Bartending is more than just serving customers drinks. Walk into any bar on a Friday night and you will see an array of drinks being served, music blasting and happy customers enjoying themselves.


So, you want to be a bartender.  Good for you!  Bartending is a great way to make extra cash but it’s also a legitimate career path.  You’ll make more money than many of your counterparts in “professional” positions, have tons of flexibility, and a lot more fun.  


Bartender Old Habits Die Hard


But, it’s not all easy money and partying; this job is tough both physically and mentally.  Read on for some things you simply must know before becoming a bartender.


You Probably Won’t be a Bartender for A While 


Because bartending is technically “unskilled” labor (a label I take particular issue with), people often assume you can just decide to do it, then get a job the next day.  Well, sorry folks, but that’s far from the case.  Most places won’t even consider hiring a bartender with no experience.  And no, your bartending school certificate doesn’t count.  You’ll probably be paying your dues as a busser, server, or host for a while until you make the leap to being behind the bar.


Bartending is NOT EASY


Bartending requires a laundry list of skills, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks; and remembering drinks is only a small part of that list.  Being a bartender means you’re equal parts event planner, babysitter, and therapist.  You need to be able to build solid relationships, keep track of sometimes thousands of dollars, and mix drinks all at the same time.  And those are only the big ones!  

In addition, you’ll be running food (sometimes even cooking the food), opening the bar, closing the bar, changing all the kegs, clearing tables, washing glasses, closing checks, making service drinks, and one million other things.  Bartending is also an incredibly difficult job physically.  You’re standing on your feet all day and all night and sometimes you’ll be working for upwards of 15 hours in a row, not finishing until 5AM. Don’t get me wrong, the rewards of bartending are great, but the cost is real.


Chatting with People all Day Isn’t Always Fun


You think you can talk to anyone?  Try carrying on five separate conversations all while serving drinks, counting money, and keeping track of a million other little things.  Oh, and those people you have to chat up?  They’re the same people you saw yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.  

While regulars can make your job worthwhile and genuinely brighten your day, they can also be the absolute worst part of your existence.  You can never have an “off” day.  Your entire livelihood, and those of your coworkers, depends on you being friendly, funny, and outgoing; every shift, for your entire shift.


Learn How to Save


The best part about bartending is the cash right?  Absolutely!  But, it does come with a caveat.  When your income comes in tens and fives, it can often be hard to keep track of it.  Make a habit of recording your tips from the very beginning and make a plan to save regularly.  You will probably make more money bartending (possibly a lot more), than you would at an entry or mid-level professional position. Take advantage of this and save. Please. Do it for me.


It Is Ok to Be a Bartender; And You Don’t Have to Justify It 


If it weren’t for the service industry, I wouldn’t have the wonderful friends I do or lead the life I live.  I make great money, it’s easy for me to take time off, and I always have a fail-safe option in my back pocket.  However, despite these advantages, I’m constantly justifying my life to others.  No, I don’t necessarily want to be a bartender forever, but for now it’s pretty damn good.  In short, if bartending is the life you love, live it.  If you’re happy, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.


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We all would like to think that we are the best bartenders in the world and that we never make any mistakes or have any bad bartending habits. However, we are human and human nature is to not be perfect. There are several bad habits that bartenders should avoid.  


Bad Bartending Habits

5 Things to Look for During Bartender Training


Wasting Product 


One of the biggest bad habits is wasting products. Bartenders tend to do this in a variety of ways. For instance running the tap for a few seconds before putting a glass under it or giving out extra garnishes. It’s important to try to manage how much you waste. Wasted products hurts revenues for the establishment so be mindful of what you give out. After all, if you save your boss money by limiting waste, he will be happy and so will you.




Over-serving customers with alcohol doesn’t help establishment revenues and can actually be dangerous for customers. Be sure to pay attention to how much you serve and how often. If they seem to be getting too intoxicated you have to be the responsible bartender and cut them off.  And if anyone does get too intoxicated, be sure to help them find a safe way home by calling them an Uber or a taxi.  You could be liable if you allow them to drive home drunk and an accident occurs.


Not Offering Food Or Appetizers


Offering food to your customers not only generates more income for the establishment, it also makes sure that your customers do not drink on an empty stomach. If you aren’t asking every customer if they would like to see a menu, you truly are not meeting all the requirements of your profession.


Paying More Attention To Friends Or Certain Customers


People can tell when you are ignoring them and not giving them enough attention. It is never okay to ignore a customer or forgot why you are there. Your job is to serve everyone and take care of their needs. In doing so, you will generate more income and you will build repeat customers. You never know which customers will become ‘regular’ so it’s key to treat all your customers the same.


Acting Inappropriately 


We all act inappropriately at times. However, in the workplace, there is no place for that behavior. Bartenders can act inappropriately by over-flirting and only giving certain customers free drinks. It’s very important to watch the language and the gestures being used.  Bars are fun atmospheres where you maybe able to get away with some inappropriate behavior, but don’t forget this is still your place of work and their is a level of professionalism that needs to be upheld.


Not Following Your Work Schedule


An occasional sick day or requested time off is normal in any career. However, if you are always coming in late, calling in sick or leaving early, don’t expect that you will have a job for too long. When you don’t work your given schedule you are forcing others to have to work it. This will create problems with other bartenders, servers and your management staff.  And keep in mind your favorite customers will be checking in for you so if you are not there, you lose their trust and their money.  In order to keep your job and reputation, come to work on time and when you are scheduled.


Not Using A Bar Recipe Accurately


Bartenders tend to mix a lot of drinks. It’s great if you have many of these recipes memorized, but you won’t know all especially just starting out.  Make sure you know how to follow a recipe in order to make a drink properly. Be sure to measure accurately and don’t try to put your own spin on a drink you have never made before. This could end up badly.

If you minimize your bad work habits and learn good, productive habits you will impress your managers and your customers will love you. When in doubt, always remain professional and courteous.  

Things Bartenders and Servers Should Know About Taxes 


Want to connect with people at the bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!


Not everyone wants to work as a bartender, but that doesn’t stop us from becoming an occasional home bartender.


Bartenders aren’t just your average folks. Anyone who can put up with that much insanity on a daily basis must be pretty damn powerful, right? Kind of like God. 


Bartenders are like god


Allow me to be clearer: Bartenders aren’t all-mighty deities whose hobbies consist of floating in the sky, sleeping with their sister and chucking magical lightning bolts at mountain-sized monsters (I’m looking at you, Zeus).

But you know what bartenders are? Patient. Knowledgeable. Honest. Creative. And goddamn mystical.

Here are eight ways bartenders are just like God:


1. Bartenders are all-knowing like God.



Ask your bartender anything about drinks, nightlife or that weird guy trying to hit on you and they’ll give you the honest-to-God (pun!) answer you’re looking for. They know everything there is to know about people and problems. And the drunker you are, the more unsettlingly impressive their omniscience becomes.



2. Bartenders are creators.



God is said to have created the universe in six days, but bartenders can create far-more-elaborate concoctions in, get this, less than five minutes. The ingredients are basically the same, too: You got your water and your forbidden fruits and a load of stuff on the rocks (OK, promise, no more terrible puns).


3. They look out for you. 


If you’ve ever been a tad too drunk and tried to order another drink, your bartender probably said something like, “Dude, I’m gonna have to cut you off now.” And just like God or a guardian angel, your bartender’s got your back. While some bartenders may be annoyed by your antics, most care deeply about your well-being—or at least enough to know it definitely ain’t your time to die.


4. They talk to you when you’re feeling down. 



Some people turn to God during a crappy day; others head to the bar to discuss their innermost problems with a local bartender. At least with bartenders, you know they’re there to give you some one-on-one attention and relevant advice. Poor God, on the other hand, has to listen to a billion prayers at once.


5. You can confess your sins to them.


Bars don’t look a thing like confessionals, but they’ve likely witnessed more confessions than even the oldest of Catholic churches. Instead of holing yourself up in a claustrophobic box, spill your guts at a bar. Trust me, bartenders have heard it all. Listening to people’s regrets is pretty much written in their job description.


6. They have many followers.


On Twitter, that is.  And people will travel all across town to see them. Yes bartenders have plenty of followers.


7. They're always in the same place doing the same old stuff. 


Kind of like how gods have been incessantly depicted bopping around the clouds for the past few thousand years, bartenders are always exactly where you expect them to be—slouched behind a bar, mixing drinks and gossiping about that weird guy who tried to hit on you earlier.


8. They're wrathful. 


Whatever you do, don’t get on your bartender’s bad side. Whether you’re a professional asshole or are simply dealing with a typical bad day, bartenders aren’t required to take crap from anyone, and that most certainly includes you. If you continue your shitty behavior, expect some pretty extreme punishment, Moses-style. Yep—I’m talking permanent exile.


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!



There are so many amazing alcoholic drinks on the market today make it hard to choose a favorite. However, after a bit of research, social media pondering and asking around I came up with the top alcoholic drinks this year. They are in no particular order, just 10 drinks that we all love and want more of in 2016.


There are a lot of bartender myths and stereotypes flying around out there. It’s time to find out about some about these bartender myths and if there is any truth behind them.


Bartender Myths



1. Bartenders get hit on all the time.



Truth: Not all of them do and not all the time. Most bartenders master the art of flirting and smiling routinely to engage customers but never offer personal information about themselves or take it further than that. Bartenders come in contact with a lot of people and taking things personal is a recipe for disaster.  Forget the whole getting laid and hit on all the time myth. It may happen on occasion, but no more than any other person.




2. Bartenders are Uneducated.



Truth: This couldn’t be farther from the truth. First of all, most bartenders take some kind of formal education to be a bartender or go through extensive training before getting behind the bar. Others are working through college. You will meet bartenders with all types of educational background and skills. In fact, your bartender may have a Bachelor’s and even a Master’s degree. Be careful thinking bartenders are uneducated because they may have more education than you.



3. Bartending is one big party!



Truth: False! Bartending is work. It can be fun at times and is typically a more relaxed establishment than an office job. Yet bartenders are still on their feet at for hours at a time, mixing drinks, cleaning counters and working the cash register. It’s not all fun and games. It’s still a source of income and has to have a level of professionalism.


4. Bartenders are walking encyclopedias of drinks.


Truth: It’s true that bartenders know many different types of drinks. It’s their job to know drinks. However, they don’t know every drink out there and with new drinks being made all the time, it’s quite impossible for a bartender to know everything. However, if they don’t know how to make a drink most bartenders are open to listening to their customers explain it. Bartenders like to learn new things that will increase sales and tips.



5. Bartending is just a side job.



Truth: For some, it might be. However, for many bartenders this is their only job. There are a lot of amazing bartenders who have made a career and life out of bartending. For them bartending is much more than a side job. It’s a way of life. Too many people believe you can not make a career out of bartending, but the reality is so many people have done just that. The profession of bartending offers a ton of perks if taking seriously.



6. They are alcoholics.


Truth: This myth is pretty ridiculous. In fact, it is hard for an alcoholic to work at a job that serves alcohol. The temptation would be too great and you wouldn’t get any work done. No work equals no tips. In fact, most bartenders drink very little. After seeing the effects of alcohol every day on your customers, the idea of drinking just isn’t fun anymore. It’s just like working at McDonald’s, after a while eating McDonald’s food isn’t so appealing to you.



7. Bartending is easy and glamorous.


Truth: Bartending may seem fun, exciting and easy. However, there is so much more that goes on. You need to have good people skills and know how to handle money. You need to be able to lift heavy items, clean, restock and even be ready to mop the floor and pick up broken glass. And don’t forget, it is never fun cleaning up someone else’s puke!




8. Bartenders are not accountable for their customers.


Truth: To a point this may be true. However, if a bartender served someone too many drinks and allowed them to leave without calling them a cab, we can get in trouble for any accidents or alcohol poisoning that can occur. Bartenders can still be liable. That is why a good bartender pays attention to their customers and makes sure to step in and cut them off so they get home safely.


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free! 


An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what about an appletini? Is there a correlation with health benefits and drinking alcohol?


Health Benefits Drinking Alcohol


People love to debate. And alcohol’s so-called “health benefits” have been under scrutiny for years. I’m sure you’ve heard or even voiced some of these common refrains: Is red wine really good for you? How often is too often? Can alcohol help you lose weight? Ryan threw up on me again. (OK, maybe not that last one.)

Some of these questions are difficult, if not impossible, to answer. But let’s give this a shot. If we’re trying to determine the health benefits of alcohol, we need to start by looking at whether “healthy” drinks exist, as well as whether drinking in moderation is medically advisable.


“Healthy” Drinks


“Healthy” is a highly subjective term. With drinks, as well as with food and non-alcoholic beverages, the term “healthy” is usually used to refer to one of two things: 1) few calories, or 2) high nutritional content.



Let’s look at calories, first. Naturally, calorie counts vary dramatically among alcoholic beverages. To give you an example, a Miller Light averages 96 calories per 12 ounces, while a martini averages 295 calories per 4 ounces. That’s a huge difference, folks.

As a result, people trying to lose a couple of pounds typically prefer straight alcohol or simpler combinations over cocktails. The biggest problem with this, though, is that low-calorie drinks on a whole aren’t particularly flavorful and have very little nutritional value. Take a vodka soda, for instance; the drink averages 96 calories per 1.5 ounces but offers little taste and even less enjoyment. Is it healthy? Not exactly.

Which brings me to my next point: Are there any drinks with high nutritional content?

Indeed, many cocktails contain lower alcohol levels for the sake of healthier fruit components, but sugary juices carry hefty disadvantages in the area of calories. Mimosas, for example, have somewhat high nutritional content. But the orange juice in them—though packed with Vitamin C—doesn’t come without caloric compromise. You’re basically better off just eating actual fruits. So, healthy? Debatable.

At this point, I assume you’re probably thinking, “Well, what about red wine? It’s made from grapes, so surely it has some health benefits, eh?” The truth is that the health benefits of red wine are contentious. Despite numerous studies claiming wine can be used as a preventative measure against heart disease and other ailments, none of these reports have been conclusively proven. The American Heart Association agrees: “The linkage reported in many of these studies may be due to other lifestyle factors rather than alcohol.” Great—another dead end.


Drinking in Moderation


The second concern, then, is whether it is healthy to drink or begin drinking alcohol at all.

Let’s get something straight: Nobody needs to drink alcohol. Alcohol isn’t on the food pyramid, squeezed in-between vegetables and meats and rice. That being said, it isn’t the worst thing to consume, either. In its chapter on alcohol consumption, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans states, “If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.”

So, moderation is key, right?

Well, not exactly. The guidelines go on to say, “The Dietary Guidelines does not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason.”



And the American Heart Association agrees: “The American Heart Association cautions people NOT to start drinking ... if they do not already drink alcohol.”

Most sources, it seems, echo the somewhat contradictory opinion that while alcohol should essentially be avoided, moderate drinking isn’t likely to result in any long-term health consequences.


Conclusions (or Lack Thereof)


When it comes down to it, what and how often you drink is completely up to you. Alcohol, though perhaps not the healthiest drink in the world, isn’t going to hurt you in the long run, but it certainly isn’t going to guarantee a longer lifespan, either.

Still, nobody can predict the future. Maybe you’ll turn out to be the next Antonio Docampo Garcia and live to be 107 by chugging four bottles of wine a day.

Or maybe not.


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We’ve all said some stupid things at the bar, and especially when we’ve had too much to drink. However, your bartender should not be the person you say it to. Know what to say and what to never say to a bartender.


Never Say to Bartender


Being in a bar is one of the major advantages of being an adult.  And bartenders have the benefit of working in these sacred places.  We, the customers must behave like adults and respect these gatekeepers of fun.

Here are a few of the things that your local bartender can tell you they would rather not hear you say.



“Make me a drink.”

– Oh, sure thing.

Bartender: Here’s my favorite, a drink called a Red Devil.

Customer: No I’m allergic to Vodka.

Bartender: Oh, ok.  Here’s a Yuengling.

Customer:  I’m on a diet so beer is out.  What else do you got?

Bartender: How about a mojito?

Customer: Nah I need something a little stronger.

Sure, let me just spend all night trying to figure out what you want instead of you just telling me so I can help other customers.  Make up your mind and stop being so indecisive when you go to the bar.



“I know the owner of this place.”

– Great, so do I.

What’s your point?  If you truly do know the owner, then you know that they have to pay bills just like you and me which means you pay for your drinks just like everyone else.  I’m expected to give you good service, you tip, and everyone has a good night.



“How do you not have …?”

– We are the bartender, not the owner.

We most likely do not know why we do not have what you want.  Even if we do, we have other customers we need to take care of and don’t have time to explain the complex financial decisions that led to the owner/manager deciding to not carry that particular drink in stock.  You’ve been drinking and it’s pretty loud in here so it’s going to be hard for you to hear and comprehend what I am trying to tell you anyway.  So, please just suck it up and pick another drink, okay?



“Make it really strong.”

– Sure, we will go ahead and over-pour and risk our job just for you.

Not a problem.  I mean nobody else wants more for their money, right?  The owner doesn’t have an overhead, right?  Here’s the thing… If you are someone we would be willing to risk our job for by “hooking up,” you wouldn’t need to ask us for the favor, not to mention you would respect us enough not to put us in the awkward situation by asking us to do so for you.  We have set standards as far as how much we pour and our jobs depend on our accuracy and reliability.



“What’s cheap here?”

– What this translates to us is “for future reference, avoid serving this person like the plague, because my tips, if any, are going to be horrible.”

We get it, you’re on a budget.  However, what is “cheapest” may not be what you like to drink, nor have we memorized the prices of every single drink we have.  The safe bet is to order a draft beer which is cheaper than the bottle, then mixed drinks and wines coming in last.  Please DO NOT expect us to go over to the touch-screen and look at several drink prices for you while we are attempting to serve other people.



“Can I get your phone number?”

– Sure, let me go ahead and give a stranger here at my workplace my number.

What possibly could go wrong with that?  I give you my number and if things don’t work out, every time you come to the bar, we get to awkwardly see each other every time!  If you really want to get to know the bartender, instead of asking for our phone number, give us yours.  Don’t ask us if we want it, just write down your name, put it on a piece of paper, and give it to us.  If for some reason you caught our interest, you’ll hear from us.  If you never hear from me, understand this is where I do my business, not pick up dates.  


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Have you ever just sat back and observed the different personalities that come in the bar? People are fascinating and when alcohol is involved they become even more so. From the hip, trendy bar customers to the every day regulars, there is never a dull moment at the bar. 


Bar Customers


Here are 7 different types of bar customers.


The Sophisticated Drinker


These bar goers are usually easy to spot. Their high-end clothes and trendy personalities usually shine through. A sophisticated drinker is typically into top of the line drinks like scotch, bourbon or dirty vodka martinis. However, they also may like a good red wine or a craft stout beer. Bartenders seem to like a sophisticated drinker.

It always impressed them when you order a good, classy drink. So, if you want to score points with your bartender, order their favorite scotch on the rocks or a gin and tonic. But a word of caution, being a sophisticated drinker is not cheap. It costs money to sling back those expensive drinks all night.


The Manly Drinker


A manly drinker is your beer drinker that frequents bars during big sports games or any other big event. Typically he never drinks alone. A manly drinker will have three to five of his buddies or co-workers with him. Drinking for them is so much more fun when you have buddies with you.

The manly drinkers will most likely hog one side of the bar or a pool table, but preferably they will be on the side of the room where they can see a television. In the eyes of a manly drinker nothing is better than a cold beer and big game. It doesn’t matter what type of beer they are drinking, as long as it is beer. Occasionally, when the game is going well they may order a round of shots.


The Lover of Wine


These are most oftenly beautiful ladies who have a good palate and a taste for high-end drinks. There are three different types of wine lovers:The Red Wine Drinker: The red wine drinker typically will only like deep red, full body wines. They seem to have a passion for life and are very loyal to their friends.

-----The Red Wine Drinker: The red wine drinker typically will only like deep red, full body wines. They seem to have a passion for life and are very loyal to their friends.

-----The White Wine Drinker: The white wine drinker is usually a somebody who just started to take an interest in wine or the girl who is mainly likes sweet drinks. This wine lover is a lot of fun to hang out with and a bit of flirt.

-----The Wine Connoisseur: Now the wine connoisseur is a true wine drinker who will order a fine wine regardless if it’s red or white. This type of wine drinker knows what goes into a great wine and will test your knowledge of the wine.Also, The wine connoisseur has a great palate and knows what he or she likes.

No matter what type of lover of wine a person is, one thing is for sure they tend to enjoy the finer things in life and they tend to not rush through life haphazardly.



The Shot Master


This type of bar goer loves to have shots. It doesn’t matter what the shot is. He or she is a thrill seeker and knows the fastest way to a buzz is a by downing few shots. The shot master is always the life of the party. They love anything from Irish Car Bombs to a shot of Jack or even the popular Jaegar bomb. You have to watch out for these guys though, like that saying goes,‘1 tequila, 2 tequila, floor’, too many shots can mean trouble.


The Girlie Drinker


The girlie drinker is your average woman who likes a good daiquiri, margarita or a good mixed drink. Many of these drinkers love their vodka and red bulls or Tequila Sunrises. These are usually the fun ladies at the bar and can typically be found in the corner surrounded by 6 or 7 of their closest friends, giggling and having a good old time.


The Big Spender


This guy is usually harder to spot in crowd, at first. He tends to blend in well and starts out drinking slowly. However, after a few drinks he starts buying rounds for everyone while he flaunts his money. He quickly can become the life of the party until his money runs out. This is the guy you want to be friends with, because everyone likes free drinks.


The Drunk


This is a bartender’s least favorite customer because they know sometime by the end of the night they will be babysitting this bar goer. The drunk has no real preference to what he is drinking as long as he is drinking. As a drunk starts drinking they got louder and more rambunctious. They eventually lose all ability to think with common decency and will hit on anything in a 5-mile-radius.Often times they can become argumentative and start fights. Beware of the drunk. He could be a regular or he could be the new guy, you never know. Either way his nights always end in disaster.

Bars are filled with many different personalities. This is the reason why bartending is such an interesting job. Everyday you get to meet people, with different personalities, preferences and experiences. Everyday is a new, interesting day as a bartender. 


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I’m sure we’ve all been in those situations where we’ve seen unruly behavior at a bar. And you watch the bartenders suffer through it all. If you are a newbie and not sure of the proper conduct to follow. Here are 5 things that you don't ever do at the bar.


.Don't Ever Do These 5 Things at the Bar



Beg for Drinks at Closing Time



There’s a reason why it’s called closing time. That means that the bar is done for the night.  While you are leaving the bar at 3am, the bartenders and other staff have to stick around for an hour or so. They are left cleaning up and stocking the supplies for the next day. So don’t be that unruly person who begs for more drinks when it's time to go.



Make a Mess



Don’t be the person that rips up coasters and labels and leave scraps all over the floor. This is just extra trash the bartenders have to clean up at the end of the night. Be respectful of the bar and remember that it is a work establishment, not your living room.



Throw Money



Don’t be the person tossing money or your ID on the bar.  Making it rain may work at the strip club, but not at the bar.  If the bartender has their hand out to accept your money or ID, do not be a jerk and throw them onto the bar. For one it is very rude and disrespectful to the bartender. And two you will probably have to wait a very long time for your drinks to arrive.


Make your Drinks Stronger



Listen, do not tell your bartender that your drinks are not strong enough. Mixing drinks is all about ratios and if your drink is not up to your standards, it probably means that the bar has pre-specific liquor amounts to use on a particular drink. If you find that you would like your drink stronger ask for a ‘double’ which means you will have to pay extra for it.


Use your Glass as a Trash Can



Please do not put your trash in your glass. I know some people who do this thinking it will make things easier for the bartender to clean up. But it actually makes it more difficult. Someone has to take the time and effort to scrap your old food and napkins/coasters/paper out of the glass. So please just remember that the next time you try to help, you’re making it worse.

You have to remember that a bar is a place of work not your living room and that the staff are employees not your servants. Treat the bartenders with the respect they deserve, be kind and courteous, don’t become too intoxicated, and know what it is you want to order. If you are new to the bar scene, just remember these few things of what not to do and you should be able to have an enjoyable night.



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Do you love mixing drinks for people and showing off in the kitchen? 


Love Mixing Drinks


Do you enter a bar and find yourself wishing you were the one sliding perfectly-filled-to-the-brim beers across the counter one after another, no skill involved?

If you answered with a proud “hell yeah,” then it sounds to me like you’re thinking of becoming a bartender.

But what exactly do you have to do to become one (other than pray you get hired)? While no formal education or certification is required to perform the job, aspiring bartenders must be knowledgeable about both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, as well as learn how to cater to a variety of customers.

Still interested in the job? Let’s take a look at some easy ways to prepare yourself for a bartending position. Oh, and don’t stress out—none of these require you to fork out money for a training program.


Step 1: Be an Extrovert


First things first, you can’t expect to become an awesome bartender without developing a seriously awesome personality. Now, don’t try to change what makes you you; instead, focus on honing your gregariousness. Go out often, whether it’s to bars, restaurants or that crappy nearby mall. Make goals to converse with new people every day (and by converse, I mean saying something besides “hey”). The more comfortable and friendly you are with strangers, the more likely future customers will fall in love with your laid-back attitude.


Step 2: Research Drink Recipes


Good bartenders don’t just know drinks—they live and breathe them. And the best way to become an alcohol connoisseur is by setting aside time to study the culinary-like skills of taste, balance and presentation. You don’t have to sign up for a course either; just hop online for a drink recipe, buy the ingredients and start practicing at home. Eventually, your friend group will be nicknaming you “that guy/girl who makes really good drinks.”


Step 3: Go to Bars


A simple but often overlooked asset, bar-going experience will give you a practical overview of what bartending encompasses during a typical work shift. Make sure to visit bars at all times of day, too—twilight, happy hour, 10:06 in the morning. You’ll start to see when you can expect certain types of customers and what kind of personas work best with whom.


Step 4: Become a Night Owl


Not all bartending positions will require you to work super late into the night, but most will necessitate some night-owl-like habits, especially if you’re planning to work at nightclubs or popular party destinations. In other words, if you’re a morning person, start sleeping in!


Step 5: Gain Customer Service Experience


I know not everyone wants to hear this, but getting a part-time retail gig is a good indicator of whether you’ll be able to handle the customer service aspect of bartending. Some people forget bartending isn’t all just about making fancy drinks and whipping them out faster than lightning. What it’s really about is creating a good atmosphere. Your face is what people will associate with that particular bar, so smile, enforce the rules and be polite at all times. And when you finally become a bartender, top off your skills by being able to make one hell of a margarita.


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