Being a bartender in 2014

Updated: 19 May 2014 | By:

Spectacular presentation and fantastic flavour combinations are more common nowadays in the world of Bartending. Globally you can see a gained interest in cooking, partly because of TV cooking and the celebrity chef. With this gained interest, comes a trend that people are more knowledgeable with ingredients and flavour.

The world of cooking is a bit ahead of the bartending world. Chefs have been creating exciting flavour combinations in dishes that look amazing. Not just thinking about the dish and its appearance but also its smell, room temperature, drink pairings, sound, theatrics, service and more. Now, this trend is continued in bartending. Just like a chef is seen as a creative person working with food, people are starting to realize that bartenders can be liquid chefs.

When I was a student doing bartending, people would come up to me asking: “Is this your real job?” Now when I’m in bars it is clear that times has changed. Bartending has become more of a craft. With bartenders being trained professionals, having more knowledge in ingredients, etiquette, technique and how to create the perfect balance. More and more bartending is seen as a serious profession, not only by bartenders themselves but slowly by others as well.

So what does it mean to be a bartender in 2014? In my opinion it can mean many things, but having guests leave with a bigger smile than they came in with is the key. It's not just about serving drinks, it's about creating a pleasant experience every time. An experience people will come back for and hopefully, an amazing one that people will remember for a long, long time.

A bartender is an important part in this equation. Contributing, as well as reflecting the atmosphere of the bar. A great bartender is truly a beautiful sight and watching them thrills me every time. Entertain, being polite, a flirt, knowledgeable, having a listening ear while serving patrons in speedy fashion, is amazing to me.

No wonder I’ve always liked the saying “a bartender should be like a swan, paddling like crazy underwater and above water appearing perfectly calm”. To do this it’s important to be prepared. So dress sharp. Do your homework. Know your menu and its background. Make sure your bar is set up before service. Know where everything stands in your bar and put everything back in its right place after using. This way, it’s easy to be fast and leave time to be creative. Which I think is an important feature. Originality and creativity helps set you and your bar apart. So dare to be different and use the 5 senses to create a total experience. When making and presenting your creations, think about taste, smell, sight, sound and touch. Make beautiful drinks and new friends every night and enjoy every minute of it.

In my mind, bartending basically is the best profession in the world. Being a skilled performer every night. You are on a stage. In Japan "Ichi-go ichie-e" is a saying meaning "one time, one meeting". So you get one chance to be your best, since every meeting is different. So be professional, be creative, have fun, smile, create fantastic flavour combinations with spectacular presentation and be the best bartender you can be. Cheers.

About Cocktail Professor
Cocktail Professor in an expert in the art of drinks and shares information on all things related to cocktails on his inspirational blog (www.cocktailprofessor.com). Besides that he and his team form an international consultancy- and cocktail bureau for high-end bars and liquor brands all over the world.

Tags: bartending