Making drinks has always been a big hobby of mine. I was a barista for a few years, and had experience both teaching and attending numerous coffee seminars. I watched the World Barista Championship for fun, and I was practically a caffeine addict by the age of 14 (although that's another story) . Making artisan drinks was fun, and with the amount of time I spent exploring different concoctions, it came to no surprise that I would soon venture towards mixology as well. As an 18 year old from California I wasn't even sure I was legally allowed to attend a bartending school. But one morning I found myself calling a local bartending school for more information, and that same week I was enrolled.
It’s often said that bartenders are like cheap therapists, and most days that feels like the truth. So, one day when I saw a reserved older man, sitting at the end of my bar all alone and looking like he had the world on his shoulders, naturally I went over and asked what he wanted to drink. He smiled kindly, his eyes crinkling around the edges just a little.
We've all been there. You're working the bar, making everyone's specific drinks as they ask for it and tell you exactly how they like it. Then someone comes up and says, "eh, I don't know, whatever's good but not too boozy."
For the past three years I've had a part time job as a bartender to get me through university. This summer I'm about to graduate, which means leaving the bar work behind me for a full time job. I wanted to look back on the past three years and think about what advice I would give to past me to save myself (and you) some aggro. So I've compiled a list of 10 things you should know about bar tending based on my own experiences on the front line.
Whether you're a uni student looking for some extra cash, something to put on your resume, in need of a short term job or really want to get into the service and alcohol industry, this is the article for you!
There are two well-known facts: British people like to drink, and British people have a tendency to be overly polite. ("Oh yes, sorry, can I just—sorry, do you mind if I just squeeze past? Sorry, yes thank you, cheers for that.") These two things, however, don't seem to combine. As soon as they walk into a pub, bar, or club all the politeness seems to be left at the door. So here are some things that really piss hospitality staff off, and why...
Here's the scene: It's Friday night, you've been putting in extra hours at the office, you're friend is in town for this night only, and you're going to tie one on! After the pregaming, the Uber, and the obnoxiously long line, you finally get into the bar, pushing through the horde of people to get to the bathroom. Once the deed is done and you've located your long time friend, you venture to find you're truest best friend at the establishment: the bartender. Amidst the blaring music and the line, you eventually push your way forward and stand at the bar top until one of the staff makes direct eye contact with you. You ask for a round of shots, and watch as she pours an extra for herself, initiating a cheers between you and your friend. Money litters the bar for her coworker down the way, and all you can ask her after handing her your cash is, "How good is it to be you?" She scoffs and laughs off the comment, turning to the register before handing you your change, serving her next unruly guest, and thinking of all the things no one tells you about being a bartender.
In any party, or in any club, there's one person that always seems to make people smile: the bartender. Bartenders are the kind, patient people who serve up amazing drinks, give you a good ear to listen to, and also offer you a smile when they serve you.
Steer clear of these behaviors and you'll stay on the bartender's good side. You may even end up with a free drink or two.
I have worked in a bar for two years, and I have been a waiter for four. So I’ve had my fair share of shit from customers over the years. Here’s some of the things I, and my colleagues have to deal with.
Whether it's making a popular shot or choosing the right amount of ice cubes, it's obvious to everyone that bartending isn't simple. Fortunately, we've made it right by simplifying the intricacies, thereby making bartending sort of hackable in relation to the learning and building of your bartending traits. Now, you don't have to fear. You can, yourself, make classic cocktails like the best of them behind the bar; all you got to do is follow these simple steps.