Bartending tips for the newbie

Say you have graduated from your barending courses and now it is your turn to join the trade. You have managed to get a job at that outstanding bar you had your eyes on. It is your first day at work; you arrive at the bar with anticipation as well as trepidation. What do you do? How do you start?

Here are a few useful bartending tips to get you going and help you settle down.

  • After the introductions start with familiarizing yourself with where things are kept. Open coolers and cabinets and ask about all the various spirits, beers and wines stocked in that establishment.
  • Ask after the popular drinks served at the bar; get familiar with the method and glasses used in that establishment. Remember a regular at any bar prefers to have his favourite drink served exactly the same way every time.

  • Knowledge of glassware is critical. Every bar has its own style. Don’t be afraid to ask your senior and please remember every bit of information you get. In fact you should discreetly note it all down and memorize them.
  • Find out the costs of drinks, how much is charged for doubles. Every bar has different mark ups.
  • Mixers and garnishes are important elements in every bar. Don’t hesitate to ask if they are prepared in house or who cuts the fruits needed for garnishes, the server or the bartender.

Once you start working behind the counter keep the following bartending tips in mind:

  • Primary importance is cleanliness. A professional bartender is always organized and keeps his station clean and dry. Remember to rinse out the shaker after every drink. In fact many bartenders do not take money till they finish rinsing the shaker after pouring the drink.
  • Unless it is a really slow period at the bar, never ever pour only one drink at a time. Line up your glasses next to each other as per the orders and ice them down while you prepare the drinks in sequence. Remember that in a long list of orders a beer should be poured just before serving so that the head does not collapse or a coffee so that it does not get cold.
  • Practice using both your hands to pour. Bartenders should be ambidextrous, it highlights their skill.
  • Always check your stock and be conscious of the level of the mixers and juices. It will be very embarrassing if you start making a drink and realize that you are out of an important ingredient.
  • Learn the techniques of handling cash and counting money. It is an important part of a bartender’s duties yet you cannot make a mistake or take too much time over it. Another important factor while accepting cash is to mention the value of the bill you have received so that no guest can say that he gave you more than you received.
  • Learn the correct pronunciations of words common to the trade like aperitif, chardonnay, blue curacao, mojito or Grand Marnier etc. You must come across as a pro.

There are so many useful bartending tips to help a newbie settle down.

We will talk more about them soon.

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