Hints and Tips for Bartenders

 

 

Recently, for some weird reason, people have been led to believe that if you aren’t hand-making classic or modern creations, muddling, flipping bottles, or have extensive knowledge on wine then you’re not a real bartender. Excuse me? This is incorrect.

 

When people ask me what to write for their objective on their resumes, I always tell them to say, To provide an excellent experience for guests at your establishment. And how does a bartender provide an excellent experience? It depends. If you’re working in a dive on the waterfront selling mostly beer and whiskey shots to oil riggers and you greet them with a smile, remember their names (or at least what they drink), make their drinks fast, and they leave feeling good--then you have provided an excellent experience for those guests.


Every bar is different and you’ll have to act a different way in each bar. What you do at a Honky Tonk will totally be different from a hotel bar down the street. In some bars, you’ll have many different types of guests and through their personality and body language you will learn how they want to be treated. A guest at the end of the bar reading the newspaper does not want you to interrupt them and tell them a joke. They want a clean place to sit and a full drink.




I could make a long do and don’t list, but there’s no need. Because you only have to combine The Golden Rule with The Platinum Rule and everything will fall into place.

The Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated.
The Platinum Rule: treat others as they want to be treated.
This doesn’t just apply to guests; this goes for all your co-workers, your boss, and anyone else for that matter.


In this line of business you’re dealing with humans
. To know what makes these creatures tick is to your advantage. Entire books have been written on the basics of human nature and they all boil down to one sentence:everybody, everywhere, always, wants to feel good about themselves.

 

The Top 10 Bartender Qualities


1. Personality.
2. Good grooming.
3. Great memory.
4. Knowledge of liquor, beer, wines, cocktails, and your local area.
5. Good money handling skills with average math skills.
6. Responsible and dependable team player.
7. Fast and efficient.
8. Something unique.
9. Physical strength.
10. A people person with good eye contact and a firm handshake.

 

The Top 10 Questions To Ask On Your First Day


If you ask these questions then the bartender you’re working with will think that you’ve worked at a bar before. How else would you know to ask? (Besides reading this.)

1. Start opening cabinets and coolers familiarizing yourself where things are kept and ask questions like, Do we stock at the end of the night? Where are the kegs kept? and anything else you think of as you are looking inside. All experienced bartenders will do this.

2. Where are the restrooms for the guests? Where are the restrooms for the employees?

3. What bottled beers do we serve?

4 .Do we run tabs and if we do what’s the procedure? Do we hold guests' credit card? Do you have many walk-outs?

5. Where are the backup mixers kept?

6. Can you run me through the glassware? (Meaning that every bar uses different glassware so you have to go over it. You should ask something like, What are we using for a highball? The bartender will then touch or point to the rest of the glassware naming its use.)

7. What do we charge for a double? (Some places just double the price, however many places add like $1.50 or $2.00. It’s different everywhere so that’s that‘s why you have to ask.)

8. If there is no coffee machine at the bar ask about where you get the coffee for a coffee drink.

9. Do the servers cut the fruit or do we?

10. What liquors are we using for our house Cosmos? Sex on the Beach? Long Island Iced Teas here? Are there any standard drinks we make differently? Are our Martinis 2 ounces? I just want to be consistent with everybody because I know how different places can make drinks a little different…blah blah blah.


Note: Bring a pocket-sized spiral notebook and write down everything you need to know. You’ll be given a number. Write it down. You’ll use the # in the POS system. The system only knows you as a #. Write down every step of the POS procedure shown to you. Just so you know, it will not seem weird or make you seem like an inexperienced bartender by writing everything down. It’s actually smart. Experienced bartenders know that the cash register is the #1 thing behind the bar that will slow you down on a busy night. It will kick your butt. You must master it. Memorize where the keys are so that you can whiz through. Find out where the backup button or delete button is right away.

Fact
Know that experienced bartenders can walk behind practically any bar and bartend. The only training required is the POS and to be shown where things are kept.

 

 

The Top 20 Things To Make You Look Like a Pro


These are qualities bartenders pick up naturally with years of experience.


1. Check your stock. That’s the first thing an experienced bartender does when they walk behind a bar. After all you can’t make anything if you don’t have anything. Look at the ice level, juice levels; if they are low then fill them. Do you have backups? You don’t want to stop in the middle of the night making backups. Every new bar I walk into I do this and bartenders will ask me, Have you worked this bar before?

2. Use both hands.
Experienced bartenders are practically ambidextrous. They constantly use both hands at the same time all the time. Never have an arm dangling at your side while the other one is doing something.

3. Have scratched up tools.
If you’re an experienced bartender, your tools should look used. Scratch up your wine tool, bottle opener, lighter, and anything else in your pocket if you’re a rookie.

4. Keep your head up as much as possible
, ears open, and eyes constantly scanning drink levels, servers/guests, suspicious activity, etc. Bartenders tend to keep their heads down because they are always doing something. You have to be aware of everything going on around you, so get that head up as much as you can. If the bar has mirrors, use them to your advantage. You can check things out while you’re turned doing something else. It’s like having eyes in the back of your head. You need them. Also, there will be new things for your ears to listen for like the sound of the phone ringing or the little chit popping up out of a printer giving you the servers order.

5. Know how to make powdered sour mix properly. Most American bars have powdered sour mix and the proper way to make it is to fill a gallon container half with hot water. Dump in the powder, screw a lid on and shake for about 10 seconds dissolving the powder. Next add cold water very slowly (so it doesn’t foam up), put the lid on again and shake again. Refrigerate. You’re done. If you make it incorrectly the powder won’t dissolve and you’ll be busted. The directions are always on the bag if you forget.

6. Don’t make one drink at a time
unless you have an order for only one drink. When making drinks, line up all your glassware on the bar mat then ice them down (ice them down means fill them with ice, if they require it). Let’s say, you have an order for a Piña Colada, Cosmopolitan, Vodka Tonic, Screwdriver, Corona, Bud Draft, and a Kahlúa & Coffee from a server. On the bar mat you will set the Piña Colada glass, then a martini glass, then two highballs, and a coffee mug. You will then add ice to the martini glass so it can chill while you are making the other drinks. Then you would continue to ice down the two highballs. From this point you will make the drinks in the order I listed (I listed them in making order to make it easier on you right now). Make the Piña Colada, pour it in the glass, grab a shaker tin and make the Cosmo, dump the ice out of the Martini glass and strain the Cosmo. Grab the well bottle of vodka in your left hand and a bottle of Kahlúa in your right and pour the Kahlúa in the coffee cup and the vodka in both of the highballs at the same time. Squirt the tonic, pour the OJ and add the coffee (top with whipped cream or let the server add it when she returns so that it doesn’t melt too quickly). Now grab the Corona, and pour the draft beer.
See, if you had poured the draft beer first then the head would’ve gone down by the time you finished making the order. If you had made the coffee first, it would’ve cooled. Also, when you set your glasses up like this, if you forget what you are making, 9 times out of 10, you can turn and glance at the type of glassware you’ve lined up and instantly remember what you are making.

7. Don’t fill your drinks to the rim.
Inexperienced bartenders, lazy bartenders, and bartenders that have never learned properly fill their drinks to the brim. Don’t do this. Always allow 1/4”-1/2” breathing/travel/ and melting room at the top. If you’re still not convinced then walk into any bookstore and look at any drink recipe book with photos. The exceptions are if you are using real whipped cream and when you shake a drink with sour or juice, the frothy part can go to the rim.

8. Know how to handle money.
Experienced bartenders have excellent cash handling techniques. They handle money probably as much as a bank teller. Watch the way bank tellers shuffle the bills from hand to hand. One hand is pulling and the other is pushing. Practice counting, stacking, and arranging bills and coins until it feels natural.
Also, let’s say that a guest orders a beer and hands you a $20 bill. When it’s handed to you, look at it, look back up at the guest and say, Out of twenty. This confirms the amount given to you. If you don’t say what the amount is then they can always say, Hey, I gave you a $50 bill. Trust me, they’ll try it. Every experienced bartender does this. Also if they give you a $100 to pay a tab that’s something small like $22.50, always count back their change in front of them as opposed to laying the whole thing down so they can’t yell at you a few minutes later that you shorted them $20. Again, trust me, they’ll try it. You can also fan it out pointing to the bills and then saying the amount of change.
Some bartenders like to keep all of their money facing one way all nice and orderly in their drawer. That’s cool, and if I’m sharing a drawer with a bartender that was on shift before me and likes the drawer neat, then I respect them and keep the drawer neat. But, personally, I couldn't care less about having all the bills facing the same way. Money is money. However, before I turn it all in at the end of the night it’s put in order.

9. Behind you. Behind. Behind. Behind you. Behind. Behind you
. When working with another bartender and you step behind them to get something you always say softly, but loud enough for them to hear, Behind. Anytime you get in a bartenders space you have to let them know. I’ve seen people get bloody noses, knocked down and knocked out from an elbow because they didn’t warn the other person that they were in their space. You can also lightly touch them on the shoulder. You just must let them know you’re there.

10. Keep the half & half closed.
Experienced bartenders will keep the pour flap closed when pouring half & half. Open the half and half carton then close it. When you make a White Russian for example, just squeeze the carton over the glass and you will have better control with its flow. It’s hard to control the flow of half & half when you try to pour with the flap open and will cause too many messes.

11. Know how to do a reverse grip pour.
Once you get a good strong feel for holding spirit bottles, this is the next move you should learn to look like a pro.

12. Know the common verbiage
when doing inventory. When you participate in inventory, all you need to know is that you measure the bottle in points. Each bottle has 10 points. Look at the bottle as if it’s divided up in 10 parts (this will help with the odd shaped bottles). So, if your manager asks you about the Bacardi bottle and it’s half full, then it’s called .5 (point five). If a bottle is full, you don’t say .10, you just say it’s one or a full bottle.

13.Clean as you go. All good bartenders clean as they go. If you make a Mudslide Martini, then understand that cleaning the shaker is part of making that drink. Personally, I don’t even take a guests money until after I rinse the shakers because they need to see that it’s part of what it takes to make the drink. Some cleaning behind the bar can wait until you catch up. Just know that the top priority is anything a guest can see.

 



14. Know the proper way to rim a drink. Most bartenders, dunk the rim of a glass into the spongy section of a rimmer, and then dunk into some sugar or salt. When the salt or sugar is on the rim, it falls into the drink. What you want is the salt or sugar to be on the outside edge of the rim. So you’ll have to tilt the glass and rotate it around. You can also wet the outside edge with a piece of lemon or lime wedge.

15. Know the brandy snifter tricks. When pouring into a snifter, lay a snifter on it’s side in the air then pour the spirit to the rim. This will give a proper pour. If the guest requests the spirit to be heated and your bar doesn’t carry a brandy warmers, then all you need is a rocks glass and hot water. Preheat the brandy snifter by filling it 1/4 of the way with hot water (the kind at a coffee station) then fill a rocks glass half with hot water as well. Dump out the hot water in the snifter and pour in the Cognac and set the bowl inside the rocks glass. It’s also nice to present it on a saucer with a cocktail napkin. You may have to experiment with the glassware at your bar to test which glass the snifter fits in best.

16. Know the juice container trick. You can make juice flow quickly out of a store-n-pour/juice container by sticking a drinking straw into the spout. It creates an air hole. It’s just science.

17. Know how to pronounce these words:

Apéritif (uh-pair-a-TEEF)
Amaretto Di Saronno (dee-sa-ROW-no)
Angostura Bitters (ang-uh-STOOR-uh)
Blue Curacao (CURE-uh-sow, sow rhymes with cow)
Cabernet Sauvignon (cab-er-NAY soh-vihn-YAWN)
Cachaca (ka-SHA-suh)
Caipirinha (ki-purr-REEN-ya)
Chambord (Sham-BOARD)
Chardonnay (shar-doh-NAY)
Cointreau (KWAN-trow)
Courvoisier (core-VAH-see-A)
Crème de cassis (ka-CEASE)
Crème de cocao (ka-KAY-o, or ka KAH-o)
Crème de noyeaux (noy-Yoh)
Dom Pérignon (dom-pay-ree-NYON)
Drambuie (dram-BOO-ee)
Galliano (gall-lee-YAH-no)
Glenfiddich (gle-FID-ickkkkkkk)
Glenlivit (glen-LIVE-it)
Glenmorangie (glen-MORang-ee, rhymes with orangy)
Grand Marnier (GRAN mahr-nYAY)
Maraschino (mare-es-SKEE-no)
Mescal (mehs-KAL)
Mojito (mo-HEE-toe)
Pinot Noir (PEE-no NWAR)
Riesling (REEZ-ling)
Rumple Minze (ROOM-pull MINTS)
Sambuca (sam-BOO-ka)
Sommelier (sum-ul-YAY)
Worcestershire (WOOS-tuhr-sheer)

18. Know how to bounce cut a bottle.
Let’s say for example, that you have glasses lined up with ice and several of them need the same spirit from the same bottle you are holding. When you finish pouring in one, bounce the bottle down then up and the flow will stop, for 1-2 seconds. During this time aim the bottle over the next glass. So the order goes: pour, bounce, aim at the next glass, pour, bounce, aim at the next glass, etc. The old way is to pour, stop the flow by turning the bottle right side up, pour in the next glass, stop the flow by turning the bottle right side up, etc. Try it at home first. It works the best when using a reverse grip.

19. Know at least three ways to strain a drink.
Experienced bartenders know many ways to strain a drink.

20. Know how to close the bar. Any experienced bartender can walk into a bar the next day and know instantly if the bartender the night before has experience tending bar based on how things look. A good sign is that many things are turned upside down. Basically, tools, juice containers, blender parts, draft beer trays, bar mats, soda gun nozzle & holder, fruit tray and any other items have been washed, rinsed and turned upside down in an orderly fashion in a drain area. The juice container holders are normally rinsed then turned over at a draining angle in the well where they normally sit at the well. Sometimes bars keep their fruit for two days so they might be covered in the cooler. Personally, I throw all fruit away every night. There is sometimes something soaking in water overnight like pourers that have been on liqueur bottles. The register area will be organized and nothing anywhere behind or in front of the bar should feel sticky. Also, if you ran out of something then good bartenders will leave a note on the register for the next bartender letting them know, so everyone can stay on the same page.

 



50 Handy Tips & Hints


If you cannot remember if a guest ordered salt for their Margarita or not, simply rim half of the glass with salt and they can drink from either side.

When a guest with a British accent orders lemonade, they mean Sprite or 7up, but double check.

When a guest with a British accent orders whiskey, they mean Scotch whisky, but double check.

When serving beer to Europeans, know that they like more head on their beer than Americans.


Spotters/shoppers are hired to act like normal guests then report everything they see happening. So keep this in mind.

Know that in every bar where you work you will learn something new about the bar world. No one knows it all, so drop the attitude.

Pourers should only be kept on bottles that are used a lot. That’s their purpose.

When stocking beer,
an easy way to not have to pull all the current beer to the front of the cooler then stock the new beer behind it is to move the current beer to the left (or right) of the cooler and the new beer on the empty side. If you use this method and everyone working the bar follows it then everyone always knows which side of the beer to grab first.

Don’t bring nice pens to work
because they’ll be stolen, lost, or never returned. Trust me, bars go through pens like water. I do have to say that I like having a light-up pen, but it takes up too much of my energy always having to keep track of it on a busy shift. The only pens that haven’t been stolen from me are gigantic novelty pens. They always get a big smile and I tell them that Mickey Mouse gave it to me.

Know that all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac
. Cognac can only be made from grapes grown in the Cognac region of France. Brandy can be made from grapes and other fruit anywhere in the world.

Know that sour mash means that part of the yeast mixture from one batch is used to start another batch. Like the way sour dough bread is made. People think Jack Daniel’s tastes the way it does because it’s a sour mash whiskey. No, many whiskeys are made in the sour mash procedure. Jack Daniel’s tastes like that that because before it’s put into charred barrels it drips through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal.

Know that Champagne can only be called Champagne when it’s made in the Champagne region of France and all other bubbly wines must be labeled and called sparkling wine.

Know that by Mexican law, tequila must be made from
51% of the blue agave plant and mescals can be made from any and many agave plants.

When you have to tell the guest
that you’re out of something, it’s much better to say, I’m sorry, we’re sold out of that. When you just say you’re out of something it makes it sound like your manager is disorganized and doesn’t know how to order properly, but saying you’re sold out sounds like it’s a popular item.

Know that anyone in America
can make bourbon, however only bourbon made in Kentucky is allowed to say Kentucky Bourbon on their label.

No matter what you are told
, only one thing sobers up the human body and that’s time. Coffee makes a wide awake drunk, food makes a full drunk, and a cold shower makes a wet drunk.

Know that if your bar carries
more than one Johnnie Walker Scotch you’ll have to ask a guest which one? Usually bars only carry red and black. But know that there blue, gold and green as well.

Know that as a bartender you
more than likely won’t be taking any breaks. That’s just the way it is. Shifts can be 6-12 hours long. Many bartenders take a power naps before going to work to recharge themselves.

When you start working a new bar
do not start moving things around or give advice where things should be or how things should be done until you settle in after several weeks. And you never want to say the words, Well at the last bar I worked we did it this way. No one wants to hear how you did it before, because it doesn’t matter. You’re going to do it the way they want you to do it. It can mean anything. And again, drop the attitude.

Know that cleaning up the tools
that you’ve used to make a drink is part of making a drink, so you should always get into the habit of rinsing out the blender or shaker tins after making a drink.

Buy a tuxedo t-shirt to wear
at a fun private party for the most comfort. These days you’ll find many to choose from.

When upselling, one method to use is to ask if they want you to use their favorite spirit, Would you like me to use your favorite vodka?

The classic Martini is made with gin
. Period. So, when someone asks you for a Martini and says nothing else the best thing to do is smile, and say, Sure, would you want me to use your favorite gin? This lets them know without preaching that a classic Martini is made with gin. However, these days Vodka Martinis share the classic Martini spotlight as well.

Whenever you are slow, never just stand around. There’s always something to clean or organize.

Know that you will burn out. Doing a job that is physically and mentally demanding catches up with you. You’ll know when you begin to get snippy with guests and co-workers. It’s okay. Many professions that deal with the public go through this (Police Officers, cab drivers, strippers, etc.). Just make sure you take a mini-vacation and recharge. Go out and let someone serve you.

When making drinks
you want to strive for only picking up a spirit bottle or mixer once during an order. While you have product in your hand use it in all glasses you need it for instead of picking it up then setting it down and thinking, oh I need that for this drink too, so you pick it up again, etc.

The drier a Martini is ordered means
the less and less dry vermouth they want. So if a guest orders a very dry/extra dry Martini then they usually want like a drop of vermouth or none at all. Some bartenders make jokes and just wave the dry vermouth bottle over the drink.

When guests spill something on the bar
, a lot of bartenders get irritated. The guest is already embarrassed and will say that they’re sorry many times. Just look at them, smile, and say, it’s ok, it happens. Their facial expression will instantly change and they’ll probably leave you a bigger tip.

Breakage means your empty bottles at the end of the night.

If you are too busy to get to a guest at the moment, then make sure you acknowledge them in some way. When guests are acknowledged then they don’t mind waiting.

When you’re slammed, don’t get frustrated.
You can only go as fast as you can. If your bar is well stocked then just keep going and keep smiling. Guests don’t mind waiting in line. Just make sure that you give each person you are dealing with direct attention. And never forget that if it weren't for these guests you wouldn’t have a job.

Pour tests are sometimes mandatory
for bartenders who are allowed to free pour (don’t have to use a jigger). It’s a set of test tubes that have measurement lines on them called an Exacto Pour. Management will give you a liquor bottle filled with water and ask you to pour these measurements separately into a glass: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 /1/4, 1 1/2, and 2 shots. Each pour is individually poured into the tubes to measure. You will also have to do a Long Island Iced Tea pour and you may be asked to do all the pours with both hands. If you do not pass then many bars will not let you work. Some write you up and you are allowed only 3 write-ups and then you cannot work. Some make you pour with a jigger until you can pass the test. It can be serious and can cost you your job.

Know that real bartenders , when guests in another bar, do not ever tell another bartender that they are a bartender too. There’s only one exception and it’s when the bartender asks you first. It’s the biggest joke between real bartenders. The joke is that when a guest says they are a bartender, what they’re really saying is, I’m a lousy tipper, but I’m going to pretend that we have a common bond so you will give me lots of attention. Maybe they have been behind the bar, but not long enough to know not to say this. Bartenders show other bartenders that they are bartenders through action, not talk.

Hold spirit bottles firmly and don’t be careless with them. Most bottles are worth around $100-$200 each. Most are bought for $20-$50 and marked up 4-5 times to make a profit. So think about that when you go to grab one.

Yes, you will spill something! The worst is when you spill on a guest. Once I dribbled some beer down a girl’s bare arm while leaning over a table. She was with her boyfriend and three other friends. I over apologized, and offered her some napkins. I could tell that this group was cool, so I said something like, hey, should I spill some more beer and just have your boyfriend lick it off your arm? That got a big laugh. Some people aren’t as cool and trust me, you’ll know who they are.

Yes! You will break something.
The most important thing is not to break glass near the ice well. Sometimes a small sliver can bounce into the well from a few feet away and that’s all it takes for a lawsuit. You simply can’t take any chances and must get new ice. When a guest breaks a glass, the first thing they do is start grabbing for the big shards of glass. You must tell them right away not to touch anything and that you will take care of it for them. The last thing you want is to tell your boss that a guest with bloody hands wants to talk to them. For the extra tiny little pieces of glass, simply wet a bar towel and lay on top the pieces then swipe up. The wetness picks them up.

Most bartenders do not like anyone to come behind the bar. They like their space, so if you’re a server, always ask.

Not every bartender is into sports and some guests get very upset when you don’t know the ballgame score. I happen to be one of the sport agnostic bartenders. When I'm asked a score I just say something outrageous. For example, if a football game is on and they ask me the score I’ll say something like, Oh, it's 145 to 76. They are dazed for a second, then look at me and see a sweet smile on my face. Instantly, they smile and know that I'm not the person to ask and all is cool. I mix it all the time too saying things like, Oh, baseball? That's the one with the big orange ball, right? Truthfully, I know the teams, I know which ones are Basketball, Baseball or Football, but I play dumb because I’m too busy. It works for me and it works with only one quick line and all is good. After all, I need them to be happy so they’ll give me money.

Many times in your bartending career
you’ll find yourself jotting down drink orders and that’s when you use bartender shorthand. Instead of writing in longhand, for example, Bourbon and Coke, you would write B/C. Every spirit and mixer can be shortened. Back in the 1970s and 80s cocktail servers actually wrote their orders this way and gave it to the bartender. Abbreviations for call and premium spirits are easy too: Crown=Cr, Bacardi=Bac, Southern Comfort=Soco, etc. Mixers are easy: DC=diet coke, T=tonic, OJ=orange juice, etc. Then there are the special ones like an X for rocks, and an upward arrow for up. Some abbreviations will differ, for example some people like to write Marg for Margarita while others will write Rita. It’s all up to what works best for you.

Know that there is always good and bad with every bar you work. But this seems to be true for every job in the world. For example, in a hotel bar you might have to walk very far to pick up appetizers in the kitchen, however there’s a cleaning crew that cleans your floor mats and mops your floor. Or you make killer money at a restaurant; however constantly transferring tabs to servers when guest’s tables become available is a pain in the butt.

Have you ever been somewhere
and overheard employees talking about their personal or work life? Better yet, did they continue their conversation in front of you? Don’t do this! Guests should never hear you talking about private matters with co-workers. As a matter of fact, if I ever own a bar this action will be grounds for termination.

If you are a female bartender I have something to say to you. You should be able to perform all bartender duties just like the guys. You need to change kegs, carry cases of beer, and haul out trash. These are part of a bartender’s duty and if you can’t do them then you’re not qualified to work behind the bar. Now, with that said, I will tell you that, if you prove that you can do these heavy dirty jobs in the beginning then what happens is when you are working with guys at some point you are left counting the money and cleaning the bar while they do the grunt work. But it’s important for them to know that if needed you are a team player and are totally capable of doing these duties. Don’t pull that female crap.

Start your shift with the ice well
filled as high as it can be filled. This way you don’t have to run and get ice in the middle of your shift and you also save your back muscles from having to bend over so far.

When a guest orders a drink, add a little trivia they probably didn’t know (99% of the time they don’t). For example, if they order a Tanquerey & Tonic then while you are pouring you can say, Did you know that it’s believed that the shape of this bottle was inspired by a cocktail shaker? Guests love it. Other great ones are: the 1800 bottle comes with it’s own one-ounce measuring cap (then turn the bottle upside down to show them), Canada created Crown Royal for Queen Elizabeth’s 1939 visit; Southern Comfort was created by a bartender in New Orleans in 1874; and that Michelangelo probably drank the very same Amaretto di Saronno we drink today because he was 50 years old when it came out in 1525.

Know that some bottles
are always next to each other on the back bar. Usually blackberry brandy and banana liqueur are together because of the Rumrunner. Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier sometimes get put next to one another, and the two crème de menthe’s and the two crème de cocoa usually sit together as a family. Oh, and Southern Comfort should be with the liqueurs, not the whiskey.

When you get busy,
you simply don’t have time to talk to guests, so try to find out little tidbits of info about them like, where they’re from, grew up, where they work, or went to school, etc. This way you can connect people at the bar and they start talking to each other and have a grand ole’ time and think you are the best bartender around. I’m sort of known for doing this and managers and bartenders like to watch me do it. They just crack up how I connect anybody at the bar. Sometimes, I know nothing about them and say something like, Wow, you two must love the color green because you’re both wearing it! Magically, they begin small talk and sometimes it turns into big talk.

Know that the proper way to keep the ice scoop is stuck into the ice with the handle up. This keeps your nasty hands from touching the ice. It’s a good habit to start from the beginning.

When you make the wrong drink
and it’s not carbonated, always strain it into a glass and set to the side. You’ll be ready to use when it’s ordered again. If no one orders that drink again, then you’ll have to record it on the spill sheet.

Know that you’ll probably have
many bar keys on a ring and will have to learn which go with what. Most bar keys are small and are used to lock cabinets mostly. You may also have some coolers that use a padlock. All you have to do in most cases is look at the name of the lock and match it up with the same name on a key. I know that may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised at the people who don’t know this. One last thing, it’s a very good habit from the beginning to never put the bar keys in your pocket. Buy a cheap little hook so it can hook to a belt loophole or something if needed. The reason is because it’s too easy for you to forget about them in your pocket and you’ll end up taking them home.

When you turn something over to dry
, you must always have it propped slightly in a way so that air can get up under it.

 

Second Golden Age of the Cocktail

Since 2000, something has happened in the Cocktail World that you should be aware of and its the second Golden Age of the Cocktail. The first golden age was in the late 1800s until 1920. Bartending was taken seriously and cocktails were crafted with real ingedients.

Today, the second golden age can best be described by comparing and 4-5 star chef crafting an incredible meal with a classic foundation then using the freshest ingredients and imagination.

The man credited for this shift in the cocktail world is Dale DeGroff. His website is KingCocktail.com. Starting in about 2000 and all the way to today this rebirth has exploded. Craft and classic bars are no longer limited to big cities. They are trinkling into the the smaller cities worldwide. Dale started the Museum of the American Cocktail and also helped start the world's largest cocktail festival held every July in New Orleans called Tales of the Cocktail. Since, there are cocktail weeks popping up all over the world. There is now The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, San Francisco Cocktail Week, Portland Cocktail Week, London Cocktail Week, and so many more.

With so many websites and information, it's hard to know how to get started on the right path, but the links I've provided will get you started.

Make sure you become facebook friends with as many as these people as possible and that will lead to more connections.

Join Gary Regans' Bartender Database.

Join Tobin Ellis' Social Mixology.

Join Simon Diffords' newsletter.

Join Liquor.com.

When you are checking out drink recipes sites then there are two that you should use as guidelines. Ted Haighs' Cocktail Database, and David Wondrichs' Cocktail Database.

A new recipe database that is more modern is Kindred Cocktails.

Well, this should be enough to get you started. These links will lead you in the right direction.

 

 

Advice from Other Sites

 


Tips Bartenders share from the Washington Post
Shrine to Spirits
The Real Bartenders World
The Bartenders Online Handbook from Webtender
How to be a really really excellent bartender Tricks of the trade
Make More Money Behind the Bar
Bartender Tips & Tricks
Booze for Beginners Description of Ingredients from Cocktails and More
How to tip a bartender
Bartender Interviews from cuisine.net
Bartender tips from Bartender.com
The Key to Ice from Booze Zone
Tips from Cocktails and More
Quick Bartender tips from Drink Street