Tag Archives: Bartender Training

Is using the Jigger the new trend for mixology in 2014?

David Rios rised to fame in 2013 after being crowned as DIAGEO World Class Bartender of The Year. His forecast is that in 2014 cocktails will become cleaner, simpler and with a focus on masterful execution where serious mixologists will return to the basics with a special focus on achieving precision by using the jigger for every pour.

If you took part of the BartenderOne Masterclass to become a bartender, you probably know that BartenderOne strongly advices perfecting the free pour instead of the use of jiggers to provide bartenders with a skill that sets the industry’s standards. For many years, the use of the jigger was associated with unexperienced or even worse ungenerous bartenders who would count every drop of alcohol driven by greedy bar owners trying to squeeze every cent out of the bottle. However, according to Rios, creating the perfect cocktail is more like baking than savory cooking requiring  mathematical precision to achieve the results desired and the jigger stands out as the perfect tool to make perfect cocktails allowing to manipulate the product in process without being forced to dump it out and start again

Among other trends, Rios mentions the return of classic cocktails like the Martini and a growing use of theatrical elements to the making of clients’ drinks, the appearance of bottled cocktails, flavored ice cubes and locally-produced spirits.

What’s your opinion on this subjet? What do you think are gonna be the trends in the cocktail and mixology world for 2014? Let us know your opinion, you might be the next guru the industry needs!!
ORIGINAL SOURCE:

“World’s best bartender says to expect cocktails to be simpler in 2014″ Daily News Online. Available at:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/cocktails-cleaner-simpler-2014-article-1.1561496#ixzz2peKcsjtd

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Winners of the Blazers Challenge 2.5

Blazers2.5Winners

 

Shanele, Monique, Lyndsey and Kassandra: You better remember their names because these ladies will be rocking the Torontonian bartending scene in a few months. These four girls were a real headache for the judges of the BartenderOne Blazers Challenge 2.5, their respective scores made it quite difficult to pick the two winners, so in order to be fair opted for selecting three winners and a runner-up.

Now, they will not only get an apprenticeship at College Street Bar to hone their skills learning from some of the best bartenders in Toronto but they will also receive a VIP invitation to take part in the Blazers Challenge Winter Finals in January

As you can see from this chart, many elements were taken into account: from pour accuracy to attitude with guests to cleanliness and awareness. Their efforts to promote their participation were crucial in selecting the finalists. Nowadays, with thousands of venues competing for clients, bartenders have to develop their best marketing and promotional skills to build up a loyal and reliable clientele. This makes the difference for a bartender in keeping his super-star status at the bar or start looking for a new job every couple months and these ladies are the living proof.

It is a trend now that women usually rank first in the Blazers Challenge and we are very happy about this. Don’t get us wrong. BartenderOne is all about gender equality when it comes to training bartenders but while it is true that women have a significantly bigger presence in the bartending industry it is also true that the higher the level of the competition the lower is the number of female bartenders participating. Toronto, Canada and the World need more female mixologists, female flair bartenders and even more female bar owners, and we are very proud we are contributing to this change.

Remember to show up at College Street Bar and try one of the delicious cocktails Lyndsey, Shanelle , Monique & Kassandra will be preparing in the following weeks, it’s an opportunity to taste a unique creation while supporting female bartending in Toronto.

Posted in Bartender News | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Dolphins to Bartenders… How did I get here?!?

After a career as a Director of Training for marine mammals and over 4,000 live shows under my belt, I now find myself as the Director of Training at Canada’s Premier Bartender Training School!  But now instead of a team of dolphins, sea lions, and seals, I work with a team of some of the most incredible instructors I’ve ever met! They spend their time helping others learn to bartend. I spend my time supporting them and the students who are in their classes. Who could have predicted that I would wind up doing this? Certainly not me! The bartender training we provide is the best anyone has to offer and I constantly find myself smiling just because I get to be part of this!

Melanie with Sandi and TeriMel, Bean and T.C.

In 1998, which seems like a lifetime ago, I had the pleasure of working with Gavin MacMillan for the first time.  We both worked at Canada’s Wonderland and we were both ball-busting managers in our respective areas. Little did we know that several years later, Gavin would create a bartending school in Toronto called BartenderOne.  After my career training animals, I went on to be an operations and general manager and then to fundraising and special events management. When the time came and there was an opportunity for me to join this incredible company as the Director of Corporate Events and Training… there was no thought in my mind other than YES!  I didn’t know exactly what I was in for but I knew it was gonna be nothing less than fabulous!

For me, working at BartenderOne is exhausting, in all the right ways.  There is so much going on behind the scenes at any given time and I don’t think anyone would know it if they weren’t told. From planning upcoming classes and workshops, to answering calls with questions and taking registrations, to marking and posting test results, to posting classes online and preparing for class… it never stops. Registrations come in 24 hours a day, the phones ring at all hours and the emails never stop. The instructors are in and out of the office, running errands and commuting between our various training locations. And beyond the time they spend as instructors providing bartender training, they also find time to do special events and to work shifts at their respective bars! At the end of my day I don’t get to work in a bar but instead I go home to my job as a mom and my little bartenders-in-training who are 3 & 6 years old. They practice their flair bartending in the bathtub and as soon as they’re old enough, they’ll be in class and getting ready for flair bartending competitions!

There is never a dull moment here since we also do workshops, private events, corporate events and teambuilding events on top of the bartender training that goes on.  We have instructors traveling around the country doing flair training right now. We have instructors shuttling back and forth from Ottawa to open our newest location there.  Never mind all of the events we are doing!  So even though it may seem like we are just doing this bartending school Toronto type stuff… there is so much more to BartenderOne! I love what I get to be a part of here and the amazing team of people I work with.  Over the next few weeks I am going to share some more of what goes on behind the scenes at BartenderOne including what it’s like to work with this crew of instructors and the entire B1 team.  Andrew, David, Ryan, Krissy, Jeremy, Jay, Jair … even the infamous Gavin! They truly are the best and I’m thrilled to be a part of this team!

Until next time…

Mel

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3..2..1…GOOOOO!

IMG_0810“Hey, you’re like Tom Cruise in that movie” 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 “Hey you’re like Michael Douglas in that movie” 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’t 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?

Posted in Flair Bartending | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 fiancé, 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 fiancé, 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!

Posted in iPour, Mixology, Proper Service, Raising the Bar | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

4000 Cocktailians walk into a bar…

4000 Cocktailians walk into a bar…
Sounds like a bit of a stretch, but really not that far from reality.  This summer thousands of bartenders including from countries all over the world converged on New Orleans, Louisiana for an annual pilgrimage called “Tales of the Cocktail” or just “Tales” for short.   “Tales” celebrates everything wonderful and liquid that goes into a glass for you and me to enjoy.  It identifies some of the newest industry trends, and gives attendees access to some of the world’s most creative minds when it comes to the bar.  Rather than traditional tradeshow format Tales is delivered through a series of Seminars, hosted and moderated by leading mixologists and to a lesser extent Global Brand Ambassadors (although they are often one in the same.)  This year 5 directors from BartenderOne joined the pilgrimage and the results were outstanding, not only did each of us learn a ton but we were inspired,  something that many bars are in dire need of!
So without further delay, here are the big trends for 2011-2012
Spirit forward cocktails, made for sipping and enjoying not slamming…
What the heck does “Spirit forward” mean you ask?  It means a resurgence of cocktails like the Manhattan, Gin Martini or the Negroni, that are based solely on spirits, liqueurs or aperitifs, without the addition of juices and sodas.  This means that you taste the quality of the spirit (assuming the spirit is of a quality worth enjoying) without creating a fruit punch style mixer to go along with your spirit that masks the taste of the spirit altogether.
Cocktail Glassware takes a back to basics approach
Like the stock market, the cocktail market ebbs and flows.  In the 90’s glassware got bigger, much bigger!  Operators bought oversized “Martini” glasses and filled them up with the above mentioned fruit punch to make the guest believe that they were getting more, when in fact they were only getting more… juice.  Glassware is getting smaller again, cocktail glasses (or martini glasses) have shrunk to their original proportions; 5oz instead of the staggering 12oz Martini Glasses that we were using (and many of us still are!)  This means it’s time to archive those fishbowls and start serving cocktails in appropriate sized glassware.
Bitters are the new sweet
The Europeans have long enjoyed the “bitter” flavour profile far more than we on the North American side of the pond.  That is changing.  From the iconic Angostura bitters, to newcomers to the Canadian Marketplace like Fee Brothers, Bittermans, and the Bitter Truth (All except Angostura are difficult to find but not impossible) We have long enjoyed commercial bitters, anyone who drinks Campari or has had a shot of Jagermeister has had bitters, but the bitters I’m talking about are added by the drop, and are often compared to seasoning food with Salt and Pepper.
Artisanal spirits made by hand in small(er) batches
There is no shortage of companies emerging making small batch spirits, by hand, in alembic stills (or copper pot stills) where the distiller is far more capable of adjusting or crafting the spirit so it finishes with a specific flavour profile, the distillers signature.   As the world trends away from mass produced food and drink, and toward concepts like the 100 mile diet, small batch distillers are often thought of as the anti-establishmentarian option.
Gin is the new Vodka
Last but certainly not least, the unified backlash towards vodka is stronger than ever.  As an operator you might think this is absurd, depending on who you talk to, vodka makes up between 20% and 35% of all spirits that cross your bar.  The dissatisfaction with Vodka comes from its perceived lack of character, often interpreted as a colourless and odourless spirit.  Truth be told I am not a big fan of vodka unless it is being used to lengthen another spirit, I’d much rather drink something full of character that tastes like something, than something that tastes like nothing.   With the resurgence in brown spirits, namely Whisk(e)y, Tequila, and Mescal, there are some wonderful flavours available to work with.  Don’t be afraid to experiment by picking up a bottle or two of something that’s not on your weekly order form, and see how your clients like it.
If each person who reads this article takes one of these trends and applies it in their bar, Canada will time travel light years ahead and be well positioned to be a leader in bar culture.  If you don’t believe me, sign yourself and maybe your head bartender for Tales of the Cocktail 2012, the investment will pay dividends in engagement and motivation… maybe we’ll meet up for a cocktail or two.  After all, it is New Orleans, home of Bourbon St and the infamous French Quarter… And with thousands of bartenders in town, you can bet that it’s not too difficult to find a party either.

Sounds like a bit of a stretch, but really not that far from reality.  This summer thousands of bartenders from countries all over the world converged on New Orleans, Louisiana for an annual pilgrimage called “Tales of the Cocktail” or just “Tales” for short.

The Worlds Largest Negroni

The Worlds Largest Negroni

“Tales” celebrates everything wonderful and liquid that goes into a glass for you and me to enjoy.  It identifies some of the newest industry trends, and gives attendees access to some of the world’s most creative minds when it comes to the bar.  Rather than traditional tradeshow format Tales is delivered through a series of Bartending Seminars, hosted and moderated by leading mixologists and to a lesser extent Global Brand Ambassadors (although they are often one in the same.)  This year 5 directors from BartenderOne joined the pilgrimage and the results were outstanding, not only did each of us learn a ton but we were inspired,  something that many bars are in dire need of!

So without further delay, here are the big trends for 2011-2012

Spirit forward cocktails, made for sipping and enjoying not slamming…

What the heck does “Spirit forward” mean you ask?  It means a resurgence of cocktails like the Manhattan, Gin Martini or the Negroni, that are based solely on spirits, liqueurs or aperitifs, without the addition of juices and sodas.  This means that you taste the quality of the spirit (assuming the spirit is of a quality worth enjoying) without creating a fruit punch style mixer to go along with your spirit that masks the taste of the spirit altogether.

Cocktail Glassware takes a back to basics approach

Like the stock market, the cocktail market ebbs and flows.  In the 90’s glassware got bigger, much bigger!  Operators bought oversized “Martini” glasses and filled them up with the above mentioned fruit punch to make the guest believe that they were getting more, when in fact they were only getting more… juice.  Glassware is getting smaller again, cocktail glasses (or martini glasses) have shrunk to their original proportions; 5oz instead of the staggering 12oz Martini Glasses that we were using (and many of us still are!)  This means it’s time to archive those fishbowls and start serving cocktails in appropriate sized glassware.

One ANCIENT bottle of Angostura Bitters!

One ANCIENT bottle of Angostura Bitters!

Bitters are the new sweet

The Europeans have long enjoyed the “bitter” flavour profile far more than we on the North American side of the pond.  That is changing.  From the iconic Angostura bitters, to newcomers to the Canadian Marketplace like Fee Brothers, Bittermans, and the Bitter Truth (All except Angostura are difficult to find but not impossible) We have long enjoyed commercial bitters, anyone who drinks Campari or has had a shot of Jagermeister has had bitters, but the bitters I’m talking about are added by the drop, and are often compared to seasoning food with Salt and Pepper.

Artisanal spirits made by hand in small(er) batches

There is no shortage of companies emerging making small batch spirits, by hand, in alembic stills (or copper pot stills) where the distiller is far more capable of adjusting or crafting the spirit so it finishes with a specific flavour profile, the distillers signature.   As the world trends away from mass produced food and drink, and toward concepts like the 100 mile diet, small batch distillers are often thought of as the anti-establishmentarian option.

One Spectacular Gin

One Spectacular Gin

Gin is the new Vodka

Last but certainly not least, the unified backlash towards vodka is stronger than ever.  As an operator you might think this is absurd, depending on who you talk to, vodka makes up between 20% and 35% of all spirits that cross your bar.  The dissatisfaction with Vodka comes from its perceived lack of character, often interpreted as a colourless and odourless spirit.  Truth be told I am not a big fan of vodka unless it is being used to lengthen another spirit, I’d much rather drink something full of character that tastes like something, than something that tastes like nothing.   With the resurgence in brown spirits, namely Whisk(e)y, Tequila, and Mescal, there are some wonderful flavours available to work with.  Don’t be afraid to experiment by picking up a bottle or two of something that’s not on your weekly order form, and see how your clients like it.

Team Canada at The Bartenders Breakfast

Team Canada at The Bartenders Breakfast

If each person who reads this article takes one of these trends and applies it in their bar, Canada will time travel light years ahead and be well positioned to be a leader in bar culture.  If you don’t believe me, sign yourself and maybe your head bartender for Tales of the Cocktail 2012, the investment will pay dividends in engagement and motivation… maybe we’ll meet up for a cocktail or two.  After all, it is New Orleans, home of Bourbon St and the infamous French Quarter… And with thousands of bartenders in town, you can bet that it’s not too difficult to find a party either.

Posted in Featured Events, Mixology, Proper Service, Raising the Bar | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 “The Professor” Jerry Thomas from San Francisco, who in the mid 1800’s 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?

Read More »

Posted in Flair Bartending | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Read More »

Posted in Featured Events | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Read More »

Posted in Featured Events | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SuperFlair 2011

The sixth annual SuperFlair flair bartending competition was held in Windsor Ontario, from May 22-24 2011. SuperFlair has been one of the biggest flair bartending competitions in Canada for many years, and this year was no exception. As part of the FBA Pro Tour, there was over $11,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. With such a large prize pool, SuperFlair always attracts the best flair bartenders from around the world. Past winners have included world champions such as Danilo Oribe from Uruguay, and Christian and Rodrigo Delpech from Argentina.

Read More »

Posted in Flair Bartending | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment