There are a lot of things you can do to become a bartending pro - for example, you'll need to obtain your Washington alcohol server permit. But besides that, we have a few tips for the beginner to help you become a pro!
Keep your bar well stocked. You can't make a drink if you don't have all the ingredients, and it's very likely that you won't have much time to walk away from the bar to grab a back-stocked bottle.
Don't have an item/drink/liquor in stock? If you say you're out of something, it could sound like your bar manager is disorganized, or didn't properly order stock for your bar. If you say you're "sold out" of something, it must be a popular item.
Keep your bar tidy. Cleaning up the tools you've used to make a drink is part of making the drink, so get in the habit of rinsing out your shaker/strainer/blender when you're done using it so you don't have to do it prior to making the next drink.
When you've got a list of drinks to make, pick up that bottle only once! Line up your glasses on the bar, ice the ones that need to be cold, and pour all the vodka you'll need for this set of orders so that you don't have to keep going back to get that bottle. It's more efficient to make multiple drinks at a time in this method than pouring drinks one at a time.
Don't over-fill your glasses. Many certified bartenders know that you need to allow around a quarter-inch of room at the top of a glass to avoid spills and messes. If you leave a little bit of room at the top of the glass, your guests won't have to sip off the top to be able to take their drink from the bar to their table.
Keep your head up, your eyes open, your ears open and be alert as much as possible. You'll need to be aware of everything that happens around you. Watch out for drinks that may need refills, suspicious activity, or guests who need their ID checked.
Use both hands. The best bartenders have learned to be somewhat ambidextrous.
Many bartenders can walk behind any bar and be a great bartender regardless of the venue. Often, it's just a matter of learning the way the register works, and where everything is. Learning these tips and tricks are a way to become a better bartender.
Alcohol servers learn tips like these and more at our online alcohol classes. If you need your Class 12 permit in Washington, take one of our Washington alcohol certification classes. Visit AACEA.com for more information.