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How to be an expert bartender

Falen Oestrike lives in the Central Florida her husband, their three dogs and is a mommy to be. With a degree in journalism she enjoys writing, watching movies, bar-tending, cooking, and the arts.

Serve drinks like a pro

Alcoholic beverages are a big part of most adult festivities. Weddings have a champagne toast, holiday parties celebrate wine and spiked eggnog, tailgate parties boast beer. Even low-key get-togethers, like outdoor barbecues and a night out at the bowling alley are typically enjoyed with a few brews. Since alcohol is frequently served at most gatherings, why not learn how to expertly serve it and impress your guests with your bartending talents? Follow these tips and tricks and you will never have to attend bartending school to serve your guests well.

Serve drinks like a pro

Serving cocktails or mixed drinks

There are hundreds of different types of liquors and thousands of drink recipes. When hosting a gathering, plan for a few specialty cocktails you want to feature, buy all the ingredients, and memorize the recipes. You will look like a pro when making them for your guests. (Give these healthy summer cocktail recipes a try!)Keep these bar supplies on hand:
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Jigger (tool used to measure liquors)
  • Bottle/Wine opener
  • Pour spouts (one for each liquor bottle)
  • Fruit Tray (or small bowls to hold garnishes)
  • Glass rimmer
  • Bar towels
  • Cocktail glasses
  • Straws (small and large)

Tips for making drinks:

1. Shaken and not stirred. We all know how James Bond likes his martinis — shaken not stirred — but the truth is that you should never shake a martini unless asked to do so. A martini is a drink that is known for its unique taste of either gin or vodka, and shaking the drink will bruise the vodka or gin, which will completely change the taste. 2. Start fresh for every drink. Making a drink is like painting a work of art. Take pride in everything you make by using a new glass for every drink. Every cocktail should be made with fresh ice, and be sure you top off each drink with a fancy garnish. 3. Stay well-stocked. Keep vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey always on hand. These liquors are used most often and can be mixed with basic ingredients such as fruit juices or sodas for a wide variety of cocktails. 4. Frugal options. If you are short on money but want to feature a cocktail drink, make an alcoholic punch. Make the punch bowl fancy by slicing fruit the night before and store the fruit in zip lock bags in your freezer. After mixing your punch, add the frozen fruit slices — you will have a colorful garnish as well as fruity ice cubes to keep your drink refreshingly cold. These super sangria recipes are sure to please.5. Invest in a drink book. Study basic drinks to expand your knowledge and then come up with a few of your own. Best yet, you won't be clueless when someone asks you to make them a Coffee White Russian, Jolly Rancher or Citrus-Fruit Punch. 6. Use fresh squeezed citrus. When lime or lemon juice is requested, use fresh-squeezed instead of bottled. Drinks are like home cooked meals, the fresher the ingredients the better. Follow these tips and you will be an expert bartender in no time. And if you want to take a break from hosting but don't want to wait to enjoy a drink, read 10 tips to get served first at the bar.
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