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    The Tools of My Trade in Fulton County

    So by now you guys probably realize that I get on a kick about something and that becomes my focus for awhile. The main exception to this rule was my acting career which consumed me 100 percent of the time from 1981 to 1993 when I moved to upstate New York.

    Of course, remember while I was pursuing my acting career I had to make a living, which brings me to my trip to the Johnstown Restaurant Supply also known as Thrift House. (I didn't know it was also called Thrift House until I Googled it.)

    Now, back when I was bartending and waitressing, I sometimes waited on stars like Dennis Hopper and Anjelica Houston and most people I waited on wanted their drinks made to their specifications. Being in the restaurant business, all the tools I needed such as a stainless steel metal shaker, strainer and shot and double shot glasses were all at my finger tips. However, after many years of bartending, I was at a point where I didn't need a shot glass. I could tell by the feel how much a
    shot or two was. But trying to explain that to somebody else is impossible, since you just get a feel for it.

    My friend Dana, who I tended bar with for years, tells me Dennis has a favorite drink called a grasshopper martini. I don't recall Dana telling me how it was made. Also, I don't recall Anjelica's favorite drink. Funny how the years do that to you. When I was bartending, I kept track of my regulars' favorites, but that was awhile ago now.

    But when I wanted to duplicate my favorite drinks like lemon drops and margaritas as I wrote about to you last week, I didn't have the right equipment. I knew I had to make a trip to the Johnstown Restaurant Supply and the woman who waited on me knew exactly what I wanted by my description. The only thing I didn't get were the metal pour spouts used in bars and restaurants. I wasn't expecting to do the kind of volume for my personal use that would require that.

    I got some fresh lemons and limes from the supermarket and a friend named Bill, who is a liquor distributor brought me Galliano. As he said, he'd have to go to a liquor store himself to get the Tequila and Cointreau. Those were at M&S Liqour in Gloversville as part of their regular stock.

    Once I got them home and had Herman get the quality drink components I mentioned last week, I had Terry try them out by making the first drink, then Herman followed suit.

    Although I'm not a big drinker, I'm happy to report the mixed drinks were as good as they were all those years ago.

    My friend Dana now lives in Washington D.C. and after years of swearing it off, he's back bartending and I think it is his true calling as he's great at it and great with people.

    As for me, I'll continue having an occasional lemon drop or margarita and remember the days of bartending when I was pursuing my acting career.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com