Bartending Techniques – Better Cocktails Every Time
Ever wondered how to be a bartender who is truly a master at their craft? It’s far more about ‘entertaining’ than ‘being a showoff.’ Forget about the flair. Experienced bartenders not only know how to bartend well—they also consistently put serving guests before servicing their egos. They understand that a fine cocktail is its own entertainment and no amount of added flipping and flair will balance it any better.
Here are the real techniques that’ll make you look like a great bartender in the eyes of the only people that matter: the guests you’re serving.
Learn how to mix drinks using two hands. The best bartenders are practically ambidextrous. With experience, you can get good at using both your hands for separate tasks at the same time. Think about what you are doing with one hand; can you do more with your free hand? Chances are you’re better at it than you think.
1. Anticipate and minimize your movements. When considering how to make a drink, always think a step ahead. Try to anticipate your next move or the next step in the process. Make it your goal to pick up the spirit or mixer just once while making each cocktail.
2. Make more than one drink at a time. The best bartenders are ultra-efficient. If they have six drinks on order, they make the same family of cocktails at the same time. For example, you have three whisky drinks, two tequila drinks and a Martini to make. Pour the whisky drinks first, the tequila drinks next and leave the lone gin drink until last. The point is to never touch the same bottle twice while making multiple drinks.
3. Learn how to “bounce cut” or quickly stop, a pour. Like our last suggestion, this is good for making multiple drinks. For popular spirits, like tequila, get a pour spout. With glasses lined up, start pouring the first shot. When it’s done, shake the bottle once up and down. This will momentarily stop the flow of liquor and let you move the spout to the next glass before it starts again.
4. Learn how to make drinks without being wasteful. If you make a non-carbonated drink incorrectly, pour it through a strainer into a glass and set it aside. It will be ready to go if someone else wants the same, or you can offer it as a suggestion to the next guest.
5. Don’t fill drinks to the rim. This is a rookie mistake. Always leave at least ¼” to ½” room at the top. It’s easier to move around and schmooze with. Whipped cream and frothy foam are the exceptions and can go to the rim.