What goes on during a bartending course?
I’m going to tell you what I know from personal experience.
I attended bartending school back in 1995 and about 16 years later, taught
bartending at the same school.
I don’t recommend spending hundreds of dollars to attend one
of these schools because you can learn what you need on your own.
For a basic 40 hour bartending course – 5 days, 8 hours a day.
The course might be split differently to accommodate nights
The course schedule might go like this:
First thing, and the most important, is paying for the course.
If you didn’t pay in full before the first day, then of course you’ll pay
on day one.
Everyone will introduce themselves and you’ll go over class rules,
where the bathrooms are and all of the typical things when starting
a class at any school.
Now you’ll be told what the course is going to cover and go over the
curriculum. There might be a book or packet of papers with
everything you will need during the course.
From this point on things will vary.
You are going to learn about alcohol and the types of products
that contain it.
Spirits, Wine, Beer etc…
How to pour with a jigger and free pour.
Then the different types of glassware and the drinks that go in them.
Recipes. You will probably have to memorize lots of drinks during the course.
I think we had about 100 drinks to learn by the end of the course.
You start with simple 2 ingredient drinks and then move on to 3 ingredients
and so on.
Which drinks should be shaken and which do you stir?
Cash and credit card transactions might be covered. Best practices
and how it might be done in different businesses.
You might also have to take a class on serving alcohol responsibly.
Some states require this for anyone serving alcohol.
There is NO such thing as a Bartending license, Bartending certification
or any other documentation that a state, in the U.S., requires to make the drinks.
Serving the alcohol might require a mandatory class in responsibility,
but making the drinks does not.
You’re not practicing law, medicine or selling insurance.
At the end of the bartending course you will probably be tested.
It might be 2 parts. A written exam and a hands on test.
After testing you will find out if you passed. If you did, and odds
are you will, then you get your official certification. By “official
certification” I mean that the school you attended appreciates
the money you gave them and acknowledges that you were there.
Job placement. It doesn’t mean that you will be placed into a job.
It actually is more like assistance in helping you write your own
resume and explaining how you need to go out to a bunch of
bars or go to their websites and fill out applications.
I worked at a lot of bars during my 23 years in the business.
I never saw an application that asked if you attended bartending
I have seen applications get ignored because the person went to
a bartending course. I think that’s wrong, but the stigma of
bartending schools happened long before anyone in their 30’s
That was a simplified summary of what happens during a bartending
Please make sure that you do very thorough research before spending
money on something that you can do yourself, with the help of the