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A Bartender’s Calendar: November 2021

A Bartender’s Calendar: November 2021

It’s that time of year… to gather, eat, and drink with good friends and frazzled families. And here’s to hoping that this year might feel like a slightly normal holiday season at your bar.

Our team at Local Bartending School has whipped up a festive calendar just for bartenders and bar owners looking to bring a bit of holiday spirit to their guests. 

Even though it won’t be quite as tasty as your mom’s stuffing, we’re hoping these random holidays and national celebrations are reason enough to have everyone gathered around your bar.

21 Celebrities Who Bartend

21 Celebrities Who Bartend

Bartending started as far back as ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Roman times.

That means a lot of humans have been making a lot of delicious cocktail elixirs for thousands of years. Both for fun as a hobby or as a way to make ends meet.

Even famed celebrities have dabbled in the craft of bartending. Mostly to pay the water bill before their big break, but other celebs come up with cocktails just for fun. Why? They think it’s a fun way to pass the time and a great way to entertain their friends and families.

So let’s see these 21 celebrities who were bartenders before they started winning Oscars. Later, we’ll meet a few more celebs who bartend just for fun.

Memorizing Cocktail Recipes – Bartenders Tricks & Tips

Memorizing Cocktail Recipes – Bartenders Tricks & Tips

Memorizing hundreds of cocktail recipes for your new bartending gig can feel like you’re back in high school or university cramming for an exam, except this time rent money is involved. 

Yup. As a bartender, your ability to pay bills relies on your ability to make a margarita in less than three minutes. And to make a margarita that quickly (and pay your bills on time) means you’ll need to be able to remember drink recipes like your crush’s Instagram handle.

Not to mention, if you take too long, you’ll upset management and your guests. If you don’t know the recipe, you risk annoying fellow coworkers by asking them how to make drinks all the time. 

Sure, there are a lot of other available articles online to scour for the best tips and tricks on how to memorize cocktail recipes. But there’s only one Local Bartending School. We are a team of professional bartenders, instructors, and mixologists who are dedicated to improving your career in bartending. 

We’ve put together the most comprehensive guide on how to memorize drink recipes. So you can go ahead, grab a drink, and settle in.

Ralph (Ravi) Kayden via Unsplash | From glassware to garnishes, there’s a lot to keep track of for each cocktail recipe.

Today, you’re going to read all about the best tricks for bartenders to learn, memorize, and be able to crank out tons of classic cocktails and different types of drink recipes.

But before we do, I want to share a story that might make you feel less overwhelmed.

 I was 22 and just got moved from the serving floor to behind the bar. FINALLY. I had waited for this moment since I was a wee hostess! And having worked at this establishment for three years, I was thrown onto a solo shift a bit quicker than most new bartenders. Just my luck… 

And of course, I worked on the day that martinis were discounted. Martinis! For a novice bartender, this was a lot of pressure. I mean, I was sweating on my upper lip and everything, guys. 

The martini of the day was a Cosmopolitan. So I grabbed the recipe card, wrote down the ingredients at least 5 times, and made a little poem in my head. I still remember it, years later. All night I was crankin’ out those beautiful Cosmo’s. 

I surprised myself, actually. Like hell yeah, brain. Plus, on my next shift, I was praised for my poise under pressure. Not to mention made some serious tips!

So what made my experience so successful? Well, a few things: I wrote it down, made a tune, and kept making cosmos over and over again! More on all this later.

Let’s break down all the tips LBS recommends for remembering bar drinks.

Plus, we’re going to dive even deeper by looking at:

Memorizing multiple drink ordersHow to remember all of the ingredients in a recipeWhat to do if you forgot a guest’s orderAn action plan for when you don’t know how to make a cocktail 

1. Know the Most Popular Cocktails

Before you go thinking you have to memorize every cocktail and every type of sweet vermouth ever created by man, let me stop you there.

You see, at minimum, you really only need to memorize the most popular drinks that are served at the bar you’re working. At one venue, you may never get a request for a daiquiri. Move on to a new place and it might be one of your top sellers.

To find out what drinks you need to focus on, ask the veteran bartenders. They’ll definitely know what gets ordered the most. If you want straight data, you can also contact your manager. They can run a report and tell you exactly how many of each drink is being ordered at any given time.

I should mention, Local Bartending School has a job placement program that will find you the right venue after you’re done with bartending classes. Their instructors will make sure you know exactly how to make the drinks for your new gig.

Kobby Mendez | Drink families are groups of cocktails that are similar in ingredients and preparation.

2. Understand Drink Categories & Families

When I was first starting out behind the bar, I was totally overwhelmed by all of the different liqueurs, garnishes, types of tequila, and bitters. I thought I had to know every single ingredient ever and understand how they all came together to make thousands of cocktails.

Then someone introduced me to cocktail families or categories. They told me every group of cocktails follows the same style, with just a little change here and there.

Of course, there are a lot of opinions and a lot of debate when it comes to defining categories or families for cocktails. But an industry-accepted reference is Gary Regan’s ‘Joy of Mixology’

Gary Regan was the pioneer behind drink families; arranging them by common ingredients and techniques. While the list is a bit more vast (okay, a lot more vast) in his book, you can get an idea of how he grouped them below.

FrozenDuos & TriosHighballsJulepsMuddled

3. Make the Drinks! Memorization through Repetition 

When you were learning how to ride a bike, you rode down the same hill, path, or street until you could balance and ride on your own, right? The same applies to bartending and memorizing new drinks.

Muscle memory kicks in when you’re behind the bar. When I had to make cosmo’s over and over again on my first solo shift, it was through that repetition that I triggered the memory-making part of my brain and body.

This is why bartenders and mixologists who have worked (or still do) at nightclubs know so many drinks. They’re constantly cranking out cranberry vodkas, long island iced teas, and mojitos. But if you’re working at a slower venue with primarily wine drinkers, you won’t be able to make these drinks as often nor will they be etched into your memory. So if you really want to memorize a cocktail recipe, make it! Over and over again.

“Make them. Over and over again. Recipe cards help, but after enough repetition, you’ll never forget”

When you’re in class with an instructor at Local Bartending School, you’ll learn all the recipes and be able to practice a myriad of cocktails. 

4. Utilize Flashcards and Quizzes

Tried and true, these traditional methods have been around forever for a reason. We’ll give you a big hint–they work.

Remember when I was trying to not lose my job and memorize Cosmopolitans on my first solo shift? I started by looking at the recipe card, then basically quizzed myself and wrote the ingredients down until I felt like I had it down. 

You can do the same! Grab your recipes and cocktail cards, write them down on a ton of flashcards, and then quiz yourself.

Alternatively, you can use Quizlet! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a fantastic online program that allows you to make flashcards and turn them into quizzes (and more). The best part? There’s a shared community of pre-made quizzes on all sorts of topics, bar drinks, classic cocktails, and drink categories. 

If you’re using other recipes found online, just make sure you’re memorizing a cocktail recipe that is approved by your establishment. 

There’s a lot of variations for drinks like whiskey sours, mai tais, or even a Tom Collins. Some corporate chains, hotels, or even standalone bars will want you to make a drink according to their specifications.

Sidenote: Don’t know what type of bar you want to work at? Read this article! 

5. Create Your Own Mnemonics

You might remember mnemonics from school days. The first one I can recall is the order of math operation PEMDAS, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”. 

This little memory trick has been one of my favorites to memorize bar drinks. For a manhattan, you can come up with a little mnemonic. It requires whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and cherries. So I’d break that down to WVBC, or “Wackos Vacation Because of Cold”. I’m sure you can craft something that you’ll uniquely remember for shifts to come.

Here’s a video for you to check out if you want to learn more about using mnemonics as a bartender.

6. Rely on Music or Phrases

For those of you who are musically inclined, you might be drawn to using tunes as a way to memorize a recipe for an old-fashioned or negroni. And even for those who love to read or write, phrases might be useful to you!

Using a manhattan again as an example, you can create a little jingle or rap to help you lock in the recipe. You can sing all the ingredients you need or sing the mnemonic you came up with. 

Your brain has an easier time recalling music or patterns of rhythm, which is why this memorization tool really works!

Use A Combination of These Tricks for Memorizing Cocktail Recipes

So, there are six tips that will save you when you’re learning and memorizing cocktail recipes. All procured by the team of bartending gurus over at Local Bartending School.

But we’re not stopping there. There’s still more you need to know!

There are few other situations that you’ll run into as a bartender where you need to be able to recall or remember. 

How to Memorize Multiple Drink Orders

Soon after I started to bartend, I found my first group of regulars. *Hair flip.* 

They would come in all at once and give me their drink order like it was roll call. Because this group alone paid for my water bill, I wanted them to think I was the amazing bartender they hyped me up to be. And that meant remembering their huge order.

That’s when I started to rap the 8-10 drinks they ordered in my head. Once I crafted my VMA-winning verse, I could remember their order for the whole shift. And dreamt of it, too. 

Some other tips I’ve learned and heard of are:

Repeating the order back to the guest Visualizing the drinks that were orderedCollect all of the necessary glassware before you start making drinks

When in doubt, you can always write the order down (no shame in my writing-down game, here!). Some folks even said they simply make as many cocktails as they remember, can bring a few extra waters to sip on, and ask the group what’s missing. Giving them something is better than nothing!

Remembering All of the Ingredients

It’s tough being able to know every single ingredient for every single drink. Between simple syrup, ratios, and soda water there’s a lot of things and mixers to keep up with. We hear you!

Local Bartending School is the only place where you can not only have a personal instructor sent to your house to help you memorize recipes, it’s the only bartending school that can certify you nationwide across the U.S.

Tina Witherspoon | There’s can be a lot that goes into one cocktail.

Some of our secrets for remembering ingredients are associations, mnemonics, or any trick mentioned earlier in the article like creating a tune or flashcards.

What to Do If You Forget an Order

When you forget an order (and I say when because it will happen), first take a moment to breathe. It’s liqueur and draft beer, not life or death, people!

Next, try to walk yourself through the interaction again. What did the person next to them order? Maybe they’re a regular and order the same thing all the time, so ask your bartender buddy. If you really cannot recall, just be humble (you’re only human!), walk over to the guest, and ask again.

An Action Plan to Follow When You Don’t Know a Drink Recipe

Don’t worry! You have several options. Unless your guest made the drink up themselves (which has happened to me), you always have a resource to utilize. 

If you don’t know how to make a drink,

Ask your trainer or veteran bartenderLook it up in a trusted reference bookUse your bar’s recipe card, sometimes also known as a ‘build’

No matter what, don’t tell that guest you don’t know how to make it! Fake it ’til you make it, my friend. If you don’t have the ingredients, that’s acceptable. But try to get that drink in the person’s hand. That’s how good bartenders become the best bartenders

At the end of the day, remember…

You’re new! And it’s okay to tell a guest that. Just explain that you’re new to the team and you’re working to get their drink to them. 

Most people are lenient! Especially when you make a joke out of it! My favorite line was, “Sorry, I’m still learning! Think of it this way; you only get a few chances to craft the perfect bartender, now’s your chance.” I noticed my guests switched from annoyed to I-got-you.

Need More Hands-On Practice with Drink Recipes? Local Bartending School is Accepting Students!

Now that you have several ways to lock those drink recipes into your noggin, you can step up in the bartending world. And make more money by being able to make drinks without asking anyone or looking up a recipe. Win-win. 

Not to mention, you already have an action plan for what happens when you inevitably forget an order or don’t know how to make a recipe. You’re so ready for this.

Want even more tips? You can get in touch with the professionals at Local Bartending School to receive hands-on training, bartending courses, classes, and more. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t you want to start amping up your bartending career?

The post Memorizing Cocktail Recipes – Bartenders Tricks & Tips first appeared on LBS Bartending School.

How to Hire a Bartender For Your Event, Wedding, or Party

How to Hire a Bartender For Your Event, Wedding, or Party

Party people, gather around! We’ve got an event to plan for. 

You’ve just set the date for your wedding (congrats!). Or maybe your client’s daughter is turning 16 and you’re in charge of the quinceanera. Perhaps you have a holiday party coming up for your next corporate event.

Maybe you’re a new or experienced bartender, looking to be hired for a bartending service for these exclusive, private parties. (If that’s you, keep reading ’til the end!)

When it comes to hiring a bartender for your special event, there are some things you need to know and be aware of. Not all bartending companies or bartenders are created equal! Some will try to overcharge you, send over staff that looks like they just ran a triathlon, or just straight-up ghost you. 

The bar services at your party, corporate event, or wedding don’t have to be a nightmare!

Here’s a guide so you can hire the best bartenders and get the most bang for your buck out of bar packages. 

We’ve included red flags to watch out for, all the right questions to ask, and some insider tips that you can only get from industry professionals like us, the team at Local Bartending School where you can find all your bartending needs in one place and across the United States.

For my bartenders, you’ll want to keep reading to get a fresh perspective on event bar services. Then at the end, we’ll dive into how Local Bartending School can help you advance your bartending career and make more money.

Communicating with a Bartending Company

Sometimes, the discovery phase of finding the right person for the job can involve both email communication and over-the-phone. And almost all of the time, it involves a quick search on the internet. 

So how can you tell which company has the best wedding bartenders and prices? You don’t!

You see, service isn’t tangible. It’s hard to know what you’re going to get by looking at images and logos. That’s why it’s important during your communication with them (either email or phone), to ask all the right questions.

What to Do If Your Quote for Hiring a Bartender Was Emailed to You?

You’ve filled out a form or sent an email, and the company replied back with a quote based on the info you provided. This is nice, but not quite good enough. 

Time and time again, in our experience, this email communication simply isn’t enough to get all the details extracted. 

We recommend that you pick up the phone and call the staffing or bartending company. If they refuse to schedule a call with you, perhaps it’s best to keep on looking at the other choices you have.

Calling a Bartending Company: What to Say? 

Now that we’ve got you speaking to an actual person, you can share all those amazing details for the party you’ve worked so hard to forget. They can hear about the theme and decor style, the timing of the event, and much more.

Not to mention, this can save you and your budget some serious cheddar. 

For instance, the bartending team shows up bright and early for your corporate event, let’s say around 3:00 pm. But you don’t actually need them there pouring drinks until around 7:00 pm when the speaker is done with their lecture.

Do you want to pay for four hours of bartenders doing nothing? Probably not! 

Also, we should note that it’s typical that there is 1 bartender for every 50 guests (or 40, if you’ve gone the route of full-service or flair bartender).

All of these details can be ironed out over one easy phone call. And of course, you get a feel for their level of service by talking to a real human.

 Here are some other things to consider and ask when you’re hiring bartenders:

How long do bartenders need to set up and break down?Do they provide barbacks?Are there surcharges for weddings?When is the last call?Who provides the glassware?What uniforms (if any) does the staff wear?

Lastly, don’t get taken advantage of by a bartending company during your next event or next party. If they require a deposit before you talk to them or refuse to get on the phone, these are some red flags and you should be shopping for other options.

But finding an event service that’s trustworthy seems like an impossible task. It isn’t! Local Bartending School has been trusted in the industry for years. Plus, they’re the only place that will hand-select a bartender for you nationwide.

How to Hire the Right Bartender for Your Party?

Like we mentioned, when you’re finding the right bartender for your next event, it can be a bit challenging because you can’t see their service in action. But there are a few things you can check out to see how they operate and what kind of service you might get.

Read online reviews. Hearing what others have to say can be a glimpse into your future. If the bartender or company has raving reviews, odds are you’ll get raving service. If the reviews are negative, get deleted, or respond back hastily to comments you probably don’t want to go with them.Talk to someone on the phone. We went over this, but talking to someone on the phone will usually tell you how they talk to all their customers. This is such a crucial step!Don’t be scared to ask questions. Emailing quick details might seem like the easiest and quickest option, but spending time to ask the right questions will help you make your party a success.

How much does it cost to hire a bartender for a party?

As with many things, this can depend on a few things like the quality of alcohol you’re serving, how many bartenders you need, etc. Typically, it will cost you around $30 to $150 USD per hour for professional bartenders. 

For those of you planning a seasonal soiree, if your event is on a holiday, like Christmas or Labor Day, you will often have to pay a bit extra.

Hidden Fees When Hiring a Bartender

Hidden fees. We know them, we hate them. Whether you’re in Los Angeles or New York, you’ll run into them when you’re hiring a bartender for an event, wedding, or birthday party.

Some of the most common hidden charges you’ll come across are wedding surcharges, manager fees, and barback costs.

Unfortunately, some companies will charge you more per bartender for a wedding than they would a traditional party or corporate event. We find this to be bad service, honestly. The price should be the same for any party. Companies that do this usually just see the opportunity to upcharge and get away with it.

This same company might also tell you you’ll be charged for the manager or barback.  If there’s a need for additional personnel, the company should factor this into their original cost instead of charging you. 

Barbacks (the people who keep glassware clean and stocked, etc.) can be essential! So work this out with your bartending service and caterer.

How to Calculate How Much Alcohol You Need for Your Event

A good, general rule of thumb is this little equation–two drinks for each person for the first hour and then one drink each after that! Local Bartending School has its own tried and true calculator to determine exactly how much you’ll need, without all the guesswork.

Also, pay attention to the guest’s age, time of year, and where the event is located. All that can change what’s being consumed. Are your guests young and in their 20s? Amp up the vodka, tequila, and beer.

What Else Do I Need When Hiring a Bartender for My Wedding?

A bartop of course! There aren’t bar fairies that come around and *poof* there’s a bar. (That’d be cool, though!).

Now that you’ve got your bartender hired and the details worked out, ask your bartender or service provider if they have a mobile bar. Of course, if you’re venue has a bar, this might not be needed unless you want a remote bar with coolers outside or in another room.

A mobile bar gives bartenders and mixologists a place to keep their mixers chilled, ice frozen, and glassware stored. Without this, your event can be unorganized and messy.

If the company doesn’t already have a mobile bar, there could be some rental fees or delivery costs charged to you.

Wedding Bartender Success Stories

We pulled some success stories from other people who have hired a bartender for their event.

The team was everything we could’ve asked for and more. They were very professional and responsive to us when we first made contact with them, and on short notice they were able to work our event. The service and quality was exceptional. Everything we wanted in a bar service they provided, and they were great at interacting with our guests and becoming part of our party. They set up well before time and were ready to go when people arrived and continued to give great service throughout the party. And their clean up was quick and easy. An amazing service and an amazing team for a very good value. We will certainly use them again and highly recommend them! – Chase A.We had a great experience with them! Travis was super responsive by phone and email through the whole planning process, and our bartenders went above and beyond to take care of us on the wedding day. We brought our own glasses that we wanted to use, and the bartenders packed up everything in a way that made cleaning up after the event super easy. Highly recommend! – Megan P.[They] made our party such a HIT! They served premium liquors, cocktails & the service was AMAZING! They set up everything you need with no hassle! Will definitely book again in the future. – Karina Martinez

Party Planning and Hiring a Bartender: Your Guide for 2021 From Local Bartending School

Party planners and those hosting your own party, now you have all the right questions to ask, suggestions for communication, red flags, and hidden fees to watch out for. This guide brought to you by our team of mixologists, instructors, and bartender veterans at Local Bartending School should make your time a bit easier to navigate.

Making things even easier, you can hire LBS for your next event. Leave it to our professional staff who have been in this industry for decades to hand-select the best bartender for your party. Our name is trusted throughout the entire country! 

No matter where you are in the United States, Local Bartending School can make your event a success.

New Bartenders and Experienced Bartenders, Want to Start Serving at Weddings and Events?

Private events and event bartenders are well-sought after in the industry. 

If you’re a new bartender, Local Bartending School is the best place to learn how to bartend at events like weddings and holiday parties. LBS can get you certified anywhere in the United States. And with our job placement program, you’ll have a full-time career behind the bar.

Have some experience under your belt? Do you like to train others and share your craft? You can apply to teach bartending students at LBS! Between this, and the possibility of getting picked for huge events, you can make more money than normal side jobs.

The post How to Hire a Bartender For Your Event, Wedding, or Party first appeared on LBS Bartending School.

5 Best Types of Bars to Work

5 Best Types of Bars to Work

If you’re looking for a bar with free wifi to work on your laptop, you’ll want to keep searching! ‘Cause this post is all for bartenders. Do I have only bartenders here now? Good.

Now we can get started! 

When I was first starting out as a bartender, I had so many questions. I constantly wondered what type of bar would be the best to work at. But I asked myself these questions over and over again:

Where can I make the most money?What bars have the best customers?

If you’re a beginning bartender and you’re wondering the same questions, you’re in the right place for two reasons. 

That’s what this post is all about–the best types of bars to work at for new bartenders!Plus, Local Bartending School is here to help you every step of the way with their online course and job placement program! (More on this later, people!)

So, after working in the bar industry for nearly a decade and asking some of my fellow bartenders what’s up, I’ve created a list of the best bars to work at for beginning bartenders, based on money to be made and overall experience to be had.

Here are the types of bars we recommend for beginning bartenders!

1. Chain Restaurant Bar

Whenever you work at a chain restaurant, you’re typically involved in a robust training program. Chain establishments and franchises aim to have their food and service the same across all of their locations, from bartending to hosting. That’s why you go through so much training!

As a bartender who’s just starting out, this can be a great place to begin (other than bartending school!). You’ll learn how to make a multitude of drinks, ranging from basic call drinks, bloody mary’s, all the way to kiddy cocktails. You’ll also be serving food like BBQ wings and tacos and handing takeout orders, though!

The hours are typically flexible and the pay can be decent, but the people can be picky, demanding, and sometimes rude. Not to mention, depending on the state you live in, you might have to interact with a kiddo or two.

On the bright side, you’re typically tipped out by the service staff for making all their drinks!

A lot of bartenders have noted the best restaurants in the US to work at as a bartender are:

PF ChangsTGI Fridays

Texas Roadhouse

The post 5 Best Types of Bars to Work first appeared on LBS Bartending School.

A Bartender’s Calendar: October 2021

A Bartender’s Calendar: October 2021

October is more than just horror movies, pumpkin spiced lattes, and wishing we lived in Halloweentown. Some call it spooky season, but we call it sippin’ season.

And as if we needed any other reason to make some deliciously festive cocktails, here are 31 horrifying, pumpkin-spiced ideas for you to bring the crowd to your bartop all month long.

Our professional team of mummy mixologists, blood-sucking bartenders, and goblin gurus have put their brains together to deliver you an entire month of special days to spark some festiveness in your cocktail choices. Pro Tip: Share these dates on your social media to promote specials, etc.!

Sometimes all it takes is knowing that it’s World Sake Day, and you’re craving sake all the way up until happy hour. Create that craving and use our October Bartender’s Calendar as a guide.

Tips and Tricks for Your First Bartending Job

Tips and Tricks for Your First Bartending Job

So you have your first official shift as a bartender coming up soon and you have a million questions running through your head. We get it–been there, done that! Your very first shift can be nerve-wracking, overwhelming, and you’ll probably walk out with sore feet.
Though we can’t be there to rub your footsies when you finally get home (take some aspirin, that’ll help!), we can give you some tips and tricks before you head in.
These are tricks I wish someone would have told me to have on my radar before I went in for my first shift.
But before we go any further, you might be wondering who the heck we are to be dishing out bartending advice. Well, I’m with Local Bartending School and between myself, the instructors, and a team of professional mixologists, we’ve used our years of experience behind the bar, in management, and university studies to collect the top 10 most essential things we think you need to know for your first day bartending.
So grab your notebook, something to write with, and allow us to tell you a few things that will help your first day behind the bar go as smooth as the Tennessee whiskey you’ll be pouring.