by netflix Real world-esque reality show Twenty Years: Austin, a series that follows 20-year-olds as they gallop through the city, has quickly become a guilty pleasure for many since its release this month. One of the main plot points in Episode 3, “Don’t Break My Bed,” revolved around Abbey Humphreys, a broke, gregarious, hypersexualized Texan, trying out as a bartender at East Sixth bar Latchkey. and failing miserably. Because Humphreys’ claim on that show that she had “served a lot” contrasted directly with the abilities behind the bar, Eater decided to investigate.
In the episode, Humphreys interviews at Latchkey, a bar she’s never visited, and says she’s been a waitress and bartender at a country club. When invited to a trial she seems much more nervous, saying that she “hasn’t been a bartender in years” (she is 26). She fails a correct one-shot pouring test and brews a cocktail that her friends deem undrinkable, which ultimately prevents her from being invited for work. However, she later applies for a job at Luster Pearl and has been working there since the last episode of the series.
Humphreys’ social media does not include information about his supposed bartending work, and our emails to Latchkey have gone unanswered. However, Eater has assembled an elite team of the best bartenders in town to answer the question: based on the evidence filmed in Twenty Years: Austin, is Abbey a bartender before? Their answers, which have been edited slightly for length, are below.
Co-owner, City of Nickel
What she does well: Looks like the draft beer she poured was perfect with the amount of “head”, there’s a quick shot of her pouring two bottles at a time to probably make a margarita. I’m sure the pourings weren’t correct, but pouring two bottles is something you look for in a bartender. His cocktail shake was quite perfect and his wash line (from ice to liquid in the glass) of the wrong cocktail was perfect.
What she’s doing wrong: She started the flow test by grasping the bottle by the body and not by the neck, and does so several times. She also collects the ice with the box to fill the glass.
Do you think she’s been a bartender before? It’s hard to say – if she did, it was definitely a college bar or a beer bar. I would say at most a semester in a low volume college bar.
Formerly of Arrival at the East Austin hotel, Midnight Cowboy, Emmer & Rye, and others
What she does well: Admit she was new and didn’t know what she was doing, lol.
What she’s doing wrong: Awkwardly held the bottles, which also caused him to overflow, the Shaker technique was poor. She should probably take the sunglasses off her head. Also, it probably shouldn’t promote “screwing up” on people.
Do you think she’s been a bartender before? I really don’t think so. People tend to get nervous behind an unfamiliar bar, but I think for a dive bar situation it should be pretty easy to pick up on the concept quickly if you’ve already done so. Even if you’ve been away from the bar for awhile, she should know how to pour a mule, make a good sour, and any basic cocktail. Plus, she kept making the excuse that she was new. I think she was a waitress at the country club she worked for and potentially poured wine and vodka soda, but she’s not from the bartender.
Co-creator, Daijoubu, General manager, Drink well
What is she doing well? Well I’ve seen a worse shake before. It didn’t last long, but she held on.
What is she doing wrong? The way she held her bottles was of most concern. Not all bartenders make a mixed drink or have the perfect drink, but every bartender should at least hold the bottle by the neck.
Do you think she was ever a bartender? Maybe in a beer or wine bar or in a restaurant setting? We haven’t seen her pour anything from faucets or open a bottle, so maybe she could be better at that. But with her movement and lack of confidence behind the bar, I doubt she’s ever been a bartender before. She looks so young that I was confused when she said “a long time ago”. Most people don’t become bartenders until they’re 21. Or at least, many states require you to be 18.
Obviously, she doesn’t seem used to “bar technique,” but more importantly, she doesn’t seem to know “how to deal with it,” like anyone in the service industry. No matter what type of bar you work in (diving, cocktail, restaurant, etc.), you wouldn’t tell a guest “you learn” with that nervousness. You wouldn’t give a friend a drink without tasting it yourself to find out if it was good. You wouldn’t put your bag above the reach.
She’s lovely, so I hope she keeps going, but maybe someone will give her a few shifts first! Real experience and a few more training quarters, and I’m sure she would come out as a more experienced bartender.
Bar manager, Small victory
What is she doing well? Friendly and positive attitude, attentive to his trainer, not afraid to ask questions, seems comfortable talking to strangers.
What is she doing wrong? What struck me the most was how much she spoke to guests about the mistakes made. The professional thing to do would be to chat with them and make the drink again.
Making jokes about screwing people up is unprofessional, especially when you are new and your coworkers / superiors do not yet understand your ethics and integrity.
I wonder what was wrong with the drink she was making for her roommate… if she hadn’t really picked up a single decent recipe from her “previous days as a bartender” to prepare her friend, it wasn’t. beautiful. To be honest, this scene was so forced and awkward. Without a doubt, it was a bit, and not a real dud.
Do you think she was ever a bartender? Sounds plausible, but it’s probably been a while / she’s rusty, as she claims. Plus, being thrown into a casting test and having to make menu cocktails that you couldn’t learn on day one is brutal.