Andre Domine in The Ultimate Bar Book (H.F.Ullmann) starts his Behind the Bar chapter with a look at The Myth of the Bartender...
He sees a good bartender as "the illusionist in his own vaudeville act, the animal trainer in his circus, making everyone feel as if they are in safe hands."
The author adds that "professionals often have a few hundred ingredients on hand to create more and more new drinks."
Besides making drinks "the bartender spends nights on end listening. Often he knows more about the customers' worries than those of his own wife."
On a smooth night, Andre Domine writes that bartender "serves everyone with just the right drink: maybe a Metropolitan for the stressed-out office worker; a Fallen Angel-sweet, yet with a melancholic hint of bitterness-for the mature blond; or a Mojito for the Latin lover."
The bar is his stage.
(* Quotes and photo from The Ultimate Bar Book by Andre Domine shared by permission of H.F. Ullmann, all rights reserved, photos by Armin Faber and Thomas Pothmann )