After opening body


A garnish has a two-fold purpose in alcoholic drinks. One is to enhance or compliment flavors, and the other is to enhance the visual look of the drink. When you get right down to it, it is wild to think that a floating piece of fruit skin can justify the price of an expensive drink, but this has become the norm, and people expect it. Here is a list of the most common garnishes and why and how you are supposed to use them.

Celery = Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary supposedly arose back in the the late 1920s, when the actor George Jessel ordered a tomato juice with vodka to help kick a nasty hangover. However in 1934, a famous bartender Fernand Petoit took up residency as head bartender at the St. Regis in Manhattan, NYC. Here is where he was said to have ‘officially’ created the Bloody Mary. 

By the 1950s, people were asking for celery sticks to use to stir the drink. According to one person on Stack Exchange, the celery stick was first added by a Chicago bar patron who couldn’t wait for the bartender to go grab him a straw to stir for which to stir his cocktail. He secretly swiped the celery from a relish tray. 

While the celery doesn’t necessarily add much flavor, it has remained a staple addition to the drink.


The most famous and common use of cherries is in a Manhattan. They can also be added to anything with Sour Mix or any drink with Grenadine. Sitting at the bottom of glass of alcohol, they soak up the booze. The best part about cocktail cherries is arguably eating the alcohol-soaked cherry after finishing your cocktail. That is probably why many companies are coming out with cherries that are pre-infused with booze.  

Cherries themselves do not enhance the flavor of cocktails. They are added purely for visual stimulation. Cherry juice, however, which may accompany the cherries if you are pouring or spooning them out of a jar, will sweeten the drink.


Common cinnamon cocktails are richer drinks with milk in them like an Irish Coffee. Since cinnamon is an ingredient in creating spiced rum, it is also great in drinks where you are using spiced rum.


Edible flowers are an interesting addition to a cocktail. First of all, they look beautiful, and in this industry, presentation is half of the battle. You are never going to get full overwhelming flavors from a flower, but as Amy Stewart, author of Drunken Botanist puts it (via Greatist) “A cocktail is much more like a spritz of perfume in that the bright, floral notes are really wonderful.” Be very which you choose, however, as some flowers are NOT edible and can in fact be poisonous. Check out this full list of edible flowers.


For cocktails, the peel of the lemon is most important because of the oils. But lemon wedges or slices can also be used. The sour taste is strong enough to impart a lasting impression on the palette. The lemon oils in the skins are said to take away the bitterness in coffee. Most prefer Meyer Lemons when mixing in cocktails – but we say you should test them all and experiment.

Sliced lemons can be added to Long Island Iced Tea and the ever-popular Bloody Mary. Twists can be added to drinks like the Lemon Drop Martini. The twist takes some practice to perfect, but here is a great link to a how-to guide so that you can try on your own. There are also plenty of drinks on our candy shots list that employ the use of a lemon.


Limes are a little more universally used than lemons in the cocktail world. Generally, any drink with cola should get a lime wedge. So, remember to always add to your Jack and Coke or Rum and Coke. Another drink that usually always gets a lime is a Gin or Vodka and Tonic.

Mint Leaves

Mint can be muddled or full sprigs added to the drink. When using mint in a drink like this, you want to give it a little clap. This releases the oils which are actually what you are looking for in your drink.

The Mint Julep is one of the most famous. Although one can never be too certain where these drinks have gotten their origins, most seem to pinpoint the beginnings in the 18th century in the Southern states of the US. A “julep” is actually just a sweet drink that is used specifically for medicinal purposes. In 1784, an early medical publication said that they prescribed the mint julep for upset stomach, a remedy which is still popular today. Basically, peppermint contains menthol. The menthol encourages digestion and also calms the action of your digestive muscles – which eases pain or cramps.

Another popular drink that uses mint is the Mojito. With this drink you typically want to muddle the mint and lime together, however, it is also nice to garnish with a fresh sprig or add a few leaves. Said to have come from Cuba to help cure a scurvy outbreak on a sailing vessel in the late 1500s. As of 2014, the mojito is actually the most popular drink in all of Britain.


There are many different kinds of oils, but according to the Food Republic, very little taste difference can be detected by the geography or the soil that they are grown in. 

The curing process is what really changes the olive’s taste – and they must be cured before putting into cocktails. Fresh olives are far too bitter. 

Their natural counterpart is the Dirty Martini, where three olives are served on a toothpick, but people also add them to Bloody Marys and have been known to add them to a beer as well.

A quick, interesting fact about the number of olives used. Apparently back in the day, when NYC was a haven for mobsters, there was a special code that bartenders used to alert patrons of danger. A bartender at Lusardi’s on 78th and 2nd ave in Manhattan said that using three olives was standard. But serving a martini using only two olives was a signal that there was someone at the bar who is a threat!


A ‘cocktail onion’ is a pearl onion that has been pickled. The brine contains turmeric and paprika, which combines with the sweetness of pearl onions to add a unique flavor to cocktails. Adding an onion to a martini makes it a Gibson.

One story about the Gibson’s creation comes from 1890. Here a businessman named Walter D. K. Gibson invented the cocktail in San Francisco because he hated the way his bartender made martinis. He added an onion because he believed onions prevented colds.

Any story is that a famous NY artist named Charles Dana Gibson, well known for drawing women with well-endowed chests – who would become known as ‘Gibson Girls’ as seen below, challenged his bartender to create a new variation on the martini. The bartender used an onion and named the drink after Gibson. Furthering these claims are the idea that two onions are used in a Gibson because they allude to the ‘Gibson Girls’.


As with most fruits, you can slice them and peel the rind to add flavor to your cocktails. Remember that (most of the time) garnishes are meant to enhance the flavor of whatever you are putting them in. So with oranges, you can add a wedge to any drink with orange, such as a Screwdriver.

The orange peel can be added to traditional drinks like Manhattan or Negroni. When peeling, the oils are released. So when you pair a fruit, such as an orange, with a similar bitters, aka orange bitters, the flavors compliment each other.

Flaming Orange Peel

While this is very much a showmanship technique, the flaming orange peel can be a crowd pleaser. Using very fresh oranges, you want to cut the a small peel. Then holding it over a cocktail, you squeeze the fruit peel over a flame. This will cause a small light show that will get people talking and more importantly, get you some big tips!


Pepper, like salt is used on the rim of the glass. It pairs best with Bloody Marys.


Pineapple can and should be used as a garnish for ‘tropical’ drinks like a Pina Colada. Again, the garnish can reflect the juices included in the cocktail – so drinks like the Painkiller or Malibu Bay Breeze should also get pineapple garnishes.

If you want to get really specific and play it by the book, tropical drinks typically have a ‘flag’ garnish. Pineapple chunk, orange slice and maraschino cherry on a skewer. 


Salt is one of those amazing spices that has been used in thousands of ways over the years. It has been known to polish metal, whiten teeth, stop itchy insect bites, and – what we are most interested in – garnish cocktails.

One of the main ideas behind salt with cocktails is to combat the bite of alcohol. This is why it has become so common when doing shots of tequila. Traditionally, tequila and salt never went together. Really good, pure agave Tequila doesn’t and shouldn’t need salt to taste. But since some of the cheaper tequila has such a harsh taste, people prefer a little salt. 

Generally the idea is that you want the customer to get a taste of it as they drink. Therefore, the salt is put on the rim of the glass. The most popular drink with a salted rim is the Margarita, but also the aforementioned Bloody Mary. Flavored salt has become popular, as well as artisan salt for cocktails.  (Himalayan,Hawaiian, Sale Marino, etc. Check out all of the salty possibilities here. Try some celery salt on your bloody as a nice companion to the celery stalk.

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Bartender Resume: Get a Bartending Job With This Simple Resume Guide


The best bartending schools are the ones that also help you find a job. As you know, finding a job is highly dependent on your bartender resume. Without a proper resume, you will not even have a chance for an interview. Its like showing up to play football without the ball.

We have put together a playbook to building your bartender resume that will help you in your job search even if you didn’t go to bartending school. Remember, every graduate of American Bartenders School gets hands on resume help and taught proper interviewing techniques.

Before we start…

One quick note before you dive in is that you must be 18 years of age to sell or serve alcohol in NY state. Unfortunately, if you are any younger, there really is no reason to apply for a job because the bar manager cannot legally let you serve even if you are the greatest bartender of all time.


1. Bartender Resume Template: Choose Wisely

The template and design of a resume is very important. A clean and simple layout helps organize your information and enhances readability.

According to an article from Mashable about resumes, “Visual design is a great way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates,” says Dodd Caldwell, cofounder of Loft Resumes. “Design in general is increasingly important in the business world.”

While you may be thinking, their article is mainly speaking to the business world, these practices of good resume design should be applied to any business, bartending included.

So, first step is to choose a nice layout. Here are two super easy and painless options.

Option #1: Microsoft Word Template

When starting up Microsoft Word, simply choose New Document and pick one of the Resume Templates, like these pictured below:

Bartender Resume - microsoft word

Option #2: Free Templates

If you don’t have access to Microsoft Word, try heading over to ResumeGenius to download some free templates. Then click on the Download Classic Template Pack link. Then, simply open the files in Google Drive or any other word processing software like Pages for Mac or any other of these free software choices such as OpenOffice.

Bartender Resume - ResumeGenius

2. Bartender Resume Header: Lead Strong

One of the most important parts of a resume that often gets overlooked by the job-searching bartender is the header. You are the star of this show, make sure everyone knows it. This is arguably the most important part because if you do not have all of the proper information, you risk not getting called in for an interview.

According to an eye-tracking study from The Ladders, recruiters spent 80% of their time looking at six points:

  • Name
  • Current title and company
  • Previous title and company
  • Current start and end dates
  • Previous start and end dates
  • Education

Don’t worry about all of the other points just yet, we want to focus on the first one, the name. Jeffrey Morganthaler, bartender, blogger, author and mixologist says: “I see a lot of resumes in my position, and you’d be surprised at just how many people leave resumes with no contact information.”

So, always start with your name in a nice, bold, eye-catching font. Then be sure to include your phone number, mailing address, and valid email address. Double check that you have input everything correctly. Then when you are finished, double check again! You want to give people as many options as you can for contacting you. The more options, the more likely they are to contact you.

bartender resume - header

3. Bartender Resume Special Skills

This is your time to show off. You want to list your skills here in nice, clean bullet points. You can break them up into specific types of skills, technology (point of sale systems, and computers), language, and bartending.


This is something you should list. Although every bar has their own way of configuring a point of sale system, or P.O.S., they are all very similar. It is important that you show that you know how to operate one in general even if you have to relearn a new way of doing it once you get the job at a particular bar.

If you have taken bartender classes at a bartending school like American Bartenders School, you will have learned how to operate the Harbortouch Point of Sale system. You should definitely include this in the special skills section.

bartender resume - harbortouch

Here are some other technology skills that you may have but not even realize are valuable in the bartending industry:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Windows/Mac proficiency
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)*

*Quick note about Social Media as a Bartender

Social Media has changed the way that business works in the world. If a bar has a strong social media following, it is usually taking advantage of it by sending out special notices like happy hour deals or posts pictures of guests having a good time. The same goes for a bartender with a strong social media following. If you can build a strong rapport with guests online, they may come back to visit you in person at a bar. That is something that a bar manager would like to know and would take into consideration when hiring.

The site ShakeandStrain notes that …“For a bar manager, you’re not just hiring (a bartender’s) talent but you’re hiring actual sales. In this case, a large social media following changes the calculus on both sides of that relationship.”


If you know a second language in New York City, you are at a big advantage in the workplace and should definitely list it.

51% of New Yorkers speak only English at home. This leaves 49% of the population. So what does everyone else speak? Here is a little breakdown from WNYC on the many languages of NYC.

Bartending Skills and Certifications


Here, you want to focus on a few very important things. These are also part of our 15 Step Guide to Getting a Bartending Job.

(Remember them easily with this C.U.P.)

– Control the bar – Your ability to control the bar and expedite in an orderly fashion will keep customers (and bar managers) happy.

– Upselling  – Upselling according to Wikipedia is a sales technique whereby a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.”

So in bartending, this is the art of getting customers to buy something more than they ordered. This is something that you will learn in any bartending school, especially American Bartenders School.

– Pour Cost – Being aware of the pour cost shows your employer that you will NOT over pour drinks. That means less money going down the drain (literally.)


If you have any special certifications, you will want to list them here. Now remember, there is NO such requirement by law for a bartender to have a bartending license here in New York City.

There are, however, some other things that particular bars ask of their bartenders to help protect themselves from legal trouble. Some bar owners purchase Liquor Liability Insurance to help cover them, but insurance companies often tell bar owners to also get their workers trained in an awareness program of some sort.

Here are some things you may want to list if you have them:

  • Alcohol Training and Awareness Program (ATAP)
  • TIPS Certification
  • ServSafe Alcohol



4. Bartender Resume Work Experience: Be A Show Off

This is a very important part of your resume, and it is where you want to be a show off. It’s OK to showboat a bit and let them be wowed by your work so far.

Don’t shy away here if you haven’t had any work experience in a bar, however, because we know that isn’t a deal breaker for getting a job as a bartender. Of course, you will always want to go to bartending school. You can sign up here if you are interested.

We have broken this up into two easy sections.

You have work experience bartending in a Restaurant or Bar (if not you can skip ahead)

If you have experience, you want to clearly state your job title, the name of the establishment, the city/state, and the dates that you worked:

Bartender, The Wayland, New York City  May 2008 – July 2009

  • (list responsibilities here)

Bartender, Summit Bar, New York City August 2009 – August 2011

  • (list responsibilities here)

Then, beneath the job, you want to provide a description of your responsibilities, as well as the skills that you utilized and developed. Sometimes it is nice to show off as stated in Break Into Bartending, but remember that the bar manager is going to ask you about anything that is stated on your resume, so don’t lie. If you created a drink or post to their social media nightly, you should mention it.

You want to give a sense of the type of job in a few simple bullet points. Keep your list to three or four at the most.

  • Supervised and scheduled bartenders and servers
  • Responsible for inventory, stocking, ordering and sanitation of bar
  • Interviewed, hired and trained all new bartenders and servers

You don’t have work experience bartending in a Restaurant or Bar:

The key to a good resume is highlighting the skills that a bar manager wants in a bartender. If you don’t have experience bartending yet, here are some really important skills that you will learn at a bartending school.

When displaying your information, you want it to read the same way. Position, Name of Establishment, Location   DATES WORKED

Server, Houlihan’s, Newark, NJ  May 2008 – July 2009

  • (list responsibilities here)

Either way, looking at your work history, you should highlight these types of jobs:


  • Bar-Backing – This is an important one, because it clearly shows that you have worked at a bar and understand how the job works.
  • Restaurant Host/Hostess – This displays that you can handle the flow of customers even on a busy night and that you have been part of the industry. You might have also used a P.O.S. system.
  • Food Service – (McDonalds, Starbucks, other fast food) – Much like a restaurant server, you might have experience using a P.O.S. system, you have experience serving customers and dealing with them.
  • Customer Service Jobs – Any consumer facing job where you have to talk to a customer and show that you will keep your cool when the going gets tough is very important as a bartender.
  • Finance – Bartenders deal with money constantly. If you have the skills to help out with the books behind the scenes, that may be one extra skill that sets you apart from the rest of the bartending candidates.
  • Performers – It is not uncommon for actors to work as bartenders in their downtime. Most actors are great with interacting with people and really ‘put on a show’ behind the bar. This helps make friends, wow customers, and keep everyone coming back for more.

You want to give a sense of the type of job in a few simple bullet points. Keep your list to three or four at the most.

5. Bartender Resume Education Section

When listing your education, you should lead with the most relevant portion, like bartending school. If you haven’t been to bartending school, simply start by listing your highest level of education.

You should list the name, city, the year date you graduated, and feel free to list any achievements such as a high GPA or any awards which may show off your academic prowess. You don’t have to be a genius to be a bartender, but you have to show that you care about your education enough to finish it. If you haven’t finished school yet, consider going to bartending school to help bolster your resume.

In terms of format for this section, nothing fancy here. Just follow the same guidelines:


6. Bartender Resume References

People are on the fence on this one for whether or not to include references. In fact, Quint Careers thinks that you should never list them on your resume, but that you should have them on a separate page. Sometimes a bar manager is just too busy to check your references even if you provide them. Others may ask you for them if you don’t provide them.

The fact of the matter is, as you begin your professional career, you are going to want to start gaining a few contacts that can vouch for your character. They don’t all have to be your boss or supervisors. Think about teachers or coaches. No matter what, it is always important to REQUEST THEIR PERMISSION and KEEP THEM INFORMED.



Requesting Permission

In either an email or a phone call, keep it short and to the point. Ask your reference if it is OK to list them as a reference. Then ask if their preferred mode of contact – email or phone.

Keep them Informed

If you are applying somewhere and you expect your reference to be contacted, give them a heads up. They should be prepared to receive a call and to speak about you. If need be, give them a quick background on your previous work together and some details on the job for which you are applying.

Next Steps…

The next steps are going to be actually contacting places to work. The full list can be found here in our 15 Extremely Simple Steps to becoming a bartender. This outlines the legwork (figuratively and literally) that you will have to do to get your resume to the right hands.

Or sign up for American Bartenders School and our job placement team will help you set up your resume personally and prepare for your interview like a champ.

Drinks of the Mafia [Our Interview with Linda Scarpa]

We had the honor of talking with Linda Scarpa, author of “The Mafia Hit Man’s Daughter”, a memoir about growing up in Brooklyn with her father Greg Scarpa. Known as the Colombo family’s ‘Grim Reaper’, her father Greg was a made man but also FBI informant.

It came out December 29th and is available for purchase here. Check out her Facebook page here.


The book is an amazing read and we highly recommend that you pick it up immediately. When we talked to Linda, we were obviously most interested in what her father and his crew drank. Since she grew up with this culture around her, she helped provide an inside look at the favorite cocktails and drinks of the mob.

One thing that she said really resonated with us, “If they liked a particular drink that’s what they drank; they really didn’t switch off.” As a bartender, you find that some people like to order the same thing every time. If you remember it for the next time that they show up, you will keep them coming back.


When it came to drinks, her father and crew seemed to prefer scotch. According to Linda, “My father’s crew typically drank Cutty Sark scotch, Johnny Walker Black and Johnny Walker Red scotch.”

Cutty Sark is a scotch produced in Glasgow and named after a famous clipper ship of the same name.(All scotch comes from Scotland, remember?) Its classic green bottle with yellow label is a mainstay at most bars.

Johnny Walker Black and Johnny Walker Red are both blended scotch whiskys that you will find at most bars. Both are 80 proof and reasonably priced. Apparently Johnny Walker Red was also the favorite drink of Winston Churchill and Dick Cheney.

“At the bars they would usually drink Absolut and scotch, as well as martinis dry, extra olive or dirty martinis, rum and Coke, Bacardi, and scotch on the rocks.” These are classic drinks that all of our students learn how to make and master at American Bartenders School.

Linda's father with his crew. From left, Robert “Bobby Zam” Zambardi, unknown, Joseph “Joe Brewster” DeDomenico.Linda’s father with his crew. From left, Robert “Bobby Zam” Zambardi, unknown, Joseph “Joe Brewster” DeDomenico.


Holiday Drinks

“During the holidays they liked to drink Grand Marnier.”

An orange cognac liqueur, it is made from distilled cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. This is another iconic bottle that you will see in most bars. Grand Marnier can be ordered neat, but it is also a great addition to cocktails like a Cosmopolitan or even a Margarita. Interested in some more holiday drinks? Check out our Holiday Shots Guide.
During holidays or other special occasions, they “gave gifts of liquor baskets filled with liquor and cookies and fruit. Those baskets were huge.”


“Their champagne of choice was Dom Perignon.”

The most famous brand of champagne, Dom Perignon, is a sparkling wine named after a Benedictine monk named (you guessed it) Dom Perignon. It is a mixture of Pinot noir grapes and Chardonnay grapes and has a very unique taste. Dom is one of the most expensive and prestigious champagnes, a case once sold for over $100,000 at an auction.

Champagne is also a mainstay of New Year’s Eve.


After Dinner Drinks

“After dinner, they drank anisette or sambuca straight or in black coffee.”
Sambuca is an Italian, anise-flavored, clear liqueur. It pairs wonderfully with coffee for an Italian-spin on the Irish Coffee. Some bars like to serve it neat with a few coffee beans in the drink. If you want to be precise, you should put seven coffee beans, representing the Seven hills of Rome.

“Another drink they loved consisted of white creme de cacao, sloe gin; brandy and light cream.” The recipe can be found below:

1/4 oz white creme de cacao
1/4 oz sloe gin
1/4 oz brandy
1/4 oz light cream


Pour ingredients carefully, in order given, into a pousse cafe glass so that they do not mix.

So, now that you’ve gotten an inside look at the drinks of the mob, get the full experience by enjoying one of the drinks while reading Linda’s new book, The Mafia Hit Man’s Daughter.



Star Wars Cocktails



Finally, the newest installment of the Star Wars saga is upon us. We have decided to bring together a great list of the most famous Star Wars cocktails from around the web. If a Star Wars Cocktail themed party isn’t your thing, head over the New Years Eve Cocktail Guide, and throw the best party ever!

We’ve got it broken down to the Heroes, like Luke, Yoda and Princess Leia, Smugglers Han and Chewbacca, Villains Darth Vader and Boba Fett, and some of the great spaceships!

Give in to temptation and try all of these amazing Star Wars Cocktails. If you really want to learn how to make a great cocktail and become a great bartender, you’ll need to go to school, so sign up for classes today. 


The Star Wars Cocktails: Heroes

star wars cocktails luke skywalker's blue milk


For true die-hard fans of the Star Wars movie, this first cocktail is a real tasty treat. For the uninformed, there is a part of the Star Wars: A New Hope, where Luke Skywalker can be spied drinking what looks like a blue milkshake. (For the ultra-nerdy, this is actually Bantha milk.) This drink has been idolized, spawning Star Wars Fan websites, like Spoiled Blue Milk and Star Wars web comic Blue Milk Special.


Part milkshake, part booze, this blue-tinted cocktail (thanks to the Blue Curacao of course) will make you feel like you are back home in Tatooine. Seriously, this drink is dangerously good.

  • 3 oz of milk
  • 1 oz of cream
  • 1 oz of coconut rum
  • 1 oz of amaretto
  • 2 oz of blue curacao

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake for 20-30 seconds until chilled. Serve in a chilled glass.

According to Castles and Cooks, who came up with this amazing recipe, “the almond and coconut flavors help reduce the orange flavor and create a sweeter drink that is a lovely shade of blue.”


princess leia star wars cocktails


The Princess Leia cocktail is known as a champagne cocktail. Although it has nothing to due with her famous cinnamon-bun looking hairdo, it is a great drink for brunch or a cocktail party. Combining the sparkling wine with gin and liquor gives it a light, refreshing taste. The Princess could have used one of these after watching her planet get destroyed.

  • 1/2 shot Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1/2 shot VeeV Acai liquor
  • Champagne

In a champagne flute, add the VeeV and Sapphire, stir, then top off glass with your sparkling wine or champagne of choice.

This one is courtesy


star wars cocktail giggling yoda



This drink has unfortunately won the title of One of the Most Disgusting Cocktails Ever. The reason is that you mix a bunch of green fruit in a blender, then mix it with bubbly ginger ale. The green fruit mix is no more disgusting than a Kale Smoothie, but to those who don’t frequent the juice bars often, this one can be a bit of a shock.

However, this is a great tasting drink, and because of all the fruit, one could make the case that it is good for you. So, if you are going to drink it, go ahead, but don’t go half way on this. Remember, as a giggling green monster once said “DO OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY.”

• 1 oz. vodka
• 1 can Ginger Ale
• 1/2 a pear (cored and peeled)
• 5-6 green grapes
• 2 tsp. lime juice
• 1 sprig of mint

Blend all of the fruit and mint in a blender. Pour the vodka in a martini glass and then pour the blended fruit over that. Top if off with Ginger Ale!

Thanks to Drinking In America for this one.


The Star Wars Cocktails: Smugglers

star wars cocktails han solo


There is a lot of confusion on whether or not Han shot first. Recently, pop singer Ariana Grande came out with a video clearing up the matter. There are endless debates raging online for years ever since the first Star Wars Movie appeared. There is even a Wikipedia page about it.

With this cocktail, you can shoot first. Shoot – have a shot – of alcohol – get it?

In fact, you take it one step further and drink the Han Solo out of a blaster rifle! That’s right, a company, If Industries has created Star Wars themed drinking flasks.

Pic courtesy If Industries
Pic courtesy If Industries

Drink out of this Han Solo blaster flask :

  • 3/4 oz Vodka
  • 3/4 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz triple sec
  • 3/4 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Bourbon Whiskey
  • 2 oz Sweet & Sour mix
  • 1 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Whiskey

Fill a highball glass with ice. Build the drink in order, then top it with Wild Turkey 101. 

Recipe via Under The label


star wars cocktails chewbacca


This drink will put hair on your chest. Have enough of these and your voice will slowly turn into a garbled mess.

  • 1/2 oz. Jagermeister
  • 3/4 oz. Blackberry Brandy
  • 1/2 oz. Grenadine
  • Pineapple Juice

Shake over ice then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Then fill with Pineapple Juice.

Thanks to the Small Screen Network for getting this one out.



The Star Wars Cocktails: Villains

star wars cocktails darth vader


What is a Star Wars Cocktails list without a mention of Darth Vader. The Dark Side will indeed be strong with you when drinking this very strong drink. Combining gin, rum, tequila, and vodka with Jager at any other point sounds like pure evil. But when you give the drink a name, it all starts to come together…

  • Jägermeister
  • 1/2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz Rum, light
  • 1/2 oz Tequila, white
  • 1/2 oz Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 2 oz Sour Mix

Combine all ingredients except Jager and shake over ice. Strain into collins glass filled with ice. Then fill with Jagermeister.

Thanks to Drink Mixer


star wars cocktails boba fett


The Boba Fett Star Wars Cocktail was created by a Thai restaurant in San Francisco called Chino. Although it is closed now, the memory of this great slushy drink can live on with this recipe. Boba-milk tea, also known as bubble tea, is a Taiwanese drink that contains tapioca balls.

Since the drink is supposed to be an icey slushy, we thought it was a great nod to Boba Fett, who freezes Han Solo in carbonite. Once again ThinkGeek comes to the rescue with the ultimate addition to this drink – Han Solo in carbonite ice molds. (even though you are going to crush the ice, we still think it is worth it)

By all accounts and reviewers, this is a very tasty drink, so try it yourself.  The recipe is

  • 5 cups Vodka
  • 5 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup ginger shrub
  • 1 bunch Thai basil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup black tapioca balls
  • 5 cups ice

Place all ingredients (except tapioca balls) in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide tapioca balls evenly into four 24 oz glasses and pour the slush into each one.

Recipe via pinterest


The Star Wars Cocktails: Spaceships

star wars cocktails millennium falcon


You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? Have you at least heard of the drink?

It may not look like much, but this simple drink is quite powerful. In Star Wars: A New Hope. Han tells Obi Wan that the Millennium Falcon “did the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.” Apparently it’s a fast ship. So fast that it technically makes Han and Chewbacca time-travelers according to Wired Magazine.

So strap in and get ready for the ride of your life!

  • 1 measure vodka
  • 2 measures Malibu coconut rum
  • dash gomme syrup

Add all ingredients to a lowball glass with ice.

Thanks to the Absurdisan for the video tutorial on making this great drink.


star wars cocktails mai tai fighter


Saving the corniest one for last, we bring you the Mai Tie Fighter. This is a slight variation on the Mai Tai. Don’t let the bright colorful nature of this drink fool you, this Star Wars Cocktail is one of the most popular drinks. The twist in this is the garnish. Take two small slices of pineapple, and one cherry in the middle held together by a toothpick, and you’ve got yourself a mini TIE fighter.

Thank you to the Nerdista for the idea for the garnish.

  1. ½ oz Rum
  2. ½ oz Triple Sec
  3. ½ oz Creme de almond
  4. ½ oz Dark Rum
  5. 1 oz each sweet/sour, pineapple and orange juice

Combine ingredients, shake over ice and strain. Then garnish with the TIE FIGHTER!


star wars cocktails death star


This drink is a planet destroyer. Don’t be surprised if your night gets blasted to oblivion. A variation on the Long-Island Iced Tea, we don’t recommend drinking a lot of these. However, what we do recommend is using an amazing Death Star ice cube when drinking this Star Wars Cocktail. Use this Death Star ice mold from Think Geek.


  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz whiskey
  • 2 oz sweet and sour mix
  • 2 oz (or more) cola

Place all ingredients into a glass with a Death Star ice sphere in it. Stir to mix ingredients.

Thanks to Geeky Hostess

That’s it for Star Wars Cocktails, if you have any other great ones, please shoot us an email here. And remember, if you want to start bartending in NYC today, now is the time to start making some money as a bartender. Contact us today to get started!


Holiday Shots

It’s that time of the year again…the holiday season. How better to get into the holiday spirit than by having some holiday shots? With so many different types of shots and holiday cocktails out there, sometimes it is difficult to decide which shot you should go with.

Not to worry! We’ve put together a Holiday Shot Flow Chart to help you decide which holiday shot is right for you.

Plus we’ve got some other holiday drink recipes and holiday drink ideas for you!

Holiday Shots title

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, filled the holiday spirit or sick of it, we’ve got a great holiday shot idea for you. With this Holiday Shots flow chart, you start at the top and follow the answers to all of the questions. This will lead you to the promised land of holiday shots recipes.

If you are interested in holiday shots recipes that are specific to New Year’s Eve, take a look at our New Year’s Eve Cocktail Guide and if you just love shots and can’t get enough, re-experience your childhood in booze-form with our try candy-flavored shot guide.  Each makes a great holiday shots experience. After the chart, we have included full holiday shot recipes with some extra shots that family and friends will love!

So, without further ado – check out our Holiday Shots Flow Chart!

Or click here to jump to the recipes.

 holiday shot flow chart
Here are all the recipes included in the Holiday Shots Flow Chart, as well as some others!

Holiday Shots Recipes


This holiday shot recipe is sweet and delicious it can be made with brandy or butterscotch schnapps. (We prefer butterscotch!)

  • ¾ oz Butterscotch Schnapps or brandy
  • ¾ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
Build in a shot glass or shake and strain.
If you love apples or love pie, this holiday shot recipe is tastes just like an apple pie and it’s the perfect companion to the real thing.
  • 1-1/2  oz Sour Apple Schnapps
  • 1 oz Cinnamon Schnapps

Shake with ice and strain this makes 2 shots 



Like the apple pie shot, the pumpkin pie shot holiday shot is made to taste just like the real thing.  If you want to get crazy, try putting the Goldschlager in last, then light it with a lighter. This will give you a fresh baked version. (CAUTION: MAKE SURE YOU BLOW IT OUT BEFORE DRINKING!)

  • 2 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 oz Goldschlager

Layer each ingredient with a spoon. 



  • White Chocolate Liqueur
  • Peppermint Schnapps
  • Crushed Candy Canes

Wet the rim of a shot glass and dip into the crushed candy canes. Then mix equal parts white chocolate liqueur and Peppermint schnapps together. Next, shake and pour into the rimmed shot glass.

This one is from Fancy Napkin Blog!



This is another Candy Cane alternative! With holiday shots and holiday drink recipes, there is never just one version – try them all and decide for yourself.

  •  ½ oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • ½ oz Berry Vodka

Mix over ice and strain.



This one tastes like your favorite cookie and/or house. Try to refrain from yelling out “CAN’T CATCH ME I’M THE GINGERBREAD MAN!”

  • 1 oz Goldschlager
  • 1 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 oz Vodka

Shake with ice and strain 2 Shot Glasses

A variation on this shot is this drink:

Gingerbread Man II

  • ½ oz Domaine De Canton,
  • ½ oz Rum Chata.



  • 1 part grenadine syrup
  • 1 part green creme de menthe
  • 1 part peppermint schnapps

Pour grenadine to about 1/3 of your shot glass. Carefully layer equal parts of the creme de menthe, then the peppermint schnapps. Don’t worry if the schnapps and creme de menthe blend together, as mine did. Garnish it with crushed candy canes, if you want.

Thanks to Mix That Drink for this one!



This one is super simple, but really great. It hits you like a snowy kick in the face, hence the name.

  • ½ oz of Black Sambuca
  • Topped w/ whipped creme




Another Santa-themed shot, because if you simply can’t get enough. This one looks Christmas-y.

  • ½ oz Grenadine
  • ½ oz green Crème de Menthe

Layer and enjoy!



This classic shot may make you wiser, but we couldn’t find any medical research to back up that claim. All in all, it tastes great if you like whiskey.

Layer equal parts:


  • Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky
  • Jim Beam bourbon whiskey
  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey

Three Wise Men recipe comes from Drinks Mixer.



This shot is another visual masterpiece.

Layer equal parts:

  • 1 part Banana Liquor
  • 1 part Blue Curacao
  • 1 part Baileys Irish Creme


Thanks to Coed for this one.



Technically, this one isn’t a shot, but it falls into the shot category because you are supposed to drink it through your straw in one gulp. Either way you drink it, you probably won’t remember anyway!

  • ½ Oz. Club Soda
  • 3/4  Oz. Coffee Liqueur
  • 3/4 Oz. Vodka

Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass


Come check out American Bartenders School if you want to learn the correct way to make these shots and many other drinks. We want to help you become a bartender today. We’ll help you find a job bartending and get you making some money fast. Contact us for more details.

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Guide: Make this Year Something to Remember

Are you throwing a New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party this year? American Bartenders School understands that not every person has the same taste in cocktails, so we decided to be extra thorough and help come up with a variety of different New Year’s Eve drink ideas for any type of party. We’ve broken it down into New Year’s Eve Cocktails for two, New Year’s Eve Shots, cocktails for a larger house party, and lastly, big batch New Year’s Eve Drink recipes that will keep everyone happy.

Pick the right drinks with the New Year’s Eve Cocktail Guide that will keep you and your guests merry as you bring in the new year together.


New Year’s Eve Cocktails – Keep them Sparkling


We are going to start our New Year’s Eve Cocktail guide off with champagne, since it is a mainstay New Year’s Eve cocktail. This tradition of celebrating with champagne goes way back to the Middle Ages so, you can’t go wrong with a great bottle of bubbly. However, it is important to consider the type of sparkling wine that you are going to celebrate with on your big night. Remember, you don’t want to choose the wrong bottle, otherwise you will need to wait a whole year to get it right!

What is Champagne?

New Year's Eve Cocktail Guide - Champagne

Let’s start off with a quick basic primer in sparkling wine. As a New Year’s Eve cocktail, this is about as simple as it gets. Yet, there are many layers to sparkling wine that you may not be aware of.  For instance, sparkling wine can only go by the name ‘Champagne’ if it has been made in the Champagne region in the north east of France. The region has a very distinct climate that gives the grapes a distinct taste. Remember: All sparkling wine does not have to be champagne, but all champagne is sparkling wine!

The fact that it has been around for so long and producing quality products for hundreds of years allows them to keep a higher price point. This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily the best. Each person may have their own preference for sparkling wine.

If you are in the market for something other than Champange, other popular sparkling wines that come from Italy are FranciacortaAstiLambrusco, and Prosecco. Another popular type of sparkling wine, Cava, comes from Spain.

Brut or not to brut?

A Brut is essentially champagne that is devoid of sugar. If you are into extra dry wine, you may want to consider a Brut. Here is a quick breakdown of the sparkling wine sweetness scale.

  • Ultra Brut/Extra Brut/Brut Zero/Brut Nature/Brut Sauvage: Totally dry – No added sugar
  • Brut:  Should taste dry with no perception of sweetness. (Contains no more than 1.5% sugar.)
  • Extra Dry/Extra Sec:  Slightly sweet. (Up to 2% sugar.)
  • Sec:  A.K.A. ‘dry’ – Noticeably sweet. (Up to 3.5% sugar.)
  • Demi-Sec:  Sweet. (Up to 5% sugar.)
  • Doux:  Sugary Sweet. (Up to 10% sugar.)

New Year’s Eve Sparkling for Two:


New Year's Eve Cocktail Guide - Sparkling Wine for Two

So now that you have your basic primer, here are a few great choices from

$10 – 15

88 Segura Viudas NV Brut Reserva (Cava)

This cava a great wine that is at a great value if you are looking to dabble in sparkling wine but don’t wish to commit your whole pay check.  Price: $10

89 Le Colture NV Fagher Brut (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore).

While the word Prosecco may tell you some of the story, apparently the journey to harvest the grapes used for this wine is quite an involved and under-appreciated process. Treacherous mountain cliffs, helicopters and intricate pulley systems are all employed to maintain these vineyards. This prosecco superiore is crisp and pairs great with Mediterranean foods. Price: All of this for $15


92 Raventós i Blanc 2009 de Nit (Cava)

The brand Raventós i Blanc is an “undisputed leader in quality ” among Cava producers. At $26 this price point will give you the quality of a great champagne, but won’t break the bank. Price: $26

88 Hermann J. Wiemer 2006 Cuvée Brut (Finger Lakes).
This dry sparkling wine is from the Finger Lakes of New York State. Price: $27


92 Roland Champion 2007 Spécial Club Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne)

The“Spécial Club” means that the wine has been approved by a special select group. Price: $80

95 Bollinger 2004 La Grande Année Rosé Brut (Champagne)
This is apparently James Bond’s favorite Champagne. At a higher price point, it should make any date night special. Price: $235


New Year’s Eve Cocktails for Two:

New Year's Eve Cocktail Guide - Cocktails for Two

Perhaps a bottle of champagne is a little too plain? Take a look at these New Year’s Eve drink recipes that use champagne. Maybe you’d like to spice it up a bit and try your hand at a champagne cocktail. This very traditional drink is essentially an old-fashioned but it uses sparkling wine in place of whiskey.

Champagne Cocktail Recipe:

  • Sugar cube
  • Dash Bitters
  • Champagne

Put 2-4 dashes of  bitters on the sugar cube, pour Champagne into a fluted glass and then drop in the bitters soaked cube.

However, there are also many other cocktails made using sparkling wine as a base. The most popular is probably the Mimosa. Here are a few variations on the champagne cocktail that are great for your date night.


Sorbet and Champagne Cocktail

A simple addition to champagne can make all the difference.

  • 1 teaspoon sorbet (we like raspberry or passion fruit)
  • Chilled Champagne or Prosecco

Scoop sorbet into a champagne flute. Fill with chilled Champagne or Prosecco; stir.

Via Martha Stewart


Air Mail

This drink is unique in that it combines rum with champagne. This gives a summer-ish twist to your New Year’s Eve Cocktails party.

  • 2 ounces rum — golden rum
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 5 ounces Brut champagne

Mix thoroughly with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then pour unstrained into Collins glass. Fill with champagne. (We recommend using Puerto Rican rum.)

via Esquire


New Year’s Eve Fancy House Party Cocktails


New Year's Eve Cocktail Guide - House Party

OK, so maybe instead of a romantic dinner and evening on New Years, you are having a few friends over. Put away the Coors Light and try some of these great cocktails.

Hot Apple Pie Cocktail

The great taste of Apple Pie, in an alcoholic drink. It almost sounds too good to be true!

  • ¾ oz. Stoli Vanilla Vodka
  • 1½ oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 4 oz. apple cider
  • 1 oz. whipped cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • cinnamon powder

Combine spirits and cider, steaming until warm. Add cinnamon stick to footed mug and pour in liquid. Top with whipped cream and sprinkled cinnamon powder.

via Delish


Siren’s Song

This drink features everyone’s favorite – Ginger Beer! This New Year’s Eve Cocktail will keep them singing Auld Lang Syne until the wee hours.

  • 3 ounces champagne
  • 1 ounce ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce raspberry puree
  • 1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir for 5 to 10 seconds. Strain into a champagne flute.

via Epicurious


Black Velvet

OK – You and your guests love beer but still want champagne? Try this drink!

  • Stout Beer
  • Champagne

Half-fill a Collins glass with stout and top up slowly with champagne. Stir gently with glass or plastic rod.

Via Esquire



Big Batch New Year’s Eve Cocktails for your Big New Year’s Eve Bash

New Year's Eve Cocktail Guide - Big Batch Drinks

Maybe you would rather be in a large crowd for New Year’s Eve. We’ve got you covered when it comes to big batch drinks. These New Year’s Eve Cocktails are easy to make and should keep the cost down.

Blood Orange Punch

Blood oranges are in season from December until May, so you should take advantage of them and get them in your cocktails.

  • 2 bottle(s) (25 ounces each) blood orange juice, chilled
  • 3 can(s) (12 ounces each) natural orange soda, such as San Pellegrino Aranciata, chilled
  • 3 tablespoon(s) fresh lime juice
  • 8 ounce(s) light rum
  • 5 dash(es) bitters
  • 1 blood orange or orange, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges and frozen

Fill ice cube trays with 1 1/2 cups orange juice, and freeze. To make punch, stir remaining orange juice, soda, lime juice, rum, and bitters into a 16-cup punch bowl. Before serving, add frozen orange slices. Add ice cubes as needed to keep chilled.

Orange Cherry Champagne Cocktail

A great recipe for another orange-based big batch cocktail.

  • 3 seedless oranges
  • Peel of 1/2 orange
  • ½ c. red cherries
  • ½ c. sweet vermouth (such as Carpano Antica)
  • ¼ c. blended Scotch (such as Famous Grouse)
  • 1 bottle champagne or other dry sparkling wine (such as Domaine Saint Vincent Brut)

Transfer orange juice to a blender. Add cherries and blend until fruit is pureed. Strain juice into a pitcher. Stir in vermouth and Scotch. Divide cocktail mixture among 8 glasses and top off each with about 1/3 cup champagne. Garnish with orange peels.

via Delish


Champagne Punch

This classic, easy-to-make punch recipe should keep the party going!

  • 12 ounce can frozen fruit punch, thawed partially
  • 10 ounces strawberries (can be frozen)
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 24 ounces ginger ale
  • 1 quart Champagne
  • 3 cups water
  • Ice
  • Sliced fresh citrus fruit

Place fruit punch, water, strawberries, lemon juice, and orange juice in a large punch bowl. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Pour ginger ale and Champagne slowly into the bowl. For a finishing touch, add a ring of ice to the punch and slices of fresh citrus.

via Cocktails


New Year’s Eve Shots

Perhaps your New Year’s Eve cocktail and drink recipes aren’t enough. Maybe you need some shots to liven up the party. We highlighted some of these in our holiday shots post, but here are a few of our favorites.

new years eve cocktail guide shots


Pumpkin Pie Shot Drink Recipe

This is pumpkin pie in a shot glass. Here’s an amazing (and slightly dangerous) tip – light the goldschlager for a fresh baked version. Make sure you blow it out before drinking!

  • 2 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 oz Goldschlager

Layer each ingredient with a spoon and shake with ice. Strain into 4 shot glasses.


This is a great tasting shot for parties because it reminds everyone of the classic candy – M&M’s. If you like this shot, you can find every candy-flavored shot and cocktail on this post!

  • 1/2 oz. Frangelico
  • 1/2 oz. Creme de Cacao

Shake over ice and serve


This shot is sweet and delicious it can be made with brandy or butterscotch schnapps. It’s your party, so the choice is yours. (We prefer to have it with the butterscotch.)

  • ¾ oz Butterscotch Schnapps or brandy
  • ¾ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream

Build in a shot glass or shake and strain


Bartender School & Bartending In NYC: By the Numbers

Bartender school has never been more important if you want to get bartending in NYC. Why? If you look at the numbers, New York City is becoming an amazing place for bars and restaurants. So, whether you work at a fancy restaurant, a hotel bar, dive bar or nightclub, the time to get work bartending is right now. The way to capitalize on these bartending job opportunities in NYC is by attending bartender school.

We have created an infographic that breaks down the benefits of bartender school and the numbers of work opportunities in New York City.

Click here to jump to the Infographic.


Bartender School – Get in, Get Learning, Get Out.

Bartender school is designed to teach you what you need to know to get a job. A two-week, 40-hour class will help you learn four main areas about bartending.


The Law 

As we have talked about before, there is no certificate or certification needed to bartend in NYC. A bartending license doesn’t exist. But, what you will find is that some bars like their employees to study alcohol awareness to help protect themselves from legal action.

For example, did you ever hear of the Dram Shop Laws? This is a law that states that a bar can be held civilly liable if it serves alcohol to an obviously drunk person. However, according to Wikipedia, “NY will not allow a person who injures themselves to bring a lawsuit against the bar that served them, but if that person dies will allow such a person’s children to sue the drinking establishment for loss of parental consortium.”

So, getting trained in alcohol awareness can help protect against these sticky situations. According to National Hospitality Training, “The New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) will consider training a mitigating factor if, at the time of violation, the person who committed the violation held a valid certificate of completion or renewal from a certified alcohol training awareness program provider and the licensee diligently implemented and complied with the training program.”

Bartending Skills

As a bartender, you will not only need to know recipes for hundreds of drinks, but you will need to know how to make them. This is something that requires hands on experience that you can only learn at a bartender school.

Furthermore, the skill of a bartender is also in controlling the bar. This ties into the previous topic about law, but a great bartender always knows how much alcohol a customer has purchased. This allows the bartender to have control over the situation and protect him/herself and the bar.

In fact, there are many skills that you need to learn to actually get a job.

Making Money

Bartender School also helps you in your quest for the almighty dollar (more on this in a bit). Every person knows that bartenders make money, but to really make money, you need to know how to interact with customers (aside from the obvious – making good drinks).

We also know that there are scientifically proven ways to help increase tips as a bartender.

Resume & Interview Techniques

The importance of a good resume can not be underestimated. This gets you in the door. Then you need to know how to actually interview. Every job is different and every bar is different. Luckily, American Bartenders School has been around for so long that we have relationships with many bars and restaurants and we know how to help you prepare.

Bartender School = Work Opportunities



As you can see, there were over 550,000 jobs nationwide for bartenders in 2012. That number is expected to grow by 12% by 2022!

Digging deeper, you will see that New York State has the 2nd highest employment of bartenders (behind the huge state of California). Looking closer, New York City is the number one place to be for bartending with over 20,000 jobs. Now is the time to get bartending, so prepare yourself by going to bartender school first!

Bartending Jobs in Bars and Restaurants



Thousands of Work Opportunities

Did you know that there are over 2,600 bars in NYC? That is a lot of drinking! However, that number looks like nothing compared to the 16,000 full-service restaurants in the city.

Restaurant Boom

The number of permits for restaurants, bars, and cafes is at 23,705 at the start of 2015. This is up from 18,606 from 2006. Looking a bit closer, the number of eating establishments in Brooklyn has grown 10% since 2014 and the number in Manhattan 6%.

Bartender School and Making Money

As we said before, you can make some serious money as a bartender. How much are we talking? Well take a look below and you will see that a typical bartender can make $250-300 per night in tips. Working at a hotel, however, gets bartenders health benefits and a salary, but each person has their own idea of an ideal job.



All of this and all you need is a 40-hour class. It seems so simple. Well, it is! If you are willing to put in the work to learn how to be a bartender, you will be rewarded. The numbers don’t lie. Sign up today.




Bartender School: 15 Reasons Why You Need to go to School to Get a Job

Like it or not, bartending is not something you can do without any training. No one is ever going to hire you right off the street if you haven’t been to a bartender school. There are no shortcuts or handbooks that are going to make you a master bartender overnight. Bartender school is an important piece of the puzzle if you are serious about getting a job as a bartender in New York City and beyond.

Bartender school teaches important techniques, laws, history, and other important skills that you never even knew were important. At American Bartender School, we are extremely lucky to have instructors who are actual bartenders in the industry right now. Students benefit from the knowledge and experience of our industry professionals. Take a look at this infographic that shows the benefits of going to a bartender school and bartending in NYC broken down by the numbers.

Here are the 15 reasons why you bartender school is insanely important before you can get a job as bartender.


1. Interact with Customers

Learning to interact with a customer at a bar is a skill. Striking up the right conversation could mean gaining a customer for life. As a bartender, we have to walk the line between friend and businessman. You are a salesman but also a drinking buddy. Bartender school helps you gracefully merge the two ideas so that you can make friends while also doing your job. This will put money in your pocket but still keep you feeling like a human being. Our instructors set up working environments where you can learn and practice these interactions with other students so that you will know the best way to handle any situation. This is something you can’t learn on the job.

We also know that the way you interact with customers can directly affect the amount of money they tip you, which is great for you, but not something you can learn on the job. A great example is that it has been scientifically-proven that learning someone’s name and repeating it out loud to them makes them more likely to help you out. So, learning a customer’s name will make them more likely to help you out. And over the years, our instructors have learned that customers are willing to help. This bartender got a $1000 tip on a $14 bill. Or this NJ bartender who was left $1000 tip to help pay for her dog’s surgery.

We aren’t saying that everyone is going to tip you $1000 just because you learn their name. But, it is clear that learning how to navigate the world of customer-bartender interaction is beneficial – and is something that you can only learn from a proven professional at a bartender school.


2. Learn the Laws

Some of the most important things you will learn at bartender school are often overlooked and forgotten by bartenders who haven’t attended school. These are specific beverage industry laws from the state of New York that every bar needs to abide by. The laws themselves are part of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (ABC), which was created back in 1933 after Prohibition.


The State Liquor Authority(SLA) and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control were also created as part of this ABC law. The SLA provides “the protection, health, welfare and safety of the people of the State.” They are in charge of things like liquor licenses, inspections, and regulation in the bar industry. Bartender school will give you an overview of these laws – and let you know what you need to know if it ever comes up.

3. Sanitation!

Another type of law that is important to learning about in bartender school is sanitation law. Having first hand experience dealing with these types of rules and regulations, bartending school instructors are the best resources for an aspiring bartender. There are some bars that break these rules very frequently, which can lead to some serious health issues or fines.Our instructors help guide you through the sanitary practices that will help keep your job healthy and safe. You can view some of the laws and restrictions yourself from the NYC website here.

4. A Correct Pour

Over-pouring and spilled drinks are a huge problem in the bartending industry. It is such a problem, in fact, that some companies are trying to create bartending robots to combat the expense of wasted liquor from inept bartenders. Others are trying to track and limit the pours from each bottle with inexpensive devices that actually attach to the liquor bottle, like this one from Barvision.


A correct pour can be the difference between serving 15 drinks from one bottle to serving 25 drinks from one bottle. Over the course of a few weeks and months, the costs really start adding up for a bar. For a bar, a practice pour is money down the drain. Bartending school is the only place where you can actually practice and hone your skills of a correct pour without costing the bar money. A practice pour at bartending school, under the helping guide of an experienced instructor, is a learning experience and a step towards a professional career in bartending.

5. Upselling Techniques

Upselling is the idea where a bartender or server offers additional items to be added to a customer’s order. Did you know that only 15% of customers actually want to hear these additional offers? With such a small margin, there is a no room for error. This is not something you want to leave up to learning on the job, because it is a concept that bar managers look for in hiring employees. Upselling is such an important part of the hiring process because it ensures that you will be actively bringing in more money. This is obviously something all bars want to be doing.

Bartending school is the only place where you can learn the correct upselling tactics and actively practice them with ‘customers’ before actually working a job. It is also the best way to prove to the person hiring that you have learned these skills from instructors who are industry professionals.

6. Control Your bar

Being a bartender is a great responsibility. You need to be confident and lead behind the bar. You are accountable for the speed of service as well as the amount of people you are serving. Too many people slows down the service. Too little service and people might get angry and leave, costing valuable revenue for the bar and tip money in your pocket. A great bartender can efficiently mix and serve drinks to multiple people at once, while also taking orders for the next few.


While this is definitely something that is going to differ based on the bar, the clientele, and other variables like the time of day, you still need to have the knowledge and confidence going into the job to truly do it correctly. This is something that bartending school excels at teaching. Confidence and leadership skills are some of the most important things you will learn at bartending school. These are also what a bar manager is going to look for when hiring.

Another part of controlling your bar is being able to keep track of and control the number of drinks you are giving your customers. Serving drinks to whoever asks is only the beginning. The skill of a great bartender is knowing that Customer 2 already had two Gin and Tonics in the hour and may need a water instead of another. Or knowing that the group of college kids who ordered a round of shots just tried to put their drinks on a stranger’s tab.

Trust us, you are going to want to learn this stuff from a professional before getting behind a bar.

7. Drunks, Drams, and the Law

Dealing with intoxicated people is something you will never be able to learn on your own. This requires training. Bartending school prepares you and helps train for the situations that you may face in any given night. Sure, you may have helped break up a drunken brawl between friends or driven a drunk brother home, but when money and the law are added to the mix, the stakes are much, much higher. This is something that hiring managers take extremely seriously.

We already know that some employers require that employees get certified in certain alcohol awareness programs. New York State doesn’t require anything by law, but insurance companies often tell bar owners to also get their workers trained in an awareness program of some sort. They will also recommend that the bar purchases Liquor Liability Insurance for the bar.


The main reason behind all of this is that if you serve someone who is clearly drunk, and they go get behind a wheel, then there are serious repercussions. There are actual laws that govern over these types of cases, known Dram Shop Laws. The laws vary from state to state, but are very important.

Under NY state’s Dram Shop Law, a bar can be held civilly liable if it serves alcohol to an obviously drunk person.

This is serious business – and something that you want a professional with years on the job teaching you. Bartending school is where you will learn from instructors who have seen it all. American Bartenders School specifically employs teachers who have the experience and knowledge of years of bartending.

8. How it’s Made

As a bartender, you are the resident expert on everything on your side of the bar. Customers look to you for drinks, but sometimes, for answers. “Hey what’s the difference between scotch and bourbon?” Or “Hey what exactly is sour mix?”

These are the types of questions you need to be prepared to answer. You may be thinking, I’m just a bartender, I just get them drinks. Well sorry, not these days. An uninformed bartender not only make a poor impression on himself, but also on the bar. Therefore, this is not someone a bar manager wants to hire.

A lot of it goes back to building rapport with customers to keep them coming back. But furthermore, when you are behind the bar, you should know what you are working with. Know that different beers have different tastes because of little something called hops. Know that some liquors get their color from the barrel-aging process.

These are all things that you learn at bartending school from experts. You don’t want to go in unprepared. Remember, this is the age of the expert, celebrity bartender and mixologist. 

9. Learn Your Drink History

To take the previous topic a bit further, you should learn a little history about the drinks you are serving. Why does this help you when you are just serving a drink? Remember, you are the expert. The more that you know, the more that customers will appreciate it. This means better tips and hopefully a returning customer.

We aren’t saying that you have to know the history of each cultures’ first beer (But it sure is interesting…Most cultures created beer with different grains – the Africans used millet, maize and cassava, versus the Chinese who used wheat, while the Egyptians used barley). But taking the time to learn that gin originated in Holland is an interesting fact, and one that may make a connection with a customer. Bartending school once again will teach you these facts.

10. Craft Beer Wars!

First, take this amazing quiz about craft beer. Did you know that only a few companies own most of the beer you see on shelves and serve in bars? It may simply be because of this fact that the craft beer industry is booming.


Irregardless of the fact that the biggest beer companies InBev and SABMiller are merging, there will always be a craft brew industry. A true bartender needs to know the difference between the different types of beer being served.

At bartending school, you will learn about beer from expert instructors. You learn important points like how it’s made, who produces it, what makes some beer different than others, why different beers taste “hoppy”, why some are dark and others are light. American Bartenders School even offers a separate beer class. These distinctions are what make beer great, and keep people coming back for more. If you live in NYC, the average customer cares about the brewery and the type of beer. Did you know that NYC has over 20 craft breweries?

11. Top Drinks – in every industry

This may be the most obvious advantage of learning at a bartending school, but it is important to mention. At American Bartenders School, you will learn the top drinks that you need to know in any industry. Not only will you learn the ingredients and history behind the drinks, but you will learn the proper techniques for making them and serving them.

Sure, you can learn ingredients to make a drink online, but hands-on experience creating a cocktail is the only way to actually get hired as a bartender. Bartending school gives you that experience as well as training from instructors who have been perfecting these cocktails for years.

12. Beef up the Resume

Not only does writing ‘bartending school’ automatically give you a leg up on your competition if you include it on your resume, but at American Bartenders School, the job team also helps you write your resume. Just like any other job, there are certain traits, qualities, and keywords that employers in the bartending industry look for. You will learn these traits and qualities at the school, but we will also help you display them correctly on your resume.

13. Nail the Interview

The job interview is one of the most important parts of getting a job. This can make or break the whole process. Preparing you for your job interview is something that bartending school will prepare you in a way no other school can. American Bartenders School knows the industry, and therefore knows how to help you present yourself in the best way possible.


Knowing the types of questions that a bar manager or restaurant owner will ask you is incredibly important. American Bartenders School (over 60 years!) has been around long enough to know the interview stylings of many employers, since we have relationships with over 1,000 bars and establishments nationwide.

This insider information is extremely valuable and something that you won’t find anywhere else.

14. Find a Job!

If you are looking to get into bartending, you will need help finding a job. Bartending school provides you with that help in the form of a job board and job placement department. This private job board is something that you can not access outside of the system. It is only available to graduates of the American Bartenders School full bartending course.

American Bartenders School’s job placement department is dedicated to help you find a bartending job. Every day new restaurants, sports bars, clubs and hotels open, and they need well-trained, professional bartenders. This growth continues to fuel a demand for bartenders. In good and bad times, people continue to drink no matter the state of the economy.

15. Lifetime Practice

The greatest thing about bartending is that you can come back to it anytime. If you work as a bartender for a few years, then take some time off, bartending will always be there for you. However, coming back after a few months or years is a bit harder than you may think. This is something that bartending school can aide you in that you can’t get in a bar itself.

American Bartenders School offers lifetime access to the facilities for graduates. So, if you have graduated, but then wish to brush up on your skills, you are always welcome back for a refresher course or just to run through some drinks in our bars.


What is the Difference between Whiskey and Bourbon? [The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide ]

This is a very popular question and the simplest answer to this question is this: Bourbon is a type of Whiskey.

Whiskey is a spirit made from fermented grain. Bourbon is made using a specific type of grain and specific aging process. So – to quickly dispel myth number one: Bourbon DOES NOT have to be made in Kentucky. It is the process that determines the type of whiskey.

To really understand, we have decided to dive a bit deeper and help to clarify the whole process for you. American Bartenders School teaches a great lesson on whiskey during part of its full class. Knowing the difference is something that separates the good bartenders from the mediocre. Bartending in NYC and throughout the world requires intimate knowledge of what you are serving, because there is always a customer out there who thinks they know more than you.

But, here is a primer to get you started and some great facts to impress your customers, family, and friends.

Without further ado: here is the infographic!

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Whiskey Making Process (Simplified)

Whiskey is a spirit that is distilled from fermented grain mash. This same grain mash is the stuff that is also used to make beer. In both processes, the grain is steeped in hot water for a time to release sugars. This sugary liquid becomes “wort”. Then the wort is fermented, by adding yeast, which converts the sugar to alcohol.

The only difference is that when making beer, they also add hops when producing the wort. This helps add flavor to the beer and balances the sweetness. Whiskey doesn’t need hops because it ages in oak barrels to balance the flavors.

So, after the wort is fermented, it becomes ‘wash’. This is fermented liquid that is ready to get distilled. From here it is placed in a still, such as a pot still or column still. This heats up the liquid and the vapors travel through a pipe at the top and come out the other side. During this distilling process, the alcoholic content is increased. This happens two or three times and in some special cases up to twenty times – each time the liquid becomes more alcoholic. Then the whiskey is transferred into casks or barrels where it is aged. As they age, they are blended with other whiskies to create that particular brand’s signature flavor.

This is the process in the most simple form.

The type of whiskey produced, however, is dependent on many factors. These include the geography of the distillery, the type of grain used, the distillation method, the type of casks, and any other things added to the final product like coloring or other spirits.

Whiskey vs Whisky

This is highly debated, but comes down to the origins of the word and who you are talking to. The New York Times dove into this issue and came out with the understanding that if you are talking about whiskey in general, it is fine to say whiskEy. However, Canadian and Scottish folk say Whisky. So – when referring to scotch (because it’s from Scotland), you would say scotch whisky – no E.

Single Malt vs Blend

This is what you will hear most people talking about when they talk about whiskey. Basically, a SINGLE MALT whiskey is one that is created from one distillery, made from a mash that only uses one particular malted grain. (For example, a single malt scotch whisky is made from malted barley.)

A BLENDED whiskey is one that is the made from the blending of different types of whiskeys from many different distilleries.

You can also have BLENDED MALT, which is a blend of SINGLE MALT whiskeys.

IMPORTANT: All whiskies are blended! A single malt is still blended! So, don’t be a whiskey snob -only you can decide for yourself which whiskey is the ‘best’.

Kinds of Whiskey

Here is where things get a bit confusing. The easiest way to remember all of this is that it is ALL whiskey. The word that comes before it tells you where the whiskey comes from – and each country that makes whiskey has its own rules and laws that they have to abide by.

Scotch Whisky

Scotch Whisky is whiskey that MUST be made in Scotland.

To be specific, it has to be

  • Distilled twice
  • Matured for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks
  • Scotch whisky without an age statement may, by law, be as young as three years old
  • Any age statement on the bottle, in the form of a number, must reflect the age of the youngest Scotch whisky used to produce that product.
  • Scotch malt whiskies are divided into 4 main regions: Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside. (You can actually break it up into 7 regions, and include the regions called ‘Islands’, “Grain’, and ‘Campbeltown’.) Every region has certain distilleries that create scotch with flavors and aromas distinct to that region.

American Whiskey

American Whiskey is whiskey made in America. However, unlike Scotch, some of these whiskeys below can be made outside of the US (with the exception of ‘Tennessee Whiskey’). There are several different kinds:

  • Bourbon whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% corn (maize)
  • Corn whiskey(MOONSHINE)—made from mash that consists of at least 80% corn
  • Malt whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% malted barley
  • Rye whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% rye
  • Rye malt whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% malted rye
  • Wheat whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% wheat

All above must follow the following rules. They must be distilled to no more than 80% alcohol by volume, & barrelled at no more than 125 proof. (To clarify this even further – ‘Proof’ in the US is two times percentage of alcohol by volume. So, in order to be American Whiskey, it must be barreled at no less than 62.5% alcohol by volume.)

  • Only water may be added to the final product -the addition of colouring or flavouring is prohibited.
  • Must be aged in NEW charred-oak containers, (except for corn whiskey which does not have to be aged Corn whiskey is usually un-aged and sold as a legal version of moonshine. This is also why moonshine isn’t a dark color like other whiskeys – because the barrel aging process is where most of the color comes from.)

The reason these are in place is because back in the 1800’s, old timer distillers used to mess with their whiskeys, sometimes trying to enhance the flavor, other times trying to dilute them. This eventually led to the Bottle in Bond Act of 1897, which helped come up with the stipulations above.

Tennessee Whiskey?

Tennessee whiskey is American whiskey that is made using the ‘Lincoln County Process’. Before the whiskey is moved to the barrels or casks, it is filtered or steeped in charcoal. This was signed into law by the governor of Tennessee on May 13, 2013. The most popular of these is Jack Daniel’s.

Canadian Whiskey

Canadian Whiskey is whiskey made in Canada. Here the rules are a bit different.

  • May contain caramel and flavouring in addition to the distilled mash spirits,
  • No maximum limit on the alcohol level of the distillation.
  • To be exported under one of the “Canadian Whisky” designations, a whisky cannot contain more than 9.09% imported spirits.

Irish Whiskey

Irish Whiskey is whiskey that MUST be produced in Ireland – Irish whiskeys are normally distilled three times (with one exception).

By law, Irish whiskey must be:
-produced in Ireland
-aged in wooden casks for a period of no less than three years
-unpeated malt is almost always used

Japanese Whisky

Japanese Whisky has been growing in popularity since the early 2000s. They produce whiskey that is most similar to single malt scotch from Scotland. It is also made from malted barley. Popular brands include Nikka and Suntory. Japanese whisky is also closer in taste to traditional Scotch whisky because many of the Japanese companies are buying distilleries in Scotland in order to make their whiskies.

So remember, whiskey is a category. We advise you to try all the different kinds. Get to know your favorite brands and tastes. Visit a distillery! The more informed that you can be, the better you will be as a bartender. And the better you are as a bartender, the more cash you will make!