Behind the Bar Basics
At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we provide alcohol server classes for servers and bartenders to get their Class 12 permit in Washington. We are also committed to providing as much knowledge as possible to our bartenders-to-be.
There's a lot more to becoming a bartender than just pouring drinks for paying customers. For anybody who's considering becoming a bartender there are a couple bartending basics that prepare any good bartender for the coming day: You must have the right tools and the right workspace.
Behind the Bar
Any bartender will tell you, organization is key. You don't want to be behind an unorganized bar, with a line of customers out the door who are waiting for drinks. This is frustrating for you as a bartender, and frustrating for your customers who won't understand why it takes so long to get a drink.
You need to make sure you have access to everything you need for your shift - everything needs to be readily available or easy to grab without having to leave the bar. Keep your bar tools close, and make sure your most popular liquors are within arms' reach. It also helps to check the menu at your establishment and make sure that you have the ingredients available for any drink specials you might be offering. It also helps to have popular garnishes ready to go - especially citrus. Cut these up before hand and have them ready to go so you're not cutting fruit when your bar is the busiest.
The Right Tools
You won't get very far as a certified bartender if you don't have the right tools. These tools include strainers, shakers, bottle or can openers (a "churchkey" works well for both), a corkscrew for wine, and a few rags to mop up should anything spill. Safety is key, so it's handy to have a mat behind the bar along with a mop and broom for any mishaps.
It's also important for certified alcohol servers to know a few different types of glasses for the drinks they'll be serving: Highball glasses are often taller than old fashioned glasses (or "rocks" glasses). Tumblers aren't the same size or shape as pint glasses. White and red wines have different size and shape openings.