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11 of the Most Creative Cocktails You’ll Ever See
11 of the Most Creative Cocktails You’ll Ever See

11 of the Most Creative Cocktails You’ll Ever See

Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or a total novice, there’s no denying that coming up with new and creative cocktail recipes is hard work. And while we all appreciate a classic mojito or old-fashioned every now and then, sometimes you just need to mix things up (literally). So, if you need some inspiration, look no further than this list of 10 of the most creative cocktails from some of the best mixologists around.

Shake Things Up with These Trendy, Creative Cocktail Recipes

1. Cotton Candy Martini

This one is sure to bring out the kid in everyone. Not the literal kid, because that’d be illegal (and kinda creepy). 

The Cotton Candy Martini is made with vodka, raspberry liqueur, and blue curacao, and is garnished with – you guessed it – cotton candy.


1.5 oz vodka1 oz raspberry liqueur0.5 oz blue curacaoCotton candy, garnish


Add vodka, raspberry liqueur, and blue curacao to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cotton candy.

2. Chocolate Cherry Bombs

One important thing to note about these Chocolate Cherry Bombs is that they should be shaken well before serving. This will ensure that the flavors are properly mixed and that you get a delicious drink every time.

These bad boys are made with vodka, cherry syrup, chocolate liqueur, and cream, and are garnished with chocolate shavings and a cherry. They’re rich, decadent, and sure to be ordered over and over again by chocolate lovers.


1.5 ounce vodka0.5 ounce cherry syrup0.25 ounce chocolate liqueur1 ounce creamChocolate shavingsCherry, garnish


In a shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, cherry syrup, chocolate liqueur, and cream. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Top with chocolate shavings and a cherry for garnish.

LBS Instructor Tip: Use a creamy liquor and chocolate shavings to coat your rim. Or even graham cracker crust. Give folks a non-dairy option and you’ll be as popular as ‘Pokemon Go’ in 2016.

3. Galaxy Mule

Like a science experiment, but with alcohol… make magic happen right in front of your guests. Not that kind of magic!


Magic Blue Ice8 flowers of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea2 cups hot waterGalaxy Magic Moscow Mule2 ounces vodka.50 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice4-6 ounces ginger beercrushed iceCrushed “Magic Blue Ice”


For the Galaxy Magic Mule:Crush clear ice and add it to a mug.Top with crushed Magic Blue Ice.Add lime juice, vodka, and ginger beer.Top with additional Magic Blue Ice.For the Magic Blue Ice:Add hot water to the Butterfly Pea Flowers, allow to steep for 3-4 minutes, and strain out the flowers. Pour the liquid into ice cube trays and freeze.

Don’t have butterfly pea flower at your bar? Don’t worry, Amazon has your back. Grab it online or, even better, source it from a local supply shop!

4. Smoked Manhattan

“Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Smoked Manhattans!

Smoked Manhattans who?

I don’t know, but I want one!”

This twist on a classic cocktail features whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and orange zest, all smoked with hickory chips before being served up in a martini glass. It’s perfect for anyone who loves a good Manhattan but is looking for something a little different.


2 ounces whiskey1 ounce sweet vermouth1 dash Angostura bitters1 orange zestHickory chips


In a glass smoker, soak hickory chips in water for 30 minutes.Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Add the chips to the smoker and grill for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to smoke.Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.In a shaker filled with ice, combine whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and orange zest. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Top with smoked hickory chips and serve immediately.

5. Margarita Jell-O Shots

These bad boys are not for the faint of heart. Margarita Jell-O Shots are made with tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and – of course – Jell-O mix. They’re fun, festive summer cocktails alternatives, and sure to get the barbeque started if you’re at a private event. 

Just be careful not to serve too many to your drinker! They go down quick and easy.


1 (3-ounce) package lime Jell-O0.5 cup tequila0.25 cup triple sec1 cup boiling water


Pour the boiling water into a large bowl. Add the Jell-O mix and stir until it dissolves.Add the tequila and triple sec and stir until well mixed.Pour the mixture into shot glasses or small containers and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

The post 11 of the Most Creative Cocktails You’ll Ever See first appeared on LBS Bartending School.

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Make a Piña Colada for the First Time: A Recipe and Then Some

Make a Piña Colada for the First Time: A Recipe and Then Some

Written by Carrie Jean Lipe

As a budding bartender, all you need are three simple things when you attempt to make a new drink on the fly (cough, piña colada, cough). The only items to equip yourself are the ingredients, a killer recipe, and a quick talking point to make it seem like you’ve been making this drink for years.

Today, you’ll walk away with at least two of the necessary requirements: a killer recipe and an interesting story to share with your new regulars. Plus as a bonus, (because we want you to be amazing bartenders) we’ll answer a few common FAQs in the land of piña coladas. 

Let’s get you to make a piña colada for the first time.  

A little drink garnish goes a long way.

Make a Piña Colada with this Recipe

The original technique for making this creamy tiki drink doesn’t need a blender (more on the history later!). So if your bar doesn’t have one, this recipe is perfect for you. 

For those of you bartenders that are lucky enough to have a blender, feel free to blend all of the ingredients for a creamy, frothy, blended cocktail.

You’ll need:

2 ounces (oz) light rum
1.5 oz cream of coconut
1.5 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz lime juice 
Glass: Hurricane
Garnish: pineapple leaf and freshly cut wedge


Combine rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and cream of coconut to a shaker with ice.
Shake for about 30 seconds.
Service over fresh pebble ice and garnish. 

Save pineapple leaves for an exotic garnish.

Please Your Patrons with this Piña Colada Fact

A sure-fire way to trick your new regular into thinking this totally isn’t your first time making a piña colada is to tell them a fact only a super talented bartender would know. We’re always fans of a good ‘ole origin story.

Ramōn was a bartender at the beautiful Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This takes us to where everyone’s favorite cruise drink was conceived. Ramon grabbed some rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice off the shelf, threw them all together in his shaker, and created the beloved piña colada. 

We Answer Piña Colada Questions 

We would love to be able to come to you at home and show you how to mix all of these ingredients into a delicious piña colada drink–oh wait! We can! 

One of our PRO bartenders can come to show you how to make a piña colada. You’ll be up to speed in no time.

Until then, let’s answer some frequently asked questions. And, yes you can make a virgin piña colada.

What is the best piña colada mix?

You might be at the whim of your bar manager (tell them if you think it sucks, though!), but we at Local Bartending School like Finest Call and Mr. & Mrs. T’s

Does piña colada have alcohol?

Traditionally and unless you’re told otherwise, yes! However, this tasty hot weather treat can be enjoyed without alcohol (aka a virgin piña colada) for your bartop guests who are underage or don’t drink.

What alcohol goes with piña colada?

Rum pairs best with coconut and pineapple flavors. It’s standard to use a light or white rum but you can switch this up if your regular loves gold rum. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment (probably at home so you don’t run a tab up at your job or serve a terrible drink)! This is one of the best ways to learn. 

Suggest a fresh piña colada to drink on hot days.

You’re More than Ready to Make a Piña Colada for the First Time

Congratulations! If you’ve read all the way through, you have more information on piña coladas than at least a tenth of the bartenders behind the bar at this very moment. You have a killer, time-tried recipe that’s sure to be sucked up all summer long. You know a bit of the history AND have answers to the most common questions people are stuck wondering about. 

Looking to hone your craft beyond piña coladas? We’ve helped hundreds of students become successful bartenders through our 1-on-1 In-Home Course and effective Job Placement program. Get started by entering a few details here!

Don’t let your other bartender buddies make a terrible cocktail! Share this on your social media so they’re in the know.

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Local Bartending Services in testtingpost

Personalized bartending services for private parties, corporate events and weddings.
Experienced certified bartenders will make your event unforgettable.
Special internship program for best Local Bartending School Alumnus

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

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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

18 19 20 21
Arkansas Arizona Alabama
Colorado Idaho Alaska
Connecticut Nebraska California
Florida Delaware
Georgia District of Columbia (Washington DC)
Hawaii Indiana (18 with restrictions)
Illinois Kansas
Iowa Kentucky (20 with restrictions)
Louisiana Missouri
Maine Montana
Maryland Nevada
Massachusetts New Mexico
Michigan North Carolina
Minnesota North Dakota
Mississippi Ohio
New Hampshire Oklahoma
New Jersey Oregon
New York South Carolina
Pennsylvania Utah
Rhode Island Virginia
South Dakota Washington
Tennessee Wyoming
West Virginia

Minimum Age To ServeMinimum Age To BartendManager or
Must Be

1/1/2019 19 19 19 21 21 21 Yes 1 Citations
1/1/2019 21 21 21 21 21 21 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 3 Citations
1/1/2019 19 19 19 21 21 21 7 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 4 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 Yes 7 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 5 Citations
District of Columbia(3333)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 Yes 1 Citations
1/1/2019 19 19 19 19 19 19 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 3 Citations
1/1/2019 19 19 19 21 21 21 Yes 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 Yes 3 Citations
1/1/2019 20 20 20 20 20 20 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 3 Citations
1/1/2019 17 17 17 17 17 17 Yes 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 21 4 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 4 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 1 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
1/1/2019 19 19 19 19 19 19 1 Citations
1/1/2019 21 21 21 21 21 21 2 Citations
New Hampshire(3356)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
New Jersey(3357)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 2 Citations
New Mexico(3358)
1/1/2019 19 19 19 21 21 21 2 Citations
New York(3360)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 1 Citations
North Carolina(3353)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 21 2 Citations
North Dakota(3354)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 Yes 2 Citations
1/1/2019 19 19 19 19 21 21 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 5 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 2 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 4 Citations
Rhode Island(3365)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 2 Citations
South Carolina(3366)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 5 Citations
South Dakota(4126)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 4 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 5 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 2 Citations
1/1/2019 21 21 21 21 21 21 5 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 4 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 Yes 5 Citations
West Virginia(3374)
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 Yes 3 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 18 18 18 7 Citations
1/1/2019 18 18 18 21 21 21 2 Citations
United States(3326)

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.


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14 Vodka Cocktails That Are Perfect for Summer

14 Vodka Cocktails That Are Perfect for Summer

Sea Breeze

The Sea Breeze screams summer drinking from the name alone. All members of the Breeze drink family (Bay Breeze, Hawaiian Breeze and Cape Codder) are contenders for summer drinking, but the Sea Breeze stands out for its juicy, citrusy qualities. Like Harry, Ron and Hermione, the trio of cranberry juice, grapefruit juice and vodka belongs together. Kick back with a Sea Breeze or two this summer whether you’re poolside, at the beach or in your backyard.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Moscow Mule

Hanging onto a frosty copper cup full of crushed ice is a good way to stay cool in the heat of summer. It’s even better when you throw vodka and ginger beer into the mix. Moscow Mules are simple to make, but their spicy ginger and citrusy kick are anything but basic.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Lime Juice
  • Ginger Beer

Harvey Wallbanger

It’s easy to mix some vodka and orange juice over ice to make an easy Screwdriver during the dog days of summer. That’s fine, but as you grab that OJ, also pick up a bottle of Galliano. A touch of the herbal vanilla liqueur adds a little something extra without complicating things too much.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Orange Juice
  • Galliano

Vodka Soda

Don’t underestimate the Vodka Soda as a summer sipper. While you don’t want to be taking iced vodka shots in the middle of a summer day, the Vodka Soda offers something equally clean and straightforward—but it’ll last a little longer than a shot. Garnish it with a lime wedge for an especially refreshing twist.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Soda

Melon Ball

Drink something that looks as fun as you want your summer to be. The fruity Melon Ball has a slight tang, and it’s crazy easy to drink. You can also easily scale it up into a pitcher-sized cocktail, making it a good choice for a summer party.

The Essentials

  • Midori
  • Vodka
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice

Chi Chi

Would a summer drinking list be complete without a frozen drink? Of course not. You might recognize the Chi Chi because it resembles its more famous cousin, the Piña Colada. The two are very similar, but the Chi Chi swaps out the rum for vodka, which lets the coconut cream and pineapple juice do all the heavy flavor lifting.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Coconut Cream
  • Pineapple Juice

Lemon Drop Martini

Sweet and tart like a piece of candy, the Lemon Drop Martini is for a summer night that’s just starting to heat up. It’s a crowd pleaser and looks elegant yet fun, like an upscale party on the beach where you get to kick off your shoes.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Lemon Juice
  • Simple syrup

Salty Dog

It’s summer, and thinking too hard can make us all a little salty. That’s why you should keep things simple and use easy upgrades to take your favorite drinks up a notch. The Salty Dog is just a Greyhound (grapefruit juice and vodka), but with the addition of a salted rim. That small modification makes all the difference, making the drink tart, refreshing and briney all at once.

The Essentials

  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Vodka
  • Salt

Vodka Gimlet

If refreshment is what you’re after, look no further than a Vodka Gimlet. A bright and tart Gimlet will make you come to your senses no matter how much sun you’ve taken in. To add some variety, opt for a citrusy bottling like Bedlam Vodka, or even choose a creamy one like Black Cow Vodka for something that is reminiscent of key lime pie.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Simple Syrup
  • Lime Juice

French Martini

Admittedly, the French Martini is nothing that its name suggests. It is, however, a delightful tipple to drink in the summertime—especially if you’re in the mood for something a little stronger than a traditional summer drink. It’s a mix of vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord, a French liqueur made with black raspberries, honey, vanilla and herbs.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Chambord

Blueberry Cider Cocktail

A palate cleansing dry cider is the perfect topper to your new favorite summer cocktail. Created by Cat DiPaci at her store Beer Fridge in New York’s Lower East Side, it combines fresh ripe blueberries, vodka and lemon juice.

The Essentials

  • Blueberries
  • Vodka
  • Nine Pin Cider

Coconut Vodka Soda

While the Vodka Soda is fine and dandy, you can take it to the next level by turning it into a Coconut Vodka Soda. That touch of coconut water makes it go down all too easy on a hot day, especially when you use a silky vodka like Zirkova One or Russian Standard. True coconut water devotees can also double down and use a coconut vodka like Three Olives Coconut Water vodka.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Coconut Water
  • Soda Water

Jungle Mule

Moscow Mule, meet the Jungle Bird. In the Jungle Mule, two favorites—one spicy and gingery, the other classic tiki—combine for a drink that will make you feel like you’re in the tropics.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Campari
  • Ginger beer

Peaches and Tea Punch

It’s hard to beat the experience of biting into a ripe peach in the dead of summer. Drinking a Peaches and Tea Punch and then biting into a ripe peach, though, that does the trick. The spiked iced tea is boozed up with vodka and peach schnapps, and then served up in a Mason jar filled with peach slices.

The Essentials

  • Vodka
  • Peach Schnapps
  • Lipton’s Iced Tea, to top

Local Bartending Services in 14 Vodka Cocktails That Are Perfect for Summer

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