Derived from previous discussions This page contains references to the culminated wisdom and opinions of those recurring topics. Based, in the first instance, soley on historical Webtender Forum discussions and referencing (as far as is possible) the 'last word' on the subject.
All items will be listed in this one page for easy scanning = until it gets too big.
Additions of either questions or multiple answers are welcome, but please try to keep answers/quotes as short as possible, and refer directly back to the relevant discussion context.
Miss Charming has a FAQ of her own, also largely cross-referenced back to Webtender discussions.
For more prosaic Question-and-answer topics, The Webtender already mirrors the The (Un)Official Internet Bartender's Guide and has a measurement chart and A Liquor Gravity Chart for layering, among other info.
The Webtender forum has a working search. Use it.
How To Get (someone) Drunk Quick?
- The best way of making alcohol slip down easily is to buy the best - that means the most expensive. Once you've got the premium liquors and the correctly made & balanced cocktails, the alcohol becomes an afterthought. Some damn strong drinks taste like nothing, when made right.
What's The Deal With Absinthe?
Absinthe has it's own FAQ. It's hard to get, but not banned in most places. It's dangerous to drink, but not poisonous. It's a different kind of drunk, but (modern Absinthe e.g. Absente) does not contain Thujone or hallucinogens. Real absinthe, such as Nouvelle Orleans, does contain Thujone which is a hallucinogen. However, properly made absinthe has a concentration of Thujone of less than 5 ppm which is well under the legal limit. Chemical studies have been done on pre-ban absinthe showing that the absinthe at that time also had a low Thujone content. Absinthe
What's The Deal With Red Bull?
Red Bull does not contain Bulls blood, semen, urine etc. It does contain caffine, taurine and other stimulants which are tough on the body when mixed with the depressant alcohol and may both encourage, and heighten the effects of, severe over-intoxication. Red Bull
What's The Shelf Life Of XXX?
AKA: I found this bottle in the back of the cabinet - is it OK to drink?
- Spirits have essentially unlimited shelf life (even once opened, but put the cap back on).
- Some sweeter liqueurs like Midori may lose their edge subtly in six months to years but are still safe until you see lumps in them. Liquers are distinguished from Spirits mostly by virtue of having added sugar.
- Fortified Wines and Vermouths, once opened, are shelf stable and can last one year without refrigeration. They do deteriorate marginally, but not a lot.
- Cream Liquers like Baileys, Advocaat and Amarula generally are recommended to be consumed within a year of opening. Refrigeration is usually not neccessary, but it can't hurt. Cheaper imitations are likely to curdle sooner than the originals.
Note that 'aged' spirits like Reposado Tequila refer to the time spent in the cask prior to bottling, not the time on the shelf. Port and Brandy however apparently continue to mature slightly in the bottle itself (ref?)
Recipes are easy to find but finding the right version, or the 'real' one can be tricky. This section will not attempt to cover the details of individual drinks, but a few broader questions.
How To Copyright A Drink?
With only one or two exceptions (The Trader Vic Mai Tai & The New Orleans Tropical Isle® Hand Grenade) - There is no patent or copyright process for recipes (cocktail, or otherwise). Basically the only thing you're able to copyright is the NAME of the drink.
What's The Recipe For XXXX That I Had In A Beach Bar On Holiday? It was pink and had three juices in it
Phone up the Hotel/ Bar where you had this drink/ cocktail and ask them if they will give you the recipe. They may say yes.
If you like a drink, then do try to remember its name. This can be achieved by writting it down, or keeping the itemised reciept (if you were given one).
It's pretty much guaranteed that the name was made up by the bar or bartender in that one little spot, probably following a pun on the bars theme or some in-joke, and has not been heard of outside its doors. There are however only so many decent recipe combinations, so most likely is that other folk are selling the same thing with a different name, swapping Chambord for Peach Schnapps, or Pineapple for OJ etc. If a web search turns up nothing, and the name seems to be somehow 'appropriate' to the bar you found it in (eg 'reef rash' in a surfer bar) ... you are out of luck.
How Much Is A "Part" In A Recipe?
- Measurement conversions can be found in any bartenders handbook, but a "part" is just an equal fraction of the total drink volume
What's Sour Mix?
"Sour Mix", "Sweet & Sour Mix" and, for that matter "Margarita Mix" and "Tom Collins Mix" are all pretty much the same thing. They refer to some combination of lemon, maybe lime, sugar and water (or simple syrup) and possibly (rarely) egg white or egg white powder.
This can be either totally made from a powder packet, a concentrated syrup/cordial or lovingly by hand. The powder, the syrup, the ready-to-use diluted pre-mixes and the hand-made pre-mix are each called "Sour Mix" occasionally leading to some confusion.
The key to a properly made sour mix is balance. If you do it right, with the right ratios, and with quality ingredients. You should achieve a balance between sweet and sour that is devine. Which version is used where depends on the establishment, demand and availability. Cheryl has more.
How To Mix/Pre-mix Large Amounts Of A Cocktail?
This is easier than people think. If you have a recipe that states "1 part this, 1 part that", then all you have to do is substitute the word "part" for bottles, half bottles, 50ml, 500ml etc etc.
How Much Alcohol Do I Need For A Party/Wedding?
An accompaniment to the Webtender "Behind The Bar" Forum
How To Get A Job As A Bartender?
There are plenty of opinions out there. Start with Cheryls
- Do not ask about vacancies in the middle of a busy shift - try asking for the manager an hour after opening during a day shift.
- Become a regular
- Get to know the bartender(s)
- Apply in person
- Dress appropriately
- Take a course, by all means, but Don't put 'bartending school' on your resume
- Develop a plan. Everything is easier with a plan, getting a bartending job is no different. With help in developing your plan check out this how to become a bartender newsletter
How To Get A Job As A Barback?
What's The Legal Age To Serve Drinks?
What To Put On A Bartender CV/Resume?
What Makes A Good Bartender?
What Makes A Good Barback?
- Anticipation. The truly wonderful barbacks that make me feel like sharing tips evenly, are the ones that fix a problem before it happens.
If you can spot that an ice bin is going to run out in 10 minutes - make time to fill it now - not then. Keep an eye on the beers and bottles, and have the replacement handy before it's needed. This also saves YOU many trips back and forth if you can predict what you'll need next time.
- Knowing what's expected of you (A big list of barback duties)
Is Bartending School Worth It?
It depends on the school. Union-affiliated bartending schools typically have strong courses with good job prospects. However, almost anyone can start a bartending school, so the quality of instruction can vary a lot at the other schools. Because of this, many bar managers don't take bartending school graduates seriously unless they have other experience.
How To Deal With Workmates That Don't Tip Out Correctly?
How To Handle Busy Crowds?
- If you have customers who are hesitating after you try and take their order, come back to them - don't let them make you wait. I can stick three rounds in the till in the time it takes to sort a dithering drunkard - by which time I might as well have given them their drinks for free. Does not compute.
- Pick a rhythm Serving people in the order they come to the bar is not always easiest, sometimes it's best to just serve from left to right.
- Learn to work with a 'Call Order' I lay the drinks up and do them all at one time instead of finishing a drink at a time
- knowing the prices off by heart (then being able to add them up in your head – less walking to and from till)
- When I take an order, I immediately tell them what it will be costing the customer. This saves me time waiting for them to dig it out of their pockets and fumble around with it, or having to ask buddies to help them cover it.
- People are more content to wait if you acknowledge that you see them and a simple head nod and eye contact will do wonders.
- Alternatively: ...I skip eye contact. There are just way too many others that will immediately bark their order (or more likely only the first half of it *sigh*) as soon as I focus beyond the beer taps while pouring for someone else.
- A customer vying for my attention on a busy night. When I get to them, they indicate the person next to them should be served. Both get ignored. Next customer.
- "Excuse Me!" "You're excused! Don't do it again! :-B " (keep doing what ever I was doing - ie: serving the appropriate drink to the appropriate person.)
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