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The 3 Biggest Lies of Bartending

Aug 30, 2007
In my time as a bartender, I've come across what I like to call the "3 Biggest Lies of Bartending."
A long time ago before I set foot into this industry, I was convinced by others that the following were "requirements" in order to become a successful bartender. Well, I've had great success in this industry as a bartender, and let me tell you, I got there without any of the so called "requirements" listed below, and you can too.

So here they are:

* Bartending Lie #1 - You need to know hundreds of drink recipes to be a great bartender. Nothing could be further from the truth! I make the same twenty drinks every night at the nightclub I currently work. Sure, there are drinks other than those twenty that get requested once in awhile, but it's nothing you can't handle.

If I get "stumped," I'll ask the bartender I'm working with, look it up in the recipe guide, or ask the customer. Yeah, that' right, if all else fails, ask the customer how to make it. There' no need to have an ego around this. If the customer doesn' know, I'll try and narrow down a color/flavor and make them one of my specialties (which they end up liking better anyway).

No matter what type of establishment you work or want to work at, they'll have a base of twenty or so drinks that are asked for, not hundreds. Sure, it's nice to have a some killer drink recipes up your sleeve when someone asks "make me something good." But you don't have to know hundreds of drinks before you step behind the wood. There's no need to numb your brain studying recipe books in order to become a money-making bartender.

* Bartending Lie #2 - You need a Bartending Certificate or License to bartend. I'm not sure where this concept came into existence (although it sure benefits bartending schools). But there is absolutely, positively NO LAW that requires you to have a license or certificate to bartend.

Now, many states and provinces require an alcohol awareness certification to ensure responsible service. But this is required by all service staff in the industry and is issued by the government for a fraction of the cost of a bartending school tuition. I've got nothing against bartending schools, they are a great way to get your foot in the door and get confident behind the bar, but their "certificates" aren't mandatory in order to bartend.

* Bartending Lie #3 - You need to "pay your dues" and work as a bar back for years in order to bartend at a hot spot raking in the big bucks. This is absolute bull! I know so many bartenders that got behind the bar faster than you can imagine, including myself.

If you think it takes years, it will take you years. If you believe there's a better and faster way, you'll find one. Either way, you'll prove yourself right.

If you've been sitting on the fence, saying you'd like to become a bartender "someday." Then I hope the truth revealed here will inspire you to get up and get going to make it happen.
About the Author
Jeremy Sherk is an expert, world-class bartender who has helped thousands of bartenders create killer resumes land their dream job, and explode their level of cash tips. Make hundreds per night-100% guaranteed! www.SixFigureBartender.com
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