Bartending Basics

December 12, 2017

Here we have Grant’s 8 basic tips for bartending. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to creating some awesome cocktails.

  1. Have fun

Being a bartender can often be an overwhelming occupation, so it is important to breath, relax and learn to have fun doing it. Shaking up cocktails is about letting your hair down and having fun with your guests whilst trying new flavours and techniques.


2. Use attractive glassware


First impressions count. This means the presentation of your cocktail is always extremely important. When your drink looks delicious, everyone will want to have a taste. Choosing attractive glassware helps entice others to drink your masterpiece. Always make sure your glassware is well maintained and clean. Store your glassware away from dust, grease & smoke.


3. Balance – always measure


It is always important to measure your pours and keep the flavours balanced. If you don’t measure the ingredients in the drinks you are making, the consistency isn’t there. Consistency is one of the most important factors of bartending. Once you have perfected the recipe you need to ensure it is exactly the same every time.


4. Taste everything


How do you know if your guests will like the cocktail you just whipped up? Taste it first. The only way to improve your palate and make sure your cocktails are well balanced is by tasting them. Sometimes you’ll notice that your cocktail may need a little something to balance out the flavours.


5. Garnish/Preparation


Presentation is everything. If your drink isn’t aesthetically appealing you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. Garnishing drinks not only enhancing the appearance of your cocktail, but can also give it extra characteristics such as fresh mint in a mojito giving a strong minty scent whenever you go to take a sip. Play with different herbs and fruits and decide which best suits your cocktail.


6. Stock up on ice


Ice is a bartender’s best friend. It is one of the most important ingredients to any cocktail. Always make sure you are well stocked up on ice, you will use more than you expect, whether it be for chilling a glass, shaking in a cocktail, serving in the glass or stirring down your cocktail. When using a cocktail shaker, always add the ice last to prevent diluting your cocktail too quickly.


7. Keep it simple


Do not over complicate things. Mixing cocktails is like cooking, a few elements are all you need to make a quality cocktail. Learn a few classics first and then branch off by substituting a few flavours to make your own invention.


8. Syrups/Bitters


Once you’ve learnt the classics, it’s time to add your own personal touch. The implementation of syrups/bitters can drastically change the flavour of your cocktail. A few dashes of bitters can give your cocktail completely new characteristics, such as adding a few dashes of chocolate bitters to your old fashioned, turning what is usually a drink to enjoy over dinner into a sweet night cap.


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