How to Bartend
How to be your own Bartender
Bars are magical places, full of smoke, fried foods, happy people with lowered standards…and almost always alcohol. But what happens when you entertain at home? Not only are you expected to have a fully stocked bar, but those baby pearl onions had better be at the ready, and you may hear reports that the drapes are on fire.
Panicked, we sought guidance on the art of being your own bartender.
Q. Should I watch “Cocktail”?
A. “The Tom Cruise movie”? Never hurts, the air-borne, spinning techniques are called “flair bartending” -still very popular in places like Las Vegas and Disney World. But there’s a distinction that Cruise missed. “The trick to flair bartending is making a drink while performing the tricks,” he says. “Not so in ‘Cocktail’.”
Q. What are the biggest mistakes amateurs bartenders make?
A. Taking shortcuts. A cocktail recipe may look convoluted, but every step has a purpose. Chilling a glass, blending the ingredients for the proper amount of time, twisting the lemon into a martini rather than dropping it -a little extra time translates into taste.
Q. What are some of the intangibles about bartending -the stuff you can only learn through experience?
A. It’s all about the customers (or, in our case, guests). “They can have quirks on exactly how they prefer to have the drink made, “Shaken, not stirred’ comes to mind.”
Q. What are the latest fabulous cocktails?
A. New and trendy is so… last summer. This year, the classics are back. “The Cosmopolitan, Kamikaze, Sex on the Beach, Martinis, Long Island Ice Tea, Woo Woo,” Pace suggests. “I bartend at night in Vancouver [British Columbia], and the most popular drink was a Long Island Ice Tea.” Just make sure the traditional drinks are prepared properly, “Martinis, Manhattans, Rob Roys, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sours. They have been made since Prohibition, and still are popular today.”
Q. How can a party host stock a home bar without going bankrupt?
A. The basic liquors should do the job: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, scotch and whiskey. A popular brand name of each will run you about $10-$20 each. “You should also have things like dry and sweet vermouth, triple-sec, lime juice and grenadine for mixing cocktails,” Pace says. If you’re inviting more than 30 people, consider professional help. Professional Bartenders School can help stock the bar and juggle drink orders while you mingle.
Q. What about barware -is it necessary to invest in grappa glasses?
A. You should be alright with rock glasses, highball glasses, martini glasses and margarita glasses. Or you could simplify things with high-end plastic glasses. A cordial glass can be used for grappa.
Our Bartending Course features facilities that have completely operational bars for the students’ instruction. Each bar is arranged as if you were training on the job, using blenders, soda guns, sinks, glassware, speed racks, ice bins, and bottles so that you will gain knowledge of by doing.
Techniques of Speed – In this section of the bartending course, students are taught how to prepare multiple drinks orders rapidly and correctly.
Equipment and Bar Set Up -Students will learn how to arrange the bar and work station for the upcoming day. They will also learn how to utilize and keep up all the tools of bartending.
Mixology – This part of the bartending course instructs students in the principles of mixology. This is the fine art of drink mixing. Students gain knowledge of over 200 basic and fancy cocktails.
Liquors – During this section of the bartending training, students learn about the liquors they use.
Garnishes and Fruit Cutting – Students will be trained how to slice fruit and decorate tropical and specialty drinks.
Profit Pouring – This section of the bartending course teaches suggestive selling techniques that will enhance bar sales and tips.
Wines -Students obtain an understanding of wine service, tasting, and the distinction between wines.
Beer – Students are shown how to pour draft beer and tap a keg.
Customer Service-Students learn how to give efficient well-mannered service. Knowing how to provide superior service equals excellent tips that convert into money in your pocket.
Alcohol Awareness – Students learn to serve alcohol with care and attentiveness. Several states now require bartenders to have this training before licensing.
Flair Training – In this course, students will study the art of flair bartending. Learn to master the moves of the skilled bartender and make Tom Cruise look mediocre after attending this course.
Health and Safety / Legal Responsibilities (certification) – Students will learn the legal responsibilities, health and safety concerns of the workplace. Certification is also available.
Cash Register Procedures and Cash Handling – In this part of the bartending course students will learn to correctly operate a cash register and credit card authorization machine. They will also learn the correct methods of managing cash.
Resumes and Interviewing Techniques – You will learn successful interviewing for a bartending position. Students are trained on how to fill out an application, resume preparation, and how to dress and respond to interview questions.