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Too few bartenders with integrity?

I do bartending already quite long. Give or take 18 years. And in this time I learned some products to be better than other.

I can even remember, that I was dispelled from one competition... I rated the quality of an ingredient higher than the risk of being eliminating.

And I tried always to highlight great products and avoid bad products. Off course in competition it is sometimes hard, to avoid products, which are from the sponsoring brand - but on work as a beverage manager it can be even harder. Brands are trying to invade bars - with all strengths and tricks.

I have to say, that it is often not very smart, because it just doesn't change my perception - I find the brands even more "unlikeable".

What I don't understand is, if bartenders are presenting proud the inferior product - without being forced to.

I am not a hater for sure. I think for example that Bacardi 8 años (even though as the full name with the "Gran Reserva" is a bit thick) is a brilliant product - at a fantastic price. I just don't like the other products of the company which are either way inferior or overpriced.  Same happens to be J.D. - it is not a sooo bad whiskey, just widely overpriced.

My question here is: am I the only one, who taste the products and evaluates them? Who has an independent mind (even though I have to make from times to times concessions, on my and due to my job)?

I remember, that long time ago - I had always shots of Bacardi Carta blanca when I went out (raucous times) - not because it was particularly good (it wasn't) - but because I thought, that bartenders were hooked up by a smearing campaign of Havana Club, which obviously isn't that much better.

So in my eyes bars and bartenders want to be fancy, but on the other side also want to be recognised by the brands- that is pretty much and oxymoron.

It gets even worse with staff incentives, which really jeopardises and undermines the last rest of integrity of a lot of people.

I just wish, that people try more and decide after their taste and after the beliefs - not after the brand with the deepest pockets...

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