Bartending requires a number of special skills. You need to be able to pull a great pint, mix the perfect cocktail and have all of the charm that’s expected in such an establishment. But, there are a number of additional tips that can go a long way in your quest to become a supreme bartender, and here are just a few of them.

First up, if you work in a bar or pub where you get regulars, it’s a great idea to remember their names. Remembering someone’s name, or at least their usual drink, gives customers that personal touch and will go a long way in making you a great bartender. It could even result in some great tips at the end of the night!

Basic Tips to Follow

Know Your Drinks
Having a good knowledge of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails is one of the most important bartender tips, as you’ll often find you’ll get asked for recommendations. It’s important to learn how to mix the perfect cocktail, particularly if you work in a busy bar. Bumbling around with bottles and shakers will often result in a less than perfect outcome, and people want to see a show and have a great drink at the end of it.
Timing is Everything
Be efficient and quick with your orders. If you’ve got an order for more than one drink then always line your glassware on the bar, and use two hands to make sure you can complete the orders as quickly as possible. Never just get one drink at a time as this will give the perception that you’re not as experienced as people might think.
Avoiding Spillages
Never fill your drinks right up to the rim, as this is a sure sign of a lazy or inexperienced bartender. You don’t want your customers spilling half their drink as they make their way to their table, do you?
Salting The Rim
When having to salt the rim of a glass for a cocktail, make sure to do it properly. A lot of bartenders moisten the entire rim and then dunk the glass into salt, but if there’s salt on the rim then it’s likely to fall into the drink and no-one wants a salty drink. Instead, just moisten the outer edge of the rim and tilt the glass to add the salt; that way you’ll get the salt just below the outer edge of the rim - perfect.
Make sure you know how to pronounce all of the unusual drinks and liqueur names before you begin, and know what they all are as well, as you don’t want to look like you don’t know what you’re doing.

These are just a few bartender tips that will stand you in good stead for your bartending career. There are sure to be many more, so make sure to spend some time learning your trade and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an excellent bartender.

Bartending Tricks

Learning bartending tricks is the Holy Grail of all novice bartenders. Some try to learn on the job from more experienced colleagues, or some learn at a suitable bartending school instead. Learning from professional bartenders could be one of the best ways to do it, as you’ll be able to learn from those with experience who can tell you exactly what to do and can point out where you’re going wrong.

The other option is to learn the tricks yourself at home. There are a number of ways that you can go about doing this, such as reading books or looking online for extra help and advice. By far the best way to do this is to search for videos that give you step-by-step instructions on how to perform the tricks, as that way you’ll still be able to learn from qualified guides. You can go for free videos or can even look for paid at-home courses, but a lot of the time the free versions are just as successful in helping you learn.

Are you an experienced flair bartender? DrinkFox would like to hear from you. We aim to enhance this section with useful videos, step-by-step guides and links to professional bartending organisations. If you fit the bill - contact us!
Updated, 23rd February 2014
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