Firstly, you’ll need toshow you mean business with some fancy equipment. Essentials include a cocktail shaker, strainer, muddler, thimble measures and twisted bar spoon. But if you want to go the extra mile (which, of course, you do) throw in a rubber bar mat and a pair of ice tongs to boot. Don’t forget to cram on your recipe book and all those YouTube tutorials, either.
So, now you have all the gear, but no idea. But this is where the really fun part comes in; you’re about to choose the look, the tricks, and the persona. All you need to do is decide which kind of bartender you’d like to be…
Usual habitat: A wooden, sand-floored shack.
Speciality: Malibu and pineapple juice served in a hurricane glass, garnished with a pineapple triangle and paper umbrella. Garish? Moi?
Wow them with: Your bottle-throwing skills. Form a legendary double act, choreograph a jaw-dropping routine, and bust out those moves in tandem.
Secret ingredient: Flash a smile, turn on your swag and act like life’s one big holiday.
The look: Tropical shirt or bikini top, board shorts or mini skirt, aviators.
Motto: ‘The bartender is the aristocrat of the working classes’ – that’s a line straight out of Cocktail. Say it. Believe it. Work it. You are Tom Cruise.
Usual habitat: Your local dive.
Specialty: Straight up or on the rocks served in a lowball glass.
Wow them with: A flaming orange peel. Looks harder than it is. Trust us.
Secret ingredient: Make punters feel good – and rake in the tips – with eyes that understand, ears that listen and a hand that oh-so-very generously pours.
The look: Casual, but cool.
Motto: ‘Everybody’s best friend.’
Friday Night Favorite
Usual habitat: Ibiza during party season.
Specialty: Novelty sized cocktail glasses and tons of sparklers. Oh, and the infamous fishbowl, of course.
Wow them with: Dry ice. Some say it’s tacky, but haters gon’ hate.
Secret ingredient: Join in on the fun and cement one’s hardcore status as life and soul of the party by doing shots (of water) with the customers.
The look: Super hot and scantily clad.
Motto: ‘P-A-R-T… Y? Cause I gotta!’
Usual habitat: Somewhere up-and-coming.
Specialty: Serving craft cocktails in jam jars.
Secret ingredient: Distract guests with stellar chat about the local flea market and quinoa-based diets.
The look: Check shirt with rolled sleeves and low-slung skinny jeans, or a ripped crop top and denim hotpants. Large but perfectly trimmed, beard and a man bun.
Usual habitat: A low-lit VIP bar in NYC.
Specialty: A slick, subtle approach. Remember: In this scenario, less is more.
Wow Them With: The free pour– simple, but effective.
Secret ingredient: Chic, understated garnish, like a thin spiral zest. Easy, peasy, lemon… yeah, you get it. Or, at least, you Brits do.
The look: Apron, shirt, smart trousers/skirt, shirt tie, and clip. Everything you wear, and we meanERRTHING, should be black. A smooth hair do is also a must.
Motto: ‘Bottle-juggling has nothing to do with the art of cocktail-making.’
Usual habitat: An exclusive hotel
Specialty: An impressive knowledge of cocktail recipes, and an unrivalled reputation for looking after their clientele.
Wow them with: Your balancing act. Refuse to learn this skill at your own peril.
Secret ingredient: After taking a complex order, ask guests to take a seat. Then, check the recipe book that you’ve hidden underneath the bar. Prepare the drinks, walk over to your customers, and elegantly present their drinks on a classy tray.
The look: Black waistcoat or white jacket, piano tie or bow tie, white shirt, black trousers or skirt, and an air of wisdom.
Motto: ‘The customer is always right – and so am I.’