Author Archives: BartenderOne

3..2..1…GOOOOO!

IMG_0810‚ÄúHey, you’re like Tom Cruise in that movie‚ÄĚ a line often heard by flair bartenders around the world time and time again!¬† To answer the question, no I am not like Tom Cruise in that movie Cocktail because, like everything else in life, things tend to change and evolve over a quarter century!!¬† You wont find me on Wall Street stopping bankers and saying ‚ÄúHey you’re like Michael Douglas in that movie‚ÄĚ because it would be unfair and ignorant for me to generalize someones profession like that!¬† I will recognize though that flair bartending exists in very small circles and the evolution of flair is quite foreign to anyone who isn‚Äôt active in that small community.

  A year ago I entered and competed in my first ever flair competition as a representative of Bartenderone.  The competition put on by the Toronto Flair League was truly the most exciting and terrifying experience I have had in my bartending career!  After blacking out and somehow managing to struggle my way through my 3 minute routine I made way to the bar for some celebratory shots!  As the dust settled over the next few days I was able to see a video of myself and really assess what level I was at and where I went right and wrong!  It was then that I truly started to understand the high level of preparation that was required to be a successful flair bartender in a competition setting. 

Montreal 2011

My roommate, fellow Bartenderone instructor and flair practice partner Jay Patience and I decided to adopt a new approach to training for competitions.¬† Drawing from our experiences working with former top ranked Canadian flair bartender Gavin MacMillan, Jay and I put into action a plan to become premier competing flair bartenders!¬†¬† The first step was to develop a routine with the perfect balance of technical and innovative moves, smoothness and showmanship!¬† Once the foundation of our routine was in place, we started executing the routines every day for an hour each.¬† Once we had built up our stamina and strength we extended it to 3 hours a day each.¬† The results were immediate and very rewarding!¬† One of the things that helped us immensely was taping our practice routines.¬† Being able to watch the videos and see ourselves during practice allowed us to adjust our routines but more importantly become aware of exactly what we looked like while performing.¬† Once aware of that we were really able to take the showmanship aspect to a new level! The other thing that helped us progress so fast was the use of glass bottles with liquid in them.¬† Its one thing to practice with empty flair practice bottles but it wasn’t until we incorporated the real thing that we truly started to see the results we desired.¬† Consistent practice of a well-balanced routine coupled with the usage of real full bottles thrust Jay and I into the category of up and coming flair bartenders in Toronto.¬† Just like everything in life, consistent practice and a clear goal/vision will more often than not help you succeed.¬† Tom Cruise who?

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GRADUATE DEBT FREE!!!

Bartenderone @ Brock University

Recently Bartenderone launched its University Tour initiative up at Brock University’s 2011 Vendor Fair.  About 5 years ago we tested the water at Guelph University with a two day condensed version of the Bartenderone Masterclass and it was a great success.  Since then the Bartenderone Masterclass has quickly evolved into the most sought after bartending certificate in Canada.  What makes Bartenderone different?  What makes them better than the competition? 

IMG_0846

 

¬† Unlike other bartending schools, Bartenderone‚Äôs focus is not on trying spirits and drinks and leaving class ‚Äúhalf in the bag‚ÄĚ and unable to retain any information that you learned.¬†¬†The focus is on understanding spirit profiles and executing cocktails with the concepts of synergy, accuracy, and speed being the main emphasis.¬†Sprinkle in some valuable wine knowledge and high impact, low risk flair techniques and our graduates are better prepared than any others entering into the hospitality industry.

 

Being a University graduate myself I can understand and relate to the day to day financial struggles of a student with a full course load.¬† Entering my second year at Guelph University my steady diet of Chunky soup and Mr. Noodles became very tiresome and I was becoming very weary of my increasing student debt.¬† Like most other students my only solution was to find a part time job to assist me with my problem.¬†While home for¬†Christmas break I attended bartending school in Toronto at Bartenderone and became one of the first graduates of the program.¬† This certification allowed me to go back to Guelph and immediately find a job barbacking.¬† Although I wasn‚Äôt making ‚Äúrockstar‚ÄĚ bartender money at first, barbacking was a great stepping stone for me and put a steady flow of money in my pocket to help me survive.¬† By third year, after a lot of hardwork and patience, I was bartending 3 nights a week and paying my rent in one week worth of tips!¬† All of a sudden I had a large amount of disposable income at my fingertips and the prospect of eliminating my student debt while still a student became a very real possibility!¬† Being very conscious of the poor spending habits of my past I put in place a very simple plan to save money that I learned while attending bartending school.¬† The result was one year of barbacking, two years of high volume bartending experience, and zero student debt when I graduated!¬† There are many part-time jobs available to post secondary students but none of them compare to the potential money you can make once you work in a tip friendly environment!¬† Bartending proved so lucrative for me that I became a full-time instructor and mixologist with Bartenderone.¬† Work smarter not harder!

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Misconceptions about locations and libations…

Misconceptions…
As a bartender, I frequently deal with guests who have misconceptions about the cocktails I make.  People tend to drink beverages with little or no flavour other than the lime that is squeezed into their lowball.  It is a little beyond me why someone might want to drink something that tastes like nothing, but my own pre-conceptions aside, everyone is entitled to drink what they want.  Far be it for me to tell you what you like!  Give me a chance and I will certainly show you my version of a well balanced creative cocktail, and if you dont like it, I will buy it for you and you can go back to your vodka soda.
I have recently purchased a house with my fianc√©, in one of my most unfavoured places, Oshawa, Ontario. ¬†Commonly known as ¬†”the SHWA”, “the SHWIGGEDY”, I had my own misconceptions that had always had a sour taste in my mouth about this place, that was until I recently met my new neighbor Missy. She welcomed us to the neighborhood with a bottle of gin from her late husband. “I can’t stand the stuff”, she said with a scrunched up face. ¬†That was my cue to show her what a wonderful backbone a good Gin could be in a cocktail that was lovingly mixed. ¬†I had never tried this particular bottle, but I played with it a little and when I was happy with a new gin cocktail that worked with this particular spirit, I decided to invite Missy over for a to taste it. I proceeded to mix her up a cocktail that was adapted from a bartender I met years earlier, but worked particularly well with this spirit.
No.209 gin, Pimms No. 1, Rubicon guava juice, cloudy apple juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup & some bruised mint. Finished off with some caramelized Angostura Bitter figs. Needless to say, she had never tasted anything like it and I think I am her new best friend! Just as I had a misconception of the place I now call home & she had a similar misconception of gin. I was reminded of the dangers of passing ¬†judgement on something, because sometimes all it takes is the right individual to show you how it really is. ¬†They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. As it turns out, I love to teach people about mixology and bartending and while there is a quiet cocktail culture out here in Durham, I think I shall be the pioneer & unleash some phenomenal cocktails on the taste buds of the SHWIGGEDEZE!. The cocktail was called Gone Native, think I’ll change it to what I am now proud to be….Oshawa Native. From out east, may your vessel never be empty, keep mixing :)
Jeremy!

As a bartender, I frequently deal with guests who have misconceptions about the cocktails I make.  People tend to drink beverages with little or no flavour other than the lime that is squeezed into their lowball.  It is a little beyond me why someone might want to drink something that tastes like nothing, but my own pre-conceptions aside, everyone is entitled to drink what they want.  Far be it for me to tell you what you like!  Give me a chance and I will certainly show you my version of a well balanced creative cocktail, and if you dont like it, I will buy it for you and you can go back to your vodka soda.

oshawa

I have recently purchased a house with my fianc√©, in one of my most unfavoured places, Oshawa, Ontario. ¬†Commonly known as ¬†”the SHWA”, “the SHWIGGEDY”, I had my own misconceptions that had always had a sour taste in my mouth about this place, that was until I recently met my new neighbor Missy. She welcomed us to the neighborhood with a bottle of gin from her late husband. “I can’t stand the stuff”, she said with a scrunched up face. ¬†That was my cue to show her what a wonderful backbone a good Gin could be in a cocktail that was lovingly mixed. ¬†I had never tried this particular bottle, but I played with it a little and when I was happy with a new gin cocktail that worked with this particular spirit, I decided to invite Missy over for a to taste it. I proceeded to mix her up a cocktail that was adapted from a bartender I met years earlier, but worked particularly well with this Gin.

No.209 gin, Pimms No. 1, Rubicon guava juice, cloudy apple juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup & some bruised mint. Finished off with some caramelized Angostura Bitter figs. Needless to say, she had never tasted anything like it and I think I am her new best friend! Just as I had a misconception of the place I now call home & she had a similar misconception of gin. I was reminded of the dangers of passing ¬†judgement on something before you have really given it a chance, because sometimes all it takes is the right individual to show you how it really is, or how great it can be! ¬†They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. As it turns out, I love to teach people about mixology and bartending and while there is a quiet cocktail culture out here in Durham, I think I shall be the pioneer & unleash some phenomenal cocktails on the taste buds of the SHWIGGEDEZE!. The cocktail was called Gone Native, think I’ll change it to what I am now proud to be….Oshawa Native. From out east, may your vessel never be empty, keep mixing :)

Jeremy!

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Nightclubs: A different demon…

I have had the pleasure of working in all walks of the service industry, from roadhouses to fine dining establishments as a bartender, but never in the fast-paced environment of a nightclub until recently…

Jay Patience

My nightclub cherry has been popped in Toronto as a flair bartender¬†and it has been a great experience.¬† Going from having no customers one minute to being¬†completely slammed the next; with no time to breathe or think; and then… bartender instinct suddenly kicks in.

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The F word

In the world of bartending, nothing is more exciting than flair bartending. Yet in the same breath, nothing has more of a negative image attached to it as well.

The first record of flair bartending is accredited to ‚ÄúThe Professor‚ÄĚ Jerry Thomas from San Francisco, who in the mid 1800‚Äôs included some flair in his Blue Blazer cocktail by rolling flaming Scotch from one mug to another.Jerry-Thomas-

The late 1980’s saw a big boost in the number of flair bartenders after Tom Cruise’s character Brian Flanagan wowed his guests from behind the bar in the movie Cocktail.

So with all the excitement, why all the negativity?

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BartenderOne in the Community

Time Speeding By

As the wheels of time go by, my role with BartenderOne presents me with amazing opportunities at every turn, this is one very special example…

Seven months ago I was enjoying a casual pint at the Loose Moose after an exciting flair event for BartenderOne, when my good friend and resident bartender Jenna Inglis approached me and asked if I was interested in being a part of her charity event. I immediately responded with a YES before even knowing any of the details, head first, right into the deep end! One pint naturally led to another and another. The next morning amidst a giant headache I was reminded of what I had commited to the night before. After hearing all the details I was very excited and happy to be part of such an amazing experience, and wanted to work further with Jenna to make the charity event one to remember.

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Ladies Who Lunch with the Ladies of LUPEC

BartenderOne Boys New Orleans

As I sit here in the prestigious Lowes Hotel in New Orleans waiting for the Ladies of LUPEC lunch, I patiently wait to see if I am one of the only males in this seminar. I wouldn’t mind because I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful and inspirational ladies ever! As I sip the New Orleans classic, the Sazerac, I find myself wondering if this seminar will change the views I have regarding women behind the bar. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a girl that can make a great cocktail but, in my home town of Toronto, Canada, we are used to the stereotypical gorgeous girl who is well-endowed but can only come up with a rum and Coke when asked for a cocktail.

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Dave’s Tales of the Cocktail

World Biggest Negroni

In July of 2011, the boys from BartenderOne were treated to a team retreat in New Orleans for the annual Tales of the Cocktail extravaganza! The trip began at 3am on Thursday morning as the team gathered for the 6 am flight. Total hours of sleep: 2.

Once we arrived, we were met by a black stretch limo to take us to the Intercontinental hotel, which was only a five-minute stumble to Bourbon St. Each one of the guys selected different seminars to attend. My first was at 1pm. 3 hours after getting settled. As I sat in on the women behind bars seminar, I noticed that I was one of only four guys in the entire room. Great choice!

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Born to Mix!

Born to Mix Spirits Made for Mixing

I’ll confess. Tales of the Cocktail 2011 took its toll on me. While in New Orleans I missed my seminar on “Vinegar: The Other Acid” due to a self-induced illness from the previous evening. But when my seminar on “A History of Cocktail Glassware” was cancelled due to Angus Winchester’s legitimate illness, I was only disappointed until I heard the next piece of news. The ticket had become an all-powerful talisman that allowed me admission into ANY other seminar, including those previously sold out.

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A Party to End All Parties…

Out the Door BartenderOne Grad Party

Everyone always expects bartenders to throw one hell of a party and being the top bartending school in Canada we knew we had a world of pressure on our shoulders‚Äô with the concept of hosting a graduate party in the summer of 2011. We wanted to bring all our past graduates together to mix and give them a chance to bartend for other graduates ‚Äď yes you read correctly, our graduates were bartending at the party for other guests, pretty neat idea!

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