Top 7 Essential Bartending TechniquesAgnes M.
As a bartender, you will need to perfect the most basic techniques in making cocktails. Excellent bartending skills go beyond the shaking and stirring as discussed in the previous article. Some of these skills include rimming glasses to straining to muddle. These will add some flair and flavor to the cocktail hour.
Be it the salted and/sugared rimmed glass, this technique adds some aesthetics looks, flavor and wholesome experience to a cocktail. The salt will also ensure that it gives an added benefit such as making bitter ingredient “taste better”. To rim a glass, you will run a wedge of a citrus fruit around the edge of a glass then dip it in a saucer which is filled with coarse salt, sugar or celery salt which goes very well with a bloody mary.
You can practice this with a classic margarita cocktail.
- Citrus Twists
This might look like a technique with no style or even substance butt as a bartender, I would advise not to just write it off. This provides an elegant addition and adds a note of citrus oil aroma to whatever drink that they come in contact with.
The most important point to remember is to ensure to put the twist on the cocktail glass or rub some of the peel on the rim of the glass to infuse most of the flavor. To make twists, you will need to use a channel knife or a y-peeler to remove the strips from the citrus peel.
You can practice this on the Negroni.
This technique is used when you might want to crush ingredients to extract their juices and flavor as well. This can be used on ingredients such as citrus wedges and other soft fruits. It can also be used on certain spices such as ginger.
It can also be used to get most of the flavor from aromatic herbs like mints and infuse them on cocktails crushing the leaves at the bottom of the shaker using a muddler.
You can practice this when making mojitos, mint julep or even the whiskey smash.
For a person who prefers to have their cocktails served chilled rather than on the rocks, then as a bartender, you need to learn how to strain to perfection. Straining will remove any ice or solid ingredients after shaking or even stirring the drink.
You can do this by either using the strainer in cobbler shaker or by using a Hawthorne or julep strainer that can be sued with a Boston shaker
You can practice this on a martini, Negroni, stinger among other types of cocktails.
As a bartender, you need to know that each customer has different taste. There is this type of customer that likes the look and taste of layered cocktails. The good thing about the float technique is that it is easy to master as long as you have the required set of equipment.
The technique requires that you slowly pour less dense drinks on top of denser ones over a bar spoon. This helps in blunting the impact and also mixing of the ingredients. Please also ensure that you follow the recipe’s order of procedure so that you make sure the heaviest drink is poured in first.
You practice this using the black and tan cocktail or even the mai tai.
- The Classic Pour
Most bartenders use either of the following discussed pours while working behind the counter. One involves the use of a jigger a common bartender’s measuring tool and the other is the ‘free pour’ where the bartender pours the drink directly into a glass or a shaker by measuring using their eyes or counting.
Free is the fasted way to make drinks because you can use both hands to pour from multiple bottles all at once. However, it is usually less accurate. Therefore, it is important to note that any inaccuracy can lead to the imbalanced cocktail flavor profile. Hence, depending on where you work, making drinks might require that you measure.
The use of jigger while making a drink might take longer than when doing a free pour but you can rest assured that your balancing is right and your drinks will taste right.
To acquire the right skill when it comes to the free pour, you will need to go through a rigorous free-poring training and also testing. As a bartender, you need to learn the two but start using the first one using the jigger and move gradually to the free pour if you feel you have a better eye for the measure and also if the bar lets you to.
- Frosting Glassware
This is less of a technique but rather a good practice as it doesn’t require a skill but you will need to know why you doing it and how to do it.
This is basically chilling your glassware to help keep your cocktails cool for longer and especially if the drink is served without ice such as the Martini or Manhattan.
You can chill the glassware by either storing them in a fridge or freezer. It will help keep the glass cool but there is usually not enough space to keep a whole bunch of glassware.
The second way is by filling the glass with ice and water before you start making the cocktail by the time you through the glass will have cooled. Just through the ice and water and your glass will have cooled.
As a bartender, what technique do you think we have left out? Comment on comment’s section and teach us some more