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Food

Varnish Mixologists Oh So Sore from Shaking & Stirring

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Photo by Salina Canizales via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr


Photo by Salina Canizales via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
In L.A.'s scene of super-star mixologists and sexy-speakeasys only accessed through secret doorways, bar patrons have come to expect their resident alcohol alchemists to work hard to make a good drink. Damn hard. But so hard they tear ligaments in their shoulders? Mixologists at Varnish have been shaking and stirring with such vigor, they've injured themselves on more than one occasion, according to the New York Times.When Varnish first opened, Marcus Tello had a knot in his forearm. Chris Ojeda got tennis elbow. Matty Eggelston popped a tendon in his hand. Chris Bostick ripped out screws in his clavicle that were inserted after a snowboarding injury. These are the injuries your humble Varnish bartenders have endured, all in the name of creating the perfect drink.

In a once laid-back bar scene that has now become anything but, are these new injuries the new norm? It seems the bartending community is starting to see that the intensity surrounding today's shaking and stirring is not something Advil can easily solve.

Eric Alperin, co-owner at Varnish, says that the key to maintaing arms and shoulders that can shake and serve with the best of them night after night is water because it acts as a natural lubricant.

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Unfortunately, he says most bartenders reach for a more antisepctic solution. "Instead [of water] it's a few shots of whisky to take the edge off." This, combined with their long hours and standing all night makes for a heady brew of fatigue and soreness the average bar-hopper might not fully see in the oh so perfect sheen of late-night spots.

So the next time you consider ordering a crazy concoction at your favorite bar, go easy, eh? It's not a shame to order a gin & tonic and call it a night.