Bartending is one of the most fun and rewarding careers on the planet. You’re everybody’s buddy and it’s easy to make long lasting friendships. Plus, with tips, you can make more money than a corporate executive.
Why Be a Bartender
There are many reasons to become a bartender. Some of the better ones that get mentioned are money, love, power, recognition, travel, employment and endless freebies. You have your own reasons for wanting to be the person behind the bar, but if you need a few more, here are some doozies.
Money: Depending on the venue, bartenders can make anywhere from $100-$300 a night in tips alone.
Popularity: Everyone knows your name. You’re everyone’s buddy and always get invited to everything.
Gossip: Bartenders get the inside scoop on everyone and everything. You get to keep and when necessary, reveal secrets.
Employment: If you don’t like one place, move on to the next. There are hundreds, if not thousands of places to work in an average sized city.
Performing: Bartenders can add flare, perform tricks, play music, tell jokes and be the center of attention.
Fun: Every shift is a party and you’re the host. Where else can you get paid for mixing drinks and talking with people?
Discovery: Get to know the spirits and how each one of them came to be. You’ll discover fascinating stories and characters behind the invention of each cocktail.
Experiment: Create your own syrups, bitters and infusions. Venture into mixology, so you can treat your guests to unique flavor combinations.
Travel: Work anywhere in the world you happen to be, even on cruise ships, because bartending is considered ‘casual’ labor in most countries.
Freebies: The bartender always gets free gifts, tickets and perks from the guests. They often get free food and drink from the employer. Plus they get unique promotional items and free samples from the reps and suppliers.
Love: You don’t have to chase romance, because it comes to you. The confident bartender always looks attractive and rarely has to seek companionship.
If you want to become a bartender, just work through the content on this website. Start with the Bartending Tools section. After that move on to the Cocktail Ingredients section. And finally the Bartending Techniques section.
This is the exact same training that you’d receive in a $5,000 six week course. I know, because I went through such a course at the Vancouver Union Training Center back in 1982 and have been mixing drinks ever since. (If interested, you can read more about me “Mikey the Cocktail Buff” here.)
In addition to the bartender training, you’ll need to memorize the Top 50 Most Popular Cocktails in the world. That’s because when you apply for a job, the owner of the establishment – be it a lounge, hotel, restaurant, pub, cruise ship, night club, catering service, etc – will ask you to mix two or three drinks from that list. If you can do so without hesitation and keep a big smile on your face, you’ll get the job.
The last thing is practice. Lots of practice. Get some empty bottles, pour spouts, a cocktail shaker, jigger and some glassware. Then make fake liquors out of tea, water, and food coloring. What? You think they allow you to use real booze while training? Not a chance!
What you can do to make it more realistic, is to take simple syrup, water and food coloring to fake the liqueurs. To make the fake liquor more real, use food coloring and 99% isopropyl alcohol, diluted with water to 40% (80 proof) by volume. Why? Because when you stir or shake a drink with ice, the sugar and alcohol in the fake booze, is almost exactly the same as using using real alcohol. Just don’t drink any of this stuff. It’s for mixing practice only.
That’s all there is to it. Get familiar with the tools. Learn about the ingredients. Master the techniques. And practice, practice, practice. Oh, and don’t forget to smile. Soon you’ll be working as a bartender and raking in the tips.
Ready to get started? Good! Go reread the Top 10 Benefits of being a bartender again. Does it sound like fun? Yes, it does. And I can tell you from personal experience, bartending is one of the most fun, rewarding and lucrative careers on the planet.
Now the rest is up to you. I’ve done all the hard work by providing this bartender training for you. All you need to do is to make a commitment to start today, towards a career that’s in demand everywhere on the planet.
Good luck, stay thirsty, and enjoy the ride!