Monday, March 17, 2008
Does anybody drink here?
It's all coming back to me -- I am having an awful time ordering gin & tonics here in Israel. First, no one has any idea what a lime is. They simply do not exist here. I don't even think there is a word for "lime." Second, Israel, despite the influx of vodka-drinking Russians, has no real alcohol culture. When I ordered Bombay Sapphire last night (clearly listed on the menu as available) the waitress has no idea what I was talking about, and that wasn't because of my horrible American accent (so I was told I possessed by an 8 year-old). Third, you always have to remember to specifically request ice, and even when you do they never give you enough, because Israelis despise ice – I think because they believe that ice will reduce the volume of the paid-for drink, which means you are being cheated out of something, God forbid. I was amazed while watching the "bartender" (at a fully stocked and modern-looking bar set-up, mind you) pour my gin – I saw him actually stick his nose at the top of the opened bottle to take a sniff, because he had no idea what gin (or maybe this gin) was. Then try ordering a Mojito or a Margarita – they haven’t a clue how to mix anything complicated, even though they claim it on their menus. Now I admit I haven't gone on a serious search for bars, which I know exist, but so far I am really deeply unimpressed with the mixology here.