If a bartender’s any good, you’ll never know if they’re stressed out — and you shouldn’t know, because a bartender’s job is to serve drinks, not problems.
But just because you don’t see stress-inducing stuff, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. We spent a solid 48 hours hanging with the guys behind New York’s Whiskey Town, Whiskey Tavern, Whiskey Brooklyn, Whiskey Annex, and Grand National (which has whiskey) and nailed down a laundry list of everything that, unbeknownst to you, could be messing with your bartender’s head, from the big things down to the little things that add up to big things.
Read this, and next time your bartender’s professional demeanor momentarily cracks, you’ll know it doesn’t mean he’s a jerk, or that you’re a jerk. It just means you can deal with all of the problems some of the time, and some of the problems all of the time, but not all of the problems all of the time.