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Tips for Becoming a Good Bartending


If you want to be a good bartender, there are certain things you must do. Unlike many other jobs, style is as important as substance in the bartending world. In order to get noticed, one must be consistently efficient, while throwing in the occasional flash that will keep people entertained. In addition, it is extremely important to be personable. Bartending is one profession where the worker interacts with the customer on a very personal level. Being a more likeable bartender can greatly increase your level of tips. Obviously, this is not all that it takes to be a good bartender. Following the following tips will enable you to be a better bartender.

In general, choosing which bar to work in is a very important decision. If a bartender picks the right bar, he or she can be well on their way to picking up good tips and having an enjoyable working experience. Stick to the local watering holes, where everybody knows everybody and people can call you by your first name. A few places to avoid are young, “chic” bars which are frequented by younger folks. These places are often packed out and college aged kids often do not tip well. You may make some money because of the heavy amount of traffic in the bar, but you will walk away unsatisfied with your job because of the hassles of dealing with many different sorts of altercations.

American bartenders have it easy in that they are not often asked to prepare complicated drinks. At most bars, the majority of your orders will be for crappy domestic beer. Some places have a heavy emphasis on liquor but the majority of mixed drinks that will be ordered there are basic. The point is, do not sweat it if you do not know how to prepare every drink under the sun. If the time arises where someone orders something that you are unsure of, prepare it the best that you can and serve it. Chances are, they won’t know the difference in the drink anyway.

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1. Know your glasses – If you are unsure of which glass to use or you have any other questions regarding bartending, carry a small guide. Refer to this only in private, though, as it looks bad if customers see you checking it. Generally these things will feature a section detailing the different types of glasses and how each should be used. One quick tip to remember is that for all mixed drinks without ice, you should use a glass with a stem. The customer will thank you for keeping their drink somewhat cold as their hands do not touch the outside of the liquor. Many drinks will require a frosted or chilled glass. To frost a glass, place it in the freezer under ice. Chilled glasses can be drawn from the refrigerator if left there for an extended period of time.

2. How to Stir – This is one of those things that the customers will be watching for. Generally, your tips will be influenced by how well you stir their drinks. You should be careful to find the right balance, as stirring too strongly will melt the ice and ruin a carbonated drink. By comparison, stirring too lightly will not mix the liquor and your customer will not be happy with the drink. Usually this is an art that becomes easier with time.

3. How to shake – If James Bond happens to come into your bar, he will want his drink shaken, not stirred. Shaking is generally reserved for fruit based drinks or anything else that is more difficult to mix. Shaking should be done gently, unless the drink is being shaken to make it icy cold. If you are shaking in order to chill the drink, shake it as hard as you can.

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4. Learn to flame! – Sure, it may seem like a fancy trick, but serving flaming shots is something that can set you apart from other bartenders and make customers come back every time. It will be much easier to light the liquor if you take care to warm both the glass and the liquor.

These bartending tips will enable you to be the best bartender out there. Generally, people like their bartender. With just a little effort in being personable, you can befriend the customers of your bar and they will reward your effort with a good round of tips.