Before you can say Chianti, somebody squealed, the impromptu wine bar was abruptly closed and Joe, in spite of his genuine hospitality, never saw another recess for the rest of that year.
This event served as, not only Bazooka Joe’s first introduction to bartending, but also his first serious red wine hangover.
Joe was a bar porter at 16 and a bartender at 18 and after high school headed out West. He soon found himself bouncing in some of the wildest and toughest bars around. In a blatant effort to preserve his average looks and good health, Joe returned to bartending. Only this time it was on a street that held the Guinness world record for the greatest concentration of bars on the planet – – the world-famous Electric Avenue.
Bazooka Joe became well known on the Avenue as a cocktail pioneer and a bit of a showman, often juggling shakers high in the air and lighting countertops on fire with wild abandon.
“Sometimes we actually lit patrons on fire and that wasn’t good for customer relations. Those ski jackets melt like butter. They didn’t like that much…”
It was here on Electric Avenue that he wrote his first book on “Shooters”, as well as several magazine articles including the definitive guide on these diminutive cocktails for Playboy Magazine. More books followed and he was soon on a nationwide book tour and being quoted on the front pages of the national newspapers.
From Europe to South Africa to Asia and all over North America, Bazooka Joe has spent decades traveled the world promoting alcohol, hospitality, and “… just a bit one more before you close off”.
Despite this fame, Joe just considers himself, first and foremost, a bartender and like any decent bartender, Bazooka Joe is university educated in psychology (both child and abnormal), he is a Certified Personality Profiler and an excellent winger if you are out on a rip on the town.
In 2020, Bazooka Joe released Shooter Roulette (shooterroulette.com), a mobile site for the “serious” shooter drinker. The site offers an extensive yet easily searchable directory of shooter recipes, boozy quotes, and hangover helpers so now YOU can take the “party to go”.
Purchase of this book provides permanent online access to the shooter library at Shooter Roulette (shooterroulette.com). Feedback is always welcome at [email protected].
“They speak of my drinking…But never think of my thirst”
– Scottish Proverb