You might have seen the movie “Cocktail” and imagined how nice it would be if you could be a bartender. After all, having a drink should not be limited to just sipping beer from a glass. Being a bartender involves learning a new art – that of mixing and serving drinks, and, of course, knowing how to tell people off when they have had too much. You will also need to be empathetic, because it’s usually the bartenders who have to listen to every story of the lovelorn. You will need to be a part salesman, chemist, as well as counselor. You might be considering enrollment in a bartending course. While this might be beneficial to a certain degree, they are completely necessary to become a bartender, since the real skill comes from experience. Some places have an age limit (usually 18 years of age) for bartenders. Still others require a bartending license. So read on the rules pertaining to your state and understand them clearly.
Tips To Become A Bartender
Familiarize Yourself With The Tools
It is important to get familiar with the barware if you are going to become a bartender. These include some of the popular items that you will need to make a good drink – glasses and garnishes.
Types Of Glasses
- Highball – Tall glasses used for cocktails with ice.
- Wine glass – There are two types of wine glasses. One is for the red wine and the other is for the white wine. The ones for red wine have a wider bowl.
- Champagne glasses – Tall and narrow glasses. Also used for chiquitas.
- Tumbler – These are short glasses used for drinks “on the rocks”.
- Cocktail glasses – Glasses shaped like a “Y”. These are used for martinis and other drinks that are chilled before serving.
- Beer glasses – These are mugs and are also used for coffee based cocktails.
- Lemons – used in alcoholic teas and lemonades.
- Celery – used in a Bloody Mary.
- Maraschino cherries – used in drinks that contain grenadine and other mixes.
- Olives – used in Martinis.
- Whipped cream – used in hot or frozen drinks.
Understand The Techniques
While knowing the equipment is important, you will also need to know how to mix drinks and know popular techniques and terms. This will help you understand drink recipes better when you are bartending.
- Blending – add frozen items first and then liquids.
- Rimming – moisten the rim with a piece of fruit and coat it with sugar or salt.
- Dirty – refers to a martini with olive juice.
- Dry – a martini made with dry vermouth.
- Muddling – crushing an ingredient against the side of the glass.
- Neat – refers to alcohol served in an old fashioned tumbler without ice.
- Shaking – refers to the process of putting all ingredients into a shaker tin and shaking them.
- Pouring – pouring the drink at a rate such that you can calculate how much has been poured.
- Straight up – chilling the drink in a mixing glass before it is strained and served.
- With a twist – adding a twist of lemon.
Drinks That You Should Know
It is not possible to know every drink that is there. But knowing the basic drinks will help you learn variations and come up with your own blend. Recipes for these drinks are available online.
- Alabama Slammer
- Apple Martini
- Bay Breeze
- Black Russian
- Bloody Mary
- Blue Hawaiian
- Cape Cod
- Dirty Martini
- Tequila Sunrise
Learn The Skills Of Bartending
Becoming a bartender involves more than just knowing how to mix drinks. There are other skills of the trade that you need to learn if you are to do a great job of it.
- Learn to up sell to a customer. This is important to keep business going.
- Learn to memorize drinks and recipes.
- Be neat, clean, and well groomed.
- Have basic skills with math and money.
- Have good conversation.
- Anticipate the needs of your customers
- Tell good jokes.