Tip Your Bartender!
I have a newfound respect for bartenders. I recently completed a bartending course thinking it would be a "fun" thing to do and one more item I can cross off my bucket list. However, I also mistakenly believed that it would be easy. After all, how difficult could bartending be? It was HARD! I haven't studied this intensively since my engineering college days.
The class was filled with an interesting and eclectic group of students. There were 18 year olds looking for a means to support their college educations. There were students in varying ages older than 18, myself included, who were there for an assortment of other reasons. And somehow our amazing instructor, Gen, was able to not only keep us all captivated but also motivated to complete the course.
The evening course consists of 8 days of 5 hours per night classes. The classes are held Mondays through Thursdays for two consecutive weeks. That alone is an intense schedule especially for those who work or attend school during the day. The classroom is set up as a bar with liquor bottles, soda and juice guns, drinking glasses, shakers, muddlers and more. We learned the difference between a straight whiskey and a single malt scotch. We studied the flavors of too many liqueurs to mention. We learned our legal responsibilities and received practical bartending advice.
We began mixing drinks and practicing behind the bar from the very first day. Each drink requires knowledge of included liquors and/or liqueurs, fillers (as in soda or juice) and measurements of each. It is also required to know whether it is served on the rocks, up, in a shot glass, in a wine glass, champagne flute, specialty glass or in a snifter. Is the drink built on ice, mixed and rolled, shaken, stirred, swirled and strained or neat? And by no means ever forget the garnish. Do you need a cherry, orange slice, lime slice, olive, cocktail onion, lemon slice or lemon twist?
I did have the opportunity to practice on my ever-so-fortunate husband who seems to benefit from all my educational or otherwise excursions. He didn't seem to mind becoming my guinea pig as he taste-tested my Vodka Gimlet, Blue Hawaiian, Melon Ball and Cosmopolitan (and that was just one night). I now not only know what to do with all those accumulated liquors and liqueurs in our liquor cabinet but also how to confidently order a drink at any bar. By the way, I now have my Bartending Certificate. Is anyone out there looking for a bartender with an extensive amount of wine knowledge?
A personal thank you goes to Frank, Gen and Dawn for giving me the opportunity to further enhance my spirit-ual knowledge. For more information on how to take this amazing course go to www.eastcoastbartendingschool.com or call Frank at 908-955-7412. They are located in beautiful Chester, NJ.
Maria Baniel is a Wine Consultant and offers affordable educational wine seminars and tastings for private, corporate and fundraising events. To schedule your next wine experience, contact Maria at
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