicians to perform, and many times event hosts find him via his all-important Web site.

The second tier comes after judging an artist’s marketability. If Rallo notices that a musician is working hard to sell CDs online or they’re driving a lot of traffic to the site, then he will spend more time and energy on the artist. He’ll even fund production of an album for musicians he feels have the potential to sell enough CDs online to be profitable, and the artists take it from there. After all, they’re constantly performing — simultaneously promoting themselves and Subway Records.

Down the line, a select few will be raised to the highest tier — into the hands of upper-level record executives, who may mold them into bigger sellers. Through his networking skills, Rallo has already seen larger outfits express interest in forming marketing and production partnerships with Subway Records.

Don Gorder, head of the music business/management department at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, says Subway Records’ model — using technology to promote a particular niche — represents “the wave of the future” in the industry. But he warns that the approach remains very much the exception rather than the rule. “We have yet to see a really hot, successful label marketed entirely over the Internet,” he says. “But I think it can be done.”

Rallo says Subway Records is in the black, and he confesses that much of its growth has come from simply filling a void. “No one else wants to do what we do,” he says. “No one has been willing to work with these musicians because of the deep-rooted stigma they carry with them of being bums or beggars.”

But Steve Ciabattoni, editor of CMJ, one of the most prominent magazines supporting independent music, says Subway Records shares qualities with some of the most successful indie labels: “They appeal to a loyal fan base because the artists all come from one community and are chosen because the people supporting them really love their music.” Ciabattoni, who admits to missing trains after becoming so engrossed by musicians on the platform, adds, “I believe Subway Records will succeed if they keep that spirit.” He had been keeping tabs on one of his favorite subway acts, a tribal percussion band called Mecca Bodega, when he learned of its integration into Rallo’s growing network.

By the end of 2004, Subway will represent over 200 musicians. And the site’s traffic keeps increasing: With no outside marketing, it garners 2,000 to 20,000 hits per week depending on the level of recent media coverage, and fans have purchased almost 200,000 CDs online to date. Rallo is also looking beyond the Big Apple, with plans to sign musicians from Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, and Tokyo over the next few years.

Still, the process remains rooted in simplicity. All subway musicians are subject to the same test: If people interrupt their commute long enough not only to listen but to fork over their hard-earned money, then Rallo knows he has found a winner.

Source - The Most Incredible Record Company You Never Heard About

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