Have you ever wondered just what, exactly, is in a Long Island Iced Tea? Have you ever wanted to enjoy a cocktail at home but didn’t know how to make it? Have you ever thought that tending bar would be a great job, but you don’t know how to do it? Bartending school may be what you’re looking for.
Is bartending school worth it? For some money, and some of your more valuable time, you can learn how to make a Fuzzy Navel and hopefully how to win customers over and make much-needed tips. Bartending can be a rather lucrative career for some, depending on where the bar is being tended. Some may wish to run their own bars or clubs one day, and will need the skill of bartending to make that dream a reality. In this life, we’ve learned that anything we want to do, we may go to school to learn about the doing of it first.
Is it necessary? Can’t anyone with a bartender’s guide be a bartender? Mixing drinks is exactly like following a recipe, only even more precise, so shouldn’t anyone who can do one be able to do the other? Why, then, should bartending school be a must?
It’s true, getting a bartending job does not always require having attended bartending school – but it does greatly help. Bartending school may not be able to teach you how best to read the bartender’s guide, but it will help you know some of the tricks of the trade and understand a little bit more about how to mix a drink. Very often, bartenders are not told what to make – they are asked what’s good. Bartenders have to have an answer for that, and be able to produce a drink that will suit the palate of the person sitting in front of them. You have to know something about which liquors are considered “high end” and which are not. You have to know about the different brands and types of alcohol, and you have to know what mixes well with what. You have to know all of this before you can successfully tend bar.
And let us not forget, being a bartender is often about much more than the simple serving of drinks. Bartenders have legendarily been considered sounding boards for everyone. They are givers of advice, they are listeners, and they are friends for that brief moment in time. The bartender has to tell those that they’re serving when they’ve had enough, when they need to leave, and when they need to switch to a cheaper drink. No one who is not socially adept can tend bar, and while this may not be something that they teach in bartending school (social grace), they can teach you how best to deal with drunken customers.
A very useful thing to know, if one is a bartender.
Like most other things in life, bartending is a path that can be pursued without the benefit of schooling. Going to bartending school is, however, the very best way to start.