If Patrick Short weren’t bartending at Horne & Dekker, he’d probably be a famous artist. “I do sculptures, I draw constantly, I like to build things,” says the Boston University graduate of Fine Arts. A natural self-starter, this Dallas native has gone from working in relative obscurity on the back patio of a Cedar Springs bar to an envied position at the snazzy Knox-Henderson hotspot in less than three years. There, he struts his stuff, revamping each season’s cocktail menu, creating original, mouthwatering elixirs like the Margarugula (a margarita made with muddled arugula) and the Brown Betty (macerated plum, apple brandy, and a balsamic reduction.) Yes, he is artistic, but don’t expect a brooding crybaby behind the bar. Patrick is instantly accessible to his guests —and more importantly—likeable. “I make it fun behind the bar,” says the former go-go dancer, “especially when it comes to creative cocktails. A well-made drink gets people in a good mood. It’s a great way to build intimacy and trust with your customers, which is important, because I want them feel to safe and comfortable trying things they wouldn’t normally try, like gin or egg whites.” Drop in this month to enjoy some of Horne & Dekker’s famous southern comfort food, and let Patrick walk you through the new fall drink menu. Your tummy will get all warm and fuzzy, and Patrick will make sure you leave with a smile.
Tell me something about yourself most people don’t know.
I once learned sign language so I could date a deaf guy that I met at karaoke. He introduced himself to me after a set. I thought it was because of my singing, but obviously that was not the case.
What’s your hangover cure?
An ounce of Nyquil dropped into a pint of Pedialyte chased with three Advil, then chased with something with bacon in it, which warms the heart and absorbs excess sugar.
What’s the stupidest thing a drunk customer has ever done?
I’ve had a Long Island Iced Tea thrown back at me because it wasn’t blue. (Note: Long Islands are actually brown. You know, tea colored, hence the name.)
What things that other bartenders do drive you bonkers?
You don’t shake drinks that don’t have citric acid in them. When someone shakes a Manhattan, the drink is ruined. You can’t fix it. Also, I can’t stand it when a bartender doesn’t taste a drink before he serves it. How else are you going to know if tastes right?
Describe your ideal customer.
I love slutty middle-aged women who know how to drink. It’s always a plus if they’re recently divorced. Seriously, the cougar customer is the most fun. They pay for their own drinks, tip well, they’re loud, they’re confident because they’ve had their second sexual awakening in life. They’re a guaranteed fun adventure.
What’s your worst bartending habit?
I eat ice constantly. Which means my hands are in my ice tray all the time.
For more info: Patrick Short is a bartender at Horne & Dekker, 2323 N. Henderson Avenue #102, Dallas, Texas, 75206; 214-821-9333
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