Starting out in any career can be daunting, whether it is your first job or you have decided to pursue another career. Everybody has to learn their trade in one way or another and in particular we look at ways to become a better bartender.
Memorize Classic Cocktails
A really good barman worth his weight in gold knows cocktails, so if you are a little shy in serving drinks from a cocktail shaker you better learn your stuff. Start by memorizing the ingredients for the most popular cocktails such as, Margarita, Bloody Mary, Long Island Iced Tea and the Old Fashioned.Also study how they are mixed, so you look professional at what you are doing. If you have a good knowledge of basic cocktails then you are more employable, and you have another string to your bow that will separate you from the pint pullers.
Learn the Lingo
In any industry there is terminology that you have to get to know, and serving drinks in a pub has its own unique words and phrases that you should be aware of. These can be words that punters use when ordering a drink, or instructions from management when they want you to do something. Phrases such as, neat, on the rocks, with a twist, and straight-up all are regularly used when serving drinks and a good bartender knows them all.
Observe Other Bartenders
If you are new to the art of the bartender, then a great way to see how you should act is by watching other bartenders. It is a great excuse to spend some time in your favorite hang-out, but try to refrain from gulping your drink down before you have your information. Watch how they mix the drinks and interact with the punters, if your bartender is particularly friendly explain your mission and ask for tips.
Perhaps Start as a Barback
A barback is an American expression for somebody that assists behind a bar, sometimes such a position does not actually serve drinks but the experience can be invaluable. A barback is typically a barman’s assistant or runner, he often does the menial tasks such as getting the ice, gathering the empty glasses, tidying the bar, and making sure the bar is stocked. By undertaking such a position you will learn massive amounts about what goes on running a bar, how to prepare for a shift, and how to serve your patrons.
Go for It
There are those who feel that a barback job suits them best, but if you want to progress and become a bartender then you must let the management know about it. Running a busy bar can be a really difficult job, and knowing what the staff desire and want is not on the priority list. You must speak up for yourself and say you are ready for the next challenge, and that you want to become a bartender.
Being a bartender can be a really rewarding experience, the colleagues you meet and the punters you serve come from every walk of life and have their very own stories to tell.