"A man is only as good as his tools"is a phrase I'm sure you've heard before and it applies to bartending as much as anything else.
You'll only ever be as good as your tools, so make sure you're not without them. The quality of your tools can make or break your experience behind the bar so it's important you take this lesson seriously.
There are countless bartending tools out there. Will you use them all? No. But there are certain tools that every bartender must have. In this first lesson, we'll be taking a look at those 'must-have' tools so pay close attention.
Now whether you're working in a low or high volume bar, a bottle opener is not only crucial to your speed, but also your hands!
Imagine opening every bottle of beer ordered with your bare hands... you wouldn't last the night without seriously doing damage to your palms.
There are many different types of bottle openers out there on the market... everything from a simple 'key-chain opener' all the way to a 'butterfly bottle opener', you know, like a butterfly knife? Pretty cool.
Find out what works for you. I've used the same stainless steel 'speed opener' for years now, it does the job (with style) everytime so I've had no reason to switch.
The best, most versatile wine opener is known as the 'waiter's wine opener'. It'll always do the job, even on the most difficult and the most stubborn corks. Compare this to many others out there that often break the cork or have you struggling in front of the customer to get the damn thing open.
A waiter's wine opener includes a corkscrew (worm), a sharp blade to cut the seal of the wine and also a bottle opener device if you're desperate for one.
I recommend a 'two-level' lever on your opener as well, that's what I personally use. Mine has never failed me in opening a bottle of wine.
This is the stainless steel thingy you see bartenders pour ingredients into for a martini or shooter and shake vigorously. This is a must-have for all bartenders.
A good rule of thumb for cocktails is, the colder it is, the better it tastes. Why else would bartenders concoct a drink by pouring pre-chilled ingredients into a shaker with ice, shaking like crazy and then serving it in a chilled glass? Because you want every part of the process to be 'chilling' to prevent any 'warming' of the cocktail.