"So, what's too high? And what's wrong with high-alcohol wines anyway? "When a wine finishes with a burning sensation — that's too high. When the alcohol level is such that it must be masked by winemaking tricks such as massive amounts of new oak, or unwanted residual sugar — that's too high. When a wine loses all traces of varietal character or the more subtle elements that contribute to its aroma, complexity, texture and balance — that's too high. "Worst of all, when a wine reaches such ridiculous levels of alcohol that one glass makes you punch drunk — dry zinfandels pinning the meter at over 17 percent — that's waaay too high. "...When unfortified wines climb above 15.5 percent, they almost always lose subtlety and finesse. Nuances are gone, replaced by the dynamic trio of alcohol, fruit jam and lumber. Apart from the bludgeoning such wines give the palate, they are almost impossible to match with food."In general, we've found the following to be a helpful guide: Table wine: 8 – 14% Sparkling wine: 8 – 12% Fortified wine: 17 – 22% Part of Responsible Alcohol Service is knowing how much punch a drink packs. It's important to pay attention to alcohol levels in various wines and liquors to avoid over-serving. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.
As time passes, drinks change, styles change, tastes change, but one thing that never changes is the service that bartenders give their customers. Licensed bartenders through the ages - such as Reggie St. Paul - have always had to focus on responsible alcohol service. A bartender for more than 40 years, Reggie St. Paul of Cambridge, MA has poured drinks for celebrities like Miles Davis and St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson.
St. Paul has watched people change, times change, and consumer tastes change over his bartending career. A former school teacher, who's served tens of thousands of customers, St. Paul says he still enjoys coming to work at The Blue Room’s ash bar in Kendall Square.
“I know every day is going to be different,’’ says St. Paul, “And I like it because I work with people who are young.’’
An article on Boston.com notes:
... He remembers when drinking was serious stuff, when tastes were dramatically different, and a bar could go through eight to 10 bottles of whiskey and bourbon a night, compared with only one bottle of gin and one bottle of vodka.
“We’re doing cocktails of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s,’’ St. Paul says. “It’s become exciting.’’ One big difference, he says, is that “to some people now, the glass is more important than what’s in it.’’
But some things never change for bartenders, including their interaction with customers, the social psychology they develop, and their ability to defuse potential confrontations. And then there are the physical demands.
AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and bartender licensing, or to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.
- Learn your guests’ names and use them
- Anticipate their needs and be there when you are needed
- Remove plates, glasses and other used items promptly
- Learn your wines and know what to offer with each menu item
- San Diego has the most DUI drivers per capita than any other city in the U.S., followed by San Jose. The reason? San Diego and San Jose have an exceptionally strong drunk driving task force, and the police there actively patrol for violators. In San Diego, a team of six officers, specially trained to spot the subtle signs of drunk driving, spend 40 hours a week making DUI arrests, through both checkpoints and “saturation patrols.”
- California takes four of the top 10 spots, with Los Angeles and San Francisco coming in at numbers seven and eight, respectively. California ranks so high because of the large number of colleges located there - college students are the highest age group for drunk driving.
- Charlotte, North Carolina, ranked third on the list of drunk driving cities.
- Texas had five spots in the top 20, with Austin at 9, and San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Ft. Worth holding spots 11 through 14.
At America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association, we are committed to responsible alcohol sales and service. We provide online class 12 permits and online class 13 permits. If you need to get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate, choose online alcohol classes that you can take from the comfort of your own home with AACEA.
"Much of the current cocktail trend is based on nostalgia, and it is difficult to say it, but many cocktails that we now call "forgotten classics" are forgotten for a reason. They have the shine of history, and we're told we are supposed to love them, but they're too sweet, they lack balance, and they kind of suck. The Jerry Thomas Manhattan (2-1 Whiskey to Vermouth, Angostura Bitters, with a dash of Cointreau) tastes like syrup. It certainly doesn't taste like whiskey. But it's the earliest written recipe of the Manhattan, and people are told that it's how a Manhattan is supposed to be made. Choke it down if you can, but don't dare say you don't like it. Who the hell are you, anyway? This is a big problem for all of us. The consumer feels judged (because they are), and walks away feeling smaller than they walked in."That judgement, Neff notes, happens when bars push vintage cocktails on their menus. These heavy-hitting drinks taste much stiffer, are much stronger, and sometimes lack the balance of many modern cocktails. Bartenders who work primarily in cocktail bars serving these nostalgic drinks may forget that today's consumer has a different palate than the consumers of yesteryear. He goes on to say,
"The upside to this upswing in mixology is that we have the privilege to stand on the shoulders of giants and have taken the cocktail to a realm more respected than it has ever been before. We have more ingredients, better spirits, and the combined culinary history of the last hundred years to guide us in our current experiments. It's exciting, and I'm honored to be a part of it. The obsession with recreating cocktails in their original form stifles the creativity of people who want to push drinks to taste better."What do you think, readers? Do you prefer the newer, more complex drinks? Or will you stand by the old standards? AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.
What are the forms of acceptable identification when working in the State of Washington as a server?
According to the Revised Code of Washington (66.16.040), the following are the forms of identification that are acceptable to verify a person's age for the purpose of selling, serving, or allowing a person to possess or consume alcohol:
• Driver's license, instruction permit, or identification card of any state or province of Canada, or "identicard" issued by the Washington state department of licensing per RCW 46.20.117 • United States armed forces identification card issued to active duty, reserve, and retired personnel and the personnel's dependents, which may include an embedded, digital signature in lieu of a visible signature • Passport • Merchant Marine identification card issued by the United States Coast Guard; and • Enrollment card issued by the governing authority of a federally recognized Indian tribe located in Washington, if the enrollment card incorporates security features comparable to those implemented by the department of licensing for Washington driver's licenses.
If the identification document has an expiration date, a person may not use the document after the expiration date to verify his or her age. Some examples of valid identification are listed below.
Bartenders across the country face the same challenges all the time. Whenever a person is in a car accident, especially a fatal one, it is natural for family and friends to want to point fingers, and police typically investigate the bartender to see if anyone was selling to an openly drunk customer. “We often get the question of what should bartenders do,” Sgt. Wayne Bush of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement says. “First, don’t serve a person to that point — shut them off. If they slur their words, stand and are wobbly, hold on to the bar, are nodding off or have trouble getting money out of their wallet, they’ve had enough. Don’t wait for them to puke on the floor or to pick a fight. That’s too late.” In the case of more experienced drinkers however, it isn’t that easy. “The bartender and wait staff have the obligation not to serve someone who is visibly intoxicated,” Bush said. “What they have to realize is that someone can be drinking and not appear to be intoxicated because the last drinks haven’t hit his system. It all depends on the person; someone who is a regular drinker will be able to drink more.” To make things more difficult, some people won’t take no for an answer. Someone who is cut off from a bartender can easily go to a table of strangers and beg a drink from them.When dealing with experienced drinkers, it can be difficult to tell when to stop serving. You might be tipped off by either excessively loud or excessively withdrawn behavior. Your customer may not be able to completely focus on the task at hand, or may lose a little hand-eye coordination. You may be able to tell by rambling conversation or offensive language. Part of being a good bartender is knowing your clientele and being able to quickly spot those who may be under the influence. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEAis hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.