Your first breath, your first steps, your first days at your new job are the most intimidating. Starting out in pretty much anything is not easy because you do not have any previous experience. However, it doesn’t always have to be like that. People who allow others who have been through it guide them find it a lot easier. This post will serve as a guide to any new bartender who intends to do it right on his first shift.
#1: Learn and know classic cocktails
Your first step to becoming a bartender is to look up popular cocktail recipes and memorize them. Gather a base of knowledge of the most frequently served cocktails will make you seem ready and well informed. The likes of Long Island iced tea, Bloody Mary, Margarita, and the old Martini are a good place to start though many bars have their own little additions or manipulations.
#2: Take time to learn how bartenders communicate
There are those terms with which bartenders use to describe how they function that you will do well to learn. Although you will get accustomed with this during your training, it makes sense to know it beforehand so you won’t be lost in the first few days. Some of these words and terms include; “with a twist” or “on the rocks” used when drinks are being ordered or terms like shaking, stirring or muddling used when preparing a drink. I think you should just find a reputable bartender school like École du Bar de Montréal and get the best knowledge you need about bartending.
#3: Go to an actual bar and watch how it’s done
Explanatory enough, go to a bar, order food or drinks and watch bartenders closely as they work. Take your time to see how they relate with their customers but more importantly how they mix drinks. Indulge in conversations and if your bartender is a nice guy, he might just put your through on some things.
#4: Apply for a job to be barback
This is a good place to start and you’d most likely get the job if you dress sharp and confidently speak to the manager of a bar.
#5: Be friendly with your higher-ups
If you want to eventually move to the position of bartending, develop a subtle relationship with the bartenders. When they’re not busy, indulge them in conversations, make them like you by giving them a helping hand. Once they know you’re a good staff, you can request to be more involved and be allowed to pour as you learn from them. They can and will teach you and give you the chance to practice.
#6: Become a bartender
Go back to the manager and this time, request to be a bartender. The job is most likely already yours.