During my sophomore year at Columbia, my friend Peter and I decided to take the student-run Columbia Bartending Agency’s mixology course. We paid $200 for the opportunity to get drunk by 7PM on Thursdays as well as learn to make some drinks. In preparation for the agency’s final exam for certification, Peter and I decided to throw a bar tending party in my room. My roommate was worried about my hosting a loud party in a alcohol-free dorm building and selling alcohol to minors, but I persuaded him by assuring that I would enforce his list of regulations below (which I drew up):
- These are not Matt’s rules.
- Matt doesn’t know about this event.
- Don’t go through Matt’s shit.
- Don’t steal Matt’s shit.
- Don’t pour drinks on Matt’s shit.
- Don’t attract the attention of public safety.
- No orgies, “but if one will inevitable arise, you must call me [Matt].”
- Don’t mess up Matt’s drawings.
- No trying to sniff through Matt’s dirty laundry.
- No carnal knowledge on Matt’s bed.
- Every guest must go through a background check with Matt.
- For tonight, Matt doesn’t live here.
We called it David’s Café Américain and charged every guest a $5 all-you-can-drink cover. The fee went towards buying the liquor, which isn’t cheap in Manhattan. Most people paid. Amazingly, we actually made a profit at the end of the night. It reminded me of one of the Great Brain’s money-making schemes.
$6 (ice, mint)
$24 (grenadine, Rose’s Lime, grapefruit, 5 limes, 2 lemons, lime juice, lemon juice)
$56 (tequila, light rum, vodka, kahlua, triple sec)
We kept our customers happy by offering a wide selection of drinks (see menu at bottom). Our profit margin came from pilfering a dozen 1-liter Nalgene bottles worth of free mixers (soda, seltzer, fruit juices, milk), cups, napkins, and sugar from our campus dining hall.
We tried to replicate our success a second time but weren’t so lucky. We charged girls $3 and guys $5 and ended up in the black. But our profits were paltry.
- Salty Dog
- Cape Codder
- Sea breeze
- Tequila Sunrise
- Bloody Mary
- Bloody Maria
- Mint julep
- Vodka Gimlet
- Ruby Martini
- Bacardi cocktail
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Mission Accomplished
- Lemon Drop
- Prairie Fire
- White Russian
- King Alphonse
- Black Russian
- Brave Bull
- Russian Turkey