Tag Archives: Bartending

Australian Whisky: Rising Through The Ranks


Starward Distillery in Melbourne, Australia


As you may or may not already know, a growing number of countries around the world are entering the global whisky market and creating competition for the long-established brands we know and love. Australia happens to be one of the countries that’s quickly making it’s mark on the whisky scene, with more than 120 distilleries currently listed there.

Sullivan’s Cove is one of the oldest and most renowned Australian whisky distilleries, founded in 1994 with a focus on creating entirely Australian whisky from locally sourced Tasmanian barley and water. Since then Sullivan’s Cove has rapidly emerged into the industry, winning numerous awards over the years including an award for “World’s Best Single Malt” in 2014 at the World Whiskies Awards.

Many other Australian distilleries are hopeful about expanding into worldwide markets in the near future. Starward Distillery (pictured above) is another globally recognized Australian whisky brand with a strong focus on exports to Western markets. Other Australian whiskies to keep an eye out for in the future include Hellyers Road, Limeburners, and Nant.

Does this mean we’ll see Australian whisky break through into the Western market and compete with some of our all-time favourite brands?¬† Read more >>>

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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!!

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


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The new bartender’s best friend? An app to catch fake ID’s

Fake ID’s are a precious investment for many youngsters desperate to get their hands on a cold pint of beer and a big headache for the industry. Bar owners, bartenders and security team¬†learn¬†that failing to identify a fake ID may result in severe penalizations, fines and the potential loss of their license

This makes the constant challenge between bar staff and clients something close to a delicious game of chess where each opponent tries different moves to outsmart the other: every day, enthusiast college students show up at the bar flashing their newest $150 fake ID to permanently skeptical bartenders.

Well… bad news smart kids. A new jewel is here to help catch every underage drinker wannabe and send them back home until they are old enough to deserve that pint.

An American Company, Intellicheck Mobilisa created an app, BarZapp which scans a driver’s license’s barcode¬†and verifies encoded information¬†displaying the card owner’s name, date of birth, ID expiration and ID number. ¬†Identities are confirmed‚ÄĒor not, in the case of a fake ID. Photos of sample IDs from the appropriate state are able to be shown to aid further visual inspection, which is far quicker than reviewing a book of sample ID‚Äôs –

The best part? It costs only $1.99 on iTunes. Although the company announced that bar and restaurant owners will need to purchase annual or monthly licenses, this is still a pretty good deal for bartenders to cover their butts.

Not only this but the BarZapp keeps track of bargoers, so it can identify who has been given the lifetime boot from a particular establishment. Could you ask more?

Evidently, this app will trigger a response from the vast industry of falsification which surely will come with a way around BarZapp, but in this moment we can say… sorry kids, probably next year.

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A very unique dress code: Bartender threatens to cut off guest’s necktie

Dress codes are one of the most controversial subjects in the nightlife world. While for bar management, staff and security are a useful tool to keep a certain standard to their venue and prevent potential trouble – makers to get inside for many people is just another way that bars and clubs actively discriminate against their clientele.

This being said, it comes as a big surprise hat one Houston bar has what is apparently a reverse-dress code as this unsuspecting client found out when he was kicked out of the Valhalla bar for wearing a necktie

This ¬†poor guy “Irving” declared he liked ¬†to wear ties to work now, because men get only so many socially acceptable fashion accessories ¬†But apparently Valhalla, has a long-standing “tradition” against ties, so Irving was kicked out. Not just kicked out. Banned.

After getting this third beer,¬†a bartender told him she wouldn’t serve him until he took off his tie.¬†Irving thought that was stupid, so he refused to remove it. According to Irving, the first bartender called another bartender over to discuss. Irving’s friend tried to buy him a beer instead in an attempt to calm the situation. Then a third bartender joined the fray, armed with a pair of scissors, and threatened to cut Irving’s tie right off of his neck.

The craziest part of this story is that Irving is still keen on coming back to the Valhalla ¬†“I know this comes nowhere near the sort of racially-based dress code discrimination that happens at other Houston bars,” he said. “This was just bad hospitality.”

What’s your opinion about this? Is this kind of behavior towards clients justified as part of tradition?


Original Source:

Houston Press Blogs

“Bartender at Rice Institution Valhalla Threatens to Cut Off Alumnus’ Necktie


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The world’s top 5 bars in 2012

This question has been around as long as the noble art of drinking has existed: What is the best bar in the world?

Countless debates have surrounded this issue and it’s easy to understand why since there are so many elements involved in defining a bar as the best: service, menu, location, decor, history and of course the quality of the drinks served.

This situation inspired our friends from Drinks International, one of the most respected international magazines on the subject of spirits, wines and beer to find the very best bars in the globe. With an epic effort that involved a poll of 150 contributors, some of the most respected, influencial and knowledgable bar industry professionals in the planet this is as an accurate opinion on the top 5 bars in the world as you will find anywhere.

Here we will display the top 5 bars.



The Artesian is a worthy number on. . At Tales of the Cocktail this year it claimed World’s Best Hotel  Bar as well as the World’s Best International Bartender in Alex Kratena and it is universally accepted  that the bar is properly special.

The cocktail menu has attracted much ¬†of the credit, and with good reason. It effortlessly blends modern innovation ¬†with a classic reverence and each beautifully designed concoction justiÔ¨Āes its luxury price tag.



In this bar the cocktail den is carefully dressed with eye-catching taxidermy, exposed brickwork,                    tasteful dark wood ceilings and gleaming bar top.

Low lighting, appropriate music and a sincere smile from the bar staff all contribute to making both                décor and atmosphere here comfortable.



Fruits are carefully selected from reputable markets at the break of dawn and the subsequent design and crafting of these delicate glass accompaniments is something to behold.

A true appreciation of the past imbues all imbibing options here, with a menu divided into pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and post-war drinks.

They also take pride in the spirits, some of which are pre-Prohibition ‚Äď including an 1863 Hannisville Rye ‚Äď and share back bar space with all manner of homemade infusions and bitters.

The staff has experience in some of London’s best bars and as a result they provide the accomplished harmony of service and smile with a sexy stir or shake



The Connaught is among the best and rightly so ‚Äď it is a timeless Mayfair masterpiece and not so long ago enjoyed a spot of renovation that aimed to Ô¨āuff up its facade. It worked and the outcome was a hotel bar that blends contemporary and classic chic.

Once seated you can wait for the trolley to make things simple, or you can watch the bartenders head back to the bar with your order and perform. Their subtle motions of mixing won’t distract from conversation unless you need them to and the performance is like a silent movie.



Savoy is a bar dripping in reassuring British cocktail history.

From Harry Craddock right through to the current crop of cocktail creatives behind the stick, the American Bar has been hosted by and indeed host to some of the most colourful characters in drinking history and Ô¨Ā red out more than a few enduring classics along the way

The menu is beautifully presented and easy to digest with a happy balance of snippets and succinct detail that doesn’t overload you with technical gibberish. As one of London’s oldest cocktail haunts it should come as no surprise that the American Bar gets it right.



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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‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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…


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Are you hiring???


One of the most important decisions a Bartenderone student faces after graduation is what type of venue to apply to.¬† One of the first questions we ask all of our students at the beginning of the Masterclass is ‚Äúwhat type of venue do you want to work at?‚ÄĚ.¬† On average our students are in their mid 20‚Äôs and their instinctive answer is they want to work at a nightclub.¬† The¬†glaring appeal¬†of working at a nightclub is that it will be little hours, little work, and lots of tips!¬† In some cases this may be but it is unlikely that you will immediately fall ‚Äúass backwards‚ÄĚ into a lucrative club bartending job!¬† That being said, there are many profitable and sought after clubbartending positions in the industry, you just got to find them!¬† I have worked in clubs for over 5 years and very much enjoy my time working at them, but it is important to expand your mind and your options when choosing¬† a type of venue to work at.¬†


One of the most humbling and beneficial experiences I have had as a bartenderwas my time working at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel.¬† At the time I had been actively bartending for three years, and heading out to Alberta, was very confident¬†with my skill set behind the bar.¬† I quickly learned that my “nightclub only” experience had only prepared me for a small fraction of what the hospitality industry had to offer.¬† I was hired as a bartender at a lounge with a 500 person capacity, not intimidating at first glance, but very deceiving as I soon found out!¬† As the junior bartender on staff I was put on service bar to learn the ins and outs of the menu and the Fairmont style service.¬† The menu consisted of 35 cocktails and martinis unique to the hotel so it was like starting from scratch with regards to recipe knowledge.¬† That coupled with the fact that the lounge did not stagger reservations meant that at any given time I could have 500 people walk into the lounge at the same time‚Ķ‚Ķtranslation 500 drinks at once! And not just drinks, labour intensive cocktails and martinis!¬† Being thrust into this type of bartending setting forced me to really hone¬†the speed, recipe¬†execution, and techniques that I had been introduced to¬†during my time in the Bartenderone Masterclass and Finishing School.¬† Stepping out of my nightclub ‚Äúcomfort zone‚ÄĚ and into a challenging hotel venue setting allowed me to become a much more well rounded bartender.¬† As a result new doors in the industry were opened for me and I have never looked back.¬† I currently work as a bartender at a nightclub, instructor/mixologist with Bartenderone, bartender at the Air Canada Centre, and Performance Mixologist (flair bartender) with the Movers n Shakers special event team!¬† Expand your horizons, try a little bit of everything, and challenge yourself and then and only then will you truly evolve as a bartender!


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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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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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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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