Is Bartending School Worth It?

I recently received this letter from a former student and wanted to share it.

I wanted to become a bartender because I needed some extra money.  My brother works as a bartender and he was always telling me how much money he was making.  He took a bartending class at American Bartending School in New York

Mixing Up Some Cocktails
Mixing Up Some Cocktails

and I decided to check out.

I went down to the school on 29th street and was greeted by the receptionist who asked me to fill out a form.  5 minutes later I was greeted by Anthony the admissions director who gave me a tour of the school and explained what the students were learning that day.  I liked the look of the school; it was like a real bar.  The music was playing and the students were shaking drinks and seemed to be having a blast.  Howard the instructor was busy calling out drink orders and correcting student mistakes.  He reminded me of a drill instructor.

When I went into Anthony’s office he explained in detail what I would learn during the bartender training.  He then explained that American Bartenders School would help me find a job with the school’s job placement service.  “We’re nation’s oldest school and we have been training bartenders for over 44 years.  We have thousands of contacts in the bar industry that have hired are graduates”, he told me.  He then showed me several pages of current job leads.

It all sounded good but I still wasn’t sure this was the answer to my financial problem.  He told me to think it over and call him when I was ready.  On my way out I spoke to a couple of students and asked them about the class.  They had positive things to say and especially liked Howard the drill sergeant instructor.

A few days later I decided to give bartending a school a shot and went and enrolled.  I started class and was ready to start mixing.  The class started with an introduction to the bar and all the bartending equipment.  We were each assigned a bar station and were shown how to set it up for the class.  We then had a demonstration and lecture on a series of drinks.  Howard who still works as a bartender part time gave us tips and told us interesting stories of his bartending experience.  After the he finished the lesson, we went behind the bar and started practicing making the drinks from the lesson.

I was surprised that after making the drinks several times the recipes became easier to remember.  Every day Howard would give us another mixology lesson and we would go behind the bar and practice.  In addition to learning and practicing making drinks, the school instructed us in customer service, alcohol awareness, liquors, wines, resumes and bartending job interview tips.  We learned a lot in the 40 hour class.

Now that I was ready to start my bartending career I had to find a job.  The school has a website for graduates that  list open job leads.  There 60 of them in all different types of places.  Half of them were in Manhattan and the other half were in other parts of the city.  I found 5 places that looked good and started my search.  I visited all 5 of them over 2 days.  Several of the places had hired graduates from the school before and had good success.  2 of the places weren’t my type of place and I struck them from the list.  1 of the places invited me back for a second interview with the boss.

The next several days I checked the job listings on the website every day and found new places that looked good.  This routine went on all week and I eventually interviewed at 20 establishments before hitting pay dirt and getting hired.  The first day I started work I was slow.  Hey I was working with real customers and pour real booze.  After the first day it was smooth sailing.  I quickly picked up my speed and by the end of the week I felt like I had been doing it for years.

Finding a bartending job is like finding every other type of job.  You have to be willing to hit the bricks and show your face to prospective employers.   Some people say bartending school is a waste of time, but I can’t imagine getting a bartender job without knowing the basics I learned during the class. There’s a lot more to being a good bartender then opening a bottle of beer.

Maybe some people don’t need bartending school to get a bartending job.  However, my experience is that without taking a bartending class and getting some hands on experience; you’re going to have a tough time finding anyone to hire you.

Top 10 Halloween Cocktail Drink Recipes

Halloween is coming soon and we wanted to pass on some great tasting and fun cocktail drink recipes to make for your monster friends.


  • Tall glass
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. sweet and sour mix
  • Fill with  Lemon-Lime soda
  • Splash Grenadine
  • Splash of Blue Curacao

Brain Hemorrhage

  • Shot glass
  • 1 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • Splash. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 drops Grenadine
  • Pour the Peach Schnapps into a large shot glass.
  • Slowly add the Bailey’s and top with the grenadine.

Vampire Juice Recipe

  • Tall glass fill with crushed ice
  • ½ oz. coconut flavor Rum
  • ½ oz. Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. light rum
  • Fill with Orange Juice

Devil’s Kiss

  • Shot glass
  • ½ oz. dark rum
  • ½ oz. Kahlua
  • Dash of Grand Marnier

 Ghost Buster

  • Cocktail glass
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • ½ oz. Kahlua
  • Shake and strain

Spooky Juice

  • Tall glass ice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 2 dashes Blue Curacao
  • 1 dash Grenadine
  • fill with orange Juice
  • Stir together with ice.

Little Red Devil

  • Cocktail glass
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • Shake and strain

Black Witch

  • Cocktail glass
  • 1 oz. Amber Rum
  • ½ oz. dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • ½ oz. Apricot Brandy
  • Shake and strain


  • Tall glass crushed ice
  • ½ oz. dark rum
  • ½ oz. light rum
  • ½ oz. triple sec
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. sweet and sour
  • dash grenadine
  • 1 dash Pernod
  • Short Shake
  • Float dash of 151-proof rum

Satan’s Whiskers

  • Cocktail glass
  • 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. blood orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Stir with ice, then strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

A complete list of cocktail drink recipes is available at the American Bartenders Schools cocktail drink index page. Many of these recipes have how to videos and are informative and entertaining.

Join the fun and become a bartender. In only 1 or 2 weeks full or part time you can be fully trained and ready to start bartending. Learn how to make this drink and many more behind a real in our bartender class. Our job placement service will help you find a bartending job. Call us now at 800-532-9222.





How To Choose a Bartending School

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a bartender, there are many different ways to enter this potentially high paying and interesting field. The least expensive and hardest is find someone to train you for free because most places don’t have the time or a knowledgeable trainer.

American Bartending School Class Room
American Bartending School Class Room

Your second choice is buy a drink recipe book and start memorizing hundreds of recipes. Not a good idea because you may be memorizing hundreds of recipes that aren’t popular. The easiest way and most expensive is to go to a bartender school. Although there are articles on the internet from so called “experts” trashing bartending schools and calling them scams. None of them claim to have attended a bartending school or even visited one. It appears their misinformation comes from a few bartenders or bar owners and not graduates. Some bar owners won’t hire a graduate and that’s their choice. Usually, it’s because the establishment has extremely high volume and the graduate doesn’t have enough speed to handle the bar customers and servers. For every establishment like this, there are many others where a graduates skills are more than adequate to do the job.

You’ll seldom hear a negative comment about a bartending school from a bartender who has graduated from a state licensed accredited bartending school. The negative comments come from insecure non-graduates who are threatened because the graduates are more knowledgeable and better trained. Where else can you get trained for a good paying job in only 1 or 2 weeks. Especially when you and earn back your investment in a few days of bartending Not all bartending schools are equal. There are many that call themselves bartending schools but who are scams.

These are things one should consider choosing a school. Is the school state licensed? State licensed bartending schools have to meet curriculum requirements, be financially secure, have proper training facilities, and approved instructors. Can you watch a class in progress? This will allow you to talk to current students to find out they like the bartending school Does the school have a real bar and full working bar equipment and tools? How long is the training program? Beware of schools with short 1 or 2 day classes. There is no way you can learn to be a professional mixologist in less than 32 hours of hands on training. Does the school have a real job placement department and can they show you a list of current job lead? How long has the school in business? If it’s only been open a short time they could be here today and gone tomorrow.

Don’t make a decision on price alone. A cheap short bartending course may save you a few dollars but won’t give you enough practice time behind the bar to build your speed and confidence.   Be a smart consumer. Don’t make a decision on a phone call or a website. If you’re serious about working as a bartender, put in the time and effort to make sure you’re going to get what you pay for. Make sure that the school can show you a license from the state department of education?

There are many good schools that can start you on the right path..  Of course, we think that American Bartending School is one of the best.  We have been training bartenders for over 42 years.  We have thousands of contacts in the food and beverage business and helped thousands of graduates find good paying full and part time bartending jobs.




Top 10 Bartender Job Hunting Mistakes

Top 10 Bartending Job Hunting Mistakes

Review the following 10 job hunting mistakes when seeking a bartending job. Correct what you can, clean up, and you will improve your chances of landing a good bartending job.

Bartending School Student
Student practicing making drinks

1.  Not having the proper experience or knowledge for the position you’re applying for. Just because you may know how to make a few drinks, doesn’t make you a work ready bartender. Without proper training from a state licensed bartending school or actual bartending experience you’re probably wasting your time.
2.  Don’t show up at breakfast, lunch, or at dinner time and expect to get an interview, this is the wrong time.  Go before or after these meals for best results.
3.  Don’t give your resume to a perspective employer without first checking for spelling and grammar errors; giving incomplete
information with regard to education and work experience will always raise questions.
4.  Dress appropriate for the job interview, go on a job interview looking successful.
5.  Don’t have bad breath.  Remember, you are face to face with the hiring manager.
6.  Bathe or shower before your interview, don’t overdo it with deodorant, after-shave lotion or perfume.
7.  Always smile in the interview.  Remember, bartending is a face to face business.
8.  Job seekers should give a 24 hour phone number for call backs.
9. Turn off your cell phone before going in for an interview, left on; it gives the impression that you’re not serious about being in the interview.
10. If you want to work as a bartender and don’t have any experience invest in a forty hour state licensed bartending school.  Being school trained gives an individual at least six months of work experience.  It’s an added bonus; managers will always hire professionally trained bartenders, it’s the on the job experience that you get from school that counts.

Skinny Cocktails

Skinny Cocktails

Low Calorie Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Low Calorie Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Here at American Bartending School we are now teaching our bartender school students how to make low cal cocktails.  Like to have a drink and not worry about the extra calories, think about ordering a skinny cocktail for a change.

We teach our future bartenders how to make their own drink mixes using sugar substitutes like Splenda to cut the calories in half of drinks that use a lemon or lime mixer.  In the old days of bartending, one of the first things that bartending schools taught students was how to make non-alcoholic mixes.  One of the original recipes consisted of fresh lemon or lime juice, sugar and egg white.  The egg white when shaken with other ingredients produces a foamy head on the drink.

With America’s bulging waistlines, some of the large chain restaurants are coming up with unique ways to make their customers favorite cocktails more slimming.  Many of these low calorie delights are less than 200 calories.  My first experience with of these slimming lavations was a Skinny Margarita.  It consisted of tequila and fresh lime juice.  Since the sugar was left out, it was a little on the tart side to say the least.

Most cocktails like martinis and margaritas have around 300 calories in them.  A couple of these before or during dinner can have as many calories as some of the low fat entrees.  The success of light beers has shown that many consumers are interested in reducing their calories, while still enjoying their favorite alcoholic beverage.

Skinny cocktails particularly appeal to women and to older consumers.  However, by the second or third cocktail, I don’t think anyone is still worrying about calories.

The Cheesecake Factory, known for its extra-large portions, now offers a full array of low calorie cocktails.  The Ram Restaurant Chain and Bakery in 5 states sell 80 calorie, Skinny Lime Bite Coolers made with Captain Morgan Lime Bite Rum and diet Coke with a lime garnish. A local Austin chain Z’Tejas  Southwestern Grill has a “Naturally Skinny” cocktail menu with six drinks under 250 calories.  They use fresh juices, spirits and natural sweeteners.

So, if you want to shed a few pounds after letting loose after the holidays, think about going on a diet of skinny cocktails every now and then.

Top 10 Cool Things About Bartending

1. You always have cash in your pocket from tips from customers. Customers on an average tip a dollar a drink. This can add up quickly on a busy shift.
2. People like you and want to become your friend because you’re at the center of the action
3. Knowing bartending is like having a job insurance policy. No matter what the economic times people like to have a drink
4. Flexible work schedule-bartending jobs are available either full or part time. Day, evening and weekend jobs.
5. It’s fast paced and seldom boring-bartending combines both physical and mental abilities
6. You can be creative-new liquors and mixes are always coming out, combine them in a unique way and invent a world famous cocktail
7. Meet interesting people-one of the great things I always liked about bartending is I met people from all walks of life and from different parts of the world
8. Upward mobility-when you’re a bartender you’re in the spotlight. Do a good job and you have a great opportunity to be promoted to management
9. Networking-have a side business that you would like to promote? Every day you’ll meet new people who may be prospects for your product or service. It sure beats cold calling.
10. The world always needs good bartenders.

The food and beverage business is one of the fastest growing in the United States. There are thousands of restaurants, hotels, night clubs and sport bars that use full and part time bartenders nationwide Travel any major street and you’ll see new places opening. It’s not hard to become a bartender. In only 2 weeks you can learn the basics to get you started right here at American Bartenders School.

Bartending License and Certification

Do bartenders have to be licensed or certified?

This is a  question asked by many people who want to get into bartending is “do I have to be licensed or certified work as a bartender?”

There is no bartender’s license or certification necessary from most state or city government to work as a bartender.  Some cities require a bartender to have an alcohol awareness certification to work.  There are employers who may require their bartenders to have this type of certification because often it will reduce the establishment’s insurance premiums and decrease liability if there is an alcohol related problem.

Bartending Certification and License-Card
Sample Bartender Certification

Alcohol certification programs are designed to teach participants how to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking among the people to whom they sell or serve alcohol. These programs addresses important concerns specific to restaurants, hotels, bars, nightclubs, banquets and private parties where alcohol is served by the drink.

American Bartending School offers bartender certification training as part of its bartending school training class.  The topics covered in the American Bartending School certification are:

  • Liquor Laws – Presents the legal responsibilities for bartenders serving alcohol, explains the types of illegal sales, and provides information about checking IDs.
  • Assess Your Guest: Legal – Shows bartending school students how to apply the legal information to real-life scenarios through practical application exercises using short video.
  • Alcohol Information – Describes how alcohol affects people, signs of intoxication to look for, and relevant information about alcohol that the bartender can use to serve more responsibly.
  • Assess Your Customer: Alcohol – Teaches the bartending student to apply the alcohol information to real-life scenarios through practical application exercises using short video.
  • Intervention Information – Gives the bartending school students guidelines for providing customer-friendly, responsible alcohol service. Explain the bartender’s role in a three-step, easy-to-follow model.
  • Decide and Implement – Shows bartending school students how to apply intervention information to real-life scenarios through practical application exercises using short video.

An alcohol awareness certification is always very helpful when applying for a bartending job.  Some city police departments offer an alcohol awareness certification for bartenders and servers.  There is usually a fee to take the program and it’s only given periodically.

Bar Tricks Contest

American Bartending School in New York City is sponsoring the first bartender bar tricks competition. The competition is open to all bartenders. First prize is $200, second prize $100 and third prize $50.Bartender Tricks Contest

The competition will be held at American Bartending School located at 252 W 29th Street, New York, New York. Competitors must be certified bartenders who are currently employed.

Bartenders interested in competing should email American Bartending School at [email protected]

Bar tricks, stunts, pranks, scams and gags have been used by bartenders to entertain their customers and hopefully help increase their tips, make new friends (or enemies), or just have some fun! Whenever conversation fizzles, the food runs out, or boredom threatens to set in, you a good bartender can get the good times rolling. All he or she needs are items at hand like coins, glasses, and napkins.

The trick will be judged on originality, difficulty and entertainment value. The competition will be judged by instructors and staff members of all the American Bartending School in New York, New Jersey and Palm Springs.

American Bartending School is sponsoring the contest because it will soon be offering bar tricks, stunts, and gags as an optional additional part of its bartender training program Bartenders work primarily for tips and it’s important that graduates of the school know different ways to optimize their income. Since bar tricks our entertaining to customers, knowing it makes the graduate more valuable as employee. The school offers job placement assistance and has helped thousands of graduates find jobs.

American Bartending School is the nation’s oldest school and has been training bartenders for over 41 years. The school offers a two week hands on training program behind a real bar. Students learn by doing like on the job training. Everything is real at the school except the liquor.

Want to Learn Bartending?

The easiest and quickest way to become a bartender is a through a bartending school. In a short period of time, a week or two, you can be fully trained and ready to work. At a Bartending School the classroom is set up like an actual cocktail lounge classroom. Everything is real except the liquor. The instructor shows you how to mix the drink and than you go behind the bar and practice. It’s like on the job training where you learn by doing.

Some people enter into bartending roles from server or bar back positions. They primarily learn the trade on the job. This initially appears to be an inexpensive alternative to a bartending school but in reality often is not. This is time consuming and there is no guarantee that the person responsible for the training is qualified.

Participating in a bartending employment training program will demonstrate to prospective employers that you are committed to pursing a career in this field.

A good bartending school will not only teach you how to make the most popular drinks but will also train you in customer service, liquors, wines and alcohol safety.

This type of education will provide you with information about how to recognize intoxication, prevent drunk driving, and avoid serving liquor to minors.

You’re Bartending Career

There are always job opportunities available in the field of bartending. If you think bartending employment is right for you, the first thing you’ll need to do is consider is enrolling in a reputable state approved bartending school. Once you complete your training, be prepared to put in some time and effort in finding a job. The best bartending schools will you find a bartending job, but no school can guarantee you a job. Jobs where the potential earnings are $30 to $50 an hour are prime and it may take several weeks to get a job.

Learn More on how you can start your new successful career in bartending

If you are looking to start a new career in Bartending,then attending a qualified bartenders school is a must.
Learn how to bartend at our Bartending School NJ.

Bartending Employment Facts

If you have ever thought about working as a bartender full or part time, here is some basic information.

Felica Pours a Martini at Ameican Bartending School
Want to get into bartending?

Bartending jobs can be very profitable. According to a national job listing web site, the average bartender can earn up to $66,000 annually. Bartenders work for a salary and tips. The tips can often be substantial. One of the great things about bartending is that in a short time you can professionally trained and ready to work.

Bartending requires public contact. The best bartenders like to deal with people. A major portion of a bartender’s income comes from the tips from customers and good customer service skills are important.

Where Bartending Jobs Are

Every establishment serving alcoholic beverages needs a bartender. Bartending job opportunities exist in many different types of businesses including:

* Bars

* Casinos

* Caters

* Convention centers

* Country Clubs

* Cruise Ships

* Golf Clubs

* Hotels

* Meeting and special event venues

* Night Clubs

* Private clubs

* Private Parties

* Pubs

* Restaurants

* Resorts

Bartending Job Qualifications


In many states you have to be 21 years or older to purchase alcoholic beverages, many states allow bartenders to be 18 years old to bartender. In New York and New Jersey it’s 18.


There are many different work schedules for bartenders. Bartenders are needed anytime an establishment is open for business, Evening and weekend schedules are the most frequent but day schedules also exist. If you’re looking for a part time job, there are many weekend opportunities.

Physical Demands

Bartending can be hard work. Bartenders stand for extended periods of time, and sitting isn’t allowed during shifts. Bartending can involve lifting and stocking cases of beer, wine, and liquor.

Learn More on how you can start your new successful career in bartending

If you are looking to start a new career in Bartending, then attending a qualified bartenders school is a must.

Learn how to bartend at our American Bartending Schools with locations in New York, New Jersey and Palm Springs.