Bartender Training

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The Standard Cocktail Shaker

Comprises of a metal cup and a metal lid

The Boston Shaker

Only a metal cup, and is used in conjunction with a mixing glass; Unlike a standard shaker, a Boston shaker does not have a built-in strainer.

Mixing Glass

A mixing glass is used as the other half of Boston shaker. Generally, it is possible to use a simple pint glass; however, it is important that it is strong enough and will not break during the shaking process.

Jigger or Measurer

A jigger is a small metal measuring cup that is used to measure liquor before putting it into the drink. Whilst they come in various sizes and designs, most cocktail bars will commonly use a double ended jigger that has a smaller 1oz (30 mL) measuring cup on one end, and a larger 1.5oz (45 mL) measuring cup on the other end.

Cocktail Strainer

The strainer is used to help sieve out any unwanted ice, as well as any other unnecessary solid ingredients. Is very simple to use and is simply placed over the mouth of the mixing glass or shaker cup when pouring the drink into a glass. The two most commonly used types of strainers are the Hawthorne strainer and the Julep strainer.

Hawthorne Strainer

Is made up of a small disc – otherwise known as the rim. Attached to the rim is a handle, as well as at least two nodules to help balance the strainer. Surrounding the rim is a metal spring, which helps to fit the strainer comfortably in place. The spring is used to filter out any ice; therefore, the disc part of the strainer does not need to come in contact with the rim of the glass.

Julep Strainer

Looks like a large spoon with a bowl and has many holes or slits through which liquid can pass; so as to sieve out any unwanted ice and other bits. The strainer needs to be held at the right angle so as to fit neatly into the receptacle.

Bar Spoon

A bar spoon is a simple yet highly effective piece of equipment that every bartender should have. A bar spoon has a wide and relatively flat bowl with a long handle, which can reach the bottom of most glasses, making it ideal for stirring drinks. Furthermore, most bar spoons come with a thin, twisted handle, which makes it easier to rotate or twist with the fingers. A bar spoon is not useful simply for stirring drinks, but the wide flat bowl makes it ideal for layering and building cocktails, as well.

Cocktail Muddler

A cocktail muddler is a wooden stick which resembles a pestle, as used in a pestle and mortar. It is used to crush ingredients in cocktails, such as certain fruits or mint leaves, so as to extract the full flavors from all of the ingredients.

Bottle Opener

A good bottle opener is one of the most essential pieces of equipment that any good bartender should have. Depending on your requirements, there are two excellent choices to go for. A simple bar blade is really useful and convenient for opening beer bottles, and its small, compact size means that it is easy to slip in and out of one’s pocket, alternatively, it can be attached to a chain. Another choice of bottle opener is the waiter’s friend or wine key. This is slightly more multifunctional than a bar blade, in that it not only has a bottle opener attached for beer bottles, but also a foil cutter and classic corkscrew design for opening wine bottles as well as.

Can Punch

Can punch come in a range of designs and are used to quickly and easily make a hole in tins of juice and other pourable liquids. An alternative to a can punch is a can opener, which can be used to open up one end of a tin or can. Both essentially do the same job, in that they enable a bartender to get to the contents of a tin or can, so which one you choose is entirely down to preference, although most bartenders prefer a simple can punch due to the ease and speed of use.

Champagne or Wine Stopper

When wine or champagne is sold by the glass, rather than by the bottle, it is important to have a champagne or wine stopper to keep it fresh – and sparkling, in the case of champagne – once it has been opened. These stoppers are simple and easy to use and comprise of a twisted stopper with two wings attached that clamp down around the lip of the open bottle.

Speed Pourer

A speed pourer is a commonly used in bars to enable bartenders quickly and easily poor accurate measures of different liquors. As well as speeding up the pouring process, with a bit of experience, bartenders can judge reasonably accurately how much liquid they are pouring. Once you’re aware of how quickly a certain pourer allows liquid to flow, it is simply a matter of counting in order to pour the desired amount.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Different ingredients – such as sugar or spices – for which measuring cups and spoons are required. These are particularly useful when it comes to adding the right quantity of ingredients to drinks such as punches.

Citrus Zester

As well as making great garnishes, the aromatic flavors and essential oils of many citrus fruits help to enhance the flavors of various cocktails. A citrus the zester, otherwise known as a citrus peel, is a simple tool that enables bartenders to cut a strip about a quarter of an inch wide, from the rind of citrus fruits.

Citrus Reamer or Juicer

When it comes to getting the most out of citrus fruits then a juicer is a must. Juicers are available in both electric and manual formats, but the end result is the same – to help squeeze the juices from citrus fruits. A useful tip when it comes to squeezing the juice out of citrus fruits is to warm the fruit up slightly beforehand, which softens it. This can be done by leaving the fruit in warm water for a few minutes.

Garnish Caddy

Just like food, the appearance and flavors of cocktails and other drinks can benefit from a variety of garnishes. A Garnish caddy has a variety of compartments for holding a wide array of garnishes, such as fruit slices and wedges, cherries or olives. This is particularly useful in a busy bar setting as it helps to speed up the cocktail making process.


A blender is commonly used for frozen drinks and is a favorite tool of both amateur and professional cocktail makers alike. When using a blender, it is important to ensure that it is heavy duty and will not break whilst blending ice.

Flash Blender

A flash blender is occasionally used to quickly blend together liquids, and is particularly good at creating a frothy texture.

Knife and Cutting Board

When it comes to preparing garnishes, it is important to have a sharp knife and a cutting board. It is important that the knife is sharp, as not only does this make it quicker and easier to cut the fruit, but it reduces the risk of accidents that can occur as a result of a blunt knife slipping on the surface of the fruit and catching a finger.

Salt/ Sugar Rimmer

For margaritas and a variety of other cocktails, a salt/sugar rimmer helps to coat the rim of the glasses.

Walk-in Refrigerator or Chilled Cellar

A walk-in refrigerator is essentially a chilled room that uses a cooling system to keep the area at the correct temperature. A chilled cellar does a similar job, but may be larger and able to accommodate more stock. Typically, larger venues will have a chilled cellar – often underground, but not always – where the beer kegs are stored, with lines carrying the beer from the cellar to the beer pump on the bar.

Cooler and Tap

For smaller establishments, particularly those that don’t sell a lot of beer, it may not be cost-effective to have a walk-in refrigerator or chilled cellar. If this is the case then a cooler and tap can be used as a substitute. Essentially, the cooler helps to keep and serve the beer at the right temperature.

Liquor Well

Liquor well is a form of bucket in which ice can be stored, along with any liquor bottles. This will generally be kept on the under bar and will contain the most commonly used liquors.

Ice Maker

An icemaker is an essential piece of equipment for bars. Ice makers are used to supply the bar with any ice that is needed. There is a wide choice of ice makers to choose from, so as to accommodate the needs of different bars. It is important to choose one that will be big enough and have another production power to accommodate the needs of your bar at the busiest points of service – running out of ice has a serious impact on the bar’s ability to correctly make a wide variety of drinks, and can be a sure-fire way of losing custom.

Ice Bucket and Accessories

Finally, you will need somewhere to store the ice, and this is where the ice bucket comes in. Depending on the size of the bar, you may need several ice buckets. These should be spread out so as to make service as streamlined as possible. You should not pick up the ice with either your hands or the glass – which could be damaged and leave hazardous shards of glass in the ice. Instead, ice tongs or ice cubes should be used.

Most Common Glasses That Most Bars Will Require

Cocktail glass (Martini style) Poco grande Hurricane glass Margarita saucer Collins Highball Old-fashioned Pint glass Zombie glass Rocks glass Wine (red and white) Champagne flute Champagne saucer Brandy snifter Shooters glass Pousse-cafe Irish Coffee Pitcher

Glass Racks

Glass racks come in many forms, including overhead metal rails from which to hang stemmed glasses, as well as plastic mats that are laid out on shelves so as to prevent the glass from coming into contact with the shelves. It is important to regularly clean glass storage areas.


A glasswasher is similar to a regular dishwasher, except that it is specifically designed for the use of glass. As a result, it should not be used for crockery and non-glass items. Commercial glasswashers only take a few minutes to properly clean glassware, which is important in a busy bar setting. Depending upon the glassware that your bar will be using, you may need special trays and attachments to keep delicate glassware safe during the washing process.

Bar Sinks

Bar sinks are a necessity and are used for a variety of purposes, including being able to quickly wash glasses as needed. Whilst a glasswasher should take care of the bulk of the glass washing, if you need a glass in a hurry and you cannot wait then the bar sink will act as your savior. Where possible, it is best to go for a triple sink system.

Serving Accessories

Stirrers Straws Picks Spoons Napkins Bar mats Service mats

Service Mats

Service mats can include rubber strips that go on the front bar and will generally have raised nodules that allow for excess liquid to drip away and be caught in the mat, so as to prevent the bar from getting wet and sticky.

Cleaning Supplies

Washing racks A soap and/or sanitizer dispenser A hand sink A paper towel dispenser Sanitizer sprays and buckets Bar towels and cleaning clothes

Speed Rail

Where open bottles of the most commonly used spirits should be kept.

How to Set Yourself Apart From Other Bartenders

Be entertaining, comforting, and attentive to your customers.

Beer Storage

As you probably know, beer is classically served in two different forms at a bar: in a bottle/can or out of a tap. If you want to provide your customers with their favorite brew at the highest quality possible, there are some simple rules to follow. While the optimal temperature varies depending on the type of beer that you are serving, you generally want to keep your beer cooler or keg fridge at a consistent temperature of between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit or 2-4 degrees Celsius. This will ensure that every beer you serve will be cold, refreshing, and most importantly, fresh. You do not necessarily need to refrigerate bottled/canned beer immediately, but you should avoid constantly moving it between cold and warm temperatures, which significantly affects how long it remains fresh. If you are working in a bar that serves a lot of different types of beers and prides itself on serving them each at their very best, you will want to vary the temperatures a bit. Follow this simple guide: 35 °F (2 °C): Very light beers with lower alcohol content. 40 °F (4 °C): Wheat beers and pilsners. 45 °F (7 °C): IPA’s, porters, and light stouts. 50 °F (10 °C): Ales and bocks. 55 °F (12.5 °C): Heavy stouts and strong ales. Make sure that regardless of the specifications of the beer, you keep the temperature consistent. Nothing makes a beer bitter faster than fluctuating temperatures. And bitter beer leads to unhappy customers.

Liquor Storage

Alcohol does not freeze, nor does it go bad, so the temperature at which you store your liquor is somewhat moot. As a general rule, you don’t want refrigerate liquor, though, because if a customer wants their drink neat, they probably don’t want it to be served cold. You can always add ice to chill liquor, but it is much harder to warm it up without ruining the taste. Purists of a specific liquor will often order their liquor neat, which means they would like it served untainted by ice or cold. With this in mind, it is good to keep all of your liquors at room temperature. The only exception to this rule, however, is liqueur that contains dairy, which can spoil. With dairy-based liqueurs, you want to keep them in a refrigerator or in ice.

Wine Storage

Storing wine at the proper temperature is a science, so feel free to do some research on the best temperature for a particular wine. Here are some general guidelines to follow, however. Generally, you want to store your wine at a consistent temperature of 55 °F (13 °C). If your wine is stored in heat exceeding room temperature, it can significantly affect the taste and texture. Similarly, it can be dangerous to store your wine at temperatures below 45 °F (7 °C), which could cause similar shifts in taste and texture. While many of your customers will prefer to have their white wine chilled, you should not keep it chilled while it is being stored. Here is a more detailed chart for you to remember regarding proper storing temperatures for wine: 45-50 °F (7-10 °C): Sparkling wines and rosés. 50-55 °F (10-13 °C): Whites and light-bodied reds. 55-60 °F (13-15 °C): Medium-bodied reds. 60-65 °F (15-18 °C): Full-bodied reds. Wine is very finicky and fragile, so it is extremely important that it is stored some place where it’s environment is consistent. Wine can change flavor due to sudden changes in temperature, sudden changes in humidity, shaking, etc., so make sure that you are very careful with it. In addition, wine is best when it is stored on its side. If you are working in a bar that does not specialize in wine, you may not need to know all of this, but if you are working at a wine bar, then all of it matters. Wine connoisseurs are very particular, and if you can get everything right, you’ll have customers for life.

Glassware Storage

Glassware is probably the last thing you think of when you think of the taste of your drink. However, if glassware is not stored properly, it can drastically affect the taste of whatever it contains. When dust, smoke, grease, and other contaminants get into your glass, you can taste them. Therefore, glassware should always be stored on a flat, level surface, upside down. Place an open mat underneath the glasses so that air can get in. Many bars choose to store wine glasses on a hanging rack because it makes them look more aesthetically pleasing. If your bar uses hanging racks, make sure you constantly rotate the glasses so that all the glassware gets equal use. For beer glasses, it is acceptable to store them in a glass freezer, so that customers can have chilled mugs to drink from. Just like with everything else, it is important that the freezer is clean and contaminant-free.

Beer Serving

Casual beer drinkers may wonder why their local bar gives them a different type of glass depending on what they order. For beer connoisseurs, the type of glass that their beer is served in is extremely important because it can subtly change the flavor and presentation of the beer.

Pint Glass

This is your basic beer glass. There aren’t many advantages or disadvantages to this glass.

Pilsner Glass

The flute shape of this glass allows for a greater release of aromatics, making it perfect for (surprise!) pilsners, as well as some lagers.

Weizen Glass

The shape of this glass lends itself nicely to heffeweizens and wheat beers because it accentuates the color and leaves room for a healthy head.

Stemmed Tulip Glass

Much like with a wine glass, the stem of a tulip glass allows you to grip the beer without affecting its temperature. Because of this, it is used mostly for delicate, craft beers. Mugs also allow you to hold a beer without warming it up, but mugs are used more universally for any type of beer.

Liquor Serving

The proper glass for a liquor or mixed drink varies based on the type of alcohol as well as the type of mixer.

Collins or Highball Glass

The highball glass is meant for cold drinks, usually served over a lot of ice. Oftentimes, bars will use a highball when a drink consists of 2 ingredients: liquor and a mixer. It is an elegant design, and is meant to be a high-end alternative to the rocks glass (Drinks: Gin fizzy, Tom Collins, Cubra Libre, Tequila Sunrise).

Rocks Glass (Old-Fashioned Glass)

Traditionally, this glass is used for an old fashioned, but it is also used for more complicated mixed drinks as well as straight liquor on the rocks (Popular drinks: Old Fashioned, Whiskey on the rocks, Whiskey sour, Mint Julep).

Martini Glass

As you would guess, this glass is perfect for martinis and martini variations (Popular drinks: Cosmopolitan, Martini).

Margarita Glass

Once again, the name speaks for itself. This glass is used primarily for margaritas and margarita variations (Popular drinks: Frozen Margarita, Margarita on the rocks).

Shot Glass

This glass is specially designed for 1 serving of liquor or a highly alcoholic mixed drink (Popular drinks: Tequila shot, Three Wise Men, Kamikaze).

Specialty Glass

There are hundreds of different specialty glasses that vary in size and shape.

Wine Serving

While most bars will serve all of their wine in a similar glass, there are specific types of glasses for different types of wines. If you end up at a wine bar, you will need to know all the different varieties.

White Wine Pt I

Although sizes can vary, white wine is best served in a glass with a bowl that has a small mouth. The small mouth cuts down on oxidation, which is known to mask the taste of light, crisper whites.

Red Wine Pt I

Red wine is typically served in a glass with a wider mouth. The wide mouth allows for more oxidation, which helps to accentuate the flavors of the wine. Some full-bodied whites can also be served in these glasses.

Champagne Flute

The special design of this glass helps facilitate the sparkle of Champagne or Prosecco. It helps to keep your drink fresh and not flat (Popular drinks: Champagne, Prosecco, Bellini, Mimosa).

Personal Hygiene

You need to make yourself presentable to your clientele. The way you dress may depend on the bar or restaurant in which you work, but your hygiene should remain the same. The guideline for proper personal hygiene is rather simple and logical: Make sure that when you come to work, you are showered and are not bringing outside contaminants into the bar. Keep hair trimmed or tied back. Wash your hands consistently throughout your shift, making sure to use proper soap to avoid contaminants that you pick up during the shift.

Professional Hygiene and Safety

Professional hygiene refers to the care that you take to keep your bar, glassware, instruments, and mixers/garnishes clean and presentable for your customers. Poor professional hygiene can directly cause customers to get sick or hurt, as well as make your bar unattractive and therefore affect your business. Typically in a bar, you have to guard yourself and your customers against 3 types of hazard: biological, chemical, and physical.

Biological Hazards

The main biological hazards that you need to guard against are bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Exposure to biological hazards can cause many health risks, including sickness, infection, and even death.

Chemical Hazards

In a bar or restaurant, there are always going to be chemicals around (cleaning chemicals, food additives, etc.). Make sure that you treat these chemicals with the respect they deserve and follow all instructions.

Physical Hazards

Physical hazards refer to anything man-made that can cause harm to a customer or contaminant a customer’s food or drink. This includes errant shards of glass, sharp items, and even items like bandages that can spread contamination.

Properly Store Food and Drinks

You’re not in charge of storing the food, but be aware in case you need to point out any egregious errors or health risks to management. Be sure to store your dairy products correctly behind the bar, though, as they can go bad and cause health risks. Put lids on open liquor or mixer bottles and be sure to wipe them down after every shift.

Clean Thoroughly and Often

Any time you have a moment where you are not serving a customer, you should be wiping surfaces, washing your instruments, and doing what you can to make sure the bar is clean. Clean shakers and instruments after each use. If you are so busy that you don’t have any down time, take a minute every so often to handle this task.Your customer may have to wait an extra moment, but it is worth it. Make sure to commit to a deeper clean at the end of the night. Remember, contaminants can grow even when you are not around.

Prepare Your Garnishes Properly

When you are cutting garnishes before your shift, make sure you do it on a clean surface with a clean knife or other cutting instrument.

Properly Pack Used Garnishes and Mixers

This goes along with food storage, but make sure you properly pack materials that you are putting away overnight if you intend to use them the next day.

Date Food and Liquids

Put dates on food and liquids if they are being used for more than one day. Make sure you do not exceed a reasonable shelf time for items that can go bad or attract mold.


Garnishes have a variety of different purposes, the most basic of which is that they add a slight and accentuating flavor to a drink. They are also used to add texture and color to a drink, as well as a decorative flair. The right garnish can turn a boring, unattractive drink into something that everyone wants. It is important that you know how to prepare, use, and store your garnishes.

Preparing Garnishes

It is important that you prepare garnishes with care and attention to safety. When cutting garnishes, there are several different methods that can affect the look and flavor of the garnish. Some of these methods can be prepared ahead of time, while some of them need to be executed in the moment.


This is a classic garnish style used for lemons, limes, and oranges. This can be prepared ahead of time. Cut the ends off of your fruit. Then, cut your fruit in quarters, vertically. Then slice wedges off, diagonally.

Wheel Wedges

This is an alternative to the wedge used for lemons, limes, and oranges. The flavor is essentially the same, except that the customer gets less of the peel. Cut the ends off of your fruit. Then, cut off wheel slices that are about ¼ in thick.


This technique is also used for lemons, limes, and oranges. Cut of the ends of the fruit; then slice the rind in 1/3 strips. Twist the rind and place in the drink, or rest it on the edge of the glass.


This technique is generally used for garnishes like chocolate and cinnamon. Grab a block or stick and use a cheese grater (or similar item) to shave the garnish.


Bartenders often use fruit to add a touch of flavor, either as a complement to the drink, or to contrast a flavor in the drink. Lemon: Lemons are used to add a bitter or sour note to a drink, and are often used in iced tea based drinks. Orange: Oranges add a refreshing and sweet citrus note to a drink. They are usually added to drinks like Tom Collins or drinks containing orange juice or orange liqueur. They are even sometimes paired with hefeweizens and wheat beers. Cherry: Cherries are famously used for old school whiskey drinks like Manhattans, but are also used to add a fruity note to dessert drinks (usually atop whipped cream). Olive: There are various types of olives available, but they are most often used to add a subtle flavor to martinis. Lime: Limes are used very much like lemons, except that they are used primarily for drinks that use tonic or club soda, as well as margaritas. Apple: Apple slices are often used as a garnish for apple flavored drinks, especially apple martinis. Pineapple: Used to garnish fruity, tropical drinks by accentuating the flavors as well as adding to the aesthetic of the drink. Celery: Classically used to garnish a Bloody Mary, although bartenders like to use the Bloody Mary as a platform for unique garnishes, like pickles, lobster tails, sliders, bacon, etc.


Salt: Salt is most classically used to garnish margaritas (you will probably want to ask your customers to specify "with salt" of "without salt"). Pepper: Often used for a Bloody Mary, but different variations are used for martinis and even margaritas, as well as mixed drinks (peppercorn, pink peppercorn, etc.). Mint leaves: Mint leaves are usually muddled into drinks like mojitos and mint juleps.


Sugar: Used to garnish dessert-themed martinis (candy and cookies are also sometimes used). Chocolate: Chocolate is used either in pieces or as shavings to garnish sweet drinks. Whipped cream: Added to top off coffee- or dessert-themed drinks.

Inedible Garnishes

Inedible garnishes are used to add color, flair, or a theme to drinks. Some popular inedible garnishes include plastic swords, sparklers, and fancy straws.


Good and proper mixers are essential to any bar. While garnishes are meant to accentuate a customer’s drink, proper mixers often make the drink. It is extremely important that you understand the mixers that you have at your disposal, as well as how to use them.


Sodas make a great mixer because they add texture to a drink. Types: Cola, lemon-lime, tonic water, club soda, ginger ale. Popular drinks: Rum & Cola, Gin & Tonic, Tom Collins, Whiskey & Ginger Ale.


Juices are great because they add fruitiness to a drink. Juices can be used in a full measure or as a splash. Types: Orange, cranberry, pineapple, grapefruit. Popular drinks: Vodka & Cranberry, Sea breeze, Cosmopolitan, Screwdriver.


An alcoholic mixer that adds bitterness to a drink. Types: Orange, chocolate, cinnamon, pepper. Popular drinks: Old Fashioned, Long Island Iced Tea, Gin Swizzle.


Dairy items add a creamy or milky flavor and texture to drinks. These are very popular with dessert-themed drinks, but are also used in others. Types: Milk, cream, eggs. Popular drinks: White Russian, Eggnog, Chocolate Martinis.


Syrups add a concentrated artificial flavor to a drink. Types: Simple syrup, grenadine. Popular drinks: Mojito, Whisky Sour, Mint Julep.


Mixes add concentrated flavors to a drink Types: Sweet and Sour mix, Bloody Mary mix (although most bartenders choose to prepare their own mixes fresh). Popular drinks: Margarita, Bloody Mary.

Style and Presentation

Being a good bartender is an art form, and comes down to more than just following a recipe to success. You need to find your own style and make the job your own.

Always Be Positive

Your customers are probably excited to be out at your bar, so match their enthusiasm or risk having a bar full of depressed drinkers.

Have Suggestions

A lot of people don’t know what they want when they go up to the bar, and they will usually just settle for what they know. Gauge your customer’s interests, and make suggestions that will take them out of their shell without alienating them.

Train Your Memory

People love to be remembered, and if they feel there is a bar near them where they are welcome and remembered, they will be loyal to that bar to the end. Remember what your patrons are drinking, remember how they like their drinks, and remember what they told you the last time they were at the bar. They will love you for it, and it will translate to repeat business and more money.

Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes and Anticipate Their Needs

If someone’s glass is getting low, offer a new drink. Bar patrons who do not feel like they are being paid attention to are less likely to buy another drink.

Treat Your Customers Fairly

You can make regulars feel special and at home without ignoring your other customers. If a regular comes in while you are helping someone else, say hello, and then go back to helping your customer. Your regular will understand.

Don’t Lie to Your Customers

It is your job to be prepared with bar knowledge, but plenty of people are going to come in and ask you for a drink you have never heard of. Be honest, and ask them what is in it. If they don’t know, they probably didn’t want it in the first place, so make a suggestion.

Don’t Be Afraid to Card

The basic rule is that you should card anyone who looks under 30, but you could even run into problems with that strategy. If you have any doubts, card them.

Be Professional

People have a tendency to lose their inhibitions when they drink. This often leads to rudeness, anger, and impatience. Respond to these negatives with a positive attitude, or you’re just going to make the situation worse.

Be Creative

There’s no harm in trying to be a mixologist, as long as you are honest with yourself about the result.

Be Yourself

Relate to your customers, but don’t be phony. Most people can see through phony behavior.


The term "up" refers to drinks that come chilled, but without ice, and are served in cocktail glasses.


The term "neat" refers to unmixed liquor that is served at room temperature.


There is a degree of ambiguity around the term "straight". It can be used to refer to a drink that is served either "neat" or "up".

Straight Up

Technically, when using the term "straight up" it should refer to an alcoholic drink that includes ice in the mixing process, and is either shaken or stirred. The drink should then be strained, so as to remove the ice, and served in a stemmed glass. As with the term "straight", "straight up" can be ambiguous, and is sometimes used to mean "neat". Due to the ambiguity if these terms, it is best to clarify with the customer before making the drink.

On the Rocks

In the term "on the rocks", rocks refers to ice. Therefore, when asked for a drink "on the rocks", the drink should be served over ice.

Well Drinks

Well drinks, otherwise known as "rail drinks", refer to a category of lower-priced drinks that an establishment may serve.

Top Shelf

Top-shelf drinks, sometimes also known as "call drinks", are the opposite of well drinks, and refer to a category of higher-priced drinks.

The Three Basic Methods of Mixology

The three basic methods of making drinks: shaking, building and stirring. Some drinks are made using only one of these methods, whilst other drinks are made using one of these processes combined with one of the methods outlined in the next section. It is important to have a good understanding of these three basic methods as they are used when making many of the most popular cocktails and drinks. Having said that, not all cocktails will necessarily use one of these three basic methods.

Shaking Pt I

The shaking method is generally used for cocktails that include ingredients such as fruit juices, egg whites, cream, simple syrups, as well as other mixes that may be thicker in texture. Whilst stirring is potentially a method that could be used for drinks that contain some of these ingredients – such as fruit juice – cocktails that contain a cream should always be shaken. The purpose of shaking is to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. The process will give the drink an appearance that is slightly cloudy; therefore, it should not be used for cocktails that should be clearer in appearance. In fact, as well as creating the correct appearance for a drink, the shaking process helps to achieve a certain consistency and texture, as well as the right temperature. The shaking motion causes the ice within the container to chip at the corners; the bits that break off help to dilute and chill the liquid. The larger chunks of ice that remain also help with the chilling process whilst the cocktail is blended and aerated. There are different approaches and styles of shaking, which are used to achieve different results based on the cocktail or drink that is being made. For example, if the drink is to be served "up" – i.e. chilled but without ice – then it needs to be shaken for longer, in order to chill the drink properly. A hard shake will also help to create a frothy consistency. Alternatively, for drinks that are served on ice, the method should be adapted as appropriate.

Shaking Pt II

A good tip relating to how long you should shake the drink for is that you should stop when the metal of the shaker is close to frozen. When it comes to making the drink, you do not want to overfill the shaker; therefore, it is best to always use the correct ratio of ice to liquid. Furthermore, do not try and make too many drinks at once – it is best to stick to no more than a couple of drinks worth of liquor inside the tumbler at any one time. Ultimately, there should be plenty of room left for the ingredients to be able to move around. Not only does this help to ensure that the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, but it helps to minimize the risks of spills occurring during the shaking process. If using a Boston shaker then, to begin with, you should half-fill the metal part of the shaker with ice – less ice can be added if using a smaller shaker, particularly when making more than one drink. By adding the ice first, this will lower the temperature of the shaker, which helps to chill the liquids once they are added. Next, take the mixing glass and add the liquid ingredients. By putting the ice into the metal side of the shaker, as opposed to the glass side, you will be to see more clearly how much liquid is being poured into the container. Next comes the fun part – the shake. It is important to hold both parts of the shaker with a firm grip, so as to avoid any spillages. You should then shake the mixture vigorously; do not be shy about using a good deal of force, as you want the ingredients to mix well. A common mistake that new bartenders make is to shake the drink too gently, which can have a negative impact on the end result.

Shaking Pt. III

As a bartender, it is important to appear joyful and to look confident when shaking the cocktail. Think of it as putting on a show, rather than simply making a drink. As soon as the shaking begins, the rattle of ice will attract the attention of nearby customers, and can act as a great spectacle when done correctly. To ensure that you don’t under shake the cocktail, it can be a good idea to count slowly to at least ten, at which point most drinks will be properly mixed. However, if you’re making a cocktail that includes many ingredients or a drink that contains ingredients that don’t combine so easily, you should shake the drink longer and harder – about 30 seconds should be plenty. If you’ve ever seen a bartender making cocktails before you may have noticed that the process has a rhythmic feel about it. If you try and shake the drink to beat, not only does it look and sound more impressive, but it can help with the mixing process as well. Finally, adopt a posture whereby you are shaking the cocktail over one or other of your shoulders. Not only does this help to increase the force that you can impart upon the process, but it also helps to minimize the chances of getting customers wet in the unfortunate event that the shaker should come apart.


The building technique is generally considered to be the easiest method used when making cocktails. Whilst the technique is commonly used for non-alcoholic drinks, it can also be appropriate for cocktails that include carbonated ingredients, an example of which would be a rum and Coke. In this instance, the carbonation effect of the soda helps to mix the drink naturally. The most important thing to consider when using the building technique to make a cocktail is what type of ice will be included. There are three factors which can influence which ice should be used. These factors are: The preferred level of dilution The alcoholic strength of the drink The temperature The surface area of the ice plays an important role in determining how diluted and chilled a drink may be. For crushed ice, which has a larger surface area, the cocktail will be more diluted, which helps to chill the drink more effectively. Conversely, ice cubes, which have a smaller surface area, will dilate the cocktail less, as well as being less effective at chilling the drink. The process that is used when building a drink is very straightforward. Firstly, you start by adding any basic ingredients, such as liquors or syrups. The next step is to add the ice and, if any carbonated ingredients are included, then they are added last. Often, the ingredients can be left to sit on top of one another; however, there may be times where it is appropriate to give a gentle stir with a swizzle stick, so as to help the ingredients mix. Finally, if any garnish is being used then this is added just before serving.


When it comes to making cocktails, the stirring method is relatively easy; however, it is important to know when to stir cocktails. Generally, drinks will be stirred if they contain clear ingredients, and nothing else. Clear ingredients may include spirits, bitters or syrups. Some examples of cocktails that contain clear ingredients and should be stirred include: Martinis Manhattans Sazeracs There are four main reasons for stirring cocktails, as opposed to using other methods to mix the drink. These reasons include: Presentation – Stirring cocktails maintains the clarity of the drink. Texture – When drinks are shaken it helps to aerate the drink, whereas stirring helps to avoid the production of bubbles. Temperature – By stirring a drink, as opposed to shaking it, you can minimize the chilling effect of ice. Dilution – Stirring the drink prevent excess dilution from the ice. As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes. The appearance of food has a major impact upon how we think something will taste, as well as our desire to eat it. This is equally true when it comes to how we imbibe. For example, if you were to take a popular drink that should be stirred, such as Manhattan, and you were to shake it, you would notice that the drink will have a slight haze to it, as opposed to the perfectly clear presentation of a properly made Manhattan.

Other Mixology Methods

There are a wide range of other mixing methods. These methods all serve a purpose, including factors such as maximizing flavors, creating the perfect texture and controlling temperature. Not only can some of these methods have a great impact on the end result of the cocktail, but the process of making them can be incredibly exciting for the customers as well. From the impressive effects and skills displayed when throwing cocktails, to the dazzling visualizations produced from the flaming technique, good bartenders can ensure customers enjoy a unique and exciting experience which begins before they have even put the glass to their lips.

Dry Shake

The dry shake method is an extension on the standard shaking technique, and is predominantly used for cocktails that contain eggs. With this method, you should add all the ingredients into the cocktail shaker, with the exception of the ice. Next, you add the spring from a Hawthorn strainer into the mix. The mix should then be shaken for about 10 seconds or so, which will help to whisk the egg white. At this point, the dry shake method is essentially complete. The spring should be removed and any ice should be added. You can now continue to shake the cocktail just as you would normally, so as to finish it off.

Double Strain

The double strain method, as the name suggests, is a way of further straining the cocktail before it is served. The reasons for doing this are simple – it enables the bartender to serve a drink with a smoother texture. Whilst this isn’t a necessary technique for most cocktails, it is still possible to use the technique with the vast majority of drinks; essentially, it is an extra step that is carried out according to the preference of the bartender. To carry out the technique, simply make the cocktail in the way that you normally would; however, before pouring the drink, use a fine mesh strainer, such as a tea strainer, to filter out any unwanted ice, small bits and pieces of fruit, as well as any other debris that you do not want in the drink.


The throwing technique is one of the most visually impressive of all the cocktail making methods. Essentially, you are transferring the liquid from one cup to another, and over as high a distance as your arms can reach. Whilst just about any cocktail can be made using the throwing technique, it is most effective when the drink contains vermouth, sherry or any other wine-based ingredients. The reason that the technique is so effective when it comes to wine-based ingredients is that it helps to aerate the drink, whilst also maximizing the release of any aromatics. The end result should be that that many minute air bubbles are created. This has a great impact on the texture of the drink, which cannot be replicated with stirring or shaken. When done correctly, the stirring technique will not cause any bubbles to be created, whereas the shaking technique should create bubbles that are much larger in size than those produced as a result of the throwing technique. The throwing technique looks like a highly skilled cocktail method, and one which appears like it could be difficult to learn. However, with a bit of practice and experience is actually very easy to pick up and perform. If you have not seen someone carry out the throwing technique then essentially what you need to visualize is pouring the mix from one cup above your head down into another cup which will be around waist height, or below.

Throwing Pt II

To start off with, you need the two vessels that you are going to throw the drinks between. It is best to use shaker tins, rather than mixing glasses, as you can achieve a cleaner pour with the steel rim. Once you have your two vessels, pour the ice and the ingredients into one of them. It is important not to overfill the vessel with ice, as this can make it difficult to control. However, you will need enough ice to sufficiently cool the drink, bearing in mind that only the liquid, as opposed to the ice, will be thrown; therefore, the ice will only be cooling the ingredients for about half of the time. The vessel with the ingredients in it will be the ‘top vessel’. To prevent the ice from pouring out you will need to use either a Julep or a Hawthorne strainer. You will need to throw the cocktail multiple times, so this should be inserted an angle of roughly 45°, to make it easier to when it comes to pouring the liquid back into the top vessel. You are now ready to start the throw. The top vessel should be held above head height, using your stronger hand (i.e. your right hand if you are right-handed). The other hand will be used to hold the ‘catching vessel’. The catching vessel should be held as close to the brim as possible, using the thumb and middle finger for gripping. The catching vessel should be able to pivot between your fingers and, by holding it close to the brim; you should have the maneuverability to bring it down as close your needs as possible. The top vessel should be kept stationary during the throwing process, with the catching vessel doing all of the movement. If you try and move both arms then you are more likely to spill the drink; whereas, by moving only the catching vessel, you’ll be able to guide it down safely as the liquid flows – essentially, you need to trust gravity to do its job.

Throwing Pt III

To begin with, raise the catching vessel up towards the top vessel. At this point, you should tilt the top vessel so that it begins to pour into the catching vessel -be sure not to start pouring too strongly, so that you can control the rate of flow more easily. To prevent splashing, it is best to hold the catching vessel at a slight angle. This will make it easier for the liquid to hit the side of the vessel, rather than landing straight in the liquid. Gradually begin to lower the catching vessel as the liquid starts to pour. It is important that you concentrate only on the catching vessel. You need to trust yourself to pour the top vessel smoothly and avoid the temptation to look at it as this can cause you to lose coordination between the two vessels. If you watch only the catching vessel then you can see where the liquid is flowing, thus making it easier to avoid spilling any. The aerating effect of throwing cocktails is achieved as a result of the falling motion, from high to low, that the liquid goes through. As a result, you want to gradually increase the gap between the two vessels, remembering to keep the top vessel as high as possible. The catching vessel should end up somewhere between your waist and your knees, at which point you should aim to have at least a third of the liquid still left a poor, as this will maximize the aerating effect. As the last of the liquid pours out, the flow will be broken and will start to come out in droplets. At this point, adjust the way in which you are holding the catching vessel, so that it is no longer at an angle, but it is vertical. By doing so, the remaining droplets will lend directly into the mix. The effect of this is that oxygen is pulled down into the drink, which helps to open it up. Having completed the throw, you will then need to pour the liquid back into the top vessel so that you can repeat the process. Generally, about four or five throws are required to achieve the results that you are looking for. If you look at the liquid then you will notice the fine bubbles that have formed during the pouring process. With experience, you will gain an appreciation of when you have thrown it a sufficient amount of times.


Muddling is used to break up certain fresh ingredients so as to extract and release as much flavor as possible. Ingredients that may require muddling may include mint, citrus fruits and other soft fruits. When muddling mint, it is important that the leaves are sufficiently broken up and bruised; however, be careful not to over grind the ingredients, as you do not want to produce a soggy paste. The process is very straightforward, simply take any ingredients that need to be muddled and add them to a shaker – if using a glass then take extra care, so as to minimize the risks of breaking it. You should then take the cocktail muddler and gently crush the ingredients. If soft fruit is included then it should be pulped, as this helps to release all of the juices; however, it is important that the seeds are not crushed as they can give an unpleasant bitter flavor to the cocktail.


Blenders are generally used for cocktails that contain ingredients, such as harder fruit, which will not be broken down using the shaking or other techniques. The blending process helps to break the ingredients down into a smooth liquid, which can be served immediately, thus making it relatively quick and easy process to carry out. Ice can potentially damage the blades of blenders, especially if it has set rock solid. Therefore, if using the blending process for a recipe that includes ice then it is best to use crushed ice, which will be easier on the blades. Furthermore, it is important to always use a blender that is made of heavy duty glass, as opposed to plastic, as this minimizes the chances of the cup being broken.


The layering process takes advantage of the different densities of liquids, so as to create a multi-tiered drink. Essentially, you are aiming to build up layers by floating different ingredients on top of one another. These ingredients may include liqueurs or cream, as well as a variety of other liquids. A spoon – particularly a bar spoon – is essential to help ensure that the ingredients are added as smoothly as possible. The spoon should be turned so that the rounded or back part will receive the liquid as it is poured. The process should be carried out slowly, so as to minimize any disturbance of the liquids below. The liquid should be poured slowly onto the back of the spoon and allowed to trickle down the inside of the glass. The technique is not too difficult but it can take some practice in order to master it. Furthermore, with more experience, you will gain an appreciation of which liquids are denser than others and, therefore, which ingredients can successfully be layered on top of others.


Judging by the name, it probably comes as no surprise that the flaming technique involves setting light to a cocktail or liquor. Depending upon the color and intensity of the flame, the visual effects can be appreciated best in a slightly darkened environment. Although the technique looks impressive, the main reason for doing it is in fact to enhance the flavor of a cocktail or a drink. Due to the hazardous nature of fire, it is important to be in complete control whilst carrying out this technique and you should always be cautious not to accidentally burn anything or anyone.

Pouring Techniques

Whilst it may seem obvious how to pour liquid, there are various techniques that are used in the bar industry to ensure the process is carried out properly. The main purposes of using the correct pouring techniques include: To ensure the drink contains the correct quantities of liquor, so as to ensure a consistently high quality flavor with every drink served To ensure that wastage is kept to a minimum, in order to help maintain costs To avoid making a mess on the bar area To ensure that an effective pour is achieved, it is best to use the speed pourer. This helps to ensure a smooth and consistent flow of liquid from the bottle to the receptacle in which the liquid is being poured. In order to pour the bottle correctly you need to understand what grip to use. With the bottle placed normally on a surface, in the upright position, the neck should be positioned in between the base of your thumb and your forefinger, with the palm facing upwards – imagine you were to shake hands with the bottle. Now take hold of the bottle and begin to raise it up so that it is upended and completely vertical, with the bottom facing upwards. When doing the action correctly, your elbow should be slightly raised.

The Jigger Method

The jigger method involves the use of measures called jiggers – hence the name of the technique. A jigger is a small metal measuring device – usually double ended and capable of measuring either 1oz (30 mL) or 1.5oz (45 mL) measures. The main disadvantage of the jigger method is that it is more awkward and relatively slow when compared to other measures, as it takes more time to carefully pour the liquid into the jigger. However, there are several advantages to the method. Firstly, for beginners, it is an easy way of achieving an exact poor. Secondly, due to the fact that you can achieve precise measure every time, it is often favored by bar managers who wish to manage their stock more effectively. By using a measure, you can avoid the possibility of either over or under pouring the liquor. Some skilled bartenders, who are capable of using other pouring techniques, still favor the jigger method as it enables them to appear more generous to the customer. The way in which this is achieved is by filling the jigger so that it is less than full before pouring it into the glass. They then "top up" the drink with a "one-count" free pour. Essentially, the customer is served a relatively accurate drink, but feels like they are being given extra, which not only makes them feel good, but means that they are more likely to tip.

Free Pouring

The other main pouring method is free pouring, otherwise known as speed pouring. The speed pourer, which attaches to the top of the bottle, is particularly important for this process. Not only does it facilitate the smooth flow of liquid, but the consistency with which it allows you to pour means that you can accurately measure liquids simply by counting. With most speed pourers, you will need to count one second for every 0.5oz (15 mL) that you wish to pour. Therefore, if you wished to pour 2oz (60 mL), for example, then you would need to count four seconds. Before you start using this method however, it is important that you double check that the speed pourer does measure at such a rate, so as to not over or under poor the liquid. Should the speed pourer pour at a rate that is more or less than 0.5oz (15 mL) per second then simply adjust the number of seconds that you count. Before you start to use this method, it can be a good idea to practice using an empty bottle that has been filled with water – so that you don’t waste expensive liquor! Simply pour the liquid into a measuring jug and see how much you pour over a various lengths of time. This will help to get over the initial nerves that new bartenders can suffer when using the free pouring method, but more importantly, it can allow you to adjust your timing so as to be more accurate. A good suggestion is to use the ‘one Mississippi, two Mississippi’ method for counting seconds, but any method that makes you feel comfortable will suffice.

Responsiblity and Flair

A bartender’s job, first and foremost, is to maintain and look out for the safety of all of his or her customers. That is why it is important that you know how to run a register properly, how to provide excellent customer service, and how to responsibly serve your customers. You want your customers to feel relaxed and comfortable at your bar, and they cannot do that unless you are looking out for their safety. Once you’ve got some of those basics down, it’s time to add a little flair to your act. Adding some showmanship to your repertoire is a great way to make yourself memorable and ensure repeat customers.

Cash Register

Being a bartender is not just about making great drinks. A great bartender also has to know how to handle money efficiently. In a busy bar, bartenders are constantly being handed cash and credit cards, and it can be easy for them to get mixed up if they are not properly trained. Regardless of the system that your restaurant/bar has set in place, it is important that you know how to control and keep track of the cash that is coming in.

POS System

While some bars/restaurants still work with a traditional cash register, most have adopted some sort of POS (Point of Sales) system to help keep inventory and oversee all transactions. A POS system streamlines the bartending process and has a lot of benefits for bartenders, managers, and customers.

Why Does Your Bar/Restaurant Need a POS System?

There are a few important reasons why most modern establishments are using a POS system, the main one being that it computerizes all the sales that go through the system. This helps by allowing the following benefits: Running a bar/restaurant without a POS system forces you to rely heavily on the staff to be able to manage their money during a shift, and keep track of sales as they go. POS systems take some of that off of the table for staff members by tracking sales digitally. It digitizes the open tab process, and makes it much easier for bartenders to keep track of their customer’s checks. A POS system makes keeping inventory easier. Instead of going around the bar at the end of the shift counting bottles, a manager can simply log on and look at exactly what was sold during service. It makes it much harder for employees to steal, which is unfortunately something that managers need to look out for. All in all, a POS system makes things a lot more efficient and easy for both bartenders and managers/owners.

How Do I Use a POS System?

POS systems differ, but all have a similar structure. Usually, a POS system runs through a series of touch screen monitors that allow you to track orders, process payments, send food orders, etc. These monitors are interconnected, so information can be accessed and processed from any monitor.

Why Should I Use the Bar’s POS System?

If your bar has a POS system, use it. It seems like a time waster if you are getting bombarded with drink orders and suddenly need to stop and enter the drinks into the system, but taking that short time to use the POS system will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. A good manager/owner reviews the POS system every night, and if you don’t log your drinks in properly, there will be discrepancies. If there are discrepancies, you could be accused of stealing. If multiple bartenders need to help a customer, they can see an accurate record of what the customer has ordered. Keeping a record of what someone orders will help you avoid issues when a customer starts a tab. Without this record, it is your word against his or hers. As the bartender you’ll probably win this argument, but it is a confrontation that you can avoid altogether.

What Do I Do If My Bar Only Uses a Classic Register?

A POS system makes your job easier, but your job can be done with just a cash register (it was done that way for hundreds of years). If your bar has a traditional register, you just need to be extra aware when you are keeping track of orders. You will need to memorize drink prices and make sure you are always recording drinks when they are ordered.

Keeping Track of Cash and Receipts

Regardless of whether your bar uses a POS system or a register, it is important that you keep track of everything that passes through your hands. Lost cash or receipts will affect your register’s balance at the end of the night, and will cut into your tips. Figure out an organized way to handle your money. Organize as you go, so you’re not left with a mess to clean up at the end of the night.


Most people will tip you for your services, and your livelihood depends on those tips. The way you present yourself, talk to customers, and make great drinks all affect your tips at the end of the night. Here are some important things to remember about tipping: Customers should tip, but they do not have to. If people do not tip you, it is sometimes an indication that they were unsatisfied with the level of service that you offered them. However, it is important to remember that some people just don’t tip. Have a short memory for these incidents and try not to treat low tippers differently than your other customers. Try to keep your tips separate from the register, and keep them organized. This is the bulk of your compensation, so keep it organized and make sure nothing happens to it. When someone pays with cash, it is always proper to make sure that they do not need change. As you become more comfortable with the job, you can come up with your own casual way of bringing it up, but try not to assume that you are getting a big tip. Even if your bar/restaurant does not require you to, tip out anyone who helped you behind the bar (i.e. buybacks).


The art of the buyback is slowly dying, so it is important to check with your manager or owner regarding their policy. In general, you do not want to give away free drinks when management does not allow it. Your inventory will be off, and it is a form of stealing. Some bars encourage their bartenders to give their customers a drink on the house after they have already purchased a set number of rounds (the generally accepted number is 3). However, make sure it is all right with your boss before you just start doing it.


It is important to do proper inventory behind the bar before and after each shift. Every so often, you should take inventory of your entire stock. It is important to take proper inventory because most bar managers certainly will. Inventory is important because: Managers know how much money they should net out of each bottle of liquor, bottle, of wine, keg of beer, or case of beer. A standard shot of vodka, for example, is 1.5 oz (45mL). There are approximately 25 ounces in a traditional bottle (750 mL). That means that you manager knows that you should be able to get between 16 and 17 drinks out of that bottle. If you find a discrepancy before your manager does, you can get ahead of it and figure out what happened. Doing inventory before your shift ensures that you are prepared. Doing it after the shift ensures that you are not leaving the next day’s bartender with a mess. Inventory can help you price out drinks. If you want to be a mixologist who comes up with his or her own unique drinks, you need to be able to figure out what to charge in order to make it appealing to the customer and profitable to you.

Customer Service

Customer service is extremely important in the service industry, and bartending is no exception. As a bartender, you at all times need to be server, coach, sounding board, and chaperone to your customers, and make sure that they have a great time while they are in your establishment. There are two major principles to focus on whenever you are behind the bar: 1. Make sure your customers are safe. 2. Make sure your customers are happy. Invariably, you are going to run into a situation where these two principles come into conflict with each other. If a situation arises where making one customer happy would endanger himself or others, safety becomes the main priority. We will focus on that in the next section. Here, let’s focus on keeping the customer happy.

Make Sure Your Customers Are Happy

As a bartender, you are in a position of control over your customers. They want something that you have. It is important that you don’t abuse this power. Remember, this experience is about the customer having a great time, not you.

Know Your Drinks

You can’t know every drink, but many customers are going to come in looking for a new and unique drink. Make this a fun experience for them.

Be Prepared

Make sure you fully prepare everything before your shift so you can cut down on how often you have to say "I’m sorry, we don’t have that" during the night. Cut your garnishes, stock your liquor, wine, and beer, and make sure you are well stocked with glassware.

Be Aware of the Surroundings

This applies to both your customer’s comfort (heating, AC, music volume) and their safety (inappropriate behavior).

If Your Customer is Trying to Choose a Beer, Don’t Be Afraid to Give Samples.

Your manager/owner might frown on free drinks, but samples can help boost sales. Just don’t let customers take advantage of you. Use your beer knowledge and ask questions to assess what kind of beer your customer will like.

Be Friendly

This means more than just smiling when a customer orders from you. Talk with your customers. But remember to always take the social temperature of the room. In other words, be aware when the customers don’t want you to talk to them.

Be Available to Your Customers

If you are in a conversation with customers who don’t need drinks at the moment, pay attention to the rest of the bar as you talk so you are not ignoring anyone. Break away from the conversation periodically to walk the bar (some customers will wait to come up until they see you are indisposed). If you are making drinks for one customer and you see another customer waiting, make eye contact with the waiting customer to assure them that you will be right with them.

Stay Away From Taking Clear-cut Stands on Polarizing Topics

Be yourself, but don’t make your customer feel uncomfortable about his or her beliefs.

Organize Yourself

Not only will it help you out at the end of the shift, it will help give the customers peace of mind. Customers will be comforted to know that their bartender isn’t going to suddenly claim that they never paid because of a lack of organization.

How Do I Manage an Upset Customer?

No matter what you do, you will run into customers who are not satisfied. Hopefully, your impeccable knowledge and excellent customer service will limit these interactions, but you cannot control everything. Listen to the customer. Really listen. Stop doing other things, and listen. Let your customer know that you understand why they are unhappy by repeating their complaint to them. Make sure you actually know why they are unhappy. Do not match their emotion. It is your job to remain calm and collected regardless of their tone. Show the customer that you care. You should be upset that the customer is not happy because it means you, or someone else, has failed in some way. Help them within reason. If a customer brings up a drink and wants a refund, honor their request. Do not honor their request if they have already consumed the entire thing. Some customers will try to take advantage of you. If you genuinely believe them, and believe that their last drink did not measure up, you may want to offer them another drink, but use your discretion. If you are pouring a new drink for a customer, especially if they have complained that it is "too weak," or "too strong" or "not what [they] ordered, mix it in front of them. Talk them through it, and show them how the drink is made. Do not do this condescendingly or smugly. You need to be apologetic and helpful, not bitter and vengeful. If a customer is unruly beyond reason, ask them to leave. If they don’t, you may have to resort to having them removed. This is a last resort, but their belligerence could spark a much more unsafe situation if you do not handle them correctly. You want your customers to be happy, but you don’t want that to be at your expense. Be a helpful hand ready to serve them, but do not let them walk all over you. As a bartender, you need to toe the line between being helpful and a pushover. Imagine that you are hosting a party at your house. You want to do everything possible to make your guests happy and comfortable, but you have to set boundaries, and you have to make sure your guests respect those boundaries.

Responsible Serving of Alcohol

The principle of bartending that trumps them all is to make sure that your customers are safe. This refers to making sure that the customer is safe from themselves as well as others. As a bartender you are serving your customers something that can alter their mood and cause them to act without inhibition. It is your job to manage this experience, and make sure it stays fun for all of your customers. When your need to keep your clientele safe comes into conflict with your ability to make a customer happy, it is important that you put safety first. The first important aspect of serving responsibility is to ensure that your customers are of age.

When to Card

Generally, the rule that most people recite when they are deciding when to card a customer is to card any customers that look like they are under 30. This is not a scientific process, however, so you need to learn to be aware of your surroundings. Looks can be deceiving, so don’t assume that because your customer has a beard, or they are balding, or they are dressed conservatively/professionally that they are older than 21 US or 18 in Europe. If there is any doubt in your mind, card them. The benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks.

How to Spot a Fake ID

You’ve asked you customer for an ID, so now what? First of all, make sure that the ID that the customer has given you is valid. Here is a list of the ID’s you may accept: 1. Passport 2. National Identity Card 3. US Military ID card 4. State ID card 5. Driving license

Examining the ID

The most popular form of identification that customers will give you is a driver’s license, but you need to be prepared to examine any of the above forms of identification. Here is what you need to do: Take the ID from the customer. You need to make sure it feels right and you need to examine it closely. If they try to hand it to you while it is still in their wallet, ask them to take it out. First of all, look for signs of tampering. Here are some common ways that ID’s are tampered with: Adjusted dates. Look closely at the birthdate, the expiration date, and the "under 21 until…" date (or other applicable date). Look for marks or erasures. If the state’s ID is laminated, look to see that it is done properly. If the state ID is laminated when it shouldn’t be, that is a red flag. Look for any cuts or bumpy surfaces, especially near the picture. Look at the print. Is it all the same? Look at the customer’s birthdate. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often minors get away with purchasing alcohol showing their underage ID. Look at the expiration date to make sure it is still valid. If it is expired, it is not a valid form of identification and you should not serve the customer. Look at the picture. Is it the same person who is in front of you? Hair colors and weight might fluctuate, but look at features that generally stay the same, like the eyes. What country/state is the ID from? If it is from out-of-state (and not nearby), you may want to ask the customer a question like, "what brings you all the way here from Oregon?" You should know what the state ID’s look like for the states around you. For states that are far away, most bars should have a book that you can access that shows what a valid driver’s license looks like from every state. If your bar doesn’t have one, encourage your manager/owner to get one.

Validating the ID

Now that you have examined the ID, you need to decide if it is valid or not. If you are still unsure, you can take a couple more steps: Ask the customer questions about what is on their ID Ask for another form of identification (either another valid ID, or a second ID that can corroborate your customer’s identity). Some crafty underage customers will be prepared with a second form of identification that is also fake, so be aware. Ask your manager/owner. If you know the ID is fake, handle it yourself. If you are still unsure, check with your manager/owner. Even though he or she may have no more knowledge than you do, this serves two purposes. Firstly, you can get a second opinion. Secondly, you can ease your personal liability. Make the manager/owner make the call. In this process, if you have any doubts about the ID, refuse service. The customer may get upset, but that is much better than the alternative.

Consequences of Serving Alcohol to a Minor

You are liable for the customers you serve. If you serve alcohol to a minor, you can be held responsible for any of the consequences that follow. This could mean that your bar/restaurant incurs a fine, has their liquor license revoked, or gets shut down for improper serving practices. This could also extend to consequences if that customer decides to drive and gets in an accident or hurts someone. You personally could be held responsible for this. This is not a risk that is worth taking. Once you have assured that all of your customers are over the legal drinking age, your responsibility does not end. You need to be conscious of whether or not your customers are being responsible in their drinking. This is difficult because everyone reacts differently to drinking, but there are some ways that you can assess a customer’s level of inebriation.

Signs of Inebriation

The most important thing to do when trying to assess a customer’s level of inebriation is to assess the customer the first time you speak with them. Chances are they are not intoxicated yet (though you need to look out for that also), so your first meeting is a kind of pre-test for their behavior. While different customers will display different signs, here are a few easy things to look out for: Slurred speech. Remember, some customers may slur when they speak naturally, so think back to whether or not they slurred when you first spoke with them. Speech is louder, noisier, or seems off-topic. Difficulty standing, or clumsy motor functions. Swaying or stumbling as they walk. Glossy, or bloodshot eyes. If you suspect that the customer is intoxicated, talk to them. Ask them questions and see if they can follow a conversation. If they have difficulty keeping attention or seem to have trouble following what you are saying, they may be intoxicated. If you feel like they are on their way to being intoxicated, slow down their service, offer nonalcoholic options, and enlist the help of the customer’s friends (or the group that they are with).

The Customer is Intoxicated, Now What Do I Do?

If a customer is visibly intoxicated, it is your legal requirement to stop serving them alcohol. This can be a delicate situation, since intoxicated people are not always the most reasonable, so you need to handle the situation with care. Do not make a scene. Discreetly tell the customer you cannot sell them alcohol at this time. If possible, offer them something else (water, coffee, an appetizer). Be polite and kind, even if the customer is not so. Be firm. You have made your decision, and you need to stick to it confidently.If the customer sees you wavering, it will only exacerbate the situation. Do not let a customer talk you out of your decision. Regardless of what this customer does, they will not receive anymore alcohol from you tonight.

How to Deal With a Drunken Customer

You have just refused service to a customer, but that does not let you off the hook. You are still responsible for that customer. If they are belligerent, call them a cab and have them removed from the restaurant/bar (your establishment should always have a few numbers for local taxi services posted for this situation). DO NOT LET THEM DRIVE. If you have a bouncer, have the bouncer monitor the intoxicated customer outside until the taxi arrives. If not, you or someone else needs to handle it. If the customer accepts the fact that you can no longer serve them, call them a cab and offer them nonalcoholic solutions while they wait. If they have friends with them, ask the friends to watch over the intoxicated customer. Be aware of what is going on, though. Even if the intoxicated customer’s friends are OK with him or her driving, you are not. Do not let them let the customer drive. Responsible alcohol service is the onus of everyone who works in the establishment. From the bouncer, to you, to your manager, to the owner, everyone needs to be cautious and attentive when serving alcohol. Drinking can be a fun experience, but it can go very wrong if you let it get out of hand.

Flair Bartending

Now that you have learned what you need to get started with service, it is time to add a little flair to your style. Flair bartending is a term that refers to entertaining the customers as you make their drinks, usually through doing tricks with liquor bottles and bar tools. There are even competitions where bartenders can go to show off their skills and compete for supremacy in the art of bottle flipping and bar entertainment. Make sure you have your basic bartending skills down before you start trying to be a flair bartender, but performing tricks can be a great way to earn more tips, get more business, and give your customers a more enjoyable experience.

Juggling Bottles

The most common aspect of flair bartending is bottle juggling and flipping. Flair bartenders will often flip or juggle bottles, and even juggle with other bartenders.

Prop Flipping

Some flair bartenders will also skillfully flip bar instruments in addition to bottles. Items range in size from jiggers to shakers, adding variety to their performance. There are many other ways in which bartenders can add flair to their repertoire, but these are some of the basics.

How Do I Learn to Be a Flair Bartender?

There are two ways you can learn to be a flair bartender: get training or train on the job. If you want to train on the job, you need to be extremely careful. Make sure that, no matter what, the customers are safe. Learning from another bartender is the best on the job training, but if you are training yourself, practice after hours when there is no one in the bar. If you would like to get formal training, there are institutions throughout the country that can help you learn to perform and entertain while you tend bar.

Is Flair Bartending Appropriate?

Do not start flipping bottles and instruments if your manager/owner does not want you to. Flair bartending can be dangerous. Bottles can break and customers can get hurt. Make sure you are trained before you start trying to perform tricks, and make sure your act fits the ambience of the establishment and you have the approval of your boss. If you are looking for a job where you can show off you flair bartending skills, look in major cities or anywhere that highlights performance, like casinos (Las Vegas is probably the perfect place)


The term liquor is used when describing a wide range of alcoholic spirits that have been distilled from fruits, vegetables or fermented grains. Liquors are produced using a pure distillation process, rather than producing alcohol through sugar fermentation. During the distillation process, the mixture is separated which results in pure vapor being produced. The vapor then condenses and, in doing so, it forms liquor with higher alcohol content. Liquors can be drunk either on their own (either chilled or at room temperature), over ice, with a mixer, as part of a cocktail or shooter, or with water. Most bars will stock a wide range of liquors, including brands which are known on a global scale, as well as local varieties.

Popular Liquors

Brandy, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey

Brandy Pt I

Is typically made by distilling mashed grapes; however, it can also be made from a wide variety of other fruits, including apples, pears and plums. Brandy is used in several cocktails, but is more traditionally consumed on its own, often as a nightcap after dinner.

Gin Pt I

Sometimes known as ‘mother’s ruin’ – is commonly consumed over ice with tonic and lime and lemon wedges or slices. It is a very popular cocktail ingredient and can be found in Negronis, Singapore Slings and a wide range of other mixed drinks. Gin is produced through the distillation of a variety of grains and achieves its distinctive flavor largely through the use of juniper berries.

Rum Pt I

Is a very versatile drink and can be consumed either on its own or mixed with other drinks, as well as being a widely used ingredient in cooking. The drink has a long history of being associated with Navy sailors and pirates, and has often been used as a pickling drink. The liquor is produced as a result of the distillation of molasses.

Tequila Pt I

Is Mexican liquor and is officially produced using a plant called blue agave. The drink has a slightly peppery flavor and is often consumed as part of a "Tequila slammer", which involves licking salt, followed by the Tequila and finished off by sucking a lemon or lime wedge.

Vodka Pt I

Is odorless, tasteless, clear liquor that is made predominantly through the distillation of potatoes and grains. The distillation process creates almost pure ethanol, which then has water added to it to make it drinkable, thus making it one of the purest spirits in the world. The origins of the drink are often disputed, with both Russia and Poland claiming to have invented the drink first. These days, it is one of the most popular liquors around the world and is consumed in a number of different ways – often straight and dry in Eastern Europe, or as part of a cocktail in Western Europe and the US.


Is one of the world’s most favorite liquors and is produced by distilling a range of grains, most commonly corn, barley and rye. The drink is normally distilled two or three times before being aged in oak barrels.

Other Liquors From Around the World

Most countries have specialty liquor, some of which have spread around the world, whilst others are predominantly only consumed in their country of origin. Whilst very few bars can claim to stock all of these drinks, many may have at least a couple or more.


French liquor with a high alcohol content.

Arrack or Arak

A type of liquor from South and Southeast Asia.


A type of liquor produced in China and is white in color.


A Slovak liquor that is flavored with juniper berries.


Originating in Brazil, this is the country’s most popular liquor.


Ukrainian liquor which is considered to be a local type of whiskey.


A liquor that is produced in China, but also popular in Taiwan, Korea, and the islands of Matsu and Kinmen.


Liquor that in produced in Southwest China, in the town of Maotai.


This is a type of liquor that is produced in Greek.


This is Mexican liquor which is distilled from a plant called maguey.


This is popular African liquor from Nigeria.


South American liquor that is commonly consumed in both Peru and Chile.


This is Japanese liquor that is distilled from rice, barley or sweet potatoes.

Slivovitz or Slivovitsa

High-strength liquor distilled from Damson plums and produced in Central and Eastern Europe.


This is a traditional Romanian spirit and is sometimes also spelled as tuica, tsuika, tzuika, tzuica or tsuica.


A liqueur is an alcoholic drink which uses a distilled spirit as a base before having other flavorings added to it, as well as a sweetener – usually sugar. The flavorings that are used come from a wide range of different ingredients, with fruits, herbs and nuts being some of the most common examples. Historically, liqueurs were derived from herbal medicines – examples of which were made as long ago as the 13th century in Italy, and were usually prepared by monks. These days, liqueurs are common drink throughout the world and come served in a wide range of different ways. Some may be consumed on their own, over ice, with coffee, cream or other mixers, and in a wide variety of cocktails. Due to the wide range of flavors, they are commonly paired with or consumed after desserts, as well as being used in cooking.

Fruit Liqueurs

Fruits are often used as flavoring for liqueurs. Cherries, oranges and other citrus fruits are among the most commonly used flavorings. Several fruit liqueurs, such as triple sec, are used as key ingredients in numerous cocktails. The following is a brief list of some of the most popular and commonly used fruit-flavored liqueurs, with the flavor in brackets Cointreau (orange) Curaçao (bitter orange) Grand Marnier (orange) Grapèro (pink grapefruit) Maraschino (cherry) Midori (melon) Triple sec (orange)

Herbal Liqueurs

Herbal liqueurs Considering liqueurs have historical ties to herbal medicines, it is no surprise that a wide range of liqueurs today are still flavored with a wide variety of herbs. Many herbal liqueurs will use a large array of different herbal extracts – it is not uncommon to find 30 or more different flavorings in the one drink, with some liqueurs even having over 100 different herbal extracts. However, the exact details of many drinks are unknown as most manufacturers will keep the recipe a closely guarded secret. Aniseed is a particularly popular base when it comes to herbal liqueurs. The following is a list of some of the more popular aniseed-based herbal liqueurs that can be found in bars around the world. It is worth noting that whilst Absinthe, Ouzo and Rak? are also based on aniseed flavorings, they cannot be classed as liqueurs as they do not contain any added sugar. Instead, they fall under the category of flavored liquors. Anís Anisetta Galliano Mistrà Pastis Pernod Fils Rak? Sambuca As well as aniseed-based drinks, there are several other herbal liqueurs that are popular around the world. The following is a brief selection of some of the more commonly recognized herbal liqueurs, including Jägermeister, which has become particularly well-known in recent years thanks to the popularity of ‘Jäger Bombs’, which is made by placing a shot of the liqueur into a glass of Red Bull, or any similar energy drink. Amaro Angelika Bitte Bénédictine Jägermeister Metaxa

Nut-flavored Liqueurs

The following is a short list of nut-flavored liqueurs, with the type of nut in brackets. The first two – Amaretto and Disaronno – are probably the two best-known examples of nut liqueurs, and may be consumed as an aperitif, or with a wide variety of mixers. Amaretto (almonds, or almond-like kernels) Disaronno (almonds) Frangelico (hazelnuts and herbs) Nocello (walnut and hazelnut) Peanut Lolita (peanut)

Other Liqueurs and Examples

As well as fruit, nuts and herbal-based liqueurs, there are numerous other ingredients used to make liqueurs. Due to the versatility of the many flavorings, it is quite common to see several liqueurs in bars that serve cocktails. The following are examples of other popular flavorings when it comes to liqueurs, including some well-known examples for each flavor. Berry liqueurs – crème de cassis and sloe gin Coffee liqueurs – Kahlúa and Tia Maria Cream liqueurs – Advocaat and Bailey’s Irish Cream Crème liqueurs – Crème de menthe and Crème de cacao Whisky liqueurs – Drambuie

Whiskey History and How It’s Made

Whiskey is one of the world’s most popular liquors and is consumed by virtually every country around the world. The most famous whiskeys come from Scotland, Ireland, America and Canada. The drink is often distilled using fermented grain mash, although sometimes it can be made using corn instead. Most bars will have a wide selection of whiskeys available behind the bar. It is worth noting that there are two spellings of the word: ‘Whiskey’ spelled with an ‘e’ is the form used predominantly in Ireland and the United States, whilst ‘whisky’, without an ‘e’, is generally used throughout the rest of the whiskey-producing world.

A Brief History of Whiskey

There is no conclusive proof as to the origins of whiskey; however, both Ireland and Scotland claim to be the creators of the drink. Whilst we do not know which country was the first to distil the drink, there is early evidence to suggest that both countries were producing whiskey as far back as the 15th century. Whilst there is evidence to suggest that the distillation process was first experimented with back in the second century BC – although not for the distillation of alcohol – the earliest confirmed reports that we have indicates that distillation occurred in the first century A.D. Despite this, records indicate that it wasn’t until the 13th century that distillation was used for the production of alcohol. Therefore, by the time it had spread to island in Scotland, the process was still very much in its infancy. The earliest versions of whiskey were not put through the ageing process and, therefore, they wouldn’t have had the smooth taste that modern day whiskeys have. Instead, the taste would have been particularly raw and harsh. Over the next couple of centuries so, legislation and licensing helped to improve the production techniques and largely reduce the production of home-made moonshine. Production techniques have since remained relatively unchanged since around the late 18th century to the early 19th century. These days, the popularity of whiskey is such the Scotch whisky is one of the biggest Scottish exports around the world.

How Whiskey is Made

Whilst the introduction of modern-day technology has helped to improve production methods, the whiskey making process still ultimately follows five main steps: malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, and maturing. Furthermore, there are just three basic ingredients required in order to produce whiskey: water, barley and yeast.


The first stage is known as malting, and involves releasing the starch from barley. The starch needs to be converted into soluble sugars, which are required in order to make the alcohol. In order to achieve this, the barley needs to go through a process known as germination. To begin with, the barley needs to be soaked in warm water for two or three days. After this, the barley will be laid out on the floor of a building known as a malting house. The result of this process is that the barley will start to grow shoots, at which point the germination stage is completed, and the barley needs to be dried, which takes place in a kiln. Traditionally, kilns are heated by peat, the use of which has an impact on the final flavor. Once dried, the barley is known as ‘malt’, and will be sent to a mill to be ground down – at which point it then becomes known as ‘grist’.


In order to be able to extract soluble sugars from the grist, it needs to have warm water added to it. The water will often be used from a local source, and can have an influence on the final taste. The mixture of malt and water is referred to as the ‘mash’. This will be transferred into a large vessel in order to be stirred. During this process, which takes several hours, the sugars will begin to dissolve and separate. The liquid that is produced is known as ‘wort’.


The next step involves transferring the wort to large tanks where yeast will be added. It is at this point that the fermentation process begins and the yeast can start to convert the sugars into alcohol. This process takes approximately 48 hours. The fermented liquid is now known as the ‘wash’, and will have an alcohol content of approximately 5-10% ABV.


The fourth step involves distilling the wash, which is traditionally carried out either two or three times, depending upon the country and the distillery. The distillation process takes place in copper stills, which are used due to their superior properties when it comes to removing any impurities. The shape of the stills can have an impact on the flavor and other characteristics of the final product. This process involves heating up the wash so that it evaporates. Further along in the process it will start to condense, which produces the liquid that is referred to as ‘low wines’. This liquid is unusable in its current state and needs to be distilled for a second time. The secondary distillation produces 3 types of alcohol: feints, foreshots and the heart. The feints and foreshots are unsuitable, and it is only the heart of the distillation that, in its current state, can proceed to the next step.


The final step involves the maturing of the spirit. The maturation takes place in large oak casks, which help to define the flavor characteristics of the end product. In order to be legally be classified as whiskey, the maturing process needs to last at least three years.

Types of Whiskey

There are numerous types of whiskey produced around the world, with most countries brewing their own variety of the drink. In this section, we will look at four of the biggest whiskey producing countries: America, Canada, Ireland and Scotland.

American Whiskey

One of the most popular varieties of American whiskey is that of bourbon. In order to be called Bourbon, the drink needs to be produced using a grain mixture that comprises a minimum of 51% corn. Furthermore, only drinks that are made in the United States can be labeled as bourbon. As well as the location of production, there are other requirements relating to the distillation process that must be followed. Firstly, the spirit has to be distilled to maximum strength of 80% alcohol. Furthermore, it can be no higher than 62.5% when it is transferred into oak barrels to mature. Unlike some other whiskeys, regular bourbon does not have to be aged for a minimum amount of time; however, in order to be called Straight bourbon, the product needs to be aged for at least two years. Tennessee whiskey follows all of the same rules and procedures as bourbon; however, the manufacturers of popular brands wish to be distinguished by a separate name as they are the only variety of whiskey which is produced using a charcoal filtering process. Therefore, although liquors such as Jack Daniels refer to themselves as Tennessee whiskeys, as opposed to bourbon, there are many similarities. Some popular American whiskies include: Jack Daniels Jim Beam Wild Turkey

Canadian Whiskey

Canada is mostly associated with rye whiskey; however, due to a lack of rules when it comes to be naming process, the mash which is used is not necessarily made using predominantly rye. In fact, the mash that is used is often a mixture of both corn and rye and can contain as little as 10% rye. The maximum ABV limits used during the distillation and ageing process is the same as those of bourbon whiskey. Furthermore, the ageing must also take place in charred and oak barrels. Some popular Canadian whiskey brands include: Canadian Mist Crown Royal Pendleton

Irish Whiskey

The rules regarding whether or not a drink and be called Irish whiskey are relatively easy-going. As long as a whiskey has been aged in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, then it is permitted to be called Irish whiskey. However, there are a few rules relating to the production process. Firstly, it needs to be produced from a yeast fermented grain mash using a process that will enable the distiller to take on flavors and aromas from the materials that are used. Whilst manufacturers are free to use whichever cereal grains they would like, the whiskey must be labeled as blended in the event that two or more distils have been mixed together. Finally, Irish whiskey must be distilled at an alcohol content that does not exceed that of 94.8%. It must also be aged in wooden casks for a period of no less than three years. Some of the most famous Irish whiskies include: Bushmills Jameson Tullamore Dew


The legal naming and labeling permissions associated with Scott whisky are stricter than those of Irish whiskey. However, there are some similarities, such as the requirement for the spirit to be aged for a minimum of three years in oak casks, as well as having an ABV content of below 94.8%. In order to ensure the high quality of Scotch whisky, there are various other rules that apply. Firstly, in order to qualify as a Scotch, the liquor must be produced using malted barley. Furthermore, in keeping with tradition, the inclusion of fermentation additives is not allowed nor are any shortcuts allowed. Lastly, in order to be able to use the name Scotch for whisky, the drink needs to have been 100% made in Scotland. A few of the most popular Scotch whiskies include: Glenmorangie Laphroaig Glenfiddich Johnnie Walker The Famous Grouse

Brandy Pt II

Brandy is an alcoholic beverage that is produced from distilled wine. As well as being made from grapes, there are brandies that can be made from various other fruits too, such as pears, apples or damsons. The production of brandy can vary from brand-to-brand; many will have been aged in wooden casks, whilst others imitate the aging effect with the use of caramel colorings, plus there are others that may rely on a combination of the two factors. There are no geographical restrictions to prevent brandy from produced all over the world, unlike Cognac or Armagnac, which must be produced in specific regions of France. In fact, South Africa, Spain and California are all noted for their production of brandy.

Cognac Pt I

Cognac is a particular variety of wine brandy and is named after the wine-growing region around the town of Cognac in France. As well as geographical restrictions that limit as to when a brandy can use the name Cognac, there are also various legal requirements relating to its production that must be adhered to. Firstly, the drink must be made using one of the authorized grape varieties – Ugni Blanc is one such example and is the most widely used grape variety in the production of Cognac. Other requirements include the need for the brandy to have been twice distilled. Furthermore, the process must take place using copper stills, after which the brandy needs to be allowed to age for a minimum of two years, and, during the maturation process, it needs to be stored in French oak barrels that have come from either Limousin or Tronçais.Famous brands of Cognac include Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, and Rémy Martin who, between them, account for the production of around 90% of all Cognac consumed by the US market.


Like Cognac, Armagnac takes its name from the region in which it is produced, in Gascony, southwest France. Other similarities to Cognac include the grape blend that must be used. In total, there are ten authorized grape varieties that can be used for the production of Armagnac. Of the ten varieties, there are four which are most commonly used: Baco 22A, Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Ugni Blanc. There are, however, some differences in the way Armagnac is produced when compared to Cognac. Firstly, it is generally only distilled the once, plus this normally takes place at an ABV that is lower than Cognac. Consequently, Armagnac is more likely to have a more intense fruit character, plus there is a more rustic feel about the flavors.

Vodka, Gin, Rum

Vodka, gin and rum are three of the world’s most popular liquors. Consumed by just about every country around the globe, these three drinks can be imbibed in a wide variety of ways. Between them, they make up one or more of the main ingredients in a vast number of cocktails. All three liquors can also be consumed as part of a simple mix involving the individual liquor, plus a carbonated soft drink as a mixer, and will usually be served over ice, and occasionally with a twist, especially in the case of gin. Whilst many countries will import vodka, gin and rum, some countries may have their own locally produced for varieties. As a result of their popularity and versatility, you will find most bars will stock several varieties of each drink, especially in the case of Rum, which can be produced in several different ways, producing a wide range of varieties and grades of the drink.

Vodka Pt II

Vodka is one of the most popular liquors in the world today, and is used as a base ingredient for many mixed drinks, cocktails and other alcoholic products. In fact, its rise in popularity has seen it overtake gin as the ‘king of cocktail’ liquors’. Regular vodka is a clear, colorless, odorless and largely tasteless drink, and normally has an alcohol content of around 40% ABV, although some brands do offer versions that can be as strong as 50% ABV. As well as regular vodka, many adulterated vodkas have gained popularity in recent years. These vodkas are normally based on regular vodka, but with the mixture of flavorings colorings, sweeteners and fruit juices added. Generally, flavored vodka is a slightly less alcoholic than regular vodka, and will often contain approximately 30-35% ABV. Some popular brands of vodka include (country of origin in brackets): Smirnoff (Russian) Stolichnaya (Russian) Sobieski (Polish) Zubrowka (Polish) Absolut (Swedish) Finlandia (Finnish)

Vodka National Producers and Disputed Origins

Vodka is mostly associated with Central and Eastern Europe, as well as various Scandinavian countries. Russia and Poland are two of the main vodka-producing countries, although Finland and Sweden also hold a significant market share. The exact origins of the drink are unknown, as there is very little historical evidence to pinpoint an exact date or location as to where the drink was first produced. However, both Russia and Poland proudly claim to be the inventors of the drink. Both countries have good reason to think that they were the originators of the drink, and it is known that vodka was first produced either in the 8th century in Poland, or later on in the ninth century in an area of what is now modern-day Russia.

Vodka Past and Present Production Methods

When vodka was originally created, it was made from potatoes and, like many other spirits, it was first made to be used for medical purposes. These days, commercially made vodka doesn’t tend to use potatoes so much. Instead, modern vodka is generally distilled from wheat, rye or barley. The earliest vodkas where made using fermentation processes, and would have been very different to modern vodka as we know it today. As a result, the alcoholic strength of early vodkas would not have exceeded approximately 14% ABV. The first documented distillery didn’t start producing vodka until the 12th century – some three hundred years or so after vodka had first started being made. Following these developments, the purity and alcoholic strength increased.

Gin Pt II

Gin is a highly versatile, flavored white spirit, and one of the main ingredients in numerous cocktails – including drinks such as Gin and Tonic and Martini. The drink is several hundred years old, with evidence to suggest that as early as the 17th century. As with so many modern day liquors and liqueurs, gin was originally produced for a range of medical purposes. Gin is made by distilling a range of different grains – commonly corn, barley or rye. During distillation, a variety of flavorings are added to the grain. These flavorings include juniper berries, angelica, coriander, and a range of other herbs, spices and other natural ingredients. Some popular brands of gin include: Bombay Sapphire Tanqueray Gordon’s Beefeater Hendrick’s Gin

Gin Legal Definition

Like many alcoholic drinks, different countries have legal definitions as to what constitutes gin. In the United States, in order for a drink to be defined as gin, it needs to have a minimum of 40% ABV (80 proof), as well as possessing the characteristic flavor that are associated with juniper berries. In the EU, there are slightly different requirements in order for a drink to be defined as gin. The EU categorizes gin according to one of four different categories, which are legally differentiated as being: Gin Distilled gin London gin Juniper-flavored spirit drinks A minimum alcoholic strength of 37.5% ABV is required for gin, distilled gin, and London gin.

Rum Pt II

Rum is liquor that is distilled from sugarcane plant or molasses. Production of rum varies considerably and, unlike many other types of liquor, it doesn’t have defined distillation process. Consequently, it is one of the most varied of the distilled spirits, as well as being one of the oldest. The Caribbean, where the drink originated, is particularly well known for its rum – although these days there are many other countries around the world that produce it. Rum also has a long tradition of being associated with seafaring activities, including the Royal Navy and piracy. The distillation process varies considerably between national production methods and brands, as does the aging process, with some runs been matured for as little as one year, with others being aged for up to 30 years or more. The ageing process for the majority of rum takes place in charged oak casks. Some popular brands of rum include: Bacardi Havana Club Captain Morgan Sailor Jerry

Dark Rums

Typically, dark rums will have been made from molasses or caramelized sugar, and will often have been produced in areas such as Jamaica, Martinique or Haiti. They are often a lot stronger in flavor compared to light or gold rums, partly due to the fact that they are aged for longer. As well as being used in a wide variety of drinks, the darker variety of rum is the most commonly used variety that is used in cooking.

Light Rums

Puerto Rico is by far the biggest producer of most light rums. Unlike darker rums, light rums are considerably lighter in flavor, and are largely known more for the general sweetness of the drink. As a result, they are often used in mixed drinks and cocktails, rather than being imbibed on their own.

Gold Rums

Gold rums are relatively dark in color, usually as a result of having been aged in wooden barrels, and are considered medium-bodied rum. They are generally more flavorful and stronger in taste than light rums, but less so than dark rums and, as such, are seen as being somewhere in between light and dark varieties of rum.

Spiced Rums

Spiced rums, as the name suggest, are flavored with a variety of different spices, and sometimes, particularly with cheaper brands, they are also colored with caramel. The spices the help to give it its distinctive flavor include cinnamon, aniseed, rosemary and pepper.

Premium Rums

Premium rums generally have more flavor and character than regular mixing rums and, therefore, there are normally consumed straight. Premium rums are considered to be premium variations of rum, in much the same way that cognacs are considered superior versions of brandy.

Flavored Rums

Flavored rums typically have alcohol content lower than 40% ABV, and can be served in tropical drinks, as well as being drunk neat or on the rocks. A wide range of ingredients are used to give flavor to the drink, including oranges, bananas, mangoes, coconuts, and other citrus fruits.

Overproof Rums

Overproof rums generally have much higher alcohol content than the 40% of most other "regular" rums. Sometimes, they can be as strong as 75-80% ABV. Due to their strength, they are usually served in mixed drinks.

Tequila and Mescal

Tequila and mescal are two liquors that originate from Mexico. Whilst Tequila has gained popularity throughout the world, mezcal is far less well-known globally, with most exports going only to the United States and Japan. Tequila is essentially a variety of mezcal; however, production methods differ considerably, particularly due to the fact that Tequila is made only from blue agave plants. As a result, tequila is seen as higher quality liquor when compared to mezcal – in much the same way that cognac is considered to be a more superior version of brandy. Although both drinks are quite often consumed straight in Mexico, around the world the ways in which they are served and consumed differs considerably. When it comes to tequila, in most other countries, including the United States, the drink may be consumed in cocktails or with particular rituals, which include the consumption of various other ingredients, often including salt and lime.

Tequila Pt II

Tequila is clear, white Mexican liquor, and is made by distilling the juices of blue agave plants – which is grown in the country and holds great importance. Its origins date back for over two centuries, and is most associated with its namesake, the town of Tequila, which is located in the state of Jalisco. Tequila is famous for its unique, peppery flavor and, in the United States; it is often consumed as a shooter. Some popular brands of tequila include: Don Julio Jose Cuervo Cabo Wabo Patron

Tequila Cruda

Tequila cruda is the name given to a way in which Tequila is often drunk, outside Mexico. This involves a single shot of tequila, which is preceded by a small amount of salt – which is normally licked off of one’s hand – and followed by a slice or wedge of lime. Other names for this method of consuming tequila include "lick-sip-suck", "lick-shoot-suck" or "training wheels". This method is commonly and erroneously referred to as a Tequila Slammer; however, a true Tequila Slammer is actually tequila mixed with a carbonated drink.

Tequila Worm

Whilst a few specific versions of mescal – which will often have originated in the state of Oaxaca – are sold with a worm in them, tequila is not. Despite this, the misconception is still widespread. It is also worth noting that the idea of putting worms in bottles of mezcal, which begin in the 1940s, was only a marketing gimmick. In fact, tequila companies have worked hard to try and dispel this myth; nevertheless, it still persists to this day. Although it may be seen as a good marketing gimmick – as per the original idea with mezcal – many tequila companies would rather they are seen as the premier category of mescal: that they actually are, in much the same way as Cognac is seen as a deluxe version of brandy.


Mescal is Mexican liquor that is made from the maguey plant, which is native to Mexico and grown throughout many parts of the country. Production of the drink occurs mainly in Oaxaca. The drink has been produced for over 200 years, with methods having changed very little over that time, and involves using the heart of the maguey to make the liquor. Due to the similarities in their names, it is sometimes thought that the drink contains mescaline; however neither this nor any other psychedelic substances are found in the drink.

Drinking Mescal

In Mexico, mezcal is not used in cocktails, nor is it mixed with any other drinks; instead, it is generally drunk straight. However, it is occasionally served alongside slices of oranges which have been sprinkled with ground chili peppers, ground and fried larvae and a particular salt known as "sal de gusano", the translation of which means "worm salt".

Wine, Port, Sherry and Vermouth

As well as regular traditional red, white and rosé wines, there are also fortified wines, including port, sherry and vermouth. Wines are consumed in a wide variety of ways. Most regular wines are imbibed on their own and, depending on the wine and serving traditions of where they are being consumer, they will either be served chilled, at room temperature or warmed. Wine is one of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage and can be consumed on many occasions, and goes particularly well with food. Various meats and dishes can be paired with different wines, depending on the characteristics of the drink in relation to the flavors of the food. Fortified wines will often be consumed before or after a meal. Table wines may have an alcohol content that is no higher than 14% in the U.S. and Europe. Wine is also often used in cooking, and can be an integral part of certain dishes, such as coq au vin, which is made from chicken and red wine. Fortified wines are often used as flavorings in various desserts. Traditionally, red wine has accompanied red meats, whilst white wine has accompanied white meats. In fact, there is an old saying that goes "red wine for meat, white wine for fish". However, these days, this is considered a general guideline, rather than the rule, and different colored meats are being served with wines of different colors more frequently, with more emphasis put on other flavors in order to determine the best pairing.


Wine is produced as a result of the fermentation of grape juice. It has a rich history which can be dated back approximately 6,500 years. Many nations produce their own varieties of wine, with Europe and South America being home to many of the biggest wine producing countries. The following is a list of some of the world’s biggest wine producers and exporters: Italy France Spain United States Argentina Australia Chile South Africa Many wines are referred to by the regions that they are produced in, as well as the varieties of grapes that are used. Furthermore, there are several terms used to describe the purity of a wine in relation to the grape that was used. For example, if a wine was produced using a single great variety, then it would be referred to as a varietal wine. Furthermore, a vintage wine is made almost exclusively from groups that were grown during a single year. Compared to other wines that may use different varieties of grapes from different years, there are many more limits put on the production of a vintage, so the number of bottles produced per vintage may be relatively small, which results in them being more expensive.

Red Wine Pt II

Red wines are produced using darker colored varieties of grapes. There is quite a wide spectrum of colors – or more specifically, shades of red – associated with red wine. Quite often, the color will be determined by the age of the wine, and can be intense violet, in the case of younger wines, through to more of a brick red for mature wines, and older red wines may even be more of a brown color. Apart from a small minority of teinturier varieties, the majority of purple grapes release a juice that is greenish-white in color. For the most part, the red color of the wine is attributed to the pigments of the skin. As a result, when it comes to producing red wine, the grape skin is heavily involved in the extraction of color and flavor. There are many varieties of wine, ranging from delicate light bodied wines to flavorsome full-bodied wines. The characteristics of each one of them has a major influence on their ability to be paired with foods. Some of the more popular red wine varieties are listed below, and have been separated into categories of full-bodied, medium-bodied and light-bodied wines:

Full-bodied Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Merlot Mourvedre Nebbiolo

Medium-bodied Red Wines

Barbera Grenache Sangiovese Shiraz Zinfandel

Light-bodied Red Wines

Cabernet France Gamay Pinot Noir

White Wine Pt II

White wine is produced as a result of the fermentation process of the non-colored pulp of grapes. The color of white wines can range from straw yellow to golden yellow and even greenish-yellow. Although it is possible to use grapes with skins that are either white or black, the wine is treated during the production process so that the final product maintains a transparent yellow color. Depending on the grape blend, as well as various other factors, the flavor of the wines may be range from sweet to dry, and light to bold. Other characteristics can include a zestiness or herbaceous flavor. Some of the most popular wines have been listed below, and separated according to their flavors:

Bold & Dry White Wine

Chardonnay Viognier Semillon Marsanne

Light & Zesty White Wine

Pinot Grigio Chenin Blanc Chablis

Light & Sweet White Wine

Gewurztraminer Muscat Riesling Müller-Thurgau

Herbaceous White Wine

Sauvignon Blanc Vinho Verde


Rosé wine adopts some of the coloring of the grape skins during production; however, it lacks the depth of color to be classified as a red wine. The production process is often far quicker, which can result in a more delicate wine. There range of colors associated with rosé wine can extend from a pale orange, akin to that of an onion skin, through to a more vivid, almost purple color. There are three main production techniques that are used to make rosé wine: saignée, vin gris and decolorization.

Saignée Technique For Rosé

The saignée method involves the bleeding off of red wine juice. During the red wine making process, some of the juice from the must is removed to increase the concentration of the color, flavor and phenolics of the red wine. Whilst some winemakers may throw away this juice, in recent times it has been used in the production of rosé, although some people are critical, and suggest that the method doesn’t produce authentic Rosé.

Vin Gris Technique For Rosé

The vin gris is used for wines that are produced without any maceration time, but instead are made from the immediate pressing red skinned grapes.

Decolorization Technique For Rosé

The decolorization method produces Rosé by using absorbent charcoal to heavily decolorize red wine.


Port wine – usually referred to simply as Port – is a fortified wine that comes from Portugal. The production of the drink is taking place exclusively in the Douro Valley, which is located in the northern provinces of the country. However, many countries produce fortified wines that are styled on port. Typically served as a dessert wine, port is generally a sweet, red wine; however, there are also dry, semi dry and white varieties of the drink.

Storing and Drinking Port

Like many other wines, port is best stored in a cool, dark location – ideally in a cellar with a continuously maintained temperature. If the bottle has a cork, then it should be stored on its side, whereas, if it is stoppered, it should be stored standing up. Most port should be served at a temperature of between 60-70 °F (16-20 °C). The exceptions to this are Tawny ports, which can be served at a slightly cooler temperature, and white port, for which it is acceptable to be served chilled.


Sherry is a fortified wine that is produced in Spain and is made using white grapes that are grown near the Town of Andalucía in Jerez de la Frontera. The production of sherry comes in a variety of styles including dry sherry, which may come in light versions which are akin to white table wines, through to heavier and darker sherries, which gain their characteristics as a result of oxidization in the barrel that they are aged in. Other versions of sherry include sweet dessert wines, which are typically served at the end of a meal.

Storing and Drinking Sherry

As with port, sherry should be stored in a cool, dark place. In order to minimize the exposed surface area of the sherry, the bottles should be stored in an upright position. Unlike some other alcoholic drinks, with Sherry there are few, if any, benefits of extra ageing. As a result, it can be consumed immediately after production. The most fragile varieties of Sherry need to be consumed soon after opening, preferably the same day. Less fragile varieties should keep a little longer, with sweet varieties and blended cream Sherries being capable of lasting many weeks or potentially even months after the time they were opened.

Vermouth Pt I

Vermouth is a fortified wine aperitif that is usually produced in either Italy or France. The drink will often come distilled, macerated or infused with herbs, spices and a mixture of other ingredients. The two main types of vermouth are sweet vermouth and dry vermouth. Vermouth can be consumed in a variety of different ways. It may be imbibed on its own as an aperitif, or is commonly found in a wide variety of cocktails. Two of the most popular and well-known varieties of cocktail that include vermouth as an ingredient are Martinis and Manhattans. There are several characteristics of vermouth that make it such a popular choice in cocktails, including the relatively low alcohol content (compared to strong spirits that may be used as the base of many cocktails), as well as the herbal flavorings and aromas that help to accentuate the flavors of other base spirits in a cocktail.

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth is considered to be the original style of the drink, and is available in both red and white versions, and has an alcoholic strength of approximately 15% ABV.

Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth is slightly higher in alcohol content than sweet vermouth, and typically contains approximately 18% ABV.

Keg and Cellar Management Pt I

Considering beer is an essential drink in most bars throughout the world, it is important to be aware of the different varieties, as well as how to look after it so as to ensure that the flavor is as good as can be, but also to help keep wastage to a minimum, in order to maximize profits and revenues of the bar. The cellar is often a cold storage area of a bar or restaurant. Despite its name, cellars are not always located below the building – sometimes they may be in a side room off the bar, or located elsewhere in the venue. As well as storing kegs of beer, cellars may also be used to store a wide range of other stock, including bottled beers, wines and liquor bottles, but should not be used to store food products, as this could lead to the drink taking on the flavors of the food.

An Overview of Beer

Beers is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks on the planet, and can be found in most bars in the United States, Europe, and throughout the rest of the world. Typically, it will be served either on tap, from a bottle, or from a can. The alcohol in beer is produced using by the fermentation of sugars that are created as a result of the saccharification of starch. The production process usually involves malted cereal grains – often malted wheat and malted barley. Hops are commonly used to flavor beer, and contribute to the bitter taste of the drink. Some beers may also use a variety of other flavorings, including fruits or herbs. The production process used to make beer is known as brewing, with beers commonly brewed to strengths of between 4-6% ABV. However, it is possible to brew beer with a much wider range of alcoholic strengths, including beers that have just a trace of beer, through to beers as high as 40%. Typically though, even some of the stronger beers will generally be lower than 10% ABV. Brewing can take place on a small scale – in micro-breweries – all the way through to a large, mass-produced scale. Most countries will have at least one, if not several main brands of beer, with many countries also having regional specialties.

Beer Styles

Beer comes in a wide variety of styles, which can produce a huge range of different tastes and flavors. It also comes in a multitude of different colors, ranging from a pale yellow, to dark black. Common varieties of beer that can be found around the world include: Pale Ale Stout Mild Wheat Lager Lambic

Keg and Cellar Management Pt II

The cellar of a bar or restaurant is where most of the alcoholic beverages are stored. It is important that this area is kept clean and hygienic at all times. In fact, in some countries, the beer and other alcoholic beverages that are stored in cellars are deemed to be food stuff products and, therefore, the cellar is subject to the same hygiene and health and safety rules as a restaurant kitchen. Failure to maintain a cellar can lead to excess wastage, a decrease in the quality of drinks, and potentially even the growth of mold and harmful bacteria. As a result, it is important to ensure that the cellar is well maintained at all times, not only to maximize profits and revenues, but to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff. Cellar floors should be mopped and cleaned on a regular basis. Diluted line cleaner can be used as a cleaning agent if necessary; however, bleach, disinfectant or chloride should not be used. There should also be adequate drainage to prevent contamination and odor build up. Furthermore, like the floors, drainage gullies should be cleaned on a regular basis. To minimize the risks of developing problems associated with damp, fungoids, molds, bacteria and insects, the cellar should be properly ventilated, and humidity levels should be kept as low as possible. One of the most important things relating to the cellar is the temperature control. Cellars should be kept at a range of 50-55 °F (10-13 °C). This temperature prevents too much froth being produced at the pump when the beer is poured – which can lead to a serious amount of wastage. Finally, it is important to carry out line cleaning on a regular basis – at least once a week, or according to the manufacturer’s suggestions. Line cleaning involves cleaning the lines that transport beer from the keg through to the pump. The aim is to remove the build-up of yeast, sediment or any other potential contaminants, so as to keep the beer tasting as fresh and clean as possible. The process of line cleaning involves removing any existing beer in the lines and flushing them out with water. Line cleaner, which is a powerful cleaning chemical, is then pulled through the lines, before flushing them with water again – ensuring that no line cleaner is left in the lines, as it is a hazardous chemical, and could cause serious damage if ingested. After this, the lines are reconnected to the beer kegs, and the remaining water in the line is pulled through until beer starts to pour again.

Know Your Drinks – Creams, Sours, Martinis & More

Knowing the types of different liquors behind the bar is only half the battle when it comes to being a great bartender. When people come to order an alcoholic beverage from you, it will be your responsibility to have familiarity with a variety of different drink types that can include anything from simple and common sours and martinis to obscure, exotic cream-based drinks. A bartender’s job would be easy if every customer ordered a bottle of beer or glass of wine; however, what makes this career endeavor an exciting one is the possibility of creating beautiful, tasty, and complex mixes that will surprise and delight your patrons. Every bartender should have an essential knowledge base of what ingredients and measurements make up classic drinks.


An aperitif is a pre-dinner drink meant to whet your appetite for the meal ahead. Traditionally popular in European countries, the aperitif, which comes from the Latin word "aperire" meaning "to open," is becoming more prominent to sophisticated American restaurant and bar patrons. If one is turning to an aperitif to open, or move toward, their meal, they would avoid anything heavy, bold, or sweet. Therefore, aperitifs are light-bodied, dry beverages with only a moderate amount of alcohol content. Dry red wines and champagnes can be great aperitifs; however, there are other liquors out there that are better suited to the task of preparing one’s palate. Knowing the following aperitifs will enable you to recommend great choices to your guests and to know how to properly serve them upon request.

Cognac Pt II

Cognac is a variety of brandy that derives from the town of Cognac in France. Cognac can only be identified as such if it is made by a very specific method that meets the legal requirements of production. Therefore, all cognac is a brandy, yet all brandy is not a cognac.

Grades of Cognac

V.S.: "Very special," or superior, refers to young brandy that is stored in an oak cask for at least 2 years. The color will be dark golden with hints of lighter brown. V.S.O.P.: "Very special old pale" is also a superior grade that includes young brandy blends that are stored for at least 4, but no more than 6, years in barrels. The color will be a brownish-amber. XO: "Extra old" refers to young brandy that is aged for a minimum of 6 years, although many typical XO cognacs are stored for up to 20 years. XO cognacs will have a much deeper red amber color. Napoleon: In terms of age, a Napoleon is comparable to an XO, however, in terms of grade it is marked on the scale somewhere below an XO and above a V.S.O.P. Extra: Aged a minimum 6 years in barrels, and usually older than Napoleons or XO. Vieux: Marks a cognac between the grades of V.S.O.P. and XO. Vieille Réserve: A grade beyond the XO. Hors d’âge: Its name means "beyond age," meaning that this cognac is off the charts of the scaling of grades, making it the highest quality, most superior choice.

Popular Brands of Cognac

Courvoisier Hennessy Martell Rémy Martin

Kir and Kir Royale

A French wine cocktail traditionally served as an aperitif. Kir is typically served in a white wine glass and is made of 9 parts white wine and 1 part crème de cassis, a blackberry liqueur. The crème de cassis is first poured, topped by the white wine. There are many popular variations of the drink, with the most sought after being the Kir Royale, where the drink is made with champagne rather than white wine and served in a champagne flute.


It is a fruity blend of fortified wine, orange peels, and fruit liquors.

Types of Lillet

Lillet Blanc: Bright and floral with notes of elderberry with the standard base of 80% Semillon, 15% sauvignon blanc, and 5% muscadelle. Lillet Rose: Pink in color and slightly sweet, made of 80% Semillon, 15% sauvignon blanc, and 5% muscadelle. Reserve Jean de Lillet: A golden, rich, and sweet toned wine made of 80% Semillon, 15% sauvignon blanc, and 5% muscadelle. Lillet Rouge: A deep red colored wine that includes 80% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon, 5% cabernet franc.

Vermouth Pt II

Vermouth is a fortified, dry wine that has botanical elements allowing for flavor. Both sweet and dry vermouths are used in creating martinis and manhattans. On its own, there is a call for vermouth as a sipping wine before dinner, and it is usually is served neat or over a little bit of ice in 2-3 ounce servings. Dry, red vermouth would be the drink of choice as an aperitif when not combined with other liquors.

Popular Brands of Vermouth

Belthasar Boissiere Carpano Contratto Martini & Rossi

Two Liquor Drinks

Anytime you’re tending bar you’re likely to come into contact with customers who love their two-liquor drinks. These are drinks served on the rocks, which refers to being poured over ice. They are served in low-ball glasses, also referred to as old-fashioned glasses. When making a two liquor drink, you should always first fill your glass with ice, and then pour the amount of each alcohol that the recipe calls for. Usually, but not always, one of the two liquors will consist of vodka, gin, rum, or scotch and be paired with a sweeter flavored liqueur.

Black Russian

A vodka and coffee liqueur cocktail consisting of 3 parts vodka to 1 part coffee liqueur. Served on the rocks in an old fashioned glass. Recipe 1 1/2 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka 1/2 oz. (14.78 mL) coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)

White Russian

A vodka and coffee liqueur cocktail consisting of vodka, Kahlua, and milk or cream. Technically, this can be categorized as both a cream and 2-liquor drink. Served on the rocks in an old fashioned glass. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) vodka 2/3 oz. (19.71 mL) coffee liqueur (Kahlua) 1 oz. (29.57 mL) fresh cream or milk

Dirty Mother

Very similar to a Black Russian, the Dirty Mother substitutes the vodka for brandy paired with Kahlua to be served over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) brandy ½ oz. (14.78 mL) coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)

Brave Bull

A tequila and coffee liqueur cocktail consisting of tequila and a coffee liqueur. Served in an old-fashioned glass over ice. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) tequila ½ oz. (14.78 mL) coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)


A duo cocktail made of equal parts Scotch whiskey and amaretto. Served over the rocks. Recipe 1 1/6 oz. (34.5 mL) Scotch whiskey 1 1/6 oz. (34.5 mL) Amaretto


A duo cocktail made of equal parts vodka and amaretto. Served over the rocks. Recipe 1 1/6 oz. (34.5 mL) vodka 1 1/6 oz. (34.5 mL) Amaretto

Black Jamaican

A cocktail made of Jamaican rum and Tia Maria, a Jamaican coffee liqueur, served in a low-ball glass over ice. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) Meyer’s Rum ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Tia Maria

Rusty Nail

Scotch is paired with Drambuie liqueur, a scotch based blend that includes notes of honey and herbs. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) scotch ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Drambuie


A brandy based drink that incorporates the sweet, mint of crème de menthe liqueur. Served over ice, this cocktail is served in an old-fashioned style glass. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) brandy 1/2 oz. (14.78 mL) crème de Menthe

Colorado Bulldog

This 2-liquor drink includes coca cola, vodka, Kahlua, and cream and is served on the rocks. Like a White Russian, this can be labeled both a cream and 2-liquor drink. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Kahlua Fill ¾ of the cup with half and half Splash of coke

Cream Drinks

Cream drinks have lost some of their popularity over the years, but that doesn’t mean you won’t come across them from time to time in your bartending career. Cream drinks are most commonly ordered after dinner either in the place of, or to compliment, a dessert. However, you’ll find people ordering them at brunch, at happy hour, at dinner, and even at the most unexpected times at the bar. In order to be categorized as a cream-based drink, some liquor component and some dairy component must be combined. The creaminess can be in the form of milk, half and half, or cream. Most cream drinks will be served over ice in a low ball, or old-fashioned glass.


A subtle, gentle cocktail that can be compared, in taste, to bananas foster. In order to prepare the drink, put ice in a lowball glass, put in liquors and top with a splash of cold cream or milk before serving. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) banana liquor 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) white crème de cacao liqueur Top with cream or milk

Blue Carnation

This drink is revered for its delectable combination of chocolate and orange flavors, which is unexpected due to its baby blue color. A traditional lowball glass on the rocks is the serving of choice. Recipe ½ oz. (14.78 mL) white crème de cacao ½ oz. (14.78 mL) blue Curacao 2 oz. (59.14 mL) cream

Brandy Alexander

Popular in the winter months, the Brandy Alexander is a classic and popular drink that includes crème de cacao, cream, nutmeg, and of course, brandy. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) brandy 1 oz. (29.57 mL) crème de cacao 1 oz. (29.57 mL) cream Dash of nutmeg


Orange and creamy, this cocktail tastes like the traditional orange dessert when served over rocks and includes vanilla flavored vodka. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) vanilla or whipped vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) triple sec Orange juice Cream


The bright green color of this creamy drink can be off putting to some, but the minty chocolate flavor has been a favorite of many bar patrons for years. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) crème de cacao 1 oz. (29.57 mL) crème de menthe Cream


One of the most popular cream based drinks, a mudslide is similar to that of a White Russian, however, one would substitute the regular coffee liqueur for Bailey’s Irish Cream. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) vodka 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Bailey’s Irish Cream 1 oz. (29.57 mL) fresh cream or milk

Toasted Almond

Coffee and almond flavors fill this classic cream based cocktail. Served over rocks and in a low ball, it’s been a favorite silky drink for years. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) Amaretto 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) Kahlua Cream

Sour Drinks

This traditional family of mixed drinks houses some of the most well-known and commonly ordered cocktails. To qualify as a sour, a drink must have a liquor base, an element of lime or lemon juice, and a sweetener. Common sweeteners might be pineapple juice, grenadine, simple syrup, or triple sec, to name a few. Sours might be served in one of many glass options, whether it’s a margarita glass, highball, lowball, or cocktail glass would depend on the particular drink and the bar’s preference. All sours are served on the rocks, and incorporate a variety of alcohols such as bourbon whiskey, amaretto, gin, rum, or brandy.

Amaretto Sour

Amaretto almond liqueur and sour mix, which is a combination of lime and sugar. Pour the 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Amaretto over ice, and use the soda gun at the bar to fill the glass with sour mix. A lowball glass is often used.

Gin Sour

It’s a simple combination of gin, lemon juice, and sugar over ice. Most bars will have a house sour mix, often in the soda gun. Pour your 2 oz. (59.14 mL) of gin over ice, and fill the glass with sour mix. A lowball glass is often used.

Brandy Sour

Differing in presentation from the aforementioned sours, a brandy sour will consist of a lemon and sugar combination. You’ll combine 1oz. (29.57 mL) of either clear or orange Curacao with 1 oz. (29.57 mL) of brandy, sugar, and lemon into a shaker over ice. Shake well, then strain into a wine glass and serve.

Whiskey Sour

Served either straight up or over ice, a whiskey sour is a traditional favorite that contains 1 oz. (29.57 mL) bourbon whiskey, lemon, and sugar. Most love it with a cherry garnish.


This popular tequila based drink is perfect for the beach and the bar; therefore, every bartender should be familiar with the basic ingredients and process. A basic margarita can be served in its own glass, with either a salt or sugar rim, or no garnished rim at all, depending on the patron’s preference. 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) tequila, 1/2 oz. (14.78 mL) triple sec, and ½ oz. (14.78 mL) limejuice round out this tart, delicious cocktail.


Brazil’s national cocktail with Cachaça as the base, which is a distilled alcohol made from sugarcane. Muddle 4 lime wedges with brown sugar in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice, and then add 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Cachaça.


A popular warm-weather drink, daiquiris can combine fruity flavors like strawberry, banana, or cherry and be served in frozen form. However, they can also just simply be served over ice and contain just 1 oz. (29.57 mL) rum, ½ oz. (14.78 mL), lime juice, and simple syrup. Fill a shaker with ice and pour in ingredients, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass.


Made up of lime juice, vodka, and triple sec, all in equal parts of 1 oz. (29.57 mL), this popular cocktail can be served straight up, on the rocks, in a highball, lowball, cocktail glass, or as a shot.


When customers order a martini or a Manhattan, you’ll have a lot of fun making their drink. However, before doing so, you’ll have a lot of investigating to do because these cocktails are made in very specific ways, require a set list of preferences, and often are ordered by patrons with a refined palate who will be particular about their drink preparation. While martinis and Manhattans differ, they are prepared in similar ways and have a similar alcohol ratio.

What You Need to Ask to Prepare a Martini or Manhattan

Here are the questions you need to ask any customer who orders one of these three types of drinks Straight up, or on the rocks? Straight up will be served in a chilled martini glass, without ice. On the rocks is clear, in that it’s served in a low-ball glass over ice. Type of liquor? Depending on how the customer orders, they may have already answered this question for you, but just in case you aren’t sure, be sure to inquire. With Manhattan’s and Rob Roy’s you should already know that you’re using whiskey (Manhattan) and Scotch (Rob Roy), but for martinis you need to know if it is a Gin or Vodka preference. Though, traditionally, unless vodka is specified, gin is the best guess. If you have any doubt, don’t guess; just ask. Brand of liquor? Since Martinis and Manhattans are straight liquor with small additives like vermouth or olive juice, most people won’t want to have inexpensive alcohol as the base for their drink. The well liquors are practically off limits when it comes to these high-end drinks, so here is your opportunity to up sell. However, be respectful of your guest by providing options. For a vodka martini, inquire with, "Absolut? Ketel One? Grey Goose? …" until the customer decides on preference. Never just input an order for high-end liquor unless the customer has specified to do so. Garnish preference? There are some classic pairings, but you can always ask martini fans if they’d prefer olives or a twist, for example. If your bar already has a set pairing, honor that.


Martinis are always served straight up, and martini glasses should be chilled with ice and set aside near your bar station as you prepare the drink. Fill your shaker with ice, begin with a splash of dry vermouth and then add 4 oz. (118.29 mL) of the vodka or gin, depending on your customer’s preference. Either, stir or shake, then strain into your chilled martini glass (after, of course, pouring out the ice for chilling). Garnish with a twist or olives, once again, depending on your bar’s requirements or the customer’s request.

Martini Variations

Dry Martini: vodka or gin with an extra splash of dry vermouth Dirty Martini: dry vermouth, vodka or gin, and olive juice 50-50 Martini: equal parts gin or vodka and dry vermouth


Prepared in precisely the same way as martinis, Manhattan’s include vermouth and one liquor. In this case, the vermouth is of the sweet variety and the liquor is always whiskey. During some, but not all, preparations bitters will be added. Manhattans, much more so than martinis, might be requested on the rocks, though the common form is straight up in a cocktail glass. Chill your glass and set it aside at your station, then in your ice-filled shaker, use a dash of sweet vermouth with your 4 oz. (118.29 mL) of whiskey. Shake or stir (your pick!) and then strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with a cherry or another garnish, like a twist, only if requested by the customer.

Manhattan Variations

Dry Manhattan: dry vermouth is used rather than sweet, and the drink is served with a twist rather than a cherry garnish. Perfect Manhattan: equal parts sweet and dry vermouth. Brandy Manhattan: brandy is substituted for the whiskey in the drink. Southern Comfort Manhattan: Southern Comfort, a sweet cordial, is used in place of whiskey. The Patriot: Jim Bean rye whiskey and angostina bitters are used. Whiskey Rebellion: Bulleit whiskey and 2 kinds of vermouth

Rob Roy

Deserving of its own category, the Rob Roy is the most popular of the classic Manhattan variations. Prepared just as a martini and Manhattan, it consists of sweet vermouth and 4 oz. (118.29 mL) of bourbon. A cherry is used to garnish the glass.

Know Your Drinks – Hot, Exotic, Highball, & More

The most common of all drinks: the highball. Not everyone who walks into your bar is going to order the typical drink, though. Some are going to want juice drinks, some are going to want hot drinks, some are going to want shots, and you are going to have to be prepared to make them all.

Highball and Juice

A highball is the most common drink you will have to make as a bartender. A highball refers to any drink that is made up of a base of one or more liquors, with the majority of the drink consisting of mixers. Traditionally, highballs started out as drink consisting only of one alcohol and one mixer, but the term has since expanded to include most classic mixed drinks that are meant to be served tall. Make sure that any highball drink you make is cold and served over plenty of ice. Most of these drinks are meant to be refreshing, and without ice, they’ll just be flat.

Alabama Slammer

This is a very common mixed orange juice drink that has a good amount of alcohol, but still tastes fruity. Recipe ½ oz. (14.78 mL) vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) amaretto ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Southern Comfort ½ oz. (14.78 mL) sloe gin Fill with orange juice

Bay Breeze

A bay breeze is a refreshing juice-based drink made with traditionally made with vodka (though it is sometimes made with rum, especially coconut rum). Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Cranberry juice Pineapple juice Lime wedge garnish

Sea Breeze

This is a variation on the bay breeze, made with grapefruit juice instead of pineapple juice. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Cranberry juice Grapefruit juice

Bloody Mary

This is an extremely popular drink that you will mostly be asked to serve during the day or at brunch. Bloody Mary drinkers are very particular, and all have different ideas of what makes the best Bloody Mary. Experiment with your own mixture, but make sure it is tasty and spicy. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Tomato juice Dash of Worcestershire sauce Dash of black pepper Dash of Tabasco Dash of Lemon juice Garnish with celery (variation: pickles, among others)

Cuba Libre

Another very simple and classic drink, this time made of a mixture of soda and rum. If you want to make this a rum & coke, simply toss the lime juice. Recipe: 2 oz. (59.14 mL) rum Fill with cola Dash of lime juice

Cape Codder

This is an extremely basic drink that you will probably make very often because it is easy for customers to remember and it is simple. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14mL) vodka Fill with cranberry juice

Fuzzy Navel

This is a fairly popular drink because people love the name. It is fun to say, and it is a tasty drink. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) peach schnapps Fill with orange juice

Gin & Tonic

Another very classic combination of flavors. This is a dry, yet fruity drink that is the go to for many customers. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) gin Fill with tonic water


The classic whiskey drink that started this whole category of drinks. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) whiskey Fill with ginger ale

Scotch & Soda

As simple as it sounds. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) scotch Fill with club soda

Harvey Wallbanger

This is a drink that was born of one of those moments when people were trying to make a drink out of whatever they had around. The catchy name helped it stick and it’s still a popular drink. Recipe ¾ oz. (22.18 mL) vodka 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) orange juice ¼ oz. (7.4 mL) Galliano Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry

Tequila Sunrise

This is a popular drink because of its layering. You do not want to stir this drink. If done right, it will look like a sunrise. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) tequila 4 oz. (118.28 mL) orange juice ½ oz. (14.78 mL) grenadine


This is a classic drink that can be ordered any time of day, but it is often a popular brunch drink. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Fill with orange juice

Seven & Seven

This is a pretty popular drink because the name is a catchy play on words. In truth, it is a very basic drink, though. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) whiskey (usually Seagram’s 7) Fill with 7-Up

Vodka Red Bull

This drink is fairly new (it sprang up with the surge of energy drinks in the 00’s), that is good for someone who wants a strong drink that gives them an energy boost. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Fill with Red Bull (or other energy drink)

Vodka & Soda

This is another classic, simple drink. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Fill with club soda

Vodka Tonic

Another classic go-to drink for a lot of people. This drink is simple, effective, and tasty. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka Fill with tonic water

Exotic Drinks

These are usually drinks that are well suited for relaxing on the beach or by the pool. These are the types of drinks you order when you are on vacation, and come home wanting more of. You don’t need to be an encyclopedia of every exotic drink in the world (that’s probably impossible), but you should know the basics.

Bahama Mama

This is a favorite drink for people on beach vacations, or people just looking for a taste of the beach at home. Recipe ½ oz. (14.78 mL) coffee liqueur 1 oz. (29.57 mL) dark rum 1 oz. (29.57 mL) coconut liqueur ½ oz. (14.78 mL) 151 proof rum 8 oz. (236.59 mL) pineapple juice Lemon juice

Blue Hawaiian

Like the Blue Lagoon, this drink is very popular because of its fruitiness as well as its bright blue color. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) light rum 1 oz. (29.57 mL) blue curacao 2 oz. (59.14 mL) pineapple juice 1 oz. (29.57 mL) cream of coconut Garnish with pineapple and cherry

Blue Lagoon

Another popular, bright blue drink. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka 2 oz. (59.14 mL) blue curacao Fill with lemonade Garnish with cherries

Daiquiri (Strawberry, Banana, Mango):

This is another very popular, fruity, island drink. It is a great drink if you are looking for something refreshing on the beach or by the pool. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) dark rum 6 oz. (177.44 mL) fruit juice (or fruit pieces) Mix with ice, and then blend.

Mai Tai

This Asian drink originated in Tahiti, but is a favorite of many Americans. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) light rum 1 oz. (29.57 mL) dark rum 1 oz. (29.57 mL) crème de almond 1 oz. (29.57 mL) triple sec Sweet and sour mix and pineapple juice

Margarita (Frozen, On the Rocks)

This is a classic standby drink for every bar, especially if your bar is southern or Mexican-themed. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) tequila ½ oz. (14.78 mL) triple sec ½ oz. (14.78 mL) lime juice Pour over ice, or add ice and blend.


This is a uniquely cool, minty drink that is very refreshing on a hot day, regardless of where you are. Recipe Muddle mint leaves (4-6) 1 oz. (29.57 mL) lime juice 1 oz. (29.57 mL) soda water 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) white rum 1/3 oz. (9.76mL) sugar

Pina Colada

This is a very common drink that is no longer very exotic. Be prepared to make this frozen drink wherever you tend bar. Recipe 3 oz. (88.72 mL) white rum 2 oz. (59.14 mL) dark rum 3 oz. (88.72 mL) coconut cream 2 oz. (59.14 mL) whipping cream 6 oz. (177.44 mL) pineapple juice Mix with ice, blend. Garnish with pineapple and cherry

Sex On the Beach

This fruity drink finds its way into every bar because of its unique and kinky name. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) vodka 1 oz. (29.57 mL) peach schnapps 3 oz. (88.72 mL) orange juice 3 oz. (88.72 mL) cranberry juice

Hot Drinks

Is it a cold, winter night, or just time for dessert? Hot drinks can be extremely popular and, although they traditionally take more time and effort to make, can elevate your bartending to the next level. Impress your customer with a delicious and toasty hot drink, and they’ll be coming back for more.

Amaretto Coffee

Coffee with a touch of almonds. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Amaretto Fill with coffee Top with whipped cream

Bailey’s Peppermint Cream

This delicious variation of hot chocolate adds a peppermint flavor along with its liquor. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Bailey’s Mint Chocolate Cream Liqueur Fill with hot chocolate Top with whipped cream

Belgian Coffee

This is an excellent drink if you’re looking for a creamy coffee drink with a touch of orange. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Bailey’s Irish Cream ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Cointreau Fill with coffee

Cozy by the Fireplace

Warm yourself right up with this peppermint coffee. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) peppermint schnapps Fill with coffee

Hot Apple Cider

Hard apple cider is a delicious winter drink. Add some rum and apple liqueur into the mix and you’ll be feeling extra warm. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) spiced rum ½ oz. (14.78 mL) apple liqueur Fill with apple cider

Hot Butter Rum

This may be difficult for you to make in house because it requires you to heat up all the ingredients in a pot, but it is a delicious winter drink. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) dark rum Dash of cinnamon Dash of brown sugar Cloves Melted butter Heat in a pot until mixed, serve hot

Hot Peppermint Patty

This drink will have you reminiscing to your childhood, as you get the taste of a peppermint patty with your warm, hard hot chocolate. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) peppermint schnapps ½ oz. (14.78 mL) dark crème de cacao Crème de menthe Fill with hot chocolate Top with whipped cream

Hot Toddy

This is a classic cold-weather drink that requires the ingredients be heated. If you’re equipped to make this for your customers, you’ll immediately become their favorite bartender. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) whiskey Honey 4 oz. (118.28 mL) water Lemon juice Heat until mixed, serve hot

Irish Coffee

This is a classic coffee variation that adds a creamy texture to the drink. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Bailey’s Irish cream ½ oz. (14.78 mL) cream Fill with coffee Top with whipped cream

Grand Coffee

This is a great coffee drink that adds a touch of orange. Top it with whipped cream for an extra treat. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Grand Marnier Fill with coffee Top with whipped cream

Jamaican Coffee

Get a little taste of Jamaican rum with your coffee. Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) brandy 1 oz. (29.57 mL) white rum Fill with coffee

Mexican Coffee

This is coffee mixed with a Mexican staple: tequila. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) tequila 1 oz. (29.57 mL) coffee liqueur Fill with coffee

Nutty Irishman

This funny sounding drink brings a creamy, nutty flavor to your coffee. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) Bailey’s Irish cream 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Frangelico Fill with coffee

Shooter Drinks

Mixed drinks are great, but sometimes the only thing that is going to do the trick is a round of shots. Some shots are as easy as pouring liquor into a glass. Many of the shots on this list are just smaller versions of mixed drinks, but it is important that you get the recipe right so that the taste is preserved in its shot form.

Serving Shots

Regardless of the shot you are preparing, the process is pretty much the same. You’ll need a shaker and ice. Find out how many of each shot you need, and measure out the appropriate amount of ingredients. If the customer is asking for a lot of one shot, you may have to do some guesswork to get the proportions right. Put the ingredients into the shaker with some ice, shake it, and pour evenly into the appropriate number of shot glasses. The hardest part is making sure your measurements are on target. If anything, try to overcompensate. Make sure that you don’t overcompensate too much, though, because you don’t want to waste liquor. When you are serving shots, it is important to pay special attention to the amount of alcohol that each person is consuming. Shots are quick, and a person can get themselves pretty drunk off of them before they even realize it.

Alabama Slammer Shot

Recipe: 1 oz. (29.57 mL) amaretto 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Southern Comfort ½ oz. (14.78 mL) sloe gin Dash of lemon juice


(This is "bomb," or a shot that is dropped into a beer) Recipe: 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) whiskey 12 oz. (354.88 mL) of draft beer (in a pint glass) Serve separately so the customer can drop the shot before drinking.

Bl*w Job

Recipe ¼ oz. (7.39 mL) Bailey’s Irish cream ½ oz. (14.78 mL) amaretto Top with whipped cream

Cement Mixer

Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) chilled Bailey’s Irish cream ½ oz. (14.78 mL) lime juice Pour chilled Bailey’s into a shot glass. Float the lime juice on top.

Chocolate Cake

Recipe ¾ oz. (22.18 mL) citrus vodka ¾ oz. (22.18 mL) hazelnut liqueur Sugar coated lemon on the side

Flaming Dr. Pepper (Bomb)

Recipe ¾ shot (33.27 mL) amaretto ¼ shot (11.09 mL) 151 proof rum 12 oz. (354.88 mL) of draft beer (in a pint glass) Pour amaretto in a shot glass Float 151 proof rum Ignite the 151 in the shot glass Serve to customer on side of beer. Instruct the customer to blow the shot out and drop it in the beer before drinking.

Irish Car Bomb

Recipe 12 oz. (354.88 mL) Guinness ½ shot (22.18 mL) Irish cream liqueur ½ shot (22.18 mL) Irish whiskey Serve shot and beer separately for customer to drop before drinking.

Jager Bomb

Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) Jagermeister ½ can of Red Bull Pour Red Bull into a glass and serve separately from shot so customer can drop it before drinking.

Jelly Bean

Recipe ½ oz. (14.78 mL) blackberry brandy (or grenadine) ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Sambuca ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Southern Comfort Pour the ingredients in the order they are listed, floating one on top of the other to make an extremely colorful shot.

Kamikaze Shot

Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) orange liqueur Add a little lime juice Garnish with a lemon wedge

Lemon Drop Shot

Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka Garnish with sugar coated lemon wedge

Melon Ball

Recipe ½ oz. (14.78 mL) vodka ¼ oz. (7.39 mL) melon liqueur ¼ oz. (7.39 mL) pineapple juice

Mind Eraser

Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) vodka 1 oz. (29.57 mL) coffee liqueur Soda water Garnish with a lime wedge

Nutty Irishman Shot

Recipe ¾ oz. (22.18 mL) Irish cream liqueur ¾ oz. (22.18 mL) Frangelico

Redheaded Slut

Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Jagermeister 1 oz. (29.57 mL) peach schnapps 2 oz. (59.14 mL) cranberry juice

Tequila Shot

This is on the list only because there is some preparation involved. When serving a tequila shot, give customers salt and instruct them to moisten the back of their hand (licking works) and pour salt onto it. Pour and serve them the shot with a lime wedge garnish. Instruct customers to lick the salt, take the shot, and then suck on the lime wedge.

Slippery Nipple

Recipe ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Sambuca 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Irish cream liqueur

Three Wise Men

Recipe ½ oz (14.78 mL) Johnnie Walker ½ oz (14.78 mL) Jack Daniel’s ½ oz (14z.78 mL) Jim Beam

Washington Apple

Recipe 1 oz. (29.57 mL) Canadian whiskey 1 oz. (29.57 mL) sour apple schnapps 1 oz. (29.57 mL) cranberry juice Garnish with an apple slice

Woo Woo

Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) peach schnapps 3 oz. (88.72 mL) cranberry juice Garnish with a lime wedge


There are a number of drinks that are often served as if they are martinis, but they do not really qualify as martinis. A true martini is made of gin and vermouth, but vodka and vermouth is generally also accepted as a "martini." Add any other ingredients besides olives or olive juice and you’ve got yourself something entirely different, even though the preparation is the same.


This drink is very well known, and is definitely a drink you need to know how to make because you will be making a lot of them. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) citrus vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Cointreau 1 oz. (29.57 mL) cranberry juice ½ oz. (14.78 mL) lime juice


Another big hit, this sour drink is definitely going to be on the minds of your customers. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) apple schnapps ½ oz. (14.78 mL) Cointreau

Pomegranate Martini

This martini pops with tartness, and is definitely a delicious treat. Recipe 2 oz. (59.14 mL) citrus vodka ½ oz. (14.78 mL) lemon juice ¼ oz. (7.39 mL) pomegranate juice 1 oz. (29.57 mL) simple syrup

1942 Martini

This recipe gives a Mexican twist to the classic martini and definitely shakes things up. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) tequila (preferably high end tequila) ¾ oz. (22.18 mL) dry vermouth Dash of orange bitters


This martini is very similar to a regular martini, except for one addition: orange bitters. This slight modification gives the drink an entirely different taste.

French Martini

This used to be a little more popular than it is now, but it could definitely make its way back into our hearts and minds. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka ¼ oz. (7.39 mL) Chambord ¼ oz. (7.39 mL) pineapple juice Garnish with lemon peel

Espresso Martini

This coffee-flavored martini is always a hit. Recipe 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) vodka 1.5 oz. (44.36 mL) Kahlua coffee liqueur 1 oz. (29.57 mL) crème de cacao 1 oz. (29.57 mL) cold espresso


This Japanese martini is made just like a vodka martini, except you need to use dry sake instead of vermouth. This drink can be garnished with a fresh cucumber.

Beer Cocktails

Certain beer cocktails have been around for ages, but with the recent surge in both quantity and quality of microbrews and craft beers in this country, beer cocktails are becoming more popular, and more refined.

Black Velvet

This cocktail takes a dark stout and makes it sparkle. Recipe 8 oz. (236.59 mL) Guinness 8 oz. (236.59 mL) brut sparkling wine Pour half a pint of Guinness, then, using a spoon, float the sparkling wine on top.


This is a pretty simple drink, but it is amazingly refreshing and perfect for summer. Recipe 12 oz. (354.88 mL) beer (Mexican-style) 4 oz. (118.29 mL) lime juice

Lemon Shandy

Another great, refreshing, summery drink. Recipe 12 oz. (354.88 mL) beer (light-colored beer works best) 4 oz. (118.29 mL) lemonade


Here’s a spicy beer cocktail for anyone who loves a good Bloody Mary. The measurements vary, but here are the ingredients you should experiment with. Recipe Beer (Mexican-style works best) Worcestershire Hot sauce Soy sauce Rim the glass with salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper, using honey to bind it.

Orange Wheat Beer/Banana Wheat Beer

Wheat beers lend themselves well to fruit garnishes, so why not take it one step further and make these complementary ingredients into a cocktail. Recipe 12 oz. (354.88 mL) wheat beer 4 oz. (118.29 mL) orange/banana juice


Beer is delicious; cider is delicious; wouldn’t they be delicious together? Recipe 8 oz. (236.59 mL) beer (preferably dark) 8 oz. (236.59 mL) hard cider

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