Topartiers, Saint Patrick's Day is a noon-to-night marathon of drinking. But to bartenders, it's amateur hour. Seriously. If there's one day when your friendly local drink-slinger will be forced to endure especially insane public drunkenness, it's March 17. (And the extra green is everywhere but in bartenders' pockets. In fact, some say Saint Patrick's Day sloppiness leads to their worst tip nights.) We rounded up some nightspot bartenders' most outrageous Saint Paddy's Day memories, plus an inspired drink recipe from each one. Read before you hit the bar. (Warning: This could be you.)
Unexpected intimacy is a side effect of all-day drinking. "You have the pleasure of seeing the same customers in each stage of their drunkenness," says Kiley, who remembers one too-close encounter at Lir. "I was serving this idiot all day long. He was ordering Irish Flag shots, hot toddies, and every other drink that's annoying to make when balls-to-the-wall busy. Eventually I noticed him hanging in the corner, looking drunk and suspicious. I got a closer look, and saw he had his pants around his knees and was pissing on the floor in front of everyone. The saddest part was that nobody around him seemed to notice or care. I confronted him with a doorman. When we asked what he was doing, he said he was taking a piss — and we should give him some privacy."
A drunk leprechaun walks into a bar, and — actually, we're going to let Philosophe finish this one. "I was working behind the bar when a man walked in dressed as a leprechaun from head to toe, face paint and all," says Philosophe, who bartends at Cure. "He asked for a Jack and Coke. Since his eyes were closed the entire time he spoke to me, and given his slurred attempt at an Irish accent, I decided to give him water instead. Not pleased, the leprechaun waited until I turned around, reached over the bar, and grabbed alcohol to make his own drink. The security staff rushed over, and the leprechaun put up a fight — kicking and yelling the whole way to the door in his 'Irish' accent."
You may have found Fuhrer bartending at party nights at clubs like Bijou. But like many of us, his most outrageous Saint Patrick's Day memory is from a house party. "I was bartending a house party in the South End, and it had a complete Irish theme: green drinks, Guinness, corned beef and cabbage. One guy kept eating the cabbage, which at one point had been left sitting out on the cold patio. He was trying to mack it hard on this other hot guy. Eventually they started making out — and the guy barfed chunks of cabbage into the other guy's mouth."