Tag Archives: Learn to Bartend

The Allure of The Classic Cocktail

If your drink isn't up to your standards, send it back!

 

When I first started working in a bar, my first job was in a place that had a Speakeasy theme (back in the late 80s.)  I was in my late teens and it seemed very new and exciting and glamorous to be surrounded by all these fancy cocktails with names like: “Golden Cadillac,” “Iron Butterfly” and  “Mexican Ferrari.”  Thankfully you never really hear about those cocktails anymore. There were, however, certain drinks that seemed to have an almost hallowed status: the Rusty Nail, Manhattan or Old Fashioned.  Almost thirty years on,  just like the thirty years before, these cocktails still hold their place on cocktail menus around the globe.  Honestly, I think it was being exposed to this world of “fine drinking” that gave me the hospitality bug; the handsome Bartenders loved making these drinks because they appreciated the opportunity to employ their skill at making a perfect cocktail. 

With the reemergence of  Cocktail Culture, there are still lots of people who look down on “mixology”.  However, when you have worked alongside bartenders who can barely open a bottle of beer as I have, you really grow to appreciate the bartender who has an informed repertoire, who can modify an ingredient, or ingredients , ultimately creating something  special and memorable .

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/05/25-essential-cocktails-everyone-should-know-cocktail-101-easy-mixed-drink-recipes-classic-cocktail-guide.html

Posted in Bartender News, Mixology, Proper Service, Whats Hot | Also tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Build! Shake! Stir!

 

 

 

What can I get you?

 

 

Whether you’re at a bar to meet friends or to meet new ones, the drinks that are being served are either Built, Shaken or Stirred….. but what’s the difference and why does it make a difference?

Lets break it down….

Built drinks are things like a Rum and Coke or a Vodka with Club Soda – Glass-Ice-Alcohol-Mix-Garnish and Straw, EASY!!!

Stirred drinks are things like a Negroni or a Manhattan – Mixing Glass-Spirit-Ice-Stir-Strain into appropriate glass

Shaken drinks are things like a Cosmopolitan or a Whiskey Sour – Shaking glass-Mix-Spirit-Ice-Shake-Strain into appropriate glass

Built drinks are the easiest of the three and 60% of drinks in a busy nightclub are made like this. What about the other 40% of drinks?

20% of drinks would be BEER!!! After that everything else is either shaken or stirred.

 

Bartenders all over the world have their own method of shaking and stirring with their own style and panache. With proper training you learn that although Ice is your friend in a lot of cocktails one doesn’t want to OVER dilute drinks with improper use of our frozen friend H2O. Whether stirring or shaking a cocktail ice should always be added to the mixing glass AFTER the ingredients have been added, this will minimize the dilution and result in a better cocktail. Stirring is a technique, usually reserved for ‘Spirit-forward’ cocktails (cocktails without any non-alcoholic ingredients) and is all about preparing a drink with ice to both chill and dilute the drink without bruising the spirit. Shaking is the most fun way of making a cocktail and has been taken to unbelievable levels of style by bartenders who want to impress their guests. A good shake can be the difference between a great drink and a happy guest or a bad one and a disappointed guest. Shaking not only chills a cocktail, dilutes it and mixes the ingredients together but it can also introduce air, texture or ‘mouth-feel’ to a libation. With the addition of egg whites to a cocktail like an Amaretto sour, when shaken can dramatically change the dynamic of the feeling that is experienced when sipping on it.

 

Question: Whats the best method to use?

Answer: It all depends on what drink you’re making.

 

So, grab your shaking tins and bar spoons and figure out how you are going to build, shake and stir with passion, style and your own little twist.

 

Posted in Mixology, Proper Service | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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 , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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 , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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.

Read More »

Posted in Flair Bartending, Mixology, Proper Service | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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 , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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.

Read More »

Posted in Flair Bartending | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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’ 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 – yes you read correctly, our graduates were bartending at the party for other guests, pretty neat idea!

Read More »

Posted in Featured Events | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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 , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Ryan’s B1 Adventures..

Just an average Thursday for our buddy Ryan here at BartenderOne. Join him on his rounds at a Diageo event and later on at our Mojito Madness workshop.

Diageo Vlog from Ryan Desjardins on Vimeo.

Posted in Featured Events, Proper Service | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed