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A Drink a Day May be Good For You

Recently Boston University Medical Center produced a study suggesting that alcohol use reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, even at consumption levels considered "hazardous". Hazardous levels were defined as more than 14 drinks a week for men, seven a week for women. A drink is considered to be 1-1/2 ounces of whiskey or other hard liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer, wine cooler and similar beverages. Says the Times, "The researchers noted that if the risk of coronary disease does not increase despite heavier drinking, it may be that higher heart risks reported in some studies are actually the result of other kinds of heart problems, such as heart rhythm or structural defects, rather than clogged arteries." In the study, researchers found that the rate of heart disease among moderate and hazardous drinkers was about the same as those who remained abstinent; even when factoring in differences in lifestyle. Unfortunately, the study could not take into account differences in exercise or diet. The article notes, however, "Alcohol may help the arteries long-term, but a report published last summer by Harvard scientists found that the risk of stroke appears to double in the hour after consuming just one drink of any type of alcohol." "At this point, we don't have enough evidence to say that people who don't drink should start, or that people who drink in small amounts, on the order of one drink a day, should stop," said Dr. Murray Mittleman, senior author of the study and director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard School of Medicine. Though a drink may increase circulation, too much is never a good thing. AACEA promotes responsible alcohol service and sales and offers online alcohol server training in Washington. For more information about your alcohol permit visitwww.aaccea.com

AACEA Launches the First Washington State Approved Online Courseware for Alcohol Server Training.

Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association (AACEA) is the first online alcohol server training provider to be approved by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The founder of AACEA, Len Riggs is the founder of Len Riggs Alcohol Server Training (LRAST) and has operated in Washington State since 2001. This online alcohol training and certification program has also been approved by the OLCC’s Alcohol Server Education Program. “When I first became certified by the WSLCB I can remember reading the approval letter and thinking “Now what?” I started out with a shoe string budget, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I had one goal in mind and that was to become the number one provider in Washington. When I mentioned that goal I was met with a lot of skepticism.” said Len Riggs, founder of AACEA. “As I began my quest I found myself digging deeper into the culture of alcohol service and could see where I could make a difference by teaching those in my class with more than just enough information to pass the test and get their permit.” Riggs continued. Riggs submerged himself into the LCB Rule book and asked a lot of questions. He believed that if he was going to teach it, he should know what he was talking about. Then came the stories of the impact of DUI and the lives that drunk driving has shattered and continues to shatter. “When I teach a class or when I train a trainer for AACEA / LRAST, I do my best to get the fact across that they (the student) can make a difference and save lives. Many times I have been contacted by past students who either went through a class that I taught, or through one of our trainers to thank us for teaching us what we taught.” said Riggs. The AACEA Program was written with the same dedication. Wisdom from many years of working in the Hospitality Industry, humor and a basic understanding of the LCB Rules, make the AACEA Program what it is. A few years ago LRAST became the number one Provider in Washington State and issued twice as many alcohol server permits as the next closest Provider. It is with the same dedication that LRAST was built on, “Customer Service and Comprehensive Education” that AACEA will move forward with. To register online for an alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Alcohol Content in Wine

We found a great piece in the Seattle Times Wine Adviserwine alcohol levelabout alcohol levels in wines. Alcohol levels must be printed on wine labels according to Federal regulations. The Washington Wine Report notes that wines fourteen percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and under are allowed a 1.5% margin of error – provided the alcohol content does not exceed 14%. Wines over 14% are allowed a margin of error of 1%. In other words, a wine listed at 15% alcohol may be as high as 16% without running afoul of the feds. For this reason alone, there is a good chance that the percentage listed on the label is not entirely accurate. In this case, the printed numbers err significantly and still fall within the letter of the law. Wine Adviser, Paul Gregutt writes,
"So, what's too high? And what's wrong with high-alcohol wines anyway? "When a wine finishes with a burning sensation — that's too high. When the alcohol level is such that it must be masked by winemaking tricks such as massive amounts of new oak, or unwanted residual sugar — that's too high. When a wine loses all traces of varietal character or the more subtle elements that contribute to its aroma, complexity, texture and balance — that's too high. "Worst of all, when a wine reaches such ridiculous levels of alcohol that one glass makes you punch drunk — dry zinfandels pinning the meter at over 17 percent — that's waaay too high. "...When unfortified wines climb above 15.5 percent, they almost always lose subtlety and finesse. Nuances are gone, replaced by the dynamic trio of alcohol, fruit jam and lumber. Apart from the bludgeoning such wines give the palate, they are almost impossible to match with food."
In general, we've found the following to be a helpful guide: Table wine: 8 – 14% Sparkling wine: 8 – 12% Fortified wine: 17 – 22% Part of Responsible Alcohol Service is knowing how much punch a drink packs. It's important to pay attention to alcohol levels in various wines and liquors to avoid over-serving. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Alcohol Sales to Minors in Washington State

Restaurants may not sell or serve alcohol to those under 21 years of age. While not required by law, checking identification is key to preventing sales to minors. Restaurants should have a policy that dictates when an ID should be checked and what forms of acceptable ID are permitted at the business. Acceptable forms of ID * A drivers license, ID card, or instruction permit issued by any U.S. state or Canadian province * A Washington temporary drivers license (paper license) * A U.S. Military ID * An official passport * A merchant marine ID * A Washington State tribal enrollment card A valid ID must show: * Date of birth * Signature (except U.S. Military IDs) * Photo * Note: If an ID has an expiration date, the ID must not be expired How to check ID: * Ask for identification. * Have the customer hand you the ID. Do not accept or handle a customer's wallet. * Check the expiration date. Do not accept expired ID. * Check the date of birth. For vertical Washington IDs, check the information to the left of the photo to make sure the customer has turned 21. * Verify the photo matches the customer. * Verify the IDs unique features (for example, on a Washington ID, a black state seal overlaps the photo). AACEA provides alcohol training in Washington. It is important to know how to properly check ID to protect yourself when serving alcohol. To take your alcohol server training class and get your alcohol permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Applebee’s to Retrain Alcohol Server Staff after Serving Child Alcohol

Mandatory alcohol server training and paying close attention when handling alcohol and other beverages stored at the bar can prevent the type of incident we saw in the news this week. Applebee’s Grill & Bar said Monday it would change how drinks are served after a toddler was mistakenly given alcohol instead of juice at one of its restaurants last week. The 15-month-old child was served a trace amount of alcohol Friday at an Applebee’s in Madison Heights, Mich. Police ruled it an accident, saying the child’s cup was filled from a mislabeled bottle at the bar. Archer said Applebee’s was conducting an investigation into the incident. In the meantime, he said the chain would make immediate changes to its procedures for serving apple juice and other non-alcoholic drinks. “We will switch to pouring apple juice only from single-serve containers served at the table. We have already started communicating this new policy within our system and it will be in-place this week,” Archer said. “[Secondly,] we will retrain all servers on our beverage pouring policy, emphasizing that non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages must be stored in completely separate and identified containers.” The incident at the Detroit-area Applebee’s is not the first time a minor was mistakenly served alcohol at one of the chain’s units. In 2006, a New York City Applebee’s accidentally served a 5-year-old a Long Island iced tea cocktail instead of apple juice. And in June 2007, the Associated Press reported that an Applebee’s unit in Antioch, Calif., accidently served a margarita to a 2-year-old instead of apple juice. Read more. In order to serve alcohol in the State of Washington you must have an alcohol server permit. Online alcohol server training is available at http://www.aacea.com.

Be a Better Bartender!

Whether you bartend part-time or full-time, it is one of the most lucrative jobs in the hospitality industry. Even when the economy is not in great shape, many people will still go out drinking. As a bartender, you can make decent cash on the spot from tips, but the better bartender you are, the more cash you will make! To be a great bartender, you need to have a great personality. Smile, have a sense of humor, be outgoing, and enjoy your job. These are the things that really make a great bartender. As a bartender, you have a responsibility to not over-serve your guests. Not only does it put your job and the community at risk, but a drunken guest does not equal better tips! BE ATTENTIVE. It is important that you are attentive. Be aware of when your guest is getting low on their drink. Don’t wait until they are finishing the last drop to ask if they want another. The key here is still not to over-serve! BE KNOWLEDGEABLE. It is important that you know how to make a good drink. Be aware of ingredients in a drink in case you have to substitute. Know all of your basic drinks and know your wines! Food pairing is important in any establishment and it is important to know which wine to offer with each item on the menu. BE ABLE TO MULTI-TASK. Remember that you are in customer service. Multi-tasking is key. Being able to take someone's drink order while giving change to someone else is efficient and saves you time. KNOW YOUR REGULARS. At the minimum, know people's first name. If a customer comes in and sits at the bar on a regular basis, you should learn his name, his drink, his job, and his spouse's name. Be attentive to his needs and take the time to talk to him or her. KNOW THE LAW! You play an important role in keeping your guests safe by selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring liquor laws are followed. It is crucial to check IDs carefully, watch for signs of intoxication and create an environment that discourages disorderly behavior. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Become a Better Bartender: Know Your Customers

One of the best ways to become a successful bartender is to know your customers. Knowing your customers means using the customers names to build rapport, reading your customers, and anticipating their needs. Learn to remember names - if not long term, at least for the night. Pay close attention your customer when he walks in - and strike up conversation. The better you are at learning about and remembering your customers, the better you’ll be able to serve them. bartenderWhen it comes to using and remembering your customers names, you might cringe; however, nothing captures your customer’s attention and confidence faster than hearing his own name. You don't need a stellar memory - just find a way that works for you and stick to it. You might try name association; for example, Stella likes Stella Artois, Jerry likes Jack and Cokes. You could also try repetition; such as, "Hi, Dave!" and later, "Is your drink okay, Dave?" "Dave, can I get you anything else?" It sounds sort of silly, but it definitely works. There's no way to remember every customer's name, but try either of these tricks and you'll be amazed when - a month later - you remember the name of that familiar face at the bar! Learning a customer's name is a great way to get them talking, and talking with your customers clues you in to a few things. Are they chatty or reserved? A quick chat will put your customer at ease. Are they grumpy or do they seem happy? Alcohol seems to exaggerate moods, so you might be more cautious about how much you serve a sullen customer. Are they easy to talk to? You'll be better able to assess when enough is enough - for example, are they slurring? Has their reaction time dropped drastically? Pay attention to these clues and you'll know when to pour and when to say, "No more." Paying attention to these clues will also help you remember to check back in with your customers and anticipate their needs. You want bright, smiling faces around your bar and striking up conversation is a good way to engage your customers. AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com. If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

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. For more information on bartending school in Washington or to get your Mandatory Alcohol Server Training certification from home, visit www.aacea.com!

Cocktail Culture is Killing Bartending

An article on SeriousEats.com asks if cocktail culture is killing the art of bartending. The writer, Michael Neff, says that the nostalgia for vintage cocktails has birthed a "cocktail culture" where drinks like the Manhattan are king - despite whether or not anyone actually likes them. This nostalgia is alienating the only people who can tell us whether or not these drinks are any good. Those people are the consumers. Neff states:
"Much of the current cocktail trend is based on nostalgia, and it is difficult to say it, but many cocktails that we now call "forgotten classics" are forgotten for a reason. They have the shine of history, and we're told we are supposed to love them, but they're too sweet, they lack balance, and they kind of suck. The Jerry Thomas Manhattan (2-1 Whiskey to Vermouth, Angostura Bitters, with a dash of Cointreau) tastes like syrup. It certainly doesn't taste like whiskey. But it's the earliest written recipe of the Manhattan, and people are told that it's how a Manhattan is supposed to be made. Choke it down if you can, but don't dare say you don't like it. Who the hell are you, anyway? This is a big problem for all of us. The consumer feels judged (because they are), and walks away feeling smaller than they walked in."
That judgement, Neff notes, happens when bars push vintage cocktails on their menus. These heavy-hitting drinks taste much stiffer, are much stronger, and sometimes lack the balance of many modern cocktails. Bartenders who work primarily in cocktail bars serving these nostalgic drinks may forget that today's consumer has a different palate than the consumers of yesteryear. He goes on to say,
"The upside to this upswing in mixology is that we have the privilege to stand on the shoulders of giants and have taken the cocktail to a realm more respected than it has ever been before. We have more ingredients, better spirits, and the combined culinary history of the last hundred years to guide us in our current experiments. It's exciting, and I'm honored to be a part of it. The obsession with recreating cocktails in their original form stifles the creativity of people who want to push drinks to taste better."
What do you think, readers? Do you prefer the newer, more complex drinks? Or will you stand by the old standards? AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Common Liquor Law Violations in 2010

Restaurants play an important role in keeping their customers safe by selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring liquor laws are followed. It is just as crucial to check IDs carefully, watch for signs of intoxication and create an environment that discourages disorderly behavior as it is to provide excellent food and an inviting ambiance. Top 3 Violations in 2010 1. Sales to minors 2. Sales to apparently intoxicated persons 3. Employees drinking on duty Top 3 Complaints in 2010 1. Sales to apparently intoxicated persons 2. Sales to minors 3. Disorderly conduct "Restaurants can avoid common liquor law violations through training, clear business policies and diligence," said Chief Pat Parmer of the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Enforcement and Education Division. "For managers and owners, it is especially important to regularly review your expectations with your staff to avoid complacency or confusion." The WSLCB may find violations during compliance checks, premises checks, undercover operations, and complaint investigations. Complaints can come from the public, law enforcement and employees, and officers follow up with interviews and visits. "Public safety violations - such as sales to minors and apparently intoxicated persons, and disorderly conduct - are considered the most serious," said Chief Parmer. "From the first drink order to the final check, employees should be aware of the situation and ready to take action to prevent harm to their customers." Administrative violation notices can result in fines or liquor license suspensions for the restaurant. Employees involved in the violation could face criminal citations, fines and even jail time. Mandatory Alcohol Server Training permits - which allow employees to serve alcohol - could be suspended or revoked. The WSLCB also gives verbal and written warnings, which do not result in fines or suspensions. AACEA and Len Riggs provides server training and alcohol training in Washington. To get your alcohol server permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com to take the alcohol permit class from the comfort of your home!

Drunk Facebooking: A Serious Issue

Part of being a responsible alcohol server is to make sure you're not over-serving, or serving alcohol to minors. This includes checking ID, and verifying acceptable ID, and knowing when to say no to over-intoxicated customers. One recent study shows that underage drinking or problem drinking - which are both very serious problems - can also possibly be curbed through Facebook. A recent study found that college-age students who frequently posted photos or status updates about being drunk were more likely to experience alcohol related problems - showing that they either drank too much or drank in unhealthy situations. Amid concerns of privacy violations, schools and universities have discussed this finding - especially since the research could help schools identify students who may need counseling through alcohol-related situations. A Reuters Article on the subject says:
Dr. Megan Moreno from the University of Wisconsin-Madison led a team of researchers from her university and the University of Washington in Seattle who surveyed the Facebook pages, including photos and posts, of 224 undergrads with publicly-available profiles. About two-thirds of those students had no references to alcohol or drinking on their pages. The rest of the pages mentioned or had pictures of social, non-problematic drinking or more serious and risky alcohol use, including riding in a car while drunk or getting in trouble related to drinking. The researchers brought all the students in for a 10-question screening test used to determine who is at risk for problem drinking. That test assesses the frequency of drinking and binge drinking as well as negative consequences from alcohol use. Close to six in ten of the students whose Facebook pages had references to drunkenness and other dangerous drinking scored above the cutoff showing a risk for alcohol abuse and dependence, as well as other drinking-related problems. That compared to 38 percent of students who had more minor references to alcohol and 23 percent of those who didn't mention alcohol or drinking at all, according to findings published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. In addition, close to one in five Facebook-implicated risky drinkers said they had an alcohol-related injury in the previous year.
Moreno and her colleagues theorized that this kind of Facebook "evidence" could be used as a red-flag, where school residential assistants and counselors could either talk with the student or the student's parents. However, as Dr. James Niels Rosenquist, a social media researcher and psychiatrist from Massachusetts General Hospital stated, this kind of information only shows a very small snapshot into a person's life - and it may not be enough evidence to show who may need to be screened for alcohol related issues. One way to help curb underage drinking is to require any person serving alcohol to go through alcohol server training. If you need your mandatory alcohol server training, or server permit, visit www.aacea.com. We offer a full range of classes to help you learn how to become a better bartender and how to be a responsible server.

Help Draw the Line Between Youth and Underage Drinking

In support of the Let’s Draw the Line campaign, hundreds of students came together to take a stance against underage drinking. These individuals made their own unique mark by painting blue lines down white cards and then physically “drew the line” as a united front at this year’s Prevention Summit. This event was designed to help reduce the problem of underage drinking in the State of Washington and encourage youth and young adults to get involved in their communities. During your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. Providing alcohol to minors is a gross misdemeanor, with a potential penalty of $5,000 and a year in jail. Read RCW 66.44.270. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work. Minors frequenting off-limits area — Misrepresentation of age — Penalty — Classification of licensees. (1) Except as otherwise provided by RCW 66.44.316, 66.44.350, and 66.24.590, it shall be a misdemeanor: (a) To serve or allow to remain in any area classified by the board as off-limits to any person under the age of twenty-one years; (b) For any person under the age of twenty-one years to enter or remain in any area classified as off-limits to such a person, but persons under twenty-one years of age may pass through a restricted area in a facility holding a spirits, beer, and wine private club license; (c) For any person under the age of twenty-one years to represent his or her age as being twenty-one or more years for the purpose of purchasing liquor or securing admission to, or remaining in any area classified by the board as off-limits to such a person. (2) The Washington state liquor control board shall have the power and it shall be its duty to classify licensed premises or portions of licensed premises as off-limits to persons under the age of twenty-one years of age. AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Help Prevent Underage Drinking

AACEA promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. During your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work.

Underage drinking is illegal and destructive. The WSLCB has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the many excuses people, particularly some parents, use to perpetuate the myth that it's socially acceptable for those under 21 years old to drink beverage alcohol, whether it be liquor, wine, or beer. Adults must accept responsibility for preventing youth access to alcohol.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

In the News: Boating Under the Influence

There's a new DUI crackdown initiative, as many States are starting to crack down on boating under the influence. From USA Today's Larry Copeland:
As the summer boating season enters full swing, states are moving to curtail a peril on the water - boating while intoxicated. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents involving the USA's 12.4 million registered boats, the U.S. Coast Guard says. There were 126 fatalities and 293 injuries in 330 alcohol-related boating accidents in the USA in 2010. "It's starting to get recognized that boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated," says Lt. Cody Jones, a game warden for the marine enforcement section of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "You're in a 1-ton vehicle, but this vehicle doesn't have brakes, and there's no lane of traffic or stop sign to direct you." He and other experts say that many recreational boaters don't realize that stress factors associated with boating - such as heat, direct sunlight, vibration, wind and noise - magnify the effects of alcohol. "Alcohol has more of an impact out there," says Maj. Chris Huebner, North Carolina's state boating safety coordinator. "It can take as little as one-third the alcohol on the water as on land to be impaired." Danger on water The Lexington, Ky.-based National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is pushing for a national marine field sobriety test standard that would enable patrol officers to test boaters while they're seated. Other action: ..Starting July 1, the legal blood alcohol level of someone operating a boat in Iowa will be lowered from .10% to .08%. ..Oklahoma also lowered its legal blood alcohol level for boaters from .10% to .08%. ..North Carolina launched "On the Road or On the Water," the first statewide joint effort by police agencies to combat both driving and boating under the influence. ..Texas uses "no refusal" weekends, during which on-site judges work with police to issue search warrants to draw blood from suspects under investigation for boating or driving drunk who refuse a breath test. ..New York's state Senate passed a bill to change a law that allows someone convicted of boating under the influence to be considered a first-time offender even if they had a prior conviction for driving a motor vehicle under the influence.
Many people are not aware that in Washington State "Boating Under the Influence" is actually a criminal misdemeanor offense. The charge of Boating Under the Influence is actually called "Operation of a Vessel Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor"and is governed by Revised Code of Washington RCW 79A.60.040. Our students at AACEA are the first line of defense against drunk driving (and drunk boating).AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEAis hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washingtonvisit www.aacea.com. If you’re working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Increased Menu Prices Could Mean More Money In Your Pocket

Restaurants may begin increasing menu prices next year without the fear of losing customers accustomed to deals and discounts, according to a recent report from Jeff Omohundro, a senior securities analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation for food at home and dining out approaching the same rates. “With the rate of inflation for food at home increasing in recent months to 1.4 percent, in line with food away from home, we think restaurants may be better positioned to pass along menu price increases to consumers,” he said. We all know that increased menu prices leads to higher check averages, which leads to an increase in tips. Continuing to provide excellent service is key to taking advantage of increased menu prices. Add in an alcoholic beverage up sell and you are on your way! We all know the importance of server training in order to learn about responsible alcohol service. In order to get your bartending license or alcohol servers permit in Washington you must have an alcohol server permit. You can now take this class online at http://www.aacea.com. Len Riggs continues to offer this fun and informative class on alcohol server training and now from the comfort of your own home!

It's Pimm's O'clock

On a hot day, there's nothing more refreshing (and British!) than a Pimms Cup to quench your thirst. We've found, though, that there aren't many out there who know what a Pimms Cup is. "Pimm's is a gin based liqueur favored by the British. Resembling tea in color, the flavor is reminiscent of currant and is both spicy and citrusy. It's one of the official drinks at Wimbledon, as well as polo matches and other upper crust, gentile sporting events. The drink varies from recipe to recipe, but generally includes sparkling lemonade and/or ginger ale and is garnished with refreshing slices of cucumber, oranges or lemon. " Pimm's is also sometimes mixed with champagne (or a sparkling white wine), and called a "Pimm's Royal Cup" We found a recipe - via Well Fed - for making your own Pimms Cups from scratch. Generally, we use bottled Pimms (whose recipe is apparently very secret). You can find Pimms at any Washington State Liquor Store. Classic Pimm's Cup Recipe:
  • 2 oz. Pimm's No. 1
  • 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Ginger ale
  • Ice cubes
  • Tools: barspoon
  • Glass: highball
  • Garnish: cucumber
Pour Pimm's and lemon juice into an ice-filled glass, top with ginger ale, stir and garnish. Or to make a Pimm's Cup pitcher for your next garden party:
  • 2 oranges, cut into half-moons
  • 2 lemons, cut into half-moons
  • 1 Persian cucumber (see Notes) or one 3-in.-long piece English cucumber, washed and sliced
  • 2 cups Pimm's No. 1 (see Notes)
  • 4 cups Sprite or other lemon-lime soda
  • 6 to 8 large sprigs mint, crushed gently, plus a few loose leaves
Fill 2 pitchers 1/4 full with ice. To each, add a layer of orange slices, a few lemon slices, and a layer of cucumber slices. Repeat the layering. Pour in the Pimm's and Sprite, dividing between pitchers, and mix with a long-handled spoon. Poke mint sprigs and leaves down into drink. Divide drink among 8 tall glasses, with a few slices of fruit and cucumber in each glass, along with some mint leaves. We've found that bartenders who wish to make a Pimm's Cup without its main ingredient (the bottled liqueur) usually mix one part gin with one part red Vermouth and 1/2 part to 1 part of triple sec or Orange Curacao. Part of becoming a better bartender is being knowledgeable about your drinks. Thinking of becoming a bartender? AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

New Food Service Requirements for Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

While food service violations are not among the most common violations, restaurants should be aware of the food service requirements for their liquor license type.

The WSLCB this fall adopted new food requirements for spirits, beer and wine restaurants. Highlights: * Expanded items that are considered an entrée to include hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and breakfast items as long as they include a side dish. * Entrees do not include snack items, menu items which consist solely of precooked frozen food that is reheated, or carry-out items obtained from other businesses. * Increased the number of complete meals required from four to eight. A complete meal is an entrée (steak, fish, pasta, etc.) and at least one side dish (soup, vegetables, salad, potatoes, french fries, rice, fruit, and bread). * Restaurants must serve complete meals for five hours a day, five days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Previously, the hours were between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Restaurants having problems meeting their food service requirement should look into the new spirits, beer and wine nightclub liquor license, which is for businesses that primarily provide live entertainment and serve alcohol with main hours between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. The license does not have a food requirement.

Available resources Restaurants should take advantage of the following resources: * Written business policies that describe expectations and how to handle various situations should be developed, and regularly shared with employees. * Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) is required by law for managers, bartenders and other employees who serve or supervise the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. * WSLCB Responsible Alcohol and Tobacco Sales classes are offered regularly around the state by WSLCB enforcement officers. Class schedules. * WSLCB website has information on selling responsibly and public safety laws, educational videos and more. * WSLCB enforcement officers are available to help you understand liquor laws. Enforcement Customer Service: (360) 664-9878

In conclusion, restaurants can contribute to public safety and keep their customers safe by carrying out their work in a way that supports Washington's liquor laws.

AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Reader Question: My Friend is Underage and Uses a Fake ID

Every once in a while we receive emails from concerned or curious readers. We do what we can to answer every question; AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Recently we received the following email:
"I have a friend who constantly uses her older sisters ID to get in to clubs - how can I help to put a stop to this? I am concerned, since I know that not properly checking IDs can lead to more serious issues."
Len says: As long as there is a drinking age minors are going to do what they can to get into places where the age limit is 21 years of age or older. In other words, they want to go clubbing -basically, what your friend is doing. You can let her know that by using another person's ID she could be charged with a felony for identity theft, she can also be charged criminally for being under age in an establishment licensed for 21 years of age as well as be charged for a Minor In Posession. Let her know the consequences of her actions may even result in a server or bartender being charged criminally and sued in a civil case. Tell the older sister that she too can be charged with the same, if it is proven that she loaned her ID to her sister. If you know where she is going, let that bar know she is underage. Hope this helps, -Len A note for the bartenders: during your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Recipe: Use Your St Germain

cocktail splashThe history of the popularity of St-Germain liqueur isn’t long - it is by many accounts the “it” liqueur right now, and its popularity seems to have come out of nowhere. Made from elderflowers grown in the French Alps, St-Germain is refreshing and mixes well with many different ingredients. It’s slightly sweet and a bit floral, and the St-Germain cocktail could be called the thinking woman’s Cosmo. In other words, if you've got a client you want to impress, having a bottle of St-Germain stashed away will up your stock. A good mixologist will have St-Germain on hand. There is no denying its prominent place on the best cocktail menus from L.A. to London. This is also a high-quality liqueur is made from delicate flowers and is best when used in a simple recipe. This recipe is the most straightforward way to appreciate St-Germain’s flavor short of sipping it straight. St-Germain Cocktail Ingredients: 2 parts champagne or dry sparkling white wine 1.5 parts St-Germain 2 parts club soda Instructions: Fill a Collins glass with ice. First, add St-Germain, then champagne, then club soda. Stir well, and garnish with a lemon twist. If you haven't got a bottle of champagne open, there are a few other ways to enjoy this delicious liqueur: Elderflower Collins (Cocktail) - Gin, Lemon Juice, Soda, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur French Apple Martini (Martini) - Lemon Juice, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Vodka Part of becoming a better bartender is being knowledgeable about your drinks. Thinking of becoming a bartender? AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes - sign up today and you're eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com. If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Rewarding Designated Drivers

Designated drivers are being rewarded for their sobriety by bars in Massachusetts. In an initiative to cut down on drunk driving, patrons who announce that they are the designated driver in their party receive free sodas from participating establishments. One of these establishments, Tinker's Son Pub in Norwell MA, began rewarding its designated drivers a year ago, after hearing about the initiative's success in other pubs in the area. Participating restaurants post a sticker near the door announcing their participation in the program. Many certified bartenders and certified alcohol servers ask large groups if they’ve designated a sober driver for the night. Police in the Norwell area encouraged this measure after a fatal holiday crash in 2002. At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we applaud this measure to cut down on drunk driving, which takes the lives of thousands of people every year. In fact, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in 2007 that nearly 18,000 highway deaths were "alcohol-related." It's up to alcohol servers to help cut down on the number of fatal alcohol-related accidents by providing responsible alcohol service and sales. If you're looking for mandatory alcohol server training, AACEA provides online alcohol server training, which you can take from the comfort of your own home in only 3 hours. Start the New Year off right, with a program tailored to your needs. Find out more about our MAST classes at www.aacea.com.

Louisiana Bar Card and Washington State MAST permit. Arizona Title 4 Basic Training Online AZ DLLC Alcohol Server Approved Certification Course California Responsible Beverage Service RBS TIPS Certificate Program On Off Premises ABC Florida Vendor State Compliant Montana Ohio Seller For Sellers Servers Bartenders and Managers Get your TABC Certification for selling serving alcohol in Texas Your official can be printed online upon completion Utah Mobile Friendly valid Bartender School on off premise server training permit classes by Len Riggs

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