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How to Free Pour – Bartender’s Secrets

How to Free Pour – Bartender’s Secrets

The Count is the Secret to the “Free Pour”

Once you’ve got the hang of moving the liquor steadily through your speed pourer, it’s time to develop what is known as the count.

How to do the Count

The trick is to count off in your head about how long it takes to pour an ounce of liquid into a glass. Now everybody’s count pace and pour will be a little bit different, but its suggested that you try to get your count/pour to about 4 = 1oz.. That is from the moment you start pouring, you begin to count 1… 2… 3… 4…, and the amount of liquid you have in the glass should be about 1 oz.

How to Practice the Count

A great way to practice this technique is to get an empty fifth bottle filled with water, a standard drinking glass, and a shot glass or jigger. Using your count, try to pour about an ounce into the standard glass and then from the glass into the shot glass or jigger. The goal of the exercise is to not have any liquid overflow the shot glass or jigger. Keep it up and before long you will have a solid count technique down. It should be noted, as mentioned above, everybody’s count is going be a little different, so just develop what works for you until you get the right measurement.

There you have it, some straightforward and simple methods to ensure your cocktail recipes are done right.

Instructor: (demonstrate) Counting pour (5-10 times) Student: Follow counting pour technique (20-40 times)

How to Start Pouring Shots Using a Jigger

INSTRUCTOR: Demonstrate pouring into a jigger, explain reasons to use/not to use a jigger

STUDENT: Practice pouring into a jigger then putting it into the drink.

There are benefits to using a jigger (or another measuring device) for mixing drinks. Many bars ask their tenders to use them to control the amount of liquor being poured (and control profits) and to ensure drinks are consistent inside the establishment. If you’re mixing up drinks for a private occasion and you’re partaking, using a jigger is smart. Have you ever noticed your free pour shots get- ting larger as the night goes on? Well, it’s likely they do because your perception has been impaired and your drinks may be getting tougher than you bargained for. Then, there’s the occasion of the finely balanced cocktail. Not talk- ing about mixed drinks here, but those French Martinis, Monkey Glands and Tuxedos, which are sensitive to over and under pours of one ingredient or another.

Some bartenders swear by the jigger, some feel restricted by the control. Pouring into a Shot Glass

STUDENT: Practice pouring a shot. Practice pouring into multiple glasses (if available) Do this by going close to the top (but without spilling)

Bonus: How to Cut Lemons for Cocktails

1. INSTRUCTOR: Demonstrate the proper way to cut a lemon use half of lemon

2. STUDENT: (using the diagram below) Cut second half of lemon

TIP: The outside of the lemon is where the flavor lies. When adding a lemon twist to a drink, slowly rim the edge of the glass with the outside of the lemon twist and then twist a drop into the

Figure 2-1: Cutting lemon twists.

Figure 2-1 illustrates the procedure for cutting lemon twists. 1. Cut off both ends of the lemon.

2. Insert a sharp knife or spoon between the rind and meat of the lemon and carefully separate them.

3. Cut the rind into strips.

Slices vs. Wedges

Figure 2-3: Cutting lime slices.

Figure 2-4: Lemon or lime wedges.

Lime slices (Figure 2-3)
1. Cut off both ends of the lime.
2. Slice the lime in half.
3. Lay each half down and cut it into half-moon slices.

Lemon and lime wedges (Figure 2-4)
1. Slice the lemon or lime in half the long way.
2. Lay the cut halves down and halve them again. 3. Cut wedges from the lemon or lime quarters.

Lemon Twists

What is the Difference Between Top Shelf and Well Drinks?

What is the Difference Between Top Shelf and Well Drinks?

What are Well Drinks?

A rail or well drink is usually served when a customer does not specify that a particular brand of liquor be used. For example, a customer order for a “Scotch and soda” would lead the bartender to use a rail/well Scotch whisky and would be priced as a rail drink, whereas ordering “Glenfiddich and soda” would be a call drink.

What are Call Drinks?

Call liquors are known as such because the customer “calls” or requests a particular brand of liquor. Certain expensive brand-name liquors are not considered or priced as call, but are instead known as “top-shelf” liquors, both from their placement on the shelves and from their price relative to the other liquors available.


What’s the Difference in Price and Quality?

Drinks using the ‘Well’ liquors are the lowest priced drinks.

Drinks using the ‘Call’ liquors are charged at a higher rate.

Drinks using ‘Top shelf’ liquors are the highest priced drinks.

Drinks using several liquors are charged at a higher rate.

EACH establishment has its own price structure, but the following may give you an idea:

What are Some Examples of Well and Top Shelf Liquors?

Top Shelf VODKAS frequently include: Grey Goose, Kettel On, Belvedeire

Call VODKAS frequently include: Stolichnaya, Finlandia, Skyy, Absolut, Smirnoff

Top Shelf GINS frequently include: Bombay Saphire, Tanqueray Silver

Call GINS frequently include: Beefeater, Bombay, Boodle, Tanqueray

Top Shelf RUMS frequently include: Bacardi 151, Mount Gay

Call RUMS frequently include: Bacardi Superior, Captain Morgan, Meyers, Malibu

Top Shelf TEQUILAS frequently include: Patron, Cuervo Reservo, Cuervo 1800

Call TEQUILAS frequently include: Cuervo Gold, José Cuervo, Cortez

Top Shelf WHISKEYS frequently include: Crown Royal, Crown Royal Special Reserve,

Call WHISKEYS frequently include: Seagrams, Four Rose, Jack Daniels, Canadian Club, Canadian Mist

Top Shelf BOURBONS frequently include: Old Grandad, Wild Turkey, Makers Mark, Knob Creek

Call BOURBONS frequently include: Jim Beam

Top Shelf SCOTCHES frequently include: Johnnie Walker Black, Chivas Regal, Glen Fiddich

Call SCOTCHES frequently include: Johnnie Walker Red, Dewars, J&B, Cutty Sark


What are some Popular Drinks that will use Top Shelf or Well Liquour?

Below are some drinks you can plan on that will likely be ordered. Unfortunately, their name doesn’t tell you the ingredients. So, over time, you need to learn them. Until that time, keep a file handy that you can refer to in an emergency.

Alabama Slammer

Amaretto Sour



Bay Breeze


Black Russian

Bloody Mary

Buttery Nipple


Cuba Libre (rum & coke)


Fuzzy Navel


Irish Coffee


Lemon Drop

Long Island Ice Tea



Malibu Bay Breeze




Melon Ball




Old Fashioned

Piña Colada

Red Headed Slut

Rob Roy


Sea Breeze

Seven & Seven

Strawberry Daquiri

Tequila Sunrise

Tom Collins

Whiskey Sour

White Russian



f you have no experience as a bartender and want to work your way into a bartending position, getting a job as a barback is one of the most common ways to make your way behind the bar. It’s an incredibly important position and is also sometimes called “bar backer”, “bar back”, “bar runner” or just “runner”.

This is a long post, so here are some links to skip ahead!


Inside most great restaurants, cruise ships, large hotels, and other drinking establishments of decent size, hundreds of clients wait for their alcoholic drinks. In such busy institutions, bartenders are too busy to handle all of the duties behind the bar.

For example, on a busy night, bartenders can easily fall behind stacking clean glasses, stocking new beer bottles, and organizing the set up behind the bar, in general. A barback’s job helps the bartenders maintain the order and more efficiently focus on making drinks.

The presence of barbacks will help the bartenders and the establishment run more efficiently. When barback’s support the bartenders, bartenders have the opportunity to create more drinks and earn more tips.

Not only does the barback manage the organization, but barbacks also anticipate the future needs of the bartender for the night. This foresight helps the bar avoid problems later in the evening. With the help of barback, a drinking institution can attract higher quality bartenders.


The barback helps the bar run more efficiently, aiding the bartenders in any task, and allowing the bartenders to focus more on making drinks.


Here are photos of the typical barman.

The barman’s required dress code is typically in accordance with the style of the bartenders. These dress standards range from completely casual (without any given dress code) to a formal black tie and tuxedo uniform. In most cases, wear requirements will depend on the bar and its clientele. A sports bar attracts a more casual attire. In these businesses, the usual staff attire is t-shirt and jeans.

Hotel lobby bars are more upscale. Workers tend to dress formal to match the guests who arrive on business. Expect to find barmen in dress shirts and dress pants, and sometimes in a suit.

Restaurant bars usually have their barmen wear the restaurant uniform. This can be a polo shirt with slacks, a t-shirt with jeans or even formal wear. The attire here will vary based on the classiness of the institution. More often than not, restaurants require barmen to dress in the same style as servers.


While data strongly suggests more females enter the bartending industry than men, there has been no indication that females occupy most jobs. Initially, a barman was usually a position filled by a man; hence the name “barman.”

These days, women, or “bar-women,” are more active in the workforce. There is no clear reliable statistic yet showing that men still outnumber women in this position. Young females, working behind the bar, can be more profitable for a bar serving mostly single men.

On the same token, a bar catering to mostly women benefits more when attractive men are on staff. (Albeit, cases who’d “mostly-women” bars are usually uncommon.”). Gay bars can benefit from male barmen or bartenders, even if the employee is straight.


(Search amount of jobs)

As automation takes over the workplace, we are seeing an increasing amount of machines take the place of “human” workers. In recent times, it is not surprising to place a food order on a touchscreen kiosk at McDonalds.

While machines have not yet replaced bartenders and barmen, it is an increasing concern of the industry.

Some bartenders have been replaced by computers.

In Las Vegas, a machine automated bar is completely staffed by computers. Ordering is done on a kiosk. Clientele are able to order one of 199 drinks. While the machine stocks the glasses refills it’s liquor reserves, there is no barman.


Automation and AI are true threats to the future of barmen. There will be fewer jobs in the future. A consensus has not been formed by the industry on when exactly computers will overtake a majority of the industry.

It is clear that there will always be a demand for human service in bars. Clients crave personalization, emotion and connection, and these conditions can only exist in “real” human life—for now.

It seems that any large leap in computerized automation of bar service is still 10-15+ years in the future.

Right now, most bar owners seek to maximize efficiency. Any busy bar today can benefit from hiring barmen. The result of such hiring brings the bar a larger bottom line. This is due to cost savings or the ability to reduce bartenders in the presence of barmen.


Barmen are not always needed. In some situations, barmen are useless. Every bar decides for itself, the order threshold for employing a barman. Optimizing the operation depends on the types of drinks primarily served in the facility. For example, beer orders take less time to serve than a “Sex on the Beach” cocktail. However, if there are less than 15 or 20 drinks ordered per hour, there is often no need for a barman.

When one bartender has sufficient time to manage all of their orders and complete all additional bar tasks, the presence of a barman is foolish.

Occasionally, restaurants avoid hiring barmen but utilize non-bar staff to help fulfill the duties. For example, a restaurant’s wait staff may have periods of downtime. In this rest, servers sometimes handle barmen responsibilities. After acquiring experience, food workers are from time-to-time asked to transition to a “barman” from a “waiter.” This is typically when the bar’s orders surpass business from the kitchen. Many barmen and bartenders today started working in the drink industry after a job in food service due to this situation.

Barman income

Will a barman earn as much as a bartender?

The earnings of a barman depend on each company’s internal payment structure. To answer this question, tips and hourly pay must be considered.


Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for a barman and bartender to earn the same amount of tips. It is a common assumption that more tips will be taken home by bartenders and servers than by barmen. After all, clients usually tip these staff members directly. Even if a client is aware of a barman’s involvement, a barman will not usually receive the same amount directly from a client.

A barman can receive the same amount of tips as a bartender (or in rare cases more tips) when institutions divide tips equally amongst staff. This is becoming a more common practice in the 21st century.

Tips to barmen are occasionally is at the discretion of the bartenders. In this case, bartenders pay barmen out of their own tips. Larger tip amounts are often shared on busier shifts. Smaller tip earnings can come to barmen on the tail-end of a slow night. In many institutions, bartenders are solely responsible for determining this amount paid to barmen.

Other companies require staff to contribute all direct tips to a “tipping pool.” This pool is then divided amongst workers at the end of each shift. Each role receives a fixed tip rate in this case.


The salary question is a complicated question to answer. First of all, most service staff are paid an hourly rate nowadays. The answer to who earns more or less depends on the state, and sometimes the business. In the United States, state jurisdictions set minimum hourly rates for service workers. With the exception of California and a few other states, most states reduce minimum wages for food and drink service. The reason is these states expect workers to earn part of their income from tips.

Barmen earn a higher hourly rate than bartenders when there’s not an opportunity for the barmen to earn or share in the tips. It should be noted that after tips and hourly earning, bartenders generally earn more than barmen.

As a result, many barmen work their way up to bartender.

Do female barmen earn less than their male counterparts? I read in the news, most women make less money than men for the same work.

There are many factors that determine total take home pay. Among these factors, are time off, shifts worked, and responsibilities. It is well known that men are more likely to work in jobs that are detrimental to health. Overnight “third shift” work is no exception to this. In these cases, men earn more than their female counterparts.

Women working in the nightlife industry are often in their 20’s. This is a common age for child bearing. Due to pregnancy leave and motherhood responsibilities, women’s pay can be also affected.

While reputable data is unclear for comparing barmen and female barmen earnings, it is possible to speculate that the average total female barmen income is slightly lower for the aforementioned reasons.

Whether there are hiring biases or different pay levels are right or wrong will not be discussed here. Plenty of political forums exist for pay wage gap arguments.


The barback’s job requirements will largely depend on the establishment. These duties may range from only stocking glass to practically being responsible for everything behind the bar. In some cases, barbacks will illegally or legally pour drinks.

Do Barbacks make drinks?

While barbacks do not typically make drinks or take orders from customers, they have to practice many of the same skills that a good bartender has: efficiency, organization, the ability to multitask, and keen observation. It’s also important to remember that heavy lifting is often involved in the barback position.


  • Replenishing bars with everything they need before, during and after service. (This includes but isn’t limited to restocking liquor and wine, changing out beer kegs, watching & restocking garnish, syrups, napkins, straws, etc.)
  • Cleaning and organizing liquor room, beer storage area, wine storage and dry goods area
  • Cleaning everything else (Yes, everything. Counters, dishes, glassware, tools, floors, etc.)
  • Working with managers supplies up to date and make sure there are enough for service
  • Taking out the garbage
  • Putting away incoming beer, wine and liquor orders
  • Tending to emergencies like: cleaning broken glass, clogged drains, spills and unexpected messes, etc.
  • Relaying information to / from the kitchen, security, the bar, etc.


Before the shift their main responsibility is to get the bar ready for service. This can mean that the barback is putting away the liquor and beer delivery that came in during the day, stocking each bar station with straws, napkins and coasters, prepping juices for service, cutting garnish and back ups. They basically work with the bartenders to ensure that the bar is fully stocked and ready to open for business.


During the shift the barback position is typically one of the busiest in the bar/restaurant. If you ever see a young person that is constantly moving behind the bar and rarely interacting with guests, most likely that is the barback. During a shift they will typically be responsible for cleaning and refilling glassware, changing kegs, cleaning the bar top and restocking everything in the bar from spirits to syrups. Rarely will you see them taking drink orders or mixing drinks.


When the bar or restaurant closes for the night, the barback will work with the bartenders to break the bar down. This could mean taking out the trash, restocking bottles and cleaning all the glassware.


In some countries and states, a barback must meet a minimum age requirement to work behind the bar. Some states require barbacks to be or drinking age or close to 21 years old. Other states and countries have no retrictions limiting minors’ direct handling of alcohol.

A 19 or 20-year-old barback can earn an invaluable experience that will one day help him or her become a bartender when laws allow.


Make sure to check your local alcohol serving laws before hiring a new barback. While the legal drinking age is 21 in the United States, barbacks and even bartenders can be under 21 depending on your state’s on-premise alcohol serving laws. In Colorado, the age to serve alcohol is 18, while in Washington it’s 21. Some states place conditions on bartenders or barbacks under 21 years of age, requiring that a manager or supervisor age 21 or older be present when the person is tending bar, or that the bartender under 21 take special beverage server training.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 children can work in pubs and restaurants: they can wait on tables, collect glasses, clear tables and take orders from customers.

  • In California, minors between 18 and 21 can serve alcohol in a “bona fide public eating place,” but minors can’t be employed in any place which primarily serves booze — like a bar or club (unless they’re musicians). So an underage staffer serving margaritas at Chili’s would be OK, but not at a local nightclub — unless the staffer is with the band.
  • In Texas, almost any 18-year-old is allowed to be employed as an alcohol server, as long as that minor employee has completed alcohol server/seller training. There are a variety of training courses available throughout the state, and many are provided online.
  • In Nebraska, servers need to be at least 19 years of age in order to sell and serve alcohol, but only 16 to handle and dispose of alcohol containers. This means a 19-year-old can bartend and a 16 year-old-can haul full and empty liquors bottles to and from a Nebraska bar.
  • In Utah, bartenders and liquor store clerks need to be 21 in order to legally sell or serve booze in Utah. But a 16-year-old can sell beer at an off-premise location as long as he or she is supervised by someone 21 or over.

The Minimum Age for Bartending in On-premises Establishments by State

GeorgiaDistrict of Columbia (Washington DC)
HawaiiIndiana (18 with restrictions)
IowaKentucky (20 with restrictions)
MassachusettsNew Mexico
MichiganNorth Carolina
MinnesotaNorth Dakota
New HampshireOklahoma
New JerseyOregon
New YorkSouth Carolina
Rhode IslandVirginia
South DakotaWashington
West Virginia

Minimum Age To ServeMinimum Age To BartendManager or
Must Be

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City/County Specific Requirements

In addition to each state’s laws on minors serving alcohol, business owners should be aware of their local jurisdiction’s laws on alcohol servers. For example, an employer may be operating in a dry or semi-dry county with more stringent rules than the state regarding alcohol serving age.

This intersection of state and local alcohol laws can be confusing. That’s why bar and restaurant owners hoping to hire a minor to serve alcohol may want to contact an attorney familiar with state and local laws first.


Barbacks don’t have too much interaction with customers, so this is ideal if you’re an introvert. They get a regular base wage—usually, hourly—that’s supplemented by a portion of the bartender’s tips.


A barback is an excellent position for aspiring bartenders that don’t have the experience needed to get hired as a bartender. Many bars promote within, so if you do well at a low-level bar job like barback, becoming a bartender is definitely within reach if that’s your goal.


In the USA, barbacks are usually paid minimum wage but will often get a portion of the bartenders tips. Typically you’ll either receive a percentage of the bartenders’ total tips, or a percentage of total sales. Depending on the bar and market, barbacks can make very good money! I know many bar backs that make more money at nightclubs/high volume speakeasies than bartenders working at restaurant / neighborhood bars. It’s all about where you land, but making somewhere between 80-200 a night in tips as a bar back is not unheard of.

While most salary and wage reports for the barback suggest you can expect to earn around $17-$20k per year, they vary dramatically by market and it’s also possible that these numbers exclude tipped earnings. For a good baseline, consider

Barbacks are usually paid hourly, plus tips. The minimum tipped wage varies by state, but the national average annual salary for barbacks is $20,018 before tips, according to Glassdoor. Most restaurants tip out their barbacks, which can leave them making more than non-tipped positions like cooks and dishwashers.

In many cases, each bartender will tip out the barback at the end of the shift, anywhere from 1-2% of sales or 5-20% of tips, according to Bars and Bartending. If a busy bartender makes $200-300 in tips per night, the tip out could be anywhere from $10 to $60. Now, multiply that by however many bartenders there are, by however many days of the week that barback works … you get the gist.

However, that all depends on your establishment’s policy on tipping, tip pooling, and tip sharing. Every bar has nuanced policies on barback and bartender tipping. Learn more from restaurateurs and bartenders in this Reddit thread.


Barbacks are often hired with no experience. They just need to have a great attitude, a willingness to learn, and the ability to lift a certain amount of weight. Barbacks tend to shadow and support bartenders, making this role ideal for people looking to enter the service industry.

The 10 Best Documentaries And Shows About Booze
The 10 Best Documentaries And Shows About Booze

The 10 Best Documentaries And Shows About Booze

It’s your cure for a rough day and the first thing you think of when you’re looking to party. It’s booze, and most of the world loves it. Whether your drinking habits put a frat boy to shame or you’re more of a one glass a month type of person, most of us drink in some caapacity. And since drinking is such a universal and social activity, you better believe there are documentaries about it.

Below are some of the best documentaries about alcohol, drinking culture, the history of drinking, and how this pastime you don’t think about often has evolved to reflect our society’s values. Whether you want to learn more about the exclusive world of sommeliers or you’re looking for some drink recipes from a professional mixologist, this list has you covered. Pour yourself a glass and start streaming.

(Note: This list just covers documentaries about the history and culture of alcohol. It doesn’t cover documentaries on alcoholism.)

1. ‘SOMM’

Photo: Everett Collection

Being the best is always tough, and that applies even when you’re trying to be the best drinker. SOMM follows four wine stewards as they prepare to take the most difficult test in wine culture as well as one of the most difficult tests in the world, the Master Sommelier Exam. This documentary gives you an inside glimpse into one of the most exclusive alcohol-driven cultures out there outside of Ivy League frats.

[Stream SOMM on Netflix]

2 ‘Behind the Bar’

There are few better ways to end a stressful drink then to head to your favorite bar, but what’s happening on the other side of the counter? Behind the Bar is a docu-series that dives into the life of professional bartenders, complete with bartender profiles, drink recipes, and surprising stories about what it takes to be a mixologist. This watch will make sure you never stiff your bartender.

[Where to stream Behind the Bar]

3 ‘How Beer Saved the World’

We all love beer, but did you know that our love of beer actually saved the human race multiple times? That’s the argument this fun Discovery Channel documentary poses. Though the doc’s arguments do seem a bit out there at times, it makes a compelling argument that we wouldn’t be the race we are today if we didn’t discover your favorite fermented malt beverage. Cheers.

[Stream How Beer Saved the World on Amazon Instant]

4 ‘SOMM: Into the Bottle’


Have you ever wanted to know what sets a $300 bottle of wine apart from your Two Buck Chuck? This untraditional sequel to SOMM may not answer all of your questions, but it’ll give you a better idea of the inner workings of the wine industry. Filmed in dozens of wine regions around the world and featuring some of the best Sommeliers of our time, consider this documentary your crash course on high class wine.

[Stream SOMM: Into the Bottle on Netflix]

5 ‘Booze Traveler’

BOOZE TRAVELER, host Jack Maxwell, 'Austria is Good For You', (Season 1, ep. 104, aired Dec. 15,
One of the most interesting things about alcohol is how simultaneously universal and distinctive it is. People in Canada probably don’t celebrate with the same drink as people in Greece, but almost every culture loves to drink. Host Jack Maxwell explores the global differences of alcohol in this series as he travels the world in an attempt to see what other cultures drink.It’s informative, fun, and will make you want to explore the world for a reason you probably haven’t considered before.

[Stream Booze Traveler on Netflix]

6 ‘Crafting a Nation’


Chances are, you can name at least one friend who’s into brewing his or her own craft beer. So what gives? When did this very specific trend start, and what have been its effects? Crafting a Nation sets out to answer all of your craft beer questions while giving you a new appreciation for how this trend has positively affected job growth.

[Stream Crafting a Nation on Netflix]

7 ‘Ken Burns: Prohibition’


If you’re mildly obsessed with speakeasies and find the idea of alcohol becoming illegal horrifying, then get ready to embrace this Ken Burns history lesson. Prohibition explores the reasons for making alcohol illegal and its effects, but it also explores how prohibition was connected to immigration, woman’s suffrage, and income tax. This four-part series will teach you everything you want to know about prohibition, and for that, we defiantly raise a glass.

[Stream Ken Burns: Prohibition on Netflix]

8 ‘The Birth of Sake’


This documentary will give you a newfound sense of appreciation and respect for the rich history of one of Japan’s most popular drinks — sake. The film follows a small group of workers in northern Japan who have to brave a fierce winter in their quest to brew this 2,000 year old beverage. It’s a respectful and informative look into a tradition that’s slowly and sadly fading away.

[Stream The Birth of Sake on Netflix]

9 ‘Uncorked’

If you can’t get enough of the exclusive world of professional wine tasting, then you’re in luck. Much like SOMM, Uncorked follows six talents sommeliers as they prepare for the Master Sommelier Exam. However, with six 44-minute episodes that cover over three months, this is a far more intense look into this competitive world. The music isn’t the greatest, but if you can ignore that small flaw, then you’re in for a rare reality show designed for an intelligent audience.

[Stream Uncorked on Hulu]

10 ‘Beer Wars’

We may love craft brewing, but there’s a group who doesn’t — mainstream brewing companies. Beer Wars explores how and why the big three — Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors — are against smaller breweries while covering how advertising and lobbyists are used to control the beer market. A lot of drama goes into providing you a six pack, and this documentary covers it all.

Best Movies About Bartending

Best Movies About Bartending

While not everyday on the job as a bartender is going to be movie-worthy, these are some of the best films about bartending.

If you are a future bartender, then these following movies will inspire, educate and entertain you.

Our All-Time Favorite Movies:

👉Coyote Ugly (2000)

Featuring: Piper Perabo, Maria Bello, Melanie Lynskey

This raunchy and wild film makes for a fun ride. Violet Sanford (played by Piper Perabo) is an aspiring songwriter who stumbles upon a women-ran NYC bar. She eventually gets a bartending job there, where things take off.

👉Cocktail (1988)

Featuring a young Tom Cruise in his early acting days, Cocktail features a young 20-something trying to make ends meet. Protagonist Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) turns to bartending and learns under Doug Coughlin (played by Bryan Brown) in hopes of becoming a thriving bartender during the 1980s.

👉The Drop (2014)

Featuring: Greg Joelson, John Savage, Kat Ogden

Having a more serious tone, the great James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) acts in his final film with The Drop. The movie follows an ex-boxer named Bob Saginowski (played by Tom Hardy) who decides to take on the ownership of a bar in Brooklyn. After purchasing the bar from his cousin, Marv (James Gandolfini), he is sent on a journey of crime, chaos, and debauchery.

👉Casablanca (1942)

Featuring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains

Winner of 3 Academy Awards. By far the most iconic movie featuring the great Humphrey Bogart (many of his bartending quotes are famous, too), Casablanca won Best Picture in 1944. The movie is centered around a nightclub owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who wants to protect an old girlfriend and her husband from invading Nazis.

👉Trees Lounge (1996)

Written, directed, and starring Steve Buscemi, this film takes us into the possible dark sides of bars and drinking. Tommy (Steve Buscemi) plays a self-destructive alcoholic whose life revolves around the Trees Lounge, a local bar.

👉Lost In Translation (2003)

Featuring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi

Focusing more on the drinkers at a bar than the bartenders themselves, this great movie is still a must-watch for every aspiring bartender. Featuring the incredible Bill Murray along side the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, the story shows us a chance encounter between two individuals at a bar in Tokyo – and the unsuspecting relationship that slowly begins to to take shape between them.

👉Hey Bartender (2013)

Featuring: Steve Schneider, Steve Carpentieri, Jim Meehan

Hey Bartender, a critically acclaimed documentary, is too good not to list here. The documentary gives us an inside look at the most exclusive bars in New York, and features interviews with some of the world’s most renowned bartenders – as well the “comeback of the cocktail.”

What did you think of our choices? We’d love to hear from you. Did we leave out any other classic films? Fill out the form below

Requirements in Order to Become a Bartender
Requirements in Order to Become a Bartender

Requirements in Order to Become a Bartender

Do I Need a Serving Certificate?

You Must Become Certified.
Bartenders mix and serve alcoholic beverages and other drinks to bar and restaurant patrons. Bartenders must know about different varieties and brands of beer, wine, and spirits and how to serve each. They must also learn and master cocktail-making techniques like shaking, stirring, pouring, and muddling. Click here to learn more about certification.

An important part of being a bartender is providing good customer service. Bartenders take orders, collect payment, give change, recommend drinks, and make conversation with their customers. They also maintain a clean working area and may be responsible for keeping their bar well-stocked.

Follow the age requirements in your state in order to be certified.

Are There Minimum Age Requirements to Bartend in All 50 States?

What Characteristics are Helpful to Bartending?


– This work environment requires frequent interactions with clients. The ability to quickly make friends and keep them is invaluable in this position.


– Every client desires someone who can make them feel good. A bartender should bring a positive attitude and a smile to work every day.


-This is, after all, the “service industry.” The client must feel like you care about them, their drink, and their experience inside your establishment.

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Can Criminals Bartend?

There are no restrictions prohibiting persons who have been indicted for misdemeanor or felony charges. Keep in mind, these charges will not prohibit you from obtaining certification, but such charges could stifle your chances of landing a job. Be ready to explain the charges in an interview. If you have changed your life since then, make sure you not only explain that to the interviewer, but why.

I have a DUI or Alcohol-Related Charges, can I be a Bartender?

You can, unless there are requirements attached to your probation order that prohibit you from being in or around drinking establishments.

What kind of training is required to become a bartender?

Most bartenders don’t complete formal training for their jobs. Bartenders may teach themselves or learn on the job by working as a bartender helper or assistant.

Some bartenders go to bartending schools to receive their initial training. Bartending schools exist across the United States, and experts recommend choosing one that is licensed by your state’s department of education and offers programs that take at least 40 hours to complete.

Students in bartending courses learn how to use bar equipment, mix a wide variety of cocktails, pour different types of beverages, and provide good customer service. They may also learn about health and safety issues, working with cash registers, and interviewing for bartender positions.

Are there any certification or licensure requirements?

Very few states require bartenders to meet any licensing or certification requirements. Washington state, for example, requires bartenders to complete an alcohol server training course and apply for a permit. Wisconsin has similar requirements. Check with your state’s liquor control board to see what, if anything, bartenders must do before they can start working.

How long does it take to become a bartender?

There is no one strict path to becoming a bartender, and you could begin working as a bartender as soon as you meet your state’s age requirements. Some states set the minimum age for bartenders at 18, while others require bartenders to be at least 21 years old.

What does a bartender earn?

Most bartenders rely heavily upon tips to supplement their hourly wage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, bartenders in the United States earned a median of $9.09 per hour, including tips. The top ten percent of bartenders made more than $15 per hour that year.

Where Can I Study to Become a Bartender?

Local Bartending School– (Locations Nationwide)

What are the job prospects?

The BLS expects that employment of bartenders in the United States will grow by 12 percent between 2012 and 2020, about as fast as the average growth for all occupations. While employment will grow, competition for bartending jobs may be strong. Bartenders can enhance their job prospects by gaining experience and training.

What are the long term career prospects for bartenders?

Bartenders who gain working experience will be more likely to land lucrative jobs with busy, successful bars and restaurants. Some bartenders may advance into restaurant management or even open their own bars.

How can I find a job as a bartender?

Search for job openings in your area and apply and interview in a professional manner. Search for openings that might be a good fit for your interests; if you are interested in sports, for example, then a sports bar may be a good place for you. Network with other bartenders to find out about job openings in your area.

A good job placement program will help.

How can I learn more about becoming a bartender?

If you want to learn more about bartending, you can learn a lot by talking to a bartender. Build a rapport with bartenders in various bars and restaurants to learn more about the profession and the job scene in your area.

Get Bartender Training & become a Bartender at Bartending School

Get Bartender Training & become a Bartender at Bartending School

Bartending is the profession that caters everybody and is easy to progress in. Becoming a bartender can open the way to an extensive variety of jobs in the hospitality industry including restaurants, hotels, occasion and cooking industries.Bartending career openings are not quite recently restricted to bars and hotels. Bartending openings are accessible in travel and entertainment businesses for example.We are taking online reserving for Bartending Course.

The Local Bartending School is viewed as the premier bartending school in the USA. Teaching is done by certified instructors who will demonstrate you well ordered on what it takes to make a decent drink. All abilities are found out with genuine jugs yet alcohol. It is coloured coded water, but looks are realistic.

Local Bartending School was composed to help teach people of all levels. Our Bartending School is energetic about our desire to educate altered, private lessons to all ages and capacities all through America. We can help you acquire bunches of cash being a bartender!

What Will You Learn in School?
For the most part, You will learn more than 200 fundamental and favour drink formulas, Prepare numerous drinks rapidly and effortlessly, How to cut fruit and decorate tropical and speciality cocktails, How to set up a bar workstation Bartending is a hands-on process.

Courses will include dealing with a bar, drink formulas, association, running a POS ( the purpose of the offer) machine, and learn liquor security. Longer courses regularly include included preparing in table administration, more propelled beverages, style bartending traps, and an assortment of extra data. For learning Local Bartending School gives you Bartending Kits in $159 esteem.

How Much Does it Cost?
Essential online video courses can run anywhere in the range of $35 to $200.In-class courses fluctuate in cost in light of the length and depth of the instruction. It is genuinely basic to see these projects keep running in the $200 to $400 range, however now and again they can be very costly. One prevalent case is the New York Bartending School, which costs almost $600 for an exhaustive 40-hour class.

Local Bartending School gives two sorts of the certificate.

  1. TIPS Responsible Serving Certification and
  2. State Certification.

(Both testing offered in the security of your own home)
The authentication is Valid in each of the 50 States of USA.

A few states will require a subsequent exam with a state-utilized delegate so as to confirm your personality. The delegated exam costs $35-80 and takes 30-120 minutes. Contingent upon your state, LBS might have the capacity to cover this charge for you.