A good bartender is a unique breed—part chemist, part socialite, part counselor, part entertainer.  Each one finds his/her own way of combining these qualities and the really good ones also make you, the imbiber, feel like you are their favorite customer (c’mon, who doesn’t love being treated like a VIP?).  Yes, we go back to our favorite places over and over for the delicious concoctions and for the atmosphere, but let’s face it, if our favorite bartender isn’t working that day, it’s just not the same.  For me, it is the bartender that makes the experience—they engage my cocktail geekiness.  They are happy to talk about the differences among sweet vermouth, or indulge my obsession with a particular ingredient with some experimentation, or mix up a “mystery drink” and play along as I try to guess the ingredients.

One last JDP

So, it was with a heavy heart that I said farewell to Sam Treadway of Drink on Tuesday night.  Yes, he’s going off to a pretty exciting opportunity to oversee four bars at a new boutique hotel in Waikiki, but he will be greatly missed by the drinking crowd in Boston.  We became acquainted in my early days at Drink.  My request for “something different” with Luxardo Maraschino led to the JDP, which he made by the punch bowl when I celebrated my birthday at Drink this past March.  Since then, I have learned a lot about various cocktail-ness from Sam, and have had the pleasure of drinking some pretty delicious stuff. That guy can really mix a mean cocktail.  He will be missed.

A hui hou, Sam! (That’s “good-bye, until we meet again” in Hawaiian).