Anyone can pour a drink. Anyone can memorize different cocktail recipes. But understanding cocktails and developing good work habits is what you need to be a successful bartender. Over the duration of this course we want you to spend time with, and practice, each drink. We want you to think about the flavours that come together. Ask yourself how each cocktail is ‘balanced’, which we will also explain. Short-term memorization works temporarily for completing a test, but we have found over the years of teaching that taking the time to understand cocktails is how people truly learn.
You are about to learn many standard cocktails. You will also learn variations of some of the more popular cocktails. We can’t possibly cover every imaginable variation with instructional videos, but by walking you through the fundamentals, you can adapt the skills you learn to any cocktail.
Go Have a Cocktail
There are a lot of drinks to learn here and we find that each cocktail is best experienced by itself. Take the time to explore different bars and restaurants to enjoy different cocktails. Sampling different cocktails in different venues gives you a wealth of experience to draw from when behind the bar. Learning at home is good, but there is a lot to learn from sitting in a bar. A good drink also deserves a good story. Instead of only understanding what goes into a gimlet, can you tell your customer where you had your best gimlet? I remember my first Old Fashioned, served on the wood of an antique bar in a hundred year old building. Every industry supports continuing education. We recommend pulling up a seat at a bar to watch what the bartender is doing. Some bartenders are great in many areas, but have some truly bad habits. Sitting at the bar helps build up your wealth of experience instantly!
Practice Flair After Mastering the Essentials
We aren’t going to spend time on flair in this course. There are plenty of videos out there teaching how to flip bottles and shaker tins. You will also pick up advanced pouring techniques with time, after you have built up the muscle memory around pouring proper amounts. Those are skills that add to the fundamentals of bartending. Learn to walk before you can run. We want to first make sure you have excellent habits behind the bar and know your cocktails. Working flair is something you can add slowly after developing a solid foundation of knowledge and drink-making skills.
POS Systems are Numerous
Finally, we aren’t getting into Point-of-Sale, or POS, systems nor will we talk about bar design. Over just the last 5 years there have been dozens of new systems adopted by restaurants, bars and pubs. Some establishments are on very old systems. While sitting at the bar observing the bartender, also have a look at the layout of equipment, sinks, glass washer, glass storage, and back bar. Each establishment will have its own, unique charm and inefficiencies which, with time, you too will grow to recognize.
This is just the beginning...
As with all things, there is so much more information you can dive into. The more you research a spirit or liqueur, the more you want to know. People dedicate their lives to wine or whiskies. Some are experts in beer, but know nothing about gin. Think of this program as a launch pad for introducing you to all the different spirits and beverages that are out there. As you continue to learn you will naturally find a focus and keep on learning.
Now, bartending is a very physical job and hands-on training is the best. With this video course you are doing what you can at home with what supplies and equipment you have. No one is in the room with you to point out what you are doing, both right and wrong. Self taught bartenders tend to have some bad habits but we shall do our best to arm you with good information and best practices.