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Professional Bartending Handbook

If you require this guide in a different format please call 01752 305300

Professional Bartending Qualification Whilst this handbook stands alone as an excellent guide to the world of bartending, it has also been written to sit alongside the qualification in Professional Bartending (Cocktails). The development and initial delivery of this qualification has been a joint project between; City College Plymouth, Plymouth Gin, Bar Experts and City & Guilds. It has been designed to meet the needs of the industry by providing essential skills to those employed in the sector, and to recognise professional bartenders with a qualification. For those undertaking the qualification, this handbook will consolidate the hands-on learning, and prove to be a valuable tool in preparing for the assessments.

Introduction Welcome to your guide to professional cocktail bartending. This book will take you through the basic… Principles –

Including; The science of ‘why’ and ‘how’ products and ingredients are handled, combined and how they react with each other.

Service skills; from basic principles to working with speed, efficiency and handling complaints.

Knowledge –

Including; Recipe specifications, product knowledge, history and legal matters.

Skills –

Including; all the skills you need to produce drinks of the very highest quality.

…required to become a professional cocktail bartender. It is unknown to most, just how skilful and knowledgeable good cocktail bartenders are, and just how much work goes into becoming skilled in this profession.

The following pages will open up this world to you and give you the foundations to take your level of expertise forward through experience and continued education. This industry is ever changing and developing, and to think that you can know it all in just one lifetime is impossible, and it is this that keeps those of us in the industry interested and stimulated year after year. This book will allow you to begin that journey with the best possible start, whether this is another ‘string to your bow’ of skills, or the start of a career in the world of spirits and cocktails. Either way, it will give you the confidence and core knowledge to move forward; no matter what particular area you end up specialising in, and no matter where in the world you end up doing it. Welcome to bartending. Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge

Contents Outcome 5 – Display Knowledge of Spirits

Outcome 1

Accurately Free Pour Theory Techniques Legal Requirements Pour Testing

2 4 9 10

Outcome 2 Select and Use Equipment Cocktail Glassware Drinks Making Equipment

14 18

Outcome 3 – Display Cocktail Making Techniques Building Blocks Drinks Making Techniques

24 29

Outcome 4 – Display Knowledge of Cocktail Specifications Classic and Contemporary Cocktails 47

Production Glossary

70 75

Outcome 6 – Display Knowledge of Beer, Wine and Spirits Service Spirits Beer Wine

88 89 92

Outcome 7 – Prepare Bar and Deliver Service Housekeeping Basic Service Skills Advanced Service Skills

98 102 105

Outcome 8 – Display Knowledge of Responsible Serving of Alcohol Responsible Serving of Alcohol


Outcome 1 – Accurately Free Pour Section Sub- Section 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 4 4.1 4.2 4.3

Section Description

Pg. No.

Theory Why we ‘Free Pour’ What is a Speed Pourer General rules of pouring

2 2 3

Techniques Single bottle pour Two-bottle pour Two-bottle fan ‘Store & Pour’ pouring technique Exercises

4 5 6 7 7

Legal Requirements Weights and Measures Legally required equipment Working within the law

9 9 9

Pour Testing Why Pour Testing is important Using the ‘Pour Test’ kit Marking and analysing ‘Pour Tests’

10 10 11


1. Theory 1.1) Why We ‘Free Pour’

1.2) What is a ‘Speed Pourer’?

There are a number of reasons why a professional bartender must learn how to ‘free pour’ efficiently:

A ‘Speed Pourer’ is made of three component parts.

• The confidence and professionalism that exudes from a bartender who can ‘free pour’ is clear for all to see. A bartender is on show behind the bar, and this clearly indicates a high level of skill to those guests at the bar, and gives those guests greater confidence in ordering cocktails. • ‘Free pouring’ only requires one hand, this therefore leaves the other hand free to deal with another task or pour another ingredient at the same time, allowing a bartender to work more efficiently and more quickly. • Multiple drinks can be poured without the need to stop pouring, yet again working more efficiently and more quickly. • Because ‘free pouring’ allows an ingredient to be measured without the aid of a visual measure like a jigger, a bartender can raise their eyes up from the bar to look at their guests and keep better control over who is waiting or requires attention at the bar. • Recipes are not broken down into exact shots. Therefore, free pouring allows a bartender to accurately pour divisions of shots.


• Pour Spout • Rubber seal • Air intake

You can see these parts clearly in the picture on the above. At the top is the curved pour spout that carries the liquid out of the bottle. The small indentation at the base of the pour spout is where the air intake tube draws air into the bottle, down the thin tube which protrudes into the bottle itself, clearly seen on the picture stretching down below the rubber seal. The black rubber seal around the centre of the ‘speed pourer’ simply seals the pourer into the bottle, and ensures that liquid can only escape through the pour spout, and air can only be drawn in through the ‘air intake’ tube. It is a combination of the width of the ‘pour spout’ and the width of the ‘air intake’ tube that determines the rate the liquid will pour from the bottle.

1.3) General Rules of Pouring There are a number of key points to pouring that must be understood: Time is used to measure a volume of liquid; Therefore the length of time any one pour is held for will determine the measure being poured. The flow of liquid from the bottle must therefore be constant; this is why the design of the ‘Speed Pourer’ is essential, as air replaces the liquid in the bottle so that it pours at a smooth and constant rate. The bottle is always held vertically upside down with each pour so that the rate at which liquid leaves the bottle is constant with every pour. This way the same timing rhythm can be used every time. It is this air flow that is also used to stop the pour at the exact moment required for a precise measure. This technique, called a ‘stun’ or ‘pop’ cut-off, catches an air bubble in the ‘air intake’ tube, causing a momentary vacuum in the bottle which holds the liquid back and stops it from pouring while the bottle is removed from the pouring position.


2. Techniques 2.1) Single Bottle Pour This is the same technique used for either hand and is the foundation theory for all pouring techniques. A professional bartender must be confident to work with either hand or both at the same time.


1. ‘The grip’ 2. ‘Cock the bottle’ 3. ‘Rotate the bottle into the pour’ 4. ‘Stretch the pour up out of the glass’ 5. ‘Pop or Stun cut off’ 6. ‘Drop’ 1. The grip is neither forced deep into the hand, nor is it at the fingertips. The grip must be both secure and comfortable, whilst also feeling loose and agile. The curve of the speed pourer must point across your body so that the curve follows the flow of the pouring movement. 2. We prepare for the pour by rotating the bottle 3040 degrees in the opposite direction. This enables a smooth rotation into the pour as gravity will aid the start of the movement. This movement must flow smoothly so that the liquid is held in the bottle until the bottle is inverted in the pouring position. Any hesitation in this movement will allow liquid to escape from the bottle prematurely causing spillage.







Also notice how close the speed pourer is to the glass. This way the bottle is simply rotated around the point of the speed pourer into the glass. Removing any danger of missing the target.

3. The bottle is rotated all the way round into the glass. The bottle is held vertically inverted so that pour speed is maximised and consistent with every pour. The end of the speed pourer is also just inside the lip of the glass so that again, there is no danger of missing the target and spilling. 4. The bottle is raised vertically up from the glass to generate a little room to make the ‘cut off’ easier and to give a little theatre. The height the bottle is raised may increase with confidence, but must never be at the detriment of accuracy.

5. The bottle is dropped in a short ‘stun’, or ‘popping’ motion. This movement catches an air bubble in the ‘air intake’ tube stopping the flow of air into the bottle, setting up a vacuum in the bottle which in turn holds the liquid back for a moment. The distance the bottle moves is irrelevant, instead it is all about the sharpness with which the movement is halted. The power and control for this movement comes from the shoulder, not the wrist or elbow. This way, the movement is straight down and avoids spillage. 6. During the brief moment that the liquid stops pouring from the bottle, after this ‘pop’ or ‘stun’ action, the bottle must be removed from the pouring position. The two movements must be clearly defined and not merge into one movement, however the gap between the actions must be minimal so that liquid does not start to pour from the bottle again. This must be done in a relaxed movement to increase speed and control. Forcing the bottle will not help.

Relax at the shoulder and allow the weight of the bottle to drop, and rotate back into the upright position, then continue this movement across the body. This flowing arc that the bottle will travel through will throw the liquid away from the pourer and back to the base of the bottle, ensuring that there is no spillage.

2.2) Two-Bottle Pour This simply takes the methods and techniques learnt with the single bottle pour using individual hands, and combines them together. The same theories still apply here, with the exception of the starting position of the bottles. The technique is used to save time during busy periods, as even the smallest amount of time saved, when repeated over the course of a whole service, can be the difference between a pressured and difficult, or a well-controlled and enjoyable service.





1. ‘Prepare’ 2. ‘Rotate the bottles up into the pour’ 3. ‘Knuckles together’ 4. ‘Drop’ 1. Due to the fact that there is a bottle in both hands, there is no need to ‘cock’ the bottle in preparation of the pour, as there is when bottles are poured individually. This is because with a bottle in either hand, the weight distribution is more balanced and even. Therefore, the pourers can be put into position ready to be rotated straight into the pour.

5 3

2. The bottles are rotated or ‘rolled’ round together into the vertical pouring position, with the hands pressed together to give support, control and stability whilst pouring. Exactly the same as when pouring with a single bottle, the pour starts low and close to the glass before being ‘stretched’ up to allow room for the cut off. 3. The knuckles of both hands are interlocked for added support and comfort. 4. The bottles are ‘popped’ or ‘stunned’ firstly with the knuckles still interlocked, the bottles are then both dropped out of the pouring position. It is vital that the decision is made before the pour commences, which bottle drops in front and which bottle drops behind so that they do not smash together. This routine should be duplicated with each pour so that it becomes second nature to avoid the chance of bottles being smashed together.

2.3) Two-Bottle Fan This pour is trained for two simple reasons. Again, it is a timesaving technique for busy periods, as well as additional theatre for guests. Secondly, and as importantly, it is used as a training technique. This is because, other then the grip, this is exactly the same technique as used for a single bottle pour. Any problems with the basic pouring technique will be magnified here, and can therefore be addressed, improving all pouring techniques.


1. ‘The grip’ (back view) 2. ‘The grip’ (front view) 3. ‘The pour’ 1. The success of this pour is all about the correct grip of the two bottles combined with a good pouring technique.

The bottles are picked up one at a time to ensure a secure grip. The first bottle is held with the little and third finger, with the thumb wrapping around to secure. This leaves the first and second fingers free to grip the second bottle.

2. The second bottle is held in place by using the first and second fingers as a vice grip. Clamping the two bottles together. It is essential that the thumb stays on the first bottle and is not extended across to grip the second. 3. From here the process is exactly the same as for pouring one bottle, but the technique must be executed confidently and accurately.




2.4) ‘Store and Pour’ Pouring Technique

2.5) Exercises

Essentially the same technique is used here apart from a few subtle but important differences.

The skill of pouring is only improved and perfected with time and practice, there are no short cuts. Exercise 1 Each pour is initially practiced in the simplest manner. Take a Boston glass and place it on a drip mat on the bar top. Ensure that the drip mat and glass is right on the inside edge of the bar so that the space below the bar top can be used to manoeuvre the bottle in and out of position without the fear of catching the bar top.



1. ‘The pour’ 2. ‘Rolling cut off’ 1. Rotate the ‘store and pour’ into the pouring position in the same manner as pouring with a bottle. However, here it is the ‘pour spout’ rather then the bottle itself that is rotated round into the vertical position. 2. To cut off, the bottle is dropped out of the pour using gravity and a roll of the wrist. The ‘pop’ or ‘stun’ method is not used due to the rate of flow from the pourer causing splashing.

When it comes to pouring accurate measures with a ‘store and pour’, it is essential to know that the pour spout on a ‘store and pour’ delivers liquid at twice the rate of flow of a ‘speed pourer’.

Practice long pours to begin with so that the technique is not rushed and there is time to get used to the bottle being held in the pouring position. At this point, remember it is all about the technique and nothing to do with the amount being poured. A good technique is essential for accuracy later on. Exercise 2 Once confidence is coming with a pouring technique, take three tumblers and place them side by side in a row along the drip mat in place of the Boston glass. Start pouring into the glass on the right hand end (if pouring with the right hand, and visa versa if pouring with the left) of the row of glasses. This time however, three pours are to be completed without dropping the bottle down out of the pouring position. So, bring the bottle up into the pouring position in the first glass, and then use the ‘pop’ or ‘stun’ cut off to stop the flow of liquid. Now quickly but smoothly, move the bottle across over the adjacent glass in time for it to start pouring again, without taking the bottle out of the vertical pouring position. Repeat the process so that the bottle is pouring into the third and final glass. From here cut off and drop the bottle out of the pouring position to complete the exercise. This exercise is based around a service scenario where three of the same drinks, such as ‘Gin and Tonics’, are made in the quickest possible manner.


• Now both the strong and weaker hands have been used to practice both exercises, take a bottle in both hands. Repeat ‘Exercise 2’, however, this time alternate between the left and right hand whilst always having a bottle in both hands. This develops a habit and confidence about using both hands so that they are interchangeable during service. • Now that there is familiarity with using both hands to pour with, it should be a natural progression to the ‘two bottle pour’ (sub-section 2.2.) This technique is practiced initially, like all techniques, using the method described in ‘Exercise 1’. • From here, the technique is progressed to ‘Exercise 2’ in the same manner as the single bottle pours. Because there is a bottle in either hand now, it makes no difference which end of the row of glasses the pour is started from.

The order in which techniques are practiced is important for the optimum development of this skill. • Firstly, the strongest, or ‘writing’ hand is used to pour a single bottle in the manner described in ‘Exercise 1’. • Once a degree of confidence has been reached with this pour, move onto ‘Exercise 2’ using the same hand and pouring technique. • Again, once a degree of confidence with this is attained, take a single bottle with the weaker hand and revert to the method described in ‘Exercise 1’, simply using a single bottle and a Boston glass. • The sequence continues as before, once there is confidence with the weaker hand move on to ‘Exercise 2’.


• Once confident with the two bottle pour, the ‘two bottle fan’ (sub-section 2.3) can be attempted, and again using the simple method in ‘Exercise 1’. However, this technique is only practiced using the stronger ‘writing’ hand. • As with all the other pouring techniques, practice is moved onto the second exercise once a degree of confidence has been reached. • Finally, interchange techniques and pouring exercises to develop a second nature confidence with the skill. Remember that this is a core skill of bartending and will be under the scrutiny of paying guests, as well as being essential for pouring with accuracy, so use this time effectively.

3. Legal Requirements 3.1) Weights and Measures Although licensing matters are dealt with on a personal licence course, it is important to mention how we work ‘free pouring’ in and around the legal requirements. The law states that: Vodka, Gin Rum and Whisky must be served using either a ‘jigger’ or an ‘optic’ in 25ml, 35ml or multiples thereof… …unless as a combination of three or more liquids (including itself) Be aware that a bar must state whether it is serving 25ml or 35ml measures, this is not interchangeable, as it will be written into the bars licence.

3.2) Legally Required Equipment Pictured below are ‘jiggers’ or ‘thimble measures’ as mentioned in the licensing law in the above section.

These must be used to measure the above stated spirits when they are served without two further ingredients.

3.3) Working Within the Law The law regarding the service of spirits must be learnt, but it must also be understood and interpreted correctly. Firstly, any spirits or liqueurs other than Vodka, Gin, Rum and Whisky can be legally ‘free poured’ at any time no matter how it is served. Secondly, Vodka, Gin, Rum and Whisky are only contained within this law when they are served neat or with only one other liquid ingredient. However, there are many occasions where it is perfectly legal to ‘free pour’ these liquids as combinations of three or more liquids, and not just in cocktails. Take a ‘Gin and Tonic’ for example. Simply two ingredients, therefore the Gin must be measured using a ‘Jigger’? However, if we look a little closer at the perfect serve for a ‘G&T’ there is a little more to it. Spirit and mixer combinations are usually garnished with citrus fruit, and the ‘G&T’ is no exception. A wedge of fresh lime is used as garnish, however, as with cocktails, garnishes are rarely added to simply look pretty. The wedge of lime in this case is squeezed over the drink before it is added. This does a number of things. Firstly, the process of squeezing the lime stretches its skin releasing the powerfully fragrant oils of the lime onto the drink. It also expels the juice from the lime into the drink adding a little more freshness and bite. So now, if we look at the list of liquids that make up a ‘Gin and Tonic’, we find Gin, Tonic and fresh lime juice – giving us three liquids and the legal right to ‘free pour’ the Gin. However, should the wedge of lime be simply added without first expelling the juices into the drink, we must again remain within the law and use a jigger. Further examples of complementary garnishes with ‘spirit / mixer’ combinations can be found in outcome 6, sub section 1.2


4. Pour Testing 4.1) Why Pour Testing is Important


Pour testing is fundamental to a professional bar and its’ bartenders for many reasons: 1. Regular pour testing ensures the accuracy of a bartender no matter how new or experienced the bartender may be. 2. Accurate pouring is essential for consistent recipe reproduction. 3. Accurate pouring is essential for good stock control. 4. Pour Testing is important to give bartenders the confidence to ‘free pour’ in front of a paying customer who may scrutinise the size of measure being served.

4.2) Using the ‘Pour Test’ Kit Rules for ‘Pour Testing’. 1. Measures are ‘free poured’ into a glass on the bar top then transferred into the appropriate measuring tube on the test kit. 2. The measures are poured in sequence, from smallest to largest, firstly using the strongest hand followed by the weaker hand, before the two bottle pours are poured alternately. 3. Each hand must be completed before moving onto the next. Therefore, any failed pours are given a second attempt, then any fails from this are given a third attempt before moving onto the weaker hand or the ‘two bottle’ pours. 4. Each pour must be adjudged at eye level to give an accurate reading.


5. The test must be performed ‘blind’. This means that the pour test kit must be turned to face the examiner at all times during the test so that pours are not adjusted mid test in reaction to what is seen. 6. Each pour has three potential outcomes:

Pass – exact measure Pass – within tolerance (+ or -) Fail – short or excessive measure

Scoring potential for each attempt: Exact Pass Fail 1st Attempt 5 3 X 2nd Attempt 3 1 X 3rd Attempt 1 0 -5

Scoring chart for ‘Pour Test’ Scores Measure (Oz) 1st Attempt Right Hand ¼ 5/3/X ½ 5/3/X ¾ 5/3/X 1 5/3/X 1¼ 5/3/X 1½ 5/3/X 2 5/3/X

2nd Attempt 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X

3rd Attempt 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5

Left Hand ¼ 5/3/X ½ 5/3/X ¾ 5/3/X 1 5/3/X 1¼ 5/3/X 1½ 5/3/X 2 5/3/X

3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X 3/1/X

1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5 1/0/ -5

Two Bottle Pour




1/0/ -5

2 Bottle Fan




1/0/ -5

High Score = Low Score =

80 -80

Pass =


The rate of scoring is linked to how accurately a measure is poured as well as how many attempts are taken over each pour. Therefore consistency as well as outright accuracy is looked for in the results and rewarded in the scoring.



Outcome 2 – Select and Use Equipment Section Sub- Section

Section Description

Pg. No.

1 1.1 1.2 1.3

Cocktail Glassware Families of Shapes and Styles Handling Glassware Correct Care and Storage of Glassware

14 17 17

2 Drinks Making Equipment 2.1 Shakers 2.2 Small Equipment 2.3 Other Small Equipment 2.4 Blenders

18 20 21 22


1. Cocktail Glassware

They are defined by their simple, classic shape and style. The two above are modern variations where instead of the completely simple round shape, you can see how ‘1’ has been fluted slightly and ‘2’ has been squashed from a round to a more square shape.

1.1) Families of Shapes and Styles

There are many more variations on this classic glass but the character is clear.

There are many different styles of glassware with modern interpretations of classic designs being produced every year. However, we can still look at the shape of any glass and make a decision as to what family it fits into, and therefore what drinks can be served in it.






As you can see the ‘tumbler’ as a family of glasses have the same basic characteristics. There are two main styles used in Bars. Glasses ‘1’ and ‘2’ above are what we would class as ‘Oldfashioned’ glasses. Old-fashioneds are used in many classic style cocktails as well as in the service of spirits such as Whisky, whether neat or on the rocks (over ice).


Glasses ‘3’ and ‘4’ are what we call ‘Rocks’ glasses. They are defined by a more utilitarian character, with thick glass throughout the glass, not just at the base like an Old-fashioned. The Rocks glass is a real ‘work horse’ behind the bar. As you can see, a ‘Rocks’ glass also has angles rather than a simple round shape. Some bars will not have both ‘Rocks’ and ‘Old-fashioned’ glasses as they can both essentially be used for the same jobs. However, many bars like to have a separate ‘Old-fashioned’ glass for fine spirits service or specific cocktail use, while the humble ‘Rocks’ glass does the rest of the work. The rugged nature of a rocks glass does lend itself to ‘Muddled’ style drinks such as ‘Caipirinhas’, where the delicate nature of an old-fashioned may break during the drinks making process.



Classic ‘Highballs’ include – Rum and Coke, Scotch and Soda, Gin and Tonic and the Horse’s Neck (Bourbon and Ginger ale with a lemon twist).




Because it is such a simple and therefore fast drink to make it was named a ‘Highball’ after the railroad signal practice of raising a ball to the top of a long pole. This was the signal to the engineer of a late running train in the distance to, ‘get a move on!’

Specialist Glassware

Like the ‘tumblers’ in the previous section, all ‘Highball’ glasses share common characteristics. There are two main styles again, ‘5’ and ‘6’ are both classic ‘highball’ glasses, while glasses ‘7’ and ‘8’ are ‘Collins’ glasses. Like the ‘Old-fashioned’, the ‘Highball’ is a simple and often elegant glass. Glass ‘5’ has been slightly fluted while glass ‘6’ is very traditional in its simple, tall and straight design. Glass ‘6’ is also known by another name as well, a ‘Slim Jim’.




Glasses ‘7’ and ‘8’ are again chunkier and have angled glass rather than a simple round design. Bars will often select a style of ‘Collins’ glass and match it with the same style of ‘Rocks’ glass. As you can clearly see, glasses ‘7’ and ‘8’ here are simply stretched versions of ‘Rocks’ glasses ‘3’ and ‘4’. Again bars will sometimes not have both ‘Highball’ and ‘Collins’ glasses, choosing to simplify and use one or the other. Other bars will use a ‘Collins’ glass for general drinks, from spirit & mixer combos, through to glasses of juice, soda etc…leaving the more elegant ‘Highball’ for specific cocktails. The name ‘Highball’ comes from a drink of the same name created in the US by Patrick Gavin Duffy in the 1890’s. It is a very simple combination of spirit poured over ice then topped with a mixer, classically club soda but may now be anything from Ginger ale to tonic water.



Whereas glasses from ‘1-8’ are used for both general bar service as well as cocktails, this set of glassware is reserved specifically for cocktails. Glass ‘9’ is a ‘Coupette’ and is classically used for Margaritas when they are either served straight up (without ice) or frozen (blended smooth with ice). A ‘Tumbler’ is otherwise used for ‘Margaritas’ served on the rocks.


Glasses ‘10’ and ‘11’ are ‘Hurricane’ glasses. These are classically used for serving that retro classic, the Pina Colada. Glass ‘12’ is the most famous of this group and is most commonly, yet incorrectly, known as a ‘Martini’ glass. Its real name is a ‘Cocktail’ glass. More specifically in this case, a ‘V-shape Cocktail Glass’ due to the ‘V’ shape of the receptacle on top of the stem. Older Cocktail glasses were curved instead of this hard ‘V’ shape. But when Prohibition ended in the US (Alcohol was outlawed from 1920-1933 in the US) the ‘V’ shape ‘Cocktail’ glass became popular as a sign of Victory over Prohibition, or was it meant to resemble 2 fingers up to the establishment for the years of Prohibition – You decide. Either way the ‘V’ shape was here to stay and is now by far the most common style of ‘Cocktail’ glass.

Glass ‘13’ is a ‘Sling’ glass. This is another WOW factor glass. Traditionally used for the ‘Sling’ family of Cocktails that includes one of the most famous cocktail variants of all time, the ‘Singapore Sling’. Invented in the bar of Raffles Hotel, Singapore by Ngiam Tong Boom in 1915. It is a simple but successful variation of the far older and simpler original ‘Gin Sling’. The Sling glass is now widely used to give certain long drinks extra appeal. The long fluted shape of the sling glass with a small circular base is common to all ‘Sling’ glasses, however some are shorter and wider than this example. As with all these glass shapes, different manufacturers add their own style and interpretation to classic designs.


The use of the name ‘Martini Glass’ is simply due to the fact that this is the glass used for that most famous of all cocktails – The Martini. However, the ‘Cocktail glass’ itself was around long before even the earliest version of the Martini. The ‘Cocktail’ glass is only ever used for cocktails served straight up and must, therefore, always be pre-chilled before use. This rule applies to any glass that is to have a drink served ‘straight up’ in it. Remember, a ‘Straight up’ drink has no ice in it to keep it cold. Therefore, once it is poured it is only going to get warmer. To maintain the drink at the optimum temperature for as long as possible, prechill the glass in which it is served. The ‘Cocktail’ glass is also a glass of elegance, sophistication and a little glamour. This is reduced to the style and sophistication of a bad 80’s POP video once straws are added. So please ensure that this never happens!





Glasses ‘14’ & ‘15’ are ‘Champagne Flutes’, so clearly their main purpose is in the service of champagne, but this also extends to some champagne cocktails. Glass ‘14’ is a classic shaped ‘Flute’ whereas Glass ‘15’ is a ‘Royal Flute’. Whether to use one or the other is a simple case of preference. Glass ‘16’ is a ‘Snifter’ or ‘Bandy Balloon’ and is classically used in the service of Brandies. However, due to it’s elegant shape it is also occasionally used for the service of Cocktails, although it is not a classic cocktail glass.

1.2) Handling Glassware There are a number of rules that must be obeyed when handling glassware, so that the quality of the final product is not affected or guests put in danger. Most obviously all glassware used must be clean. No matter how fantastic a product you produce, it will be ruined by serving it in a dirty glass. When cleaning glassware always ensure that they are well rinsed before going into a machine. Fresh fruit and juice residue must be rinsed out and removed first to ensure satisfactory cleaning in the machine. Glasses should not be any warmer than room temperature. This is satisfactory for drinks where ice is present. However, if you are serving a drink ‘Straight up’ (without ice) it must be served into a prechilled glass. A glass can be chilled by filling it with ice whilst the drink is being made, or by storing it in a freezer. You must never handle or touch a glass around the rim. Remember, this is where the guest will be drinking from.

1.3) Correct Care and Storage of Glassware After cleaning, glasses must be treated in one of two ways: 1. Stored, upturned on glass matting or webbing that will allow the glass to dry and drain efficiently. 2. Polished dry with a non-lint glass cloth, and checked for smears, lipstick, cracks or chips. Any faulty glassware must be discarded immediately. A glass ‘renovator’ solution should be used regularly to remove any tainting or cloudiness caused by light scratching. The quality of each glass should be scrutinised before each and every time it is used to check for. • Cleanliness • Chips or cracks • Temperature

NEVER fill a glass with ice by scooping it into the ice well. This is gross misconduct and can result in a severe injury. Ice is only ever handled with a stainless steel ice scoop. If a glass has a stem, this is where it should be handled. For example both a Cocktail glass and a Champagne Flute have long stems and this is where the glass should be held. It looks more decadent, but there is a better and more simple reason. When you hold a glass by the stem you are not transferring any heat from your hand into the drink. This point is even more important when you think that there will be no ice served in these glasses to keep the drink cold.


2. Drinks Making Equipment

The four styles of ‘Three Piece’ shakers here are – 1. Cobbler 2. Deco 3. Manhattan 4. Bullet

Cocktail shakers come in many shapes and sizes. But we can break them down into two main styles.

There are as many other styles of ‘Three Piece’ cocktail shakers as you can think of. From ‘Beehive’, ‘Bottle’ and even ‘Penguin’ shaped shakers. All function in the same manner with a varying degree of ease.

‘Three Piece Shakers’

‘Boston Shakers’

2.1) Shakers






4 7


As their name suggests, these shakers are made of three component parts that fit together to make the shaker. A beaker (commonly stainless steel, but can also be silver or glass) A perforated lid A cap The lid is placed on top of the beaker, then the cap is placed on top of that. This seals the shaker ready for ‘shaking’. Once finished, the cap is removed and the lid left in place. The drink is then poured through the perforations in the lid.


The Boston shaker is now the most commonly used shaker by professional bartenders and is older in design than the ‘Three Piece’ style shaker.

The ‘Boston Shaker’ has become more popular amongst Professionals for a number of reasons.

It is a much simpler design. 5. A glass beaker (Boston Glass) Fits tightly inside a… 6. Stainless steel beaker (Boston tin) Creates the… 7. Boston Shaker 8. Boston Shaker

1. Pouring ingredients into a ‘Boston Glass’ allows the guest to see exactly what is going into their drink and therefore increases the level of ‘theatre’ the guests can enjoy.

The ‘Tin’ on a ‘Boston Shaker’ is much thinner than on a ‘three piece’ so that when it is tapped over the ‘Boston’ glass, it stretches around it forming a tight and waterproof seal. To strain the drink from the ice, a separate strainer must be used as there is not one incorporated into the shaker. A ‘Hawthorn Strainer’ is most commonly used (pictured below). The ‘Hawthorn’ is simply placed on top of the tin, and held in place with a finger whilst the drink is poured.

2. Glass does not conduct heat as well as metal. Therefore, the warmth of the bartender’s hands is not transmitted to the drink so easily. 3. It is far easier to open a Boston shaker once shaking has finished. The all metallic ‘Three Piece’ shaker has the tendency to bind together as the metal lid gets cold and contracts onto the tin. Coupled with condensation and only a small lid to remove, the ‘Three Piece’ shaker can be embarrassingly awkward to open. And importantly, any delay in pouring the drink is also extremely damaging to the quality of the drink, as it will be in contact with the ice for too long. 4. The ‘Boston’ shaker is bigger, allowing the ingredients more room to move when they are being shaken, giving better results.

fig 1

fig 2

5. The ingredients can be poured more quickly and efficiently through a ‘Hawthorn’ or ‘Julep’ strainer than through the small, perforated lid of a ‘Three Piece’ shaker.

The ‘Hawthorn’ you see above (fig 1.) has two ‘ears’ protruding at the top to stop it from falling into the tin when in use. They also come with four ‘ears’ (two top and two on the side) as well as with no ears (only for use in Boston glasses where the spring ‘filter’ holds the strainer in place). Alternatively, a ‘Julep’ strainer (fig 2.) may also be used. This is used in a similar fashion and has a similar function to the ‘Hawthorn Strainer’, holding back the ice in a ‘Boston’ glass allowing the liquid to strain into the glass.


2.2) Small Equipment Along with the shaker, there is a lot more equipment we need to know how to use before we can correctly make cocktails of the highest quality. How the equipment is used, along with images can be found in ‘Outcome 3’



• To Agitate ingredients together. Some drinks simply require the ingredients to be poured into a glass over ice. In this case, it is common for the denser ingredients (e.g. gomme or liqueurs) to sink to the bottom and not mix into the rest of the drink.


1. Fine Strainer. This is used in conjunction with a ‘Hawthorn’ or ‘Julep’ strainer. It is used for classics such as the Martini, where we must ensure that there are no flecks of ice in the drink or where there is excessive debris to be removed from a drink. For example, if fresh root Ginger has been crushed into a drink then shaken, the flavour will remain in the drink, but the woody bits of Ginger would need to be removed.


• As a measuring device. A full bar spoon holds approximately 5ml, and is used to accurately measure small volumes of ingredients where control is vital or where normal pouring techniques would not be suitable. A common example is sugar syrup or what we call ‘gomme’. • This thick syrup cannot be free poured like a spirit due to its viscosity and when it is added it must be done so with the utmost care and accuracy to achieve the correct balance with the ‘Tart’ elements of the drink.



2. Bar Spoon with Muddler. This may seem like a mundane piece of equipment, however, it is almost impossible to bartend without it. It has numerous uses.

To ‘Double strain’ or ‘Fine strain’ a drink, it is strained from the ‘Boston’ using a ‘Hawthorn’ or ‘Julep’ strainer as normal, but rather than pouring straight into the glass, the drink passes through the fine strainer, held above the glass, first.

• There are occasions where this is the desired effect. However, normally we need to unify the flavours in the glass. We achieve this by placing the ‘Bar Spoon’ down into the drink and ‘twizzling’ it between thumb and fingers to make the head of the spoon rotate whilst raising and lowering the spoon the length of the glass. • To stir. As will be discussed in ‘Outcome 3’, some cocktails require that they are stirred with ice. This is again done so with the bar spoon. • To Muddle. The flat end of this ‘Bar Spoon’ is also used. It can be used to crush delicate fresh ingredients such as raspberries, blueberries, mint or rosemary. It is not to be used on tougher ingredients, as it will cause the spoon to be bend or break. • To layer ingredients on top of each other. In those rare occasions where there must be a sharp and clear separation between ingredients in the

glass we again use the ‘Bar Spoon’. Trickle the ingredient down the shaft of the spoon so that it runs onto the flat plate of the spoon. This will allow the liquid to slowly layer on top of another. For further information, ‘outcome 3’.

2.3) Other Small Equipment There are certain ‘other’ pieces of equipment that a Professional Bartender needs at their disposal that do not directly relate to the making of cocktails.

3. Prep knife. How to quickly, accurately and carefully handle a knife is as important behind the bar as it is in the kitchen. This small serrated knife must always be kept sharp and kept with the rest of your bar equipment.

4. Canalle Knife with Zester. Often simply called a ‘Zester’ there are actually two parts to this piece of equipment, the Canalle knife and the Zester on the end. The Canalle knife is used to cut long thin strands of peel from citrus fruits when adding a ‘Twist’ to certain drinks. Again this is discussed further in ‘outcome 3’, along with alternative methods.

The ‘Zester’ on the end of the knife cuts very thin shreds of peel and is only occasionally used in specific drinks.

It is also possible to have a ‘Canelle knife’ or ‘Zester’ separate from each other.

5. Muddler. These range in size from a small cigar case up to a rolling pin. Whatever size it is, it has the same role. It is used to crush fresh fruit and other ingredients to bring out the flavour into the drink. From fresh root Ginger to fresh limes, they can all be crushed down or as we say ‘muddled’ into drinks.


Its specific use will become clear once we look at specific recipes and techniques in ‘outcome 3 and 4’ and when we look at preparing the bar for service.

Sometimes an ingredient is ‘muddled’ in a ‘Boston’ glass before it is shaken with further ingredients or it is muddled in the glass in which it is to be served before being combined with ice and further ingredients.

3 1



1 & 2. Are both bottle openers. ‘1’ is a ‘Bar Blade’ and ‘2’ is a very simple example of a classic style bottle opener. You will be taught how to use both correctly. ‘outcome 6, 2.2’ 3 .

is a ‘Waiters Friend’ or ‘T bar’. Two names for the same piece of equipment, it is used to open wine bottles or remove corks from other bottled products. Again you will be taught the correct procedure for its use. ‘outcome 6, 3.1’


is a Champagne re-sealer, used to keep the fizz in bottles of Champagne once opened to top up a cocktail or serve by the glass.


is a vacuum pump and seal for keeping wine fresh once opened.

A professional bartender would also be expected to carry on them • a ballpoint pen and • a lighter.


2.4) Blenders Each blender is different, and you will need to familiarise yourself with the type of blender used in any bar in which you work. As with any electrical equipment, like glass washers or tills, you will need to ask for specific advice about how to operate the specific piece of equipment from your superiors and colleagues. Just remember that, with any piece of equipment, if you look after it well, then it will work better for you. So, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned every day – top, bottom and electrical cord. Break the blender cups down completely to clean and polish thoroughly each day, ensuring that seals and blades are kept clean and in good condition. Never attempt to stir your ingredients whilst blending, turn off before introducing foreign objects.


Outcome 3 – Display Cocktail Making Techniques Section Sub- Section Description Section 1 Building Blocks 1.1 Four Elements – Balance 1.2 Tart – Sweet 1.3 Strong – Weak 1.4 Ice 2 Drinks Making Techniques 2.1 Shake and Strain 2.2 Stir and Strain 2.3 Build 2.4 Flip or Roll 2.5 Muddle 2.6 Blend 2.7 Lacing 2.8 Layer 2.9 Zesting and Twists

Pg. No.



Presentation and Quality Control

24 25 25 26

29 33 35 35 36 37 38 39 40


Introduction The contemporary understanding of what a ‘Cocktail’ is, is actually a combination of two classic drink styles. The classical understanding of a ‘Cocktail’ is of a drink that combines alcohol, sugar, water and bitters, whilst a ‘Punch’ contains fruit juices. Therefore, the vast majority of ‘Cocktails’ being sold in bars these days are derivatives of a ‘Punch’, and not a cocktail.

When a drink is balanced correctly it means that all the flavours in the drink come through onto the palate. Therefore, when a drink is not correctly balanced, there is one dominant flavour that overrides all the others, producing a poor quality product. There are of course exceptions to this rule. For example, if a drink contains no ‘Tart’ element, or if there is cream in the recipe. However, a balance of flavours is vital no matter what ingredients are being used.

With a little attention it is still quite clear to see whether a recipe is truly a ‘Cocktail’ or a ‘Punch’.

Remember, balance is about bringing together a harmony of flavours to work together.

There are also many drinks that, at their inception, would have been perceived as ‘Cocktails’, that now, most would see as a simple ‘Spirit and Mixer’ combination…The Gin and Tonic for example.

When using bitter ingredients, do so with caution. This is a flavour that has no opposite and thus no way of being balanced out. It must therefore be added in the correct quantity to be present in the final flavour of the drink, whilst not overpowering anything else.

We live in a modern and changing world, and this industry is no exception. Therefore, although it is vital to understand the history of ‘drinks making’ to be able to develop the next era for mixed drinks, punches and cocktails; this section shall use the world ‘Cocktail’ with the contemporary understanding in mind.

Once you understand the importance and delicacy of correctly balancing the flavours in a drink, you have no reason to ever make a poor quality drink. Whether you are making a drink for the first time, writing a new recipe or mixing a favourite. These simple rules will always apply.

1.1) Four Elements – Balance To really understand cocktails we must firstly break them down into their base parts.

Do not be fooled into thinking that recipes with very few ingredients are the simplest to prepare correctly. Whereas they may be the more simple recipes to remember, they are in fact the more difficult recipes to prepare correctly. This is simply because…

There are four dominant ‘Building Blocks’ or ‘Elements’ to a cocktail.

The fewer ingredients you have in a recipe, the more important each ingredient becomes in the final drink.

• • • •

The measure of a top professional bartender is the ability to produce a fantastic product with very few, but high quality ingredients. This is also the format for many of the Worlds Greatest Classic Cocktails.

1. Building Blocks

Strong Weak Tart Sweet

For a drink to work, each of these elements must be in the correct proportion to each other. When this is done correctly, the drink is in – ‘BALANCE’.


‘BALANCE’ is the single most important concept to understand when it comes to mixing cocktails.

A few high quality ingredients brought together by the skill of a Professional Bartender to produce a drink of the highest order.

1.2) Tart – Sweet

1.3) Strong – Weak

‘Tart’ is simply another way of expressing a sour flavour such as lemon or lime for example.

The ‘Strong’ element refers to the alcoholic content of the Cocktail. More then simply giving a pleasant feeling to the consumer, alcohol is also very important to flavour as well.

‘Sweetness’ can come from many sources, from straight sugar to a sweet liqueur. Any ingredient that brings sweetness to a recipe must be considered. Even to the point of using a different base spirit that has a higher sugar content from another must be considered. The rule of thumb ratio we use to balance ‘Tart’ with ‘Sweet’ is –

2:1 Twice the volume of ‘Tart’ to ‘Sweet’ This only works as a general rule with very simple recipes. Once other ingredients such as fresh fruit or liqueurs are added to a recipe the basic ratio will need to be adjusted. Recipes that are correctly written will take this into account. However, when working at the highest level you will be using fresh ingredients. A fresh ingredient will inherently vary in flavour. This is why you must understand the importance of each element and how they must work with each other so that every drink is prepared with the correct balance of flavours.

Due to its chemical properties, the Alcohol in a spirit is referred to as the ‘Flavour Carrier’ or ‘Flavour Fixer’. Therefore, the flavour the spirit brings to a drink is carried or bonded to the alcohol. The main purpose of the ‘Weak’ element is to unlock these flavours. By reducing the alcohol content, the bond it has on the flavours is weakened and this allows the flavour of the spirit to come through into the drink. Again, there is a delicate balance to be found here. Too much dilution of the strong will make the drink taste ‘washed out’. As some drinks balance when they are more ‘Tart’ than others, some drinks are also ‘Stiffer’ (higher alcohol content) than others when made correctly. Therefore some recipes balance whilst the drink still has a substantial ‘Kick’ (a substantial alcohol content felt on the palate) whilst other recipes allow the alcohol content to be greatly softened whilst still bringing out the flavours of the spirit into the drink.

Remember simply that a drink is in ‘Balance’ when ALL flavours come through onto the palate when tasted.


Dilution can be added to a drink in a number of different ways. The way a drink is made has a direct relationship with how the dilution is added to the drink. This will be discussed in section 2, when we look at the different techniques employed in drinks making. However, no matter what technique is used, the correct amount of dilution is as important a part of the final drink as any other ingredient.

1.5) Ice Correct ice handling is as important as any other topic on this entire course and yet it is often underestimated by unskilled bartenders. Ice influences all but a relatively small number of hot cocktails, it is used in the service of most spirits and liqueurs, wine coolers and even some beers and cider. To underestimate the importance of ice behind any bar is therefore foolish at best.

Ice has two main roles – to make and keep a drink cold and to control dilution. Due to it’s nature, ice will always make drinks colder. Whether dilution is required or not is a separate issue. There are some very simple guidelines to follow to ensure that you get the desired effect from your ice. Firstly lets apply Newton’s 3rd law of thermodynamics. Sounds very impressive and highbrow, yet it simply states something very obvious, which is that the colder you make something the longer it will stay cold. How does this help us to get the most from our ice? Well if we look at the simple example of a spirit and mixer combination such as a Plymouth Gin and Tonic, it is served over ice of course, but how much ice?


What do we want from the ice in this drink? We have Tonic water, as the ‘Weak’ element so there is clearly no need for further dilution from the ice. Therefore the ice is simply in the drink to make it cold and crisp. To best obtain this result we shall use as much ice as we can fit into the drink, this will make the drink as cold as possible, which in turn (if we apply Newton’s law) will keep the ice as ‘ice’ for longer thus dramatically slowing the rate of melt and the unwanted effects of dilution. There are still unfortunately both guests and staff who are not aware of this simple rule of physics, however, you must be in no doubt. Remember that there is no trick here to give a guest less, (as some guests can be somewhat suspicious) a single or double measure of Gin is added whether there is one ice cube or a full glass. By adding a full glass of ice you are simply preserving the proper balance of that drink for longer. When we wish to use ice in a drinks making process we must take a similar philosophy. The amount of ice determines how cold we can make the drink, the colder the drink the slower the rate of dilution. Therefore if we consistently use the same amount of ice (full glass) when making drinks, we know the rate of dilution will be the same with each drink made, and therefore if we ensure the drink is in contact with the ice for the same length of time we will get a consistent amount of dilution. Additionally, by using the maximum amount of ice during drinks making processes we will also ensure that the drink is as cold as possible. This is vital for all cocktails, whether served over ice or straight up. The quality of the ice used will have a direct affect on the quality of the drinks made with it. There are a number of ‘Dangers’ to be considered when handling ice:

1. The ice machine.

4. The Temperature of the Ice.

It is essential that the ice machine is kept clean and is regularly emptied and sanitised. There have been many incidences of food poisoning due to poor hygiene and maintenance of an ice machine.

Water is in the form of ice from freezing point down and therefore varies in temperature depending on how it is stored. The rate of cooling and dilution ice has on a drink will vary depending on its temperature and state.

The machines operating manual will give you advice on how often the machine should be switched off, emptied and washed out with a sanitising solution. The ice scoop used for removing ice from the machine should also be kept in a sanitised solution, not left in amongst the ice. It should be the only piece of equipment to come in contact with the ice in the machine.

2. Transportation. A sanitised container should be used to transport ice to the bar where it must again be handled with due care and attention. The ice wells on the bar must be cleaned thoroughly every night. This means removing the drip trays, sanitising and polishing dry with a clean cloth.

3. Handling. Once in the ice well, ice must only be handled with a stainless steel ice scoop. Never handle the ice by hand and as already mentioned; never fill a glass by scooping it into the ice well.

The simplest way to negate this affect is to keep your ice in an insulated ‘ice well’ with a good amount of ice in it. As we have already discussed, the more ice the colder, therefore this will ensure a more stable temperature for your ice. The danger comes when using ice straight out of the ice machine, or the last few scoops from your ice well. With very cold ice, it is wise to shake for a few seconds longer to ensure the correct level of dilution has been added to the drink. Warmer ice is more dangerous as it will dilute very quickly and therefore you may need to reduce the length of time you shake to avoid over dilution. However, this also increases the risk of the drink not being cold enough. Therefore, unless completely unavoidable, get fresh ice rather than scraping out the bottom of the ice well.

5. Crushed ice. This poses a number of unique problems that are covered in the recipes in ‘outcome 4’.

This is common practice in many poor quality bars. Should very cold and hard ice be scooped up with a glass, there is a high risk of chipping the glass into the ice, or chipping the glass on the side of the ice well. Either way a small shard of glass in the ice well can prove to be highly dangerous.



2. Drinks Making Techniques

To both chill a drink and add dilution we can simply stir a drink with ice as will be seen in the next technique. We can combine ingredients evenly through a drink by using a bar spoon and agitating or muddling.

Before we look at ‘How’ we implement each technique, we must first understand ‘Why’ each technique is used, and how it will affect the final product, only then will the importance of each process become clear.

1. The break down of sugars. (Which only affects a small number or ingredients such as pineapple juice)

2.1) Shake and Strain Shaking ingredients with ice has a number of effects on a product – 1. Shaking with ice will lower the temperature of the ingredients being shaken. 2. Shaking with ice will cause dilution from the ice. 3. Shaking with ice will combine ingredients together as one. This is particularly relevant with very heavy products such as crushed fresh fruit, fruit puree, herbs, spices and heavy syrups or liqueurs. 4. Shaking with ice will help to break down fruit sugars. 5. Shaking with ice will force air into the ingredients changing and lightening the texture of the final product. Some of the results of shaking are obvious, and many can be obtained through using other drinks making techniques. However, this unique combination of results is only achieved through shaking with ice. It is therefore important that we understand those results that are unique to the shaking process, so that we can see the true value of going to the effort of performing this technique.

So we are left with two unique effects

2. The change of texture.

The change in the texture of the ingredients by forcing air into them is both a unique and essential result of this technique. When we have shaken a drink sufficiently hard, for the correct amount of time and with the correct technique we can clearly see this change of texture. The small bubbles of air that the shaking forces into the liquid make the drink appear to be paler in colour and with thicker ingredients there should be a white foam floating on the surface of the drink. This change of texture is clearly more important than simply making a drink appear paler in colour and creating some foam on the surface. It has a significant affect on how the final drinks tastes.

The lightening of the drinks texture by forcing air into it softens it on the palate, which in turn helps to unify strong flavours in the final drink. This softening effect is vital and the exact opposite of what happens when we stir a cocktail with ice, as we will see in the next technique. Shaking is only one part of this process, as we must now get the drink into the glass. Once a drink has been shaken the recipe will tell us one of three common straining techniques.


1. Shake and Strain. This is the most common process, where the ingredients are simply shaken together with ice and strained (assuming we are using a Boston Shaker) using a ‘Hawthorn’ strainer into the correct glass for service.

Commonly, we will strain the drink out of the ‘Tin’ not the ‘Glass’ part of the Boston. This is simply because the tin has a thinner rim which allows for greater control when straining.

The strainer will remove some debris but is essentially used to strain the drink from the ice. Therefore any ingredient used in the recipe will be expected to come through, at least in part, to the final drink.















‘The Process’ 1. Pour ingredients into a clean empty Boston Glass. Remember, we add ingredients to the glass for added theatre for the guests.

The ingredients are added to a Boston glass without ice so that if there is a distraction at this point, the drink is not ruined by sitting in ice and becoming ‘over-diluted’ Even without delay, pouring room-temperature ingredients over ice will cause excessive dilution in itself.

2. Fill glass with fresh ice. It is vital that once the ice is added the drink is shaken and strained immediately. Any delay once the ice is added will cause the drink to be in contact with the ice for too long and will therefore cause the drink to be over diluted and therefore out of balance. 3. Firmly but gently rest the ‘Boston’ tin on top of the glass. It will sit on at an angle, not straight in line. Do not correct this, it is as it should be. 4. Raise your hand over the tin… 5. Then bring it down quickly and firmly to knock the top of the tin with the heel palm of your hand. This bang will stretch the tin around the glass forming a watertight seal. 6. There are many different ways to hold and shake the Boston shaker. This is the most simple. Having turned the shaker over so that the glass is at the top take hold of the glass with your right hand (if you are right handed) and the tin with your left.

Due to the fact that the tin attaches to the glass at an angle, the shaker will form a slight curve. Ensure that the inside of the curve faces your body, so that when you shake, the shape of the shaker matches the curve of the movement you make when you raise it up and down. (see the movement in pictures 7, 8 and 9)

7. The shaking action must be hard and must be drawn out to allow the maximum amount of travel for the ingredients, rushing from one end of the shaker to the next. 8. As you can see, the travel of the shaker is all the way up and down, not a short ‘jiggle’ that will not send the ingredients from one end to the other. 9. This violent motion continues for about ten seconds, or about 20 – 25 shakes. This does not sound like very long, but when you are being watched by guests for the first time, it will seem like an age! However, it is vital for the correct amount of dilution and chilling, that the process is carried out to the full extent. 10. Use the hard heel part of your palm to strike the tin. Bring the tin and hand together in a short ‘clapping’ motion or else the hand holding the tin will move when struck and the force of the impact will be lost and the shaker will not be opened. 11. The tin, not the glass, is struck and it is struck just below the sharp edge of the tin. Due to the angle at which the tin is attached to the glass, one side will be tight to the glass and on the opposite side there will be a substantial gap between the rim of the tin and the glass.

The tin must be struck mid-way between these two points. Strike firmly, but not recklessly. Whilst doing so ensure that the hand holding the tin also supports the glass with a finger or two, so that when loosened by the blow, it does not fall.

If the glass does not become loose on the first strike, try again, if still stuck, rotate the shaker and strike firmly from the other side. Time and practice, as with all techniques, will ensure a smooth separation each time.


12. Be aware that, especially with thicker recipes, there will be residue of the drink stuck to the inside of the glass when you pull it away from the tin. Therefore, once you have loosened the glass, raise it up over the tin and allow any liquid still stuck to the inside of the glass to drain back into the tin before placing the glass in the sink to be rinsed.

The amount of ice used for shaking may not be entirely sufficient for the final drink, therefore, if and when needed, add a little more ice to the glass before finishing and serving.

13. Place a ‘Hawthorn’ (with ears) strainer on top of the tin. Have the handle of the strainer come between your first and middle finger.

This will allow you to hold the strainer in place with your first finger whilst you grasp the tin with your other fingers and thumb. Slowly, but confidently tilt the tin so that the drink strains smoothly into the glass.

2. Shake and Double Strain. The technique follows the same method as above, however this is when we strain through both a ‘Hawthorn’ strainer and a ‘Fine’ strainer (see below), to remove any fine debris not wanted in the final drink. From fine pieces of spice or herb to seeds or in the case of some classics, fine flecks of ice.






3. Shake and Pour. This process starts as any other shaken process would. However, once shaken the drink is poured in its entirety (including the ice with which it was shaken with) from the tin into the glass in which it is to be served.


Reasons for this will be specific to the recipe, but it clearly means that the final drink requires all the texture of the ingredients used in the recipe, usually for visually aesthetic reasons.

Below you can see the pouring of a cocktail that has been shaken then poured without straining. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Pouring passion fruit Collins into glass. Adding a little more ice. Topping with soda. Finished drink

2.2) Stir and Strain This technique is the ‘Sister’ of ‘Shake and Strain’. Like a brother and sister these two techniques are very similar and yet fundamentally different. To understand this we must firstly look at the affects this process has on the ingredients – 1. Stirring with ice will lower the temperature of the ingredients. 2. Stirring with ice will cause dilution from the ice. 3. Stirring with ice will gently combine ingredients together as one. Clearly, these first three results are the same as when a drink is shaken. The rate of dilution will be slower, and only lighter ingredients will be combined together fully, however, essentially this process has the same affects. However, as well as not breaking down sugars, there is one other very important omission from this list, and that is the change of texture achieved through shaking. This is where the two processes are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Shaking is unique down to the way in which air is forced into the drink and the texture is changed, while stirring is a far more delicate process. When we stir a drink, it is all about gently teasing out all the flavours of the ingredients into the final drink. Shaking a drink that should be stirred will flatten the delicate flavours rather than lifting them.


‘The Process’



3. Place a ‘Hawthorn’ or ‘Julep’ stainer over the ‘Boston’ glass in the same fashion as when straining from the tin.



1. Fill a clean and preferably chilled ‘Boston’ glass with ice, and then pour the ingredients in over ice. There is no margin for delay with a ‘Stirred’ cocktail as the ingredients are in contact with the ice from the beginning of the process, and therefore the chilling and also dilution of the ingredients starts immediately. 2. Place a ‘bar spoon’ down the inside of the glass, all the way to the bottom. Gently hold the ‘bar spoon’ between two fingers, and rotate the spoon around the outside of the glass, keeping the spoon in contact with the inside edge of the glass at all times.


The ice must be rotated as one block, not churned up as individual ice cubes. This allows the liquid to flow through and around the ice, gently chilling and diluting it as it goes. This is why the spoon must be held lightly so that the blade of the spoon does not rotate and churn up the ice as it is stirred, instead it must be allowed to rotate between your fingers.

Hold the ‘fine strainer’ just above the glass in which the drink is to be strained into. Strain the ingredients from the ‘Boston’ glass through the ‘fine strainer’ and into the glass.

4. Straining from a ‘Boston’ glass, must be done with confidence. If it is poured too slowly, the bevelled edge of the glass will allow the ingredients to stick to the outside edge of the glass and therefore the liquid will flow down the outside of the ‘Boston’ glass and pour onto the bar top, missing the fine strainer and glass completely!

2.3) Build

2.4) Flip or Roll

Really the most simple of all the drinks making processes, ‘Building’ simply entails pouring the ingredients for a recipe over ice into the glass in which it is going to be served. In this process, there is no need for any dilution from the ice as the ‘Weak’ element of the drink will already be included within the recipe. The ice is simply used to make and keep the drink as cold as possible, and therefore usually as much ice is as can be fitted into the glass is used. As some ingredients are ‘heavier’ than others, a ‘bar spoon’ is used to gently agitate ingredients and combine them so that the drink has an even flavour throughout. The order in which ingredients are added makes no difference unless stated within a recipe. If for example, a drink must be ‘topped’ with an ingredient such as soda water, this is not stirred in, but left on top for aesthetic purposes. Ingredients such as ‘gomme’ (sugar syrup) will sink straight to the bottom of a drink and will need to be worked into the rest of the drink using a ‘bar spoon’. If after agitating the ingredients and ice together there is more room left in the glass, simply add a little more ice to ensure that the drink stays as cold and undiluted for as long as possible.

This is quite a rare technique and very simple. It is essentially a variation on the ‘Build’ process, used when there are ingredients that are too difficult or too numerous to bring together with just a bar spoon.

‘The Process’

The ingredients are poured into a glass over ice like a ‘built’ cocktail. All the ingredients and ice from the glass are then poured or ‘flipped’ or ‘rolled’ into a ‘Boston’ tin before being poured back into the glass. This process is most commonly used in the production of ‘Red Snappers’ and ‘Bloody Marys’. Should the ingredients still not be sufficiently mixed once back in the glass, repeat the process as above

‘The Process’





1. Pour all ingredients over ice into glass. 2. Pour or ‘Flip’ ingredients from the glass into the ‘Boston’ tin. 3. Pour the ingredients back into the glass. (Repeat process if necessary) ... then serve.

1. Pour ingredients into glass over ice and, if necessary, agitate with a ‘bar spoon’ to ensure an even mix of ingredients throughout the drink.


2.5) Muddle This is a drinks making process in itself and a process that is often used in conjunction with other processes such as ‘Shaking’ or ‘Building’. Muddling is all about extracting flavours from ingredients, classically and most commonly, fresh fruit and fresh herbs.

However the process of muddling may also be used in conjunction with ‘shaking’. For example, fresh fruit and sugar may be muddled in a ‘Boston’ glass before other ingredients are added and all are shaken together with ice, before being poured or strained into a glass for service.

‘The Process’

‘Muddling’ is essentially a term we use for ‘crushing’. What we crush and what we use to crush it will depend on each individual recipe. For hard fruits such as limes or fresh strawberries we will use a wooden ‘muddler’. For lighter ingredients such as mint leaves or raspberries we will use the flat end of a ‘bar spoon’. There is one thing in common with all but a few muddled drinks, and that is the use of caster sugar. This is due to its sharp, crystalline form that makes it abrasive. The sugar is added on top of the ingredient that is to be ‘muddled’ before starting. When the ‘muddler’ or ‘bar spoon’ is then pressed and twisted against this mixture, the sugar cuts into the ingredient, helping to release all its flavours and break the fruit down. Sugar syrup would not have the same effect, as it is ‘slippery’ and not abrasive, making it harder to muddle due to the ingredients sliding around the glass and releasing less flavour by not ‘cutting in’. Caster sugar is specified over simple ‘sugar’ (granulated) due to the fact that it will dissolve in a cold liquid, whilst still retaining the abrasive crystalline qualities that are lost when sugar becomes any finer. As mentioned before, ‘muddling’ can be combined with other drinks making techniques. A true ‘muddled’ cocktail is a combination of ‘muddling’ the ingredients and sugar, then ‘building’ the rest of the ingredients on top. A ‘bar spoon’ is then used to mix everything together, including all the fresh ingredients muddled with sugar to start with.





1. The fruit is added to the glass first, and then the caster sugar is added over the top. Therefore, as the ‘muddler’ is pressed down through the sugar it cuts into the fruit. 2. To muddle fruit effectively, especially hard fruit such as lime, you must use your body weight to transmit the pressure required. Therefore, hold the ‘muddler’ with the end of it in the heel of your palm, fingers pointing down, and lean on it. The weight of your body will then be transmitted through you arm into your palm and into the muddler. ‘Muddling’ effectively is not just about how hard you press. You must also twist the ‘muddler’ so that the sugar is ground into the fruit. This grinding helps break down soft fruit and will cut into the skin of citrus fruits, releasing the essential oils. 3. All the juices are released through pressure, the oils are released through abrasion and soft fruit is completely broken down ready to be combined into the rest of the drink. The rest of the ingredients can now be added, and a bar spoon is then used to combine all together with crushed ice, serve.

2.6) Blend Whereas we can be very specific about the techniques used so far in this section, blending is more about feel and practice then any other technique. On the face of it, it is a very simple technique. Add ice to a blender then the ingredients from the recipe, place the lid on top of the blender, and turn it on at low speed to start, before finishing with a short high-speed pulse to finish. Then pour into the correct glass, garnish and serve. Simple? Well, there are a number of factors to think about…. 1. What Blender? There are a large variety of blenders, some good and some not so good. Getting used to a particular piece of equipment will, in itself, take time and practice. 2. What Ingredients? To blend ingredients smooth with ice, the recipe needs the correct amount of liquid to get the ingredients flowing around the blender cup and through the blades, whilst at the same time; there must be sufficient ice to ensure that the drink is cold and thick enough. If there is not the correct ratio of liquid to ice, one of two things will happen.

Too much ice - the ingredients will simply sit in the blender jug, unmoved. The only ingredients to be blended will be those in direct contact with the blades, as the rest will not flow around the jug and into contact with the blades. Too little ice – ingredients will blend together, but the drink will be too thin in texture and not cold enough.

Getting the right amount of ice into the blender jug is a matter of judgement and will take time and practice. It is not as straight forward as filling a ‘shaker’ with ice. Recipes should be adjusted to take into account the size of the ice scoop used and type of blender.

The type of ingredients being used must be taken into account. At times, part of the liquid content of a blended drink will come from fresh fruit. If the fruit is in a ‘solid’ form, it is essential to add the fruit to the blender before the ice. This way, as soon as the blender is switched on, this fruit will be liquidised and then help the rest of the ingredients and ice flow around the jug and into the path of the blades. If added on top of the ice, the fruit will sit there with the ice, and the ingredients will not be pulled into the blades. 3. Blending speed. Always start blending at a low speed, as this will pull ingredients down into the blades more efficiently. At high speed the blades blend everything in contact, but leave other ingredients sat on top. Once there is a good flow of ingredients around the blender jug the speed can be increased for the last few seconds of blending. 4. The texture to which the drink is blended to. There should be no visible flecks of ice within the drink and it should all appear as one smooth consistency. 5. Separation. Once a blended drink is ready to be poured, be aware that although it should appear as one smooth consistency it will, if left, separate out. Bits of fruit will fall to the bottom of the glass and flecks of ice will rise to the surface with liquid in-between. This is clearly not how a blended drink should be served. Therefore, ensure that once poured, the drink goes directly to the guest. If there is going to be a delay (such as other drinks being finished for example), leave the drink in the blender until ready, then pulse the blender again for a couple of seconds before pouring into a glass, garnishing and serving immediately.


‘The Process’








Finished drink blended smooth to single consistency.

2.7) Lacing This is not a whole technique in its own right, but instead a technique that may be used with drinks where crushed ice is used. There are many cases where a drink is topped with soda or another ingredient that is not part of the first process. Lacing is just another way to top a drink with another ingredient that was not part of the first initial process. It is mainly done for decorative purposes, however, it is also a good way to add another flavour to a drink, and in some cases allows a very small amount of an ingredient to subtly influence a whole drink. This is in part due to the fact that it is the last ingredient to be added, therefore, the closest to your nose when you drink, allowing its aroma to influence what you are drinking.


1 – 7. Drizzle the ingredient slowly all over the crushed ice until sufficient for the recipe has been added. It will fill the gaps between the crushed ice giving a ‘laced’ effect. You will have to use judgment and practice to add the correct amount of ingredient as you will not be pouring in the traditional ‘vertical’ manner.

If you want greater control over the speed at which the ingredient pours, partly cover the air intake on the speed pourer with your first finger. Regulating the speed at which air is allowed into the bottle will thus regulate the speed at which the ingredient flows out.

2.8) Layer ‘Layering’ liquids on top of each other can be a drinks making technique in it’s own right or, like ‘lacing’, it can be a way of finishing a drink for aesthetic purposes.

to grip and trickle down it. The flat base of the spoon will then disperse the liquid as it reaches the bottom, further slowing the flow and reducing the distance the liquid will drop onto the liquid below.

‘The Process’

To layer liquids on top of each other simply requires the knowledge of which liquid goes on top of which and the skill and control to add the ingredients carefully enough for them not to mix together. The order in which ingredients are added will depend on the recipe, but it is a simple theory that the denser the liquid the nearer the bottom it will be, with lighter ingredients closer to the top.





If you are layering cream, there is another measure you can take to giver you better results. Use whipping cream, and shake or whisk a little air into the cream, not so much that it will not pour, but enough to lighten the cream and allow it to sit perfectly on top of any drink. Cream is traditionally floated on top of a liqueur coffee. Therefore, a spoonful of sugar is usually added to the coffee and liqueur mixture with a little hot water. This is to increase the density of the liquid and give a ‘sharper’ finish to the layer of cream. When it comes to layering spirits and liqueurs, the order in which they are added is essential as already mentioned, so then it all comes down to how we add the ingredients. There are two tips for success here. Firstly, as with lacing, cover the air intake on the speed pourer with your first finger to regulate the speed at which the liquid flows out of the bottle. The slower the ingredient lands on the liquid below, the less turbulence there will be and the clearer the layers will be.

1. Espresso, water, sugar and liqueur combined together. 2. Bottle of whipping cream being shaken. 3. Cream flowing down bar spoon, over base and onto coffee surface.

To further reduce the impact of one liquid landing on another, we can also use an upturned bar spoon. The Spiralled shaft of the bar spoon will allow liquids


2.9) Zesting and Twists This is often seen as nothing more than a garnish, however, it plays a vital role in the final flavour of the drink as a whole, as much as any other ingredient – such is its importance. 1





The ‘heaviest’ liqueur is added to shot glass first, then the second ‘lighter’ ingredient is added. Note the angle of the glass and first finger covering the air hole on the ‘pourer’, only allowing a slow intake of air, and therefore only allowing a slow flow of liquid out of the bottle.

These oils are released in a number of different ways, and it is these oils that bring the true impact to the drink. The oils are extracted through either cutting or stretching the skin, using one of three different techniques.

‘The Process – Cutting’

Also note the angle at which the glass is held, allowing the liquid to trickle slowly down the inside of the glass, minimising the impact and disturbance on the liquid below giving a better and sharper separation.

2/3. Bar spoon used to layer third and final ingredient. 4.

The confusion arises when a twist is simply seen as a piece of citrus fruit skin added to a drink. The piece of skin itself does indeed do little more than make the final drink look more attractive. However, a twist can be added without this piece of skin ever being placed in the drink, because a twist is all about the essential oils contained within the fruits skin.



Final Product






1. A canalle knife is used to cut a twist. Make the first incision into the skin of the fruit with the point of the knife then it is dragged through the skin towards the thumb. 2. The knife is dragged to the thumb, and then stopped while the thumb is moved further around the fruit and the process is repeated, only cutting a few inches at a time to give greater control with the knife.

How far is cut will depend on yield of oil from the fruit being used. A guide is 1½ - 2 rotations for a lemon, 1 – 1½ rotations for an orange, 2 – 2½ rotations for a lime, ½ - 1 rotation for a grapefruit.

Note where the fruit is held whilst being cut; it is held above and just to the side of the glass. This is because as the knife cuts, it releases the oils from the skin as a fine spray. Therefore the fruit needs to be positioned so that as the oils spray outwards from the fruit, it drops onto the surface of the drink.

3. Remember, a twist is all about this – oil!

Droplets of oil floating on the surface of the drink. This has a huge impact on the final drink and the aroma can be smelt some feet away from the drink itself.

The piece of skin is simply the finishing touch and a clear signal to the guest that the drink has had a twist added to it. However, the impact on flavour will be minimal. Remember, it is the oils that have already been added that are truly important.

4. For maximum aesthetic effect and that traditional spiral look, tightly wrap about ½ of the length of cut skin around a straw, or for best results a plastic chopstick can be used. 5. Slide the spiral of skin into the drink carefully and without touching the drink. 6. An iconic image.

‘The Process – Stretching’






1. Slice off a piece of peel, try not to go through into the flesh of the fruit. 2. Roll the piece of skin between your thumbs and fingers. This will stretch the skin, bursting the cells and releasing the oils over the surface of the drink. 3. The skin will be all oily, wipe this oil around the rim of the glass for maximum impact when drinking. Do not touch the rim of the glass with anything else other than the skin of the fruit and hold the glass by its base whilst doing this. 4. Remove any excess pith, as this can turn a drink bitter once it has soaked into the drink. If there is excess pith it also makes the final garnish look clumsy. Depending on the drink, it is possible to cut a piece of skin that will not need to be trimmed and can be added directly to the drink. Read the instructions for each recipe carefully. 5. Add the final garnish.


‘The Process – Flamed’



Important aspects of producing the highest quality cocktails have been dealt with; however, there is always the potential for something to go wrong, no matter how experienced or careful the bartender. Although errors should be rare, bartenders must work in a way that ensures the quality of every single drink served from the bar. 2



This is essentially the same process as the previous process, however, the oils are being ignited to give a charred flavour before they are added to the drink.

Warm the skin of the fruit for just a second or two with a naked flame.


Now firmly pinch the outer sides of the skin together, stretching the surface of the skin in front of the flame as it bends, expelling the oil through the flame and igniting it.

Again, look closely at where this is taking place. Just above and to the side of the drink, so that the oils are expelled through the flame and land on the surface of the drink.

This process can be repeated with the same piece of skin if needed; the grip is moved to a fresh piece of firm skin, still full of oil, warmed and ‘squeezed’ again.

3/4. When enough oil has been extracted wipe the skin around the rim of the glass, trim, if needed and place into the drink to garnish.


2.10) Presentation and Quality Control

1. The first and most simple measure to take is to have perfect recipe knowledge. Every recipe available from behind a bar must be clearly known by the bartender without hesitation or questioning. More than knowing the recipe, the bartender must know exactly how the recipe is constructed. 2. Even if a drink is made in the correct manner and with the correct ingredients, there are still dangers that a bartender must be aware of that may affect the quality of the final product. Incorrect Balance is a common danger to check for. The ‘balance’ of a drink may vary for a number of reasons. a) Variance in flavour of fresh ingredients. Fresh fruit will vary in sugar content. A bottle of fresh juice or puree has enough different individual pieces of fruit within it that this variance will be more subtle. However when using one piece of fruit in a drink, this difference can be much more apparent. b) Subtle inaccuracies in measurements. Although professional bartenders should pour accurately no matter what pressure they are under, pressure can affect other measuring methods such as adding a ‘bar spoon’ of an ingredient. c) Omission of ingredients. Although rare with professional bartenders, when producing a number of different drinks at one time, a small and clear ingredient such as ‘gomme’ can be easily left out whilst the bartender thinks it has been added.

d) Variance in the state of ice. Remember ice fresh out of the ice machine will be colder, and dilute slower than ice left at the bottom of the ice well that is in a warmer and ‘wetter’ state, affecting the rate of dilution in drinks making processes.

Checking the balance of a cocktail is a simple process, but is vital and must be done correctly and at the right time. If the drink is shaken; once the shaker is opened, the contents is smelt for immediate feedback. A ‘sip straw’ is dipped into the drink while it is still in the ‘Boston tin’ then the top of the straw is covered with a finger to create a vacuum so that the straw acts like a pipette. This small amount of drink is sucked out of the straw (remove finger at the same time to release the vacuum) so that the drinks balance can be checked. The straw is discarded into the bin immediately and never re-used. There must be a balance of all flavours and ingredients, without any one ingredient overpowering the rest. If this is so, the drink can be finished and presented. However, if a subtle adjustment is needed, it must be done so immediately and quickly so that the drink does not over dilute in the ice. Any additional ingredient added must be combined in with the rest of the ingredients using a bar spoon, and the drink must then be re-tasted before it is served. A drink is never tasted once it is in its final state. Therefore a shaken drink is always tasted in the tin, a stirred drink is tasted in the Boston glass and a blended drink is tasted in the blender cup. Only built or muddled drinks are tasted from the guest’s glass, and this is only because they are made in the glass. However, they must be tasted before they reach their finished state; before any straws or garnish are added.

A correctly made drink should rarely be found to be out of balance, but it is still essential to check; and all but a few recipes must be checked each and every time they are made. If a mistake cannot be rectified, it must be thrown away and recorded as wastage after a satisfactory version has been made.

A professional bartender never sends out a drink that is not of the highest quality and that he or she is not totally happy with. The final look of a drink is also very important, as this is the first impression a guest will have of their product. No matter how great something tastes, if it is presented poorly it is going to be difficult for a guest to be impressed. Each drink must satisfy the list below: • Glassware must be clean and cold. • Any spillage is wiped away and the glass is clean and dry. • The glass is not overfilled so that it does not spill over the side of the glass when moved and at the same time there is sufficient for the glass and recipe, ideally leaving a 3mm window between the rim of the glass and the top of the drink. • Each drink must be garnished properly as to the recipe specification and the quality of the garnish must be to standard; fruit is fresh and vibrant, mint sprigs are big enough and the leaves are not wilted and twists are cut correctly. • Correct straw or straws are used. • The final drink is presented onto a beverage napkin. Excellent service, people skills and efficiency are vital skills for a professional bartender. However, at the end of the day, every bartender is critically judged on the quality of the products they produce at all times.



Outcome 4 – Display Knowledge of Cocktail Specifications Section Sub- Section Description Section 1 Classic and Contemporary Cocktails

Pg. No.











The Classic Margarita



The Frozen Margarita









Sloe Gin Fizz



Singapore Sling



The Bramble






White Lady



The Martini



The Manhattan



The Old Fashioned






The Champagne Cocktail






Red Snapper / Bloody Mary



Pousse Café



Introduction The recipes in this section are recognised as correct and traditional in most areas, however, there are some points to remember. Firstly, drinks like the ‘Bloody Mary’ vary from bar to bar and guest to guest, therefore although this is a good basic recipe, in the ‘real world’ there are many different ways to make it. The Singapore Sling is another classic example of a drink that bartenders will ‘discuss’ until they are blue in the face about what the true recipe should be. On the other hand a Daiquiri simply must be Cuban Rum, Fresh Lime Juice and Sugar in anyone’s bar! These recipes are a starting point on a long journey of product knowledge that never ends. Secondly, the recipes are written in counts that relate to the fluid Oz free pouring measurements used in this book. These counts give each drink a basic ratio, and ratios cross the boundaries of different measuring systems like fluid Oz’s and Milliliters. Finally, the brands used in this book are high quality products that are widely used in top bars. This book is not ‘sponsored’ by any brands, and therefore these choices are freely made by the author and are based on realistic commercial reasons such as quality, price and availability. Therefore this does not mean to say that they are the only suitable brands that can be used to make the recipes, however, they are all brands whose quality can be trusted in an age where it can be so hard for new bartenders to pick through the marketing spiel and brand sponsored books. Learning about different brands and picking the truth from the marketing jargon takes time and experience, the most important tool a bartender has in making these decisions is his or her palate.


1. Classic and Contemporary Cocktails 1.1) The Daiquiri This classic recipe from the tin mining town of the same name in Cuba is a perfect example of how a good bartender can make a great cocktail from just a few high quality ingredients.

1.2) The Mojito Another classic recipe from Cuba sharing many component parts with the Daiquiri. Again, balance here is vital as well as how the mint is handled. The leaves must be muddled to bring out their flavour, whilst at the same time, keeping the leaves as whole as possible so that the drink does not become a green sludge. • Cuban rum, fresh lime juice and sugar are combined with fresh mint and crushed ice, made long with a dash of soda water.

This recipe is either fantastic or awful, there is very little in between. As there are only three ingredients and dilution, the ingredients must be of the highest quality and the balance perfect. • Cuban rum shaken with fresh lime juice and a little sugar syrup, served straight up and ice cold.

Chilled Cocktail Glass | Shake with ice and strain No Ice in Glass | 6 Havana Club Especial 4 fresh lime juice 3 bar spoons gomme Notes: Add ice to cocktail glass to chill it. Then add all ingredients to Boston glass, fill with ice and shake hard. Taste for balance with a straw whilst drink is in the Boston tin. Remove ice from cocktail glass, then strain into the now chilled cocktail glass and serve.

Highball | Muddle and build | Crushed Ice 6 Havana Club Especial 10 – 15 Mint leaves 2 bar spoon gomme 1 bar spoons caster sugar 2 fresh lime juice Top with a dash of soda Sprig of mint Notes: Add mint leaves to empty glass, then add sugar and gomme on top and muddle with the flat end of a bar spoon. Gently crush the leaves until they are dark green, like cooked spinach, but keep the leaves as intact as possible. Leave the spoon in the glass with the mint and add two thirds of a glass of crushed ice.


Add rum and lime juice, then drag the spoon up through the ice so that the mint is mixed through the whole drink. Keep raising the spoon vigorously up and down through the drink until all the sugar is dissolved and the mint is evenly distributed. Dip in a straw and taste to check for balance. Leave the spoon in the drink still and fill glass with crushed ice, then more slowly move the spoon through the drink as the soda is added on top. Remove the spoon and take a sprig of mint. Place it in one hand then clap your hands together. This impact will bring out the aroma of the mint, so that when it is placed into the top of the drink, it can be smelt from several feet away

1.3) The Caipirinha The classic Brazilian cocktail, the emphasis on balance is as high as ever as well as the combination of lime and sugar. The lime used here is not juiced, it is instead muddled in the glass with sugar to bring out the whole flavour of the lime; both juice from the flesh and oils from the skin. • A whole fresh lime crushed with caster sugar then combined with crushed ice and Cachaça. Replace Cachaça with Vodka (Caipiroska), Rum (Caipirissima). Gin (Caipengless)


Old Fashioned | Rocks glass Muddle Crushed Ice 6 Beija-Flor Pura Cachaça 1 Whole lime 3 bar spoons caster sugar Notes: Take a fresh lime and roll it firmly on the work top with the heel palm of your hand, using your body weight to add sufficient pressure. This will soften the fruit and make it easier to muddle. Top and tail the lime, then cut it in half lengthways. Now cut each half in half again lengthways and then cut again horizontally so that each half is cut into 4 equal chunks. Place all 8 pieces of lime into the glass and add the caster sugar over the top. Muddle with a wooden muddler, pressing down using your body weight to extract the juice, and twisting to cut the sugar into the skin of the lime to extract the oils. Do this slowly but firmly so as not to splash the juice out of the glass as it is pressed out. Half fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cachaça. Take a bar spoon and place it in the centre of the drink. Bring both your outstretched hands around the shaft of the spoon, do not grip the spoon with your fingers, simply hold the shaft in between you palms. Now rub your hands together, making the bar spoon rotate rapidly in one direction, then the other, combining all ingredients completely and ensuring all sugar is dissolved. Taste with a straw, checking for balance. Now fill the glass with crushed ice, so that the level of ice sits in a peak above the rim of the glass. Do not pack the ice down, leave loose – Serve.

1.4) The Classic Margarita This classic Tequila based recipe was alledgedly invented for a Cabaret singer called Marjorie King, by a bartender in Mexico. Unlike the three previous recipes, we see a liqueur being used to balance the tartness of the lime as opposed to sugar or gomme. The recipe here makes a great Margarita, however, like many of the classics, those who drink a lot of them may ask you to follow a slightly different ratio of ingredients bringing a greater impact from either the Tequila or lime juice. The Curacao (orange liqueur) used will also have an impact on the final drink and therefore it is also the case that the guest may request a specific Curacao. Tequilas also vary hugely and therefore have a significant impact on the final drink. A different Tequila may be requested, or you may work in an establishment that offers a variety of different Margaritas with different combinations of Tequila and Curacao. Further to all this, a Margarita can be served on the rocks in an old fashioned / rocks glass or straight up in a Cocktail glass. Essentially therefore, you must know the classic combination, then work around your guest or establishment.

• 100% Agave Tequila shaken with Curaçao and fresh lime juice. Served straight up or on the rocks with a flaked sea salt rim. Rocks glass / Old Fashioned / Chilled Coupette Shake with ice and strain Cubed ice / No Ice in Glass 3 Sauza Hornitos Reposado Tequila 3 Cointreau 4 fresh lime juice Flaked Sea Salt Lime wedge on side Notes: Take a wedge of lime and wipe the flesh of it firmly around the top and outside edge of the rim of the rocks or Old Fashioned glass. Now turn upside down and press firmly into a plate of flaked sea salt. After a couple of seconds, lift the glass from the salt and tap to dislodge any loosely attached salt crystals so that they do not fall into the drink once the glass is returned to the upright position. If serving straight up, add ice to cocktail glass to chill it, then follow same procedure for adding salt. Shake all ingredients hard with ice then strain into either glass. Make an incision across the flesh of a wedge of lime so that it can be pushed onto the rim of the glass to garnish – serve. N.B. If the guest wishes to have their Margarita served straight up and you do not have a Coupette glass on your bar, it is acceptable to use a chilled Cocktail Glass.


1.5) The Frozen Margarita

1.6) The Sour

This can either be a variation of the classic Margarita as discussed in 1.4, but blended smooth with ice, or it can be made as a fruit variation.

This is a classic style of cocktail and the basis for hundreds of recipes, old and new.

Again there is the option of serving this drink in a rocks glass or a Coupette and the same arguments over ratios of ingredients. Below is a Raspberry variation served in a Coupette. • 100% Agave Tequila blended together with ice, Curaça, a dash of Framboise, fresh raspberries and a little fresh lime juice.

More than just a recipe, this is the base for a whole family of ‘Sour Based’ recipes, where the key is in the balancing of lemon and sugar to produce a ‘Sour Base’. This original basic recipe can be produced with an almost unlimited choice of spirits. The guest chooses the spirit and the bartender ‘sours’ it. Some bars will state one particular classic combination such as a ‘Whisky Sour’ or ‘Pisco Sour’, however, if you can make one, and you understand how to balance a cocktail you can ‘Sour’ almost anything. The reference to balance is very important, because the amount of gomme needed to achieve a balanced drink will vary drastically from base to base; especially when using a sweet liqueur like Amaretto as opposed to a Scotch for example.

Rocks glass / Old Fashioned / Coupette Blend smooth with ice / No Ice in Glass 3 Sauza Hornitos Tequila 2 Cointreau 1 Créme de Framboise 8 – 10 Raspberries 2 fresh lime juice 1 raspberry Notes: Add raspberries then a scoop of ice to blender cup then all other ingredients. Turn the blender on at a low speed to draw all the ingredients into the blades and break them down. Flick the blender onto high speed for the final 10 –15 seconds of blending. Turn off the blender, remove the cup and taste with a straw. Swirl the drink in the blender cup to be sure that it is all smooth then immediately pour, confidently into the glass, garnish and serve.


A few drops of Angostura Bitters are classically added to the mix, however, this is not always suitable with every spirit, or the guest may request a different type of bitters. Raw egg white, which acts as a thickening agent to hold more of the air forced into the drink through shaking, is also classically added. However, many bars no longer add this ingredient, and you can still have an excellent sour without it, however some hardened ‘Sour’ drinkers are adamant about the need for egg white in a sour.

• Your choice of spirit shaken with fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and a little egg white with your choice of bitters if you require, served on the rocks or straight up.

Rocks glass / Old Fashioned / Chilled Cocktail glass Shake with ice and strain Cubed ice / No Ice in Glass 6 Choice of Spirit 4 Fresh lemon juice 3 bar spoons Gomme 3 drops of Angostura Bitter or other if requested. 1 raw egg white. 2 lemon slices or lemon twist or other stated by particular recipe. Also dictated to by glass used. Notes: Add all ingredients to Boston glass, fill with ice and shake hard. Taste from the tin with a straw, then strain into glass over ice, or into chilled ‘Cocktail’ glass depending on guest’s requirements.

1.7) The Collins A member of the ‘Sour Based’ family, when you look at the recipe, it is clear to see the similarities. Again there is much flexibility with this recipe when it comes to what spirit to base it with. It originated as the ‘Tom Collins’, which is based with Gin and so called because of the ‘Old Tom’ it was first mixed with. This drink is always made in a tall glass to allow room for the soda water, weather it be a Highball, Sling or Collins glass will depend on the establishment you are working in. The somewhat un-pc theme of using peoples’ names for different spirit based Collins is applied to some other traditional bases. For example, ‘John Collins’ is a Bourbon based Collins, ‘Pedro Collins’ is a rum based Collins and ‘Pierre Collins’ is a Cognac based Collins. • Gin poured long over ice with fresh lemon juice and a little sugar syrup, then topped with a splash of soda water. Sling / Highball / Collins Build over ice Cubed ice in glass 6 Plymouth Original Gin 4 fresh lemon juice 3 bar spoons Gomme Top with soda 2 lemon slices Notes: Add all ingredients except for soda to glass over ice and agitate with bar spoon to mix ingredients, then taste, add more ice if needed, top with soda water, garnish and serve.


1.8) Sloe Gin Fizz

1.9) Singapore Sling

Another member of the ‘Sour Based’ family, this is a very similar recipe to the Collins. Again it can be based with almost any spirit but was originally based with Gin. The key difference from the Collins is that it is shaken and strained over ice before being topped with soda, rather than being built over ice like a Collins. It should also be served in a glass big enough to allow plenty of soda to be added, to give the whole drink a gentle effervescence.

Yet another ‘Sour Based’ cocktail and again, another variation that has become more popular, and famous, than the drink from which it originates.

The Sloe Gin Fizz is a classic variation on the ‘Gin Fizz’ that has become more popular than the original.

The ‘Singapore Sling’, probably the most famous variant of all time, was invented in the ‘Raffles Hotel’ bar, in Singapore, by Ngiam Tong Boom in 1915.

• Sloe Gin shaken with fresh lemon juice and a little sugar syrup, strained over ice and charged with soda water.

Sling / Highball / Collins Shake with ice and Strain Cubed ice in glass 6 Plymouth Sloe Gin 4 lemon juice 3 b.s. gomme Top with soda 2 lemon slices Notes: Add all ingredients except for soda to shaker. Shake and strain into glass over ice. Top with soda water, garnish and serve.

The original ‘Gin Sling’ is very much like a ‘Fizz’, however it was topped with still water, not soda, as the recipe pre-dates the availability of soda. Later there was the choice between topping with water or ‘Ginger Ale’, the first carbonated mixer to become available.

(As with many old classic recipes, there are different ways preferred by others, to make this drink, this is but one option.) • Gin, fresh lemon juice and a little sugar syrup shaken together and strained long over ice, topped with Ginger ale, laced with Cherry Herring and finished with a drizzle of Benedictine. Sling Shake with ice and Strain Cubed ice in glass topped with crushed ice 6 Plymouth Original Gin 2 Cherry Herring Splash Benedictine 4 fresh lemon juice 2 b.s. gomme Float Ginger Ale Lemon slice Cherry


Notes: Pour Gin, lemon and sugar into shaker, add ice and shake. Strain contents into sling three quarters full of cubed ice. Top with crushed ice and Ginger ale then lace with Cherry Herring and top with a splash of Benedictine, garnish and serve.

1.10) The Bramble

1.11) The Sidecar

This recipe, that has become a contemporary classic, is also based around the structure of a ‘Sour’ and was created by Dick Bradsell at the Atlantic Bar, London. Simply put, it is a ‘Gin Sour’ laced with Crème Mure (Blackberry Liqueur).

Another variation on the classic ‘Sour’, it’s origins are thought to trace back to Harry’s Bar in Paris during the First World War. The Story goes that an army Captain requested the bartender to create a drink for him, so using available ingredients the bartender did so.

• Gin, fresh lemon juice and a little sugar shaken together and strained into a glass over crushed ice, then laced with rich Crème de Múre and topped with fresh mint and berries.

The Captain approved of the resulting drink, and would get so smashed on these potent concoctions that he would be driven to and from the bar in the recently invented motorcycle ‘Sidecar’, so the name was born. Older recipes called for equal measures of Cognac and Cointreau, but these days it is more commonly prepared with a 2:1 ratio of Cognac to Cointreau, and with a sugar rim.

Rocks Glass / Old Fashioned Shake with ice and Strain Crushed ice in glass 6 Plymouth Original Gin 2 Crème de Mure 4 fresh lemon juice 2 b.s. gomme Sprig of mint 1 - 2 Blackberries Notes: Shake Gin, lemon juice and sugar with ice and strain into glass ½ filled with crushed ice. Take a bar spoon and ensure that the ice has not re-frozen into a block, break up if necessary. Fill the glass with more crushed ice so that in the centre of the drink the ice is higher than the rim of the glass. Now drizzle (‘lace’) the Crème de Mure slowly all over the top of the drink, it will sink down slowly between the gaps in the ice, adding the flavour of blackberry and a vibrant colour, but also, it’s sweetness will balance the drink. Garnish and serve.

• Cognac and Cointreau shaken together with fresh lemon juice and a little sugar then strained, still sour, into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugar rim. The drink is balanced on the palate by sipping it through the sugar on the rim of the glass. Chilled Cocktail Glass Shake with ice and Strain No ice in glass 4 Courvoisier Exclusif Cognac 2 Cointreau 4 Lemon Juice 1 b.s. gomme Sugar Rim

Notes: Shake Cognac, Cointreau, lemon and sugar together with ice and strain into sugar rimmed, chilled cocktail glass. Serve. Chill the cocktail glass with ice, then remove the ice and moisten the top and outer edge of the glass with a slice of lemon. Press the rim of the glass into sugar, remove and tap firmly to dislodge any loose sugar that would fall back into the glass. Turn the glass back up the correct way and place on the bar top ready to be filled.


1.12) The White Lady Another recipe from the ‘Sour Base’ family, and very similar to the ‘Sidecar’ above, in fact the other name for this drink is a ‘Chelsea Sidecar’. Who created the recipe we recognize today is disputed, as Harry MacElhone claims to have invented the drink in 1929 at ‘Harry’s Bar’ in Paris, where the ‘Sidecar’ was also supposed to have been invented a decade or more before. Looking at the similarities of the two drinks does give this story some credibility; however, it is another cocktail great that also claims the creation of the recipe. Harry Craddock of the Savoy claims the recipe as his own and it first appears in the ‘Savoy Cocktail’ book in 1930.

Chilled Cocktail Glass Shake with ice and Strain No ice in glass 4 Plymouth Original Gin 2 Cointreau 4 Lemon Juice 2 b.s. gomme Orange Twist Notes: Shake Gin, Cointreau, lemon and sugar together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange, serve.

1.13) The Martini Ethos

The exact recipe and garnish for the drink varies, with some recipes following the ‘Sidecar’ structure and serving it with a sugar rim and a twist of lemon. Others discard the sugar rim and garnish with half a kumquat or a twist of orange to bring out the flavor of the Cointreau and then some recipes include egg white for texture, like a classic sour.

The most famous, discussed and simply argued about cocktail in the world. All cocktails challenge the skill and knowledge of a good bartender, however a good Martini somehow transcends skill and knowledge alone. To make a really good Martini becomes an art. Which includes pomp, ceremony and as you can tell, a little waffle!

Which ever way suits you, it is a great drink, and with time and experimentation of your own you can join the argument with your preferred ‘perfect serve’.

It is a recipe that has been filtered down over the years, and continues to be tinkered with in bars and homes around the world to this day. There are no right and wrong Martinis, only good and bad, and this is only important to the person drinking it.

• Gin and Cointreau shaken together with fresh lemon juice and a little sugar, served straight up with a twist of orange.

Some recipes seem to miss the whole point of the ‘Martini’, which is in fact an incredibly delicate and beautifully simple drink. It truly is a drink that everyone has their own opinion about, which will invariably come through in any information you hear or read on the subject. Therefore, you must learn and understand the basic principles of making a Martini so that you can produce the right martini for other people, then spend the rest of your life shaping your own opinions about what the best recipe is for you.



Origins The Origins of the Martini are debatable, although it is clear that from the mid nineteenth century, Gin and Vermouth had been combined together for drinking pleasure in simple forms such as a ‘Gin and French’ (Gin and Noilly Prat dry Vermouth) or ‘Gin and It’ (Gin and ‘It’alian sweet Vermouth). These drinks were equal combinations of both Gin and Vermouth over ice, with a choice of bitters if required and a slice of lemon, twist or cherry. It is impossible to discuss the history of the Martini without also mentioning the ‘Martinez’. Believed to have been invented by Jerry Thomas (one of the founding fathers of Cocktail Bartending), although this is also debated, it is widely seen as the most direct line to the Martini of today. It is a combination of; Gin and Sweet Vermouth stirred with ice, bitters (depending on recipe, either Angostura, Orange or Boker’s bitters) and a dash of Maraschino Liqueur. Served straight up in a Cocktail glass with a slice or twist of lemon, you can see the core of today’s modern Martini in the Martinez. The popularity of the ‘Martini’ began in the 1880’s and Harry Johnson’s recipe for a Martini using sweet Vermouth appeared in 1888 in the ‘Bartenders Manual’. Dry Vermouth was first recorded in a recipe in 1896, along with Plymouth Gin, in the Savoy Cocktail book. By the 1930’s, and still to this day, the use of Sweet Vermouth in a Martini has all but disappeared. The Martini is a recipe that continues to change with fashion and the times. For example, pre 1950, Orange bitters were commonly included in the recipe. However, the key change over the years has been about dryness. The original recipes for a Martini were truly a combination of Gin and Vermouth, then over time the amount of Vermouth became reduced as the Martini drinker demanded a drier and drier Martini.


There are a few characters of note that have been a force in filtering the Martini down to a drink of Gin, simply aromatised with the smallest amount of Vermouth. The first would be Sir Winston Churchill, who it was said, only liked the shadow of the Noilly Pratt Vermouth bottle to fall upon his glass. (essentially a naked Martini – no Vermouth). The other group of people that not only continued the trend of the very dry Martini but also helped to elevate the status of the drink once more were the Hollywood Rat Pack. Currently there are those bucking the trend and exploring the drink on the ‘wetter’ side of things with greater and greater measures of Vermouth, whilst there will always be those for whom ‘the drier the better’ will always be their motto. But certainly now more than ever before, you can be as individual as you like when it comes down to what ratio you want to drink your Martini at or how you like it garnished.

Processes There are a number of methods that will make a great Martini and whatever process you use should not matter as long as the resulting drink is perfect. Although there are some who believe that there is only one way to make a Martini, but in truth it is all about the end result. The keys to making a great Martini are: 1. The correct ratio of Gin to Vermouth 2. The correct amount of dilution to unlock the flavours of the Gin and Vermouth. 3. Making the drink cold enough. 4. Garnishing appropriately. Some bartenders like to control the amount of Vermouth by adding it directly to a chilled cocktail glass, then stirring the Gin with ice separately, before straining it into the prepared glass. However, to start you on your voyage of discovery with this drink, it is best to start with the old, tried and tested routine…

1. Prepare yourself. Get all the equipment out that you will need to make a Martini before you start so that the process is smooth and controlled.

Take a clean Cocktail glass, fill with ice and place on the bar top to chill. Now, take a Boston glass and ensure that it is perfectly clean. Bars that make a lot of Martinis will have a Boston glass or mixing jug set aside, or in the fridge, especially for this drink. Get your ‘Julep’ or ‘Hawthorn’ Strainer, Fine Strainer and Bar Spoon and ensure all are clean and ready. Clean? Well, just remember that although the equipment may be clean, there may be a rogue raspberry seed hidden in the coils of the Hawthorn for example. Any alien body like this in a Martini will ruin the drink, as it will be exaggerated in the perfectly clear liquid.

2. Ask all your questions about how the guest wishes to have their Martini made whilst you prepare and whilst you make the drink, so that you always know what you are doing one-step ahead. 3. Don’t forget that the show has begun, and that the precision, care and confidence with which you produce the drink will play a huge part in convincing the guest that this is the best Martini they have ever had, before they even take a sip. 4. Fill the Boston glass with ice and pour in the customers’ choice of Vermouth, for a dry Martini 1/2oz of Dry Vermouth is sufficient to coat the ice and glass. Stir the ice and Vermouth briefly, 5 times, to start getting the glass and contents cold.

Place the ‘Julep’ or ‘Hawthorn’ Strainer over the glass and then with a relaxed wrist rotate the glass so that the Vermouth coats the inside of the glass. Do this at eye level so that you can see the Vermouth swirl in the glass and you can ensure that you have coated the entire inside of the glass. This level of theatre and care will not be lost on your guests.

5. Now strain off the Vermouth down the sink, leaving only as much Vermouth as is required in the final drink. Place the Boston back on the bar top and remove the strainer.

Gauging Dryness • ‘Dry’ – strain off the Vermouth until it is only dripping out of the Boston glass into the sink. • ‘Bone Dry’ – throw out the ice as well as the Vermouth and shake the last drops of Vermouth out of the Boston glass. All that should be left is a coating of Vermouth on the inside of the Boston glass. Now add fresh Ice to the Boston before adding and stirring the Gin. • ‘Off Dry’ or ‘Wet’ – this is more difficult to quantify. You need to talk to your guest. Either find out what ratio of Gin to Vermouth they wish to drink, or, show the guest the amount of Vermouth in the glass. The guest can then tell you in relation to what they see, how much Vermouth they want left in the drink. • Remember, asking questions actually shows an understanding of this drink, not a lack of knowledge. 6. If the ice has collapsed significantly, add more ice to fill the Boston glass back up. Now pour the guests choice of Gin over the ice. Stir smoothly with a Bar spoon to combine the Gin with the Vermouth, to chill and to add the correct amount of dilution. The number of times you stir will depend on the measure of Gin you are using in the Martini. For a 50ml Martini, stir 19 times. However, if you a making a 2oz Martini, increase the time the Gin is in contact with the ice by stirring for 22 times. 7. Remove the ice from the Cocktail glass, shake dry then place back on the bar top. Place the Strainer back on the Boston glass, take the fine strainer in the other hand and confidently strain the contents of the Boston glass into the cocktail glass through the fine strainer. The fine strainer will remove any small but unsightly ice chips, leaving a beautifully, crystal clear Martini.


8. Garnish appropriately with a washed olive or a twist of the guests choice.

Other Techniques The process discussed above is a tried and tested method for making great Martinis. There are two other, more controversial techniques that you need to be aware of. 1. ‘The Instant Martini’. This Martini uses Gin straight from the freezer, which is then poured directly into a chilled Cocktail glass that has been ‘washed’ with the correct amount of Vermouth. The Purists amongst us will say that the lack of dilution in this process creates an overly strong Martini that does not produce the same depth of flavour as the Classic. 2. ‘The Bradford’. This is a Martini that has been ‘Shaken’ instead of being ‘Stirred’. This process causes problems for purists, as the method of shaking is far too brutal a technique for this most delicate of drinks. The inclusion of air and excessive dilution flattens and washes out flavours rather than delicately lifting them. You will form opinions of your own over these two techniques in time. However, whatever your opinion, there are still fervent supporters of all styles.

Other Recipes of Note There are a number of ‘Classic Variations’ on the Dry Martini that are worthy of note. 1. Vodka – A Vodka Martini or ‘Vodkatini’ is made in the same manner as any of the styles of Classic Martinis, simply replace Gin with Vodka. Made famous by the series of James Bond Movies, but not the Book. 2. Dirty – Still popular today amongst olive lovers. Add a bar spoon (+ or – depending how ‘Dirty’ your guest likes it) of olive brine to the Boston glass with the Gin to be stirred. Garnish with an unwashed olive.


3. Gibson – Simply add two silver skin cocktail onions on a cocktail stick as garnish to the guests Martini. 4. Franklin or Roosevelt – Simply add two olives to a Dry Martini of the guest’s choice. 5. Mayflower – A throw back to pre 1950 repopularised by Wayne Collins. Simply add a few drops of Orange bitters to the Boston glass to be stirred in with the Gin and Vermouth. 6. Smokey – More of a Digestif then the Classic Dry Martini which is a traditional Aperitif. Simply replace the Vermouth with a choice of Scotch or other style of Whiskey such as Bourbon if you prefer. Garnished with a twist of choice or Cherry as opposed to an olive. 7. Vesper – The real ‘Bond’ Martini. 2 parts Gin to 1 part Vodka are shaken together with Lillet Blanc Vermouth from Bordeaux. This Vermouth is not as dry as other Vermouths and is delicately floral. The drink is then garnished with a lemon twist. 8. Lounge – Another contemporary variation that holds back on the full up-front dryness and strength of the classic. Created by Seb HamiltonMudge at the Refectory Bar in the Plymouth Gin Distillery. A double measure of Plymouth Gin stirred with 2 bar spoons of Lillet Blanc Vermouth, 1 bar spoon of Dry Apricot liqueur, a few drops of Italian Limoncello and finished with a twist of Lemon. Often Guests will ask for a combination of these drinks. Such as a ‘Gibson Vodka Martini’, or a ‘Dirty Franklin’. Therefore, as you can see, it is essential to listen carefully to what the guest is asking for and to be sure to ask the right, and enough questions to be able to make them the drink they want. Even twists these days vary. Whilst a ‘Lemon Twist’ is classic, some Martini drinkers have moved on to a lime twist, whilst some more adventurous drinkers have started using grapefruit for their twist, but very pleasant results.

• Your Choice of Gin stirred with your choice of dry Vermouth. Made as dry as you like and finished with an Olive or a twist.

On these occasions you will be asked to voice your opinions on how this little drink should be served. However, remember, you are not being asked about how ‘you’ like to drink ‘your’ ‘Martini’, you are being asked how ‘they’ should drink ‘their’ ‘Martini’. For these incidents it is always good to have a basic recipe that makes a great ‘Martin’ that is easy to drink and not extreme in any area, to give your guest the most pleasure and easiest introduction into this drinking minefield. Make as follows: Vermouth – Noilly Prat. Has a lovely soft rounded flavour with good dryness. Dry – Serve dry to allow the delicate flavour of the Vermouth to come through subtly but clearly.

Chilled Cocktail Glass Stir with ice and Double Strain No Ice in glass 8 Choice of Gin 2 Dry Vermouth Twist or Washed Olive Notes: Ask guest for choice of Vermouth, add to mixing glass over cubed ice. Stir briefly then swirl and discard to correct dryness. Ask for choice of Gin and stir all 22 times. Double Strain into chilled glass, garnish and serve. We have discussed at length the skills, knowledge and techniques you will need to make a guests Martini just as they like it.

Gin – Original strength Plymouth Gin. It is made with sweet botanicals and is the softest of all Gins with well-balanced flavours that make for very easy drinking. Garnish – Lemon twist. A nice big fresh lemon twist will also help to give the drink lightness and take the edge off the strength of the drink. It is often the strength of the alcohol that puts new ‘Martini’ drinkers off. The twist of lemon helps to soften this blow. Ensure that you talk the guest through what you are doing and the ingredients used. This will give them confidence and allow them to re-order the right ‘Martini’ for them on the next occasion.

We have also discussed that you will form your own opinions, in time, of what makes a great Martini and what does not. As well as deciding what makes the best Martini for you. However, there will be occasions where you will be asked for a ‘Martini’ from someone who has never drunk one before and wants to try one, or someone who has only tried one or two with varied success.


1.14) The Manhattan The poor cousin of the ‘Martini’ in terms of fame, but to those that love this drink it has the same level of myth and mystic surrounding it as the ‘Martini’ does. The much loved story, but alas myth, surrounding its creation is that it was first mixed for Winston Churchill’s mother, the famous party animal, Lady Randolph Churchill, at a banquet she threw in Manhattan around 1874. It is also suggested that it was invented by a bartender named ‘Black’ in the 1860’s in a bar on Broadway in Manhattan. Whatever the true origins, recipes for a ‘Manhattan Cocktail’ appeared in bar guides from the early 1880’s. Like the ‘Martini’, the ‘Manhattan’ has been leaned down over the years, and the Vermouth content reduced drastically. Unlike the ‘Martini’ though, the use of Sweet Vermouth did not fall from favour, and to this day the ‘Manhattan’ is made with Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth or a combination of the two, known as a ‘Perfect Manhattan’.

Before adding the Rye Whisky, add a few drops of Angostura Bitters. The reason it is added at this point is so that when you add the Whisky, the Bitters will be washed down into the drink and combined during stirring, rather than being left on top of the ice and potentially never making it into the drink itself. Orange bitters is also a nice alternative or addition to the Angostura Bitters. And there will always be a few who do not want any bitters at all. So, although Angostura Bitters is a classic ingredient in a Manhattan, ensure that you are thorough with your questioning. Although Rye Whisky is the classic base for this drink, the use of Bourbon has become more and more popular and acceptable, especially outside the US. Offer what choice is available to the guest so that they can decide. As for a Martini, the length of time the drink is stirred for will determine the dilution and ensure that the drink is made cold enough. So again, stir 19 times for a 50ml measure or 22 times for a 2oz measure.

The process for making a contemporary ‘Manhattan’ mirrors that of the ‘Martini’, and demands the same level of care, attention and ceremony.

Double strain into a chilled ‘cocktail glass’ to ensure absolute purity, then garnish before serving to the guest.

Vermouth is added over ice to a Boston glass, stirred briefly, then discarded to leave only as much Vermouth as is needed in the final drink. When making a ‘Dry Manhattan’, the terminology is the same. ‘Bone Dry’, ‘Dry’, ‘Off Dry’ etc…and again it may be that you need to know what ratio the guest wants or allow them to see the amount of Vermouth left in the Boston after it has been drained.

Not surprisingly, the choice of garnishes does not include Olives. It is a straight choice between a twist and a cherry. The choice of twist is between lemon and orange. Lemon is normally preferred in ‘Dry Manhattans’ and orange in ‘Sweet’ or ‘Perfect Manhattans’, but there is no rule stating this, and each guest has individual ideas as to what works best for them. In the same way that cherries are normally used in ‘Sweet’ or ‘Perfect’ Manhattans rather than ‘Dry’.

For ‘Perfect’ and ‘Sweet Manhattans’, the level of Vermouth left in the drink is usually higher, but again check with the guest. As standard, only discard half of the Vermouth from the glass before proceeding.


However, some guests may want all the Vermouth left in, so remember to always be at least one step ahead with your questioning.

• Your Choice of Rye Whisky or Bourbon stirred with a dash of Angostura Bitters and your choice of Sweet or Dry Vermouth or a combination of the two. Finished with a twist of your choice or a cherry.

Make as follows: Vermouth – Martini Extra Dry and Martini Rosso. Make their first Manhattan ‘Perfect’ as the depth of flavours will again detract from the strength of the drink. Only discard half the Vermouth, and retain the rest to carry the flavours through the drink. Whisky – Use the soft, easy to drink Bourbon ‘Makers Mark’ with its smooth creamy finish. It is also great value, so both the flavour and the cost won’t be too much to take. Garnish – Orange Twist. As with the Martini, the addition of a twist will lighten the drink and take some of the emphasis away from the strength of the alcohol. Orange oil and whisky is a great, classic combination.

1.15) The Old Fashioned Chilled Cocktail Glass Stir with ice and Double Strain No Ice in glass 8 Choice of Bourbon or Rye Whisky 2 Dry or Sweet Vermouth (or 1 of both – ‘Perfect’) 2 - 3 drops Angostura Bitters Twist or Cherry Notes: Ask guest for choice of Vermouth(s) add to mixing glass over cubed ice. Stir briefly then swirl and discard excess if any. Add a few drops of Angostura Bitters, then add choice of Whisky and stir all 22 times. Double Strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve. Like the ‘Martini’, there will be those who are uninitiated in the world of the ‘Manhattan’ who need some help in picking the best recipe for them.

Invented in Kentucky around 1900, this old cocktail has had somewhat of a renaissance over the last five to ten years, and is part of any good bartenders repertoire. Like the ‘Martini’ or ‘Manhattan’ before, it is another stiff drink, and like the ‘Manhattan’ it is a fantastic digestif or late night drink. The hardest thing about this drink is having the patience to make it properly as it takes at least five minutes to make. For this reason it is sometimes excluded from cocktail lists and only made for you if you are ‘in the know’ to limit the number of them ordered. A spoonful of caster sugar is added to an old fashioned glass first, then a few drops of Angostura Bitters are added on top. Orange bitters is also now very popular in this drink as an alternative or addition to the Angostura Bitters.

Here again, we want to produce the most forgiving and easiest to drink recipe to give the guest a gentle introduction to what is again a very stiff drink.


The flat end of a bar spoon is then added to the glass, along with one ice cube and a 1/2oz of Bourbon. The ice cube is then stirred around the outside of the glass. Stirring continues until the cube of ice is almost completely melted, at this point another ice cube is added with a further 1/2oz of Bourbon and the process is repeated.

Slide the trimmed piece of skin down the inside of the glass, with the outer skin facing out through the glass. • Bourbon, a little sugar and Angostura Bitters, slowly stirred together with ice and finished with a big orange twist.

This Process continues twice more until the full 2oz of Bourbon have been added and stirred with ice. The melting ice dissolves the sugar, adds dilution and chills the drink down. The frequency of adding ice will depend on the size of the cubes. With smaller cubed ice, sometimes more than one ice cube is added at a time or ice cubes can be added more frequently than the Bourbon. The stirring should take a little over four minutes to get the desired affect. Once you think you have stirred enough and the drink is ready, smell the drink. All the rich aromas of the bourbon will be wafting out of the glass if it has be stirred sufficiently as the dilution releases the flavours and aromas from the alcohol. Now fill the glass with cubed ice and stir briefly. This will drop the temperature of the drink down even further and protect the drink from over diluting and having the flavours washed out. Take a fresh orange and shave a piece of the skin off, from top to bottom. Roll this piece of skin over the top of the glass between your thumbs and fingers, stretching the skin and releasing the oils all over the surface of the drink. Wipe the oil covered piece of orange skin around the rim of the glass, then place the piece of skin flat on a chopping board and remove any excess pith with a sharp, flexible knife, then trim to a neat rectangle if it does not look presentable.


Old Fashioned Stir with ice in glass Cubed Ice 8 Choice of Bourbon 1 b.s. caster sugar 2-3 drops Angostura Bitters. Orange Twist Notes: Add sugar and bitters to glass with 2 count of Bourbon and 1 ice cube. Stir until ice is nearly melted and repeat. Continue this process until all the Bourbon is added and stirred with ice. Then fill glass with cubed ice and finish with a large twist of orange – serve.

1.16) The Cosmopolitan

1.17) The Champagne Cocktail

A contemporary classic that has become part of popular culture, yet getting a good one can often be more difficult than you might imagine. This is because it has suffered from its fame, moved into the mainstream and been poorly reproduced by unskilled hands to meet the mass demand.

One of the original classic champagne cocktails, only pre-dated by the ‘Black Velvet’ (Champagne and Guinness, created in mourning honour of Prince Albert’s death in 1861) ‘The Champagne Cocktail’ is a must know recipe for any bartender.

There are some great variations, and there are still some great ‘Cosmos’ being made out there, but beware the flabby washed out versions that are made with no understanding of the original. This is a stiff little drink that should pack quite a punch, served straight up in a cocktail glass. At no time is it, was it, or will it ever be, a long drink served on the Rocks!! There are two classic ways to make a Cosmo. The old way is to stir equal measures of Vodka and Cointreau with a dash of cranberry juice in a mixing glass, then strain the mixture into a chilled ‘Cocktail Glass’ and garnish with a wedge of lime that is squeezed and dropped into the drink at the end. The more common recipe is listed below… • Vodka and a little Cointreau shaken together with a few drops of Orange Bitters a dash of fresh lime juice and cranberry juice, served straight up and ice cold with a flamed orange zest. Chilled Cocktail Glass Shake with ice and Strain No ice in glass 4 Wyborowa Vodka 2 Cointreau 1 Fresh lime juice 1.5 Cranberry (Store & Pour) Dash orange bitters Flamed Orange Zest Notes: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled ‘Cocktail Glass’, garnish with a flamed orange zest sprayed over the surface of the drink. Serve

The truly original recipe of a sugar cube, Angostura Bitters and Champagne has been all but replaced as the Classic with the recipe that followed a short time later in 1889, which includes Cognac as well. • A sugar cube soaked in Angostura Bitters is added to a chilled Champagne Flute then covered in Cognac before being charged with ice-cold Champagne. Chilled Flute Build No ice in glass 1 sugar cube Angostura Bitters 2 Courvoisier Exclusif Cognac Top with Champagne No garnish classically, Twist of orange optional. Notes: Add dash of bitters onto sugar cube, then add to chilled Flute. Pour Cognac into glass on top of sugar cube and then fill the glass up carefully with Champagne.


1.18) The Bellini The original ‘Peach Bellini’ was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in ‘Harry’s Bar’, Venice during the 1940’s. The long preparation needed for this recipe has caused there to be numerous other varieties invented that can be re-produced at speed and to order, although the classic is well worth the effort. To make the classic – Firstly score some fresh white peaches and then poach them. Allow to cool then remove the skins. Pulp the flesh then place in the centre of a cheesecloth. Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth then begin to twist from the top, squeezing al the juice from the pulped peaches. Collect this peach nectar ready for use. Take a chilled tumbler, add half a glass of Peach nectar, a few drops of peach bitters then top with Italian Prosecco and serve. Bellow is an example of a contemporary Bellini, made to order from scratch. Although the recipe states ‘Raspberry’, you can replace this with any other soft fruit. • Fresh raspberries crushed with a splash of Framboise liqueur then shaken with ice and strained into a chilled flute before being charged with ice cold Prosecco. Chilled Flute Shake with ice and Strain No Ice in glass 2 bar spoons Créme de Framboise 8-10 raspberries Top with Prosecco 1 Raspberry


Notes: Crush raspberries in Boston, add Créme de Framboise then shake hard with ice. Be patient when straining, it will be thick. The champagne flute should be around 1/3 - ½ full before champagne is added. Stir with spoon to ensure even mix in glass. Garnish and serve.

1.19) Bloody Mary / The Red Snapper The Origins of this drink are hard to pin down exactly. As far as can be deduced, the first appearance of this drink comes from Harry’s Bar, Paris in 1921. It’s famed creator, Ferdinand Petiot credits an American actor, George Jessel, with it’s invention initially as a simple Vodka and tomato juice mix. It is more than likely that Jessels friend John Martin, head of Hubleim drinks co, was responsible for bringing the idea to Petiots attention following the establishment of the Smirnoff distillery in Paris.

• Vodka combined with a splash of sherry, fresh lemon juice, salt, black pepper, Worcester sauce and a little Tabasco. Topped with tomato juice before all ingredients are combined and finished with a stick of fresh celery.

Its popularity grew when Petiot took the recipe to the US, however his new employers at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, were uneasy with the name, so it was re-named as a ‘Red Snapper’, the name never took off but rather became the name given to the same drink when mixed with the more popular and common ingredient of the time, Gin. As far as can be told, the ‘Bloody Mary’, as a Vodka based drink, did not become a staple of the bartenders quiver of recipes until sometime after the Second World War. Like many of the drinks discussed in this list, the recipes have continued to evolve, with ingredients such as Sherry, Horseradish and celery salt now becoming popular optional extras. To this day there is no truly definitive recipe, as guests who enjoy this drink all have differing opinions over what is the perfect combination. Like the ‘Martini’, the ‘Bloody Mary’ or ‘Red Snapper’ is as individual as the people who drink them. Each good bar has a recipe that they work from as a House standard, but all good bars and bartenders will expect connoisseurs to pick from available ingredients to request the recipe that suits them, from horseradish, to beef bouillon the list goes on.

Highball Flip or Roll Cubed ice in glass 6 Wyborowa Vodka 1 Dry sherry 1 Lemon juice Tomato juice Salt and Black pepper (pinch) Tabasco and Worcester Stick of celery Notes: Add all ingredients to glass with ice. Then pour contents of glass into shaker, then pour back into glass, combining all ingredients. Repeat if necessary. Stick of celery. Top and tail, then score grooves into the back of the celery to allow juices to flow into drink. (Replace Vodka with Gin for a Red Snapper)


1.20) Pousse Café Rather un-popular in this ‘sophisticated’ drinking age, however the layered cocktail has been around for a long time, certainly before the 1920’s, and probably as long as people have been combining ingredients to drink. It simply requires a steady hand and the knowledge of which ingredient is heavier than the other, with the ‘heavier’ liquids sitting on the bottom, with lighter ingredients floating on top, with a crisp division. As discussed earlier in the book ‘outcome 2, section 2.8’, use a bar spoon and the air intake of the speed pourer to control the flow of the liquid being poured, and to soften its landing onto the surface of the liquid below it. A ‘Pousse Café’ can have as few as two layers up to seven or more for the more adventurous. Not every layer has to be alcoholic, as cordials, syrups and cream can also be used, if sparingly. A tall narrow glass is usually used to make the most of the different bands of colour, such as a tall ‘rocket’ shot glass or champagne flute. Choose a glass that suits the volume of the drink you are creating. Examples…(in the order the ingredients must be added to the glass)



Kahlua Baileys Grand Marnier

French Tricolor Grenadine Marachino Crème de Violet

Jersey Lily

Green Chartreuse Cognac Angostura Bitters



Outcome 5 – Display Knowledge of Spirits Section Sub- Section Description Section 1 Production 1.1 Fermentation, Distillation, Reduction 1.2 Filtration 1.3 Colouring 1.4 Ageing 1.5 Blending 2 Glossary 2.1 Gin 2.2 Vodka 2.3 Rum 2.4 Whisk(e)y 2.5 Brandy, Eau de Vie & Pisco 2.6 Mezcal & Tequila 2.7 Cachaça 2.8 Liqueurs

Pg. No.

70 72 72 72 73

75 75 76 76 78 81 82 83


1. Production 1.1) Fermentation, Distillation & Reduction Knowledge of the products we sell or use to create recipes with is vital for a better understanding of how they work with other ingredients or how they are best handled and served. All of which helps us to create better products. As already mentioned, knowledge breeds confidence, and both are needed to successfully prepare, serve and sell different products. A good understanding of the basics of what different spirits are and how they are produced also allows us to sift through information that we are bombarded with, separate the useful information from the marketing jargon and continue to build on our knowledge of all the products we serve. ‘Fermentation, Distillation and Reduction’ are grouped together here because all three of these processes are essential in producing (almost all – see cachaça) any spirit, whilst all other processes are only used by some producers whilst omitted by others.

Fermentation This is the process by which we obtain alcohol. This is true, not only for spirits, but for all alcoholic drinks. It is a simple and ancient process of turning sugars into alcohol. This therefore, tells us something about the raw ingredients used to produce alcoholic drinks. There must be a sugar content, and the higher that content, the higher the potential yield of alcohol there is.


There are many different types of sugar in nature. From the ‘simple sugars’ contained in sugar cane, or fructose in fruit, to the more ‘complex sugars’ such as starch, contained in grain, rice and potatoes. All these different sources of sugar can be used in fermentation, although the ‘complex sugars’ need to be broken down with enzymes first. It is another common and naturally occurring product that is then used to convert these sugars into alcohol – Yeast, a single cell organism that is a member of the fungus family. Yeast spores are naturally in the atmosphere, however, most producers will use cultivated yeast strains so that the process can be carefully controlled to give the desired results of flavour and efficiency. The yeast consumes the sugars and, in the absence of oxygen, produces both Carbon Dioxide (which is allowed to escape) and Ethanol.

Distillation Whereas the process of ‘fermentation’ is common to the production of all alcohol, distillation is only used to produce spirits (in the drinks world). It is a purifying process that takes the fermented raw product and removes impurities, leaving a clear ‘high strength’ alcoholic liquid. There are a number of different forms of distillation, however, in simple terms it is little more complicated than boiling a kettle. It works by understanding the different boiling points and volatility of what is being distilled. The ‘boiling point’ is the temperature at which any given liquid will turn into a gas. For example alcohols will turn to gas at a lower temperature than water.

Arguably the simplest to understand, and one of the oldest methods of distillation is ‘Pot distillation’. Where the liquid being distilled is placed in a large ‘pot’ and boiled. The gasses are then channelled into a condenser where they are turned back into a liquid before being collected.

At the ‘spirit safe’ the distiller has an opportunity to sample the liquids coming out of the still. This is vital in distillation because the distiller must decide at what point to collect the ‘Middle Cut’; the wrong decision will ruin an entire batch.

4. The ‘Heads and Tails’ or ‘Feints’, are the waste products from distillation. When the ‘Still’ is first turned on there are impurities and poisonous alcohols such as ‘Fusil Oils’ and ‘High Alcohols’ given off that are not wanted in the final product. These are collected in the ‘Heads & Tails’ for disposal. Later on in the process there are further impurities given off by the still that are not wanted in the final product, these too are collected here. 5. The ‘Final Product’ is made from the ‘Middle Cut’. This is where the very best of what has been distilled is collected. The skill of collecting the correct middle cut is integral to the character and quality of the final product.

Every spirit has its own unique process of distillation, making generalisations difficult and dangerous, however the philosophy is the same for all spirits – to remove impurities and increase the A.B.V. (alcohol by volume).

‘Pot Still’ Diagram

The increase of A.B.V. is nothing to do with producing A – Pot Still more alcohol. No ‘more’ alcohol is produced once B - Condenser fermentation has finished, there is simply a higher C - Spirit Safe concentration of alcohol after distillation because so D - Heads & Tails (Feints) much else is removed. E - Middle Cut


1. Heat is applied to the ‘Pot’ either though an external source or internally via a steam coil.

Almost all spirits have at least one further treatment to go through before they go into bottle, ‘Reduction’.

2. The fermented liquids in the ‘Pot’ turn into gas at their respective boiling points and rise up from the ‘Pot’ and into the ‘Condenser’

This is the simple process of adding purified or denatured water to the distillate to reduce it’s A.B.V. down to ‘bottling strength’.

3. Having passed through the ‘Condenser’, the gasses are now back in liquid form and continue on to the ‘spirit safe’.

Simple as this is, making the decision as to what A.B.V. the spirit should be reduced down to is not.


This is a delicate balance between:

1.4) Ageing

Quality - Remember that alcohol is a flavour carrier, and therefore the amount of alcohol left in the bottle will have a direct affect on the flavour of the product. And Economics - The further you dilute down, the more product you have to sell, and the more your customers will be able to consume before they feel like they have reached their limit.

A process used to impart flavour, body and colour into a spirit.

Like all the processes in producing a spirit, it is a delicate balancing act.

1.2) Filtration It is as it sounds, a simple way of removing further impurities after distillation and improving clarity and quality. Filtration is used widely in Vodka production where, by the nature of their clear product, clarity is very important. It is also used by some whisky producers, Tennessee whisky for example, including the famous Jack Daniels. There are many forms of filtration, ‘Carbon Filtration’ being just one type that is widely used.

1.3) Colouring This is rarely a positive process for a spirit to undergo and usually involves caramel being added. This can be for a number of reasons. Firstly, and not so damming, is to maintain consistency of colour in aged products. Whereas the flavour of two different batches may be the same, the colour may vary, and this can upset customer confidence. Therefore a small amount of caramel may be added to maintain the expected colour of the product. Secondly, and more damming, is where caramel is added to simply give the impression that the spirit has been aged, when it has not. But it may also be added sometimes to give a richer, deeper colour to a product that has actually been aged.


This is caused by a reaction between the spirit, the container in which it is being stored and air. Without being in contact with air, no reaction would take place, which is why bottles of spirits do not change or improve over time. Therefore, it is clear that whatever is used to age the spirit, it must be porous enough to allow the reaction between the air and the container to take place. Containers are commonly made of wood (barrels) because whilst they will contain the liquid, they will also allow air to penetrate. Due to this air flow the A.B.V. of the spirit will be different after the ageing process as alcohol is lost through evaporation from the barrel, this is known as ‘Angels Share’. In hotter climates the A.B.V. may be affected differently, actually increasing, due to evaporation of water from the barrel. As mentioned, the most commonly used container for ‘ageing’ is the wooden barrel and the most widely used woods are European or American Oak. As we have already stated, the affect that ageing has on a spirit is through a reaction between the spirit, air and container. Therefore, we can clearly state the variables that we will expect to see from this process: 1. What the container is made of. For example, European oak is known for its vanilla flavours which is different from the American White Oak variety or the local hard woods used to age some Cachaca in Brazil, such as Freijo or Balsam. Also, is it a new barrel or has it been used previously to age another spirit? Has the wood been treated in some way? Such as the barrels used to age Bourbon, which are charred before use. 2. Time. The longer the spirit is in contact with the container the greater the change will be.

3. The climate. Where the spirit is aged will make a vast difference to the rate of change in the container. Countries with a warmer climate will age far faster than those of a colder climate. It is said, for example, that rum aged for one year is worth three years in barrel for a Scotch, coming from the cooler climes of Scotland and the surrounding isles. 4. Size of Barrel. The size of barrel makes a huge difference to the speed of reaction, due to the variance in the ratios of liquid to surface area. The larger the barrel, the lower the ratio of surface area to volume, and therefore the slower the reaction will be. Clearly, ageing is not a simple process applied by all in the same manner. Instead it is an intricate balance of all of the variables above to get the right result for the particular product, using skills passed down over centuries in some cases. The skill of the very best producers is remarkable.

1.5) Blending This is a word widely used in the spirits world, and care must be taken to ensure that there is clear understanding of the context in which the word is being used. Examples of use are:

A ‘Blend’ of raw ingredients (such as different grains) used in the production of a spirit.

A ‘Blend’ of different finished products to create a new product. Such as in the production of ‘Vatted’ whisky, which is produced by combining different producers’ products together to create a new product.

A ‘Blend’ of the same product of different ages to maintain consistency year on year.

It is this last example here that we shall be focusing on.

To understand more clearly what we are talking about we must clear-up one misconception that most people have about the word ‘Vintage’, and that it refers to something of age, such as a ‘vintage car’. However, when it comes to alcohol, it has a quite different meaning. A vintage product is simply the produce of an individual year. Therefore, how long ago it was produced has no relevance. So, if a product has a year of production on its label, we can be sure that the product is a vintage. This means that there is a finite supply of this product as it is unique to that year, and that each vintage will vary. This is why some vintage wines fetch such incredible prices. If it was a particularly good year of production then demand will be high, and because there are only limited supplies the price can soar. By this rationale therefore, we know that if a bottle doesn’t have a year of production stated on it, then it cannot be a ‘vintage’ product. If we look at various aged spirits, many will have an age stated on it, such as 10yr old; however, this does not relate to a year of production. This is little more than a guide to the length of time the product has been aged for and a brand name. And because we know that it is not a ‘vintage’ product, we also know that it must be a blend of products from a number of different years. Blending has a number of advantages:

Consistency of product can be maintained year on year.

Blending spirits of different ages together gives huge opportunities to create an extensive range of different products.

This is down to the ‘master blender’ who oversees the ageing and blending of the spirits and it is his nose and palette that he relies on. To this day there is no technological replacement for this very human skill.


He or she will blend a varying recipe of aged products together to reach the desired final product. This final product is then blended into the remaining half of the last batch, and then half of this final mix will be sent off to be bottled. This way there are never single batches of product sent for bottling, each batch is blended into the one before and after. Therefore any minute difference between batches will be undetectable in the final bottled product. Legislation varies from country to country over what this final product can then be called. For example, some may state a product is 10yrs old because this is the oldest product in the blend, whilst others may only state the youngest product in the blend. Some brands do away with the whole concept of ‘number of years old’, and simply give each different product a different name such as ‘Maximo’, ‘Extra’ or ‘Especial’ for example. Not all aged spirits are blended, some are aged in a single barrel until they are ready, and a very small percentage of ‘vintage’ spirits are also produced. However, this sort of detail can only be understood by studying individual producers and products. The diversity of production methods and philosophies of all the different spirits and all their different producers keeps us interested for more than a lifetime.


2) Spirits Glossary Spirit

Made from


Production Notes


2.1) Gin

Neutral Spirit & Botanicals (Juniper Berries must dominate)


In order to release the essential oils in the botanicals and fix them to the alcohol, neutral spirit is re-distilled with purified water, Juniper Berries and varying recipes of other botanicals such as lemon peel, orange peel, oris root etc… The recipe of botanicals will vary from one Gin to another, but to be Gin the major botanical must always be juniper.

Alchemists in Tuscany combine alcohol and juniper berries to make the alcohol more palatable, for medicinal purposes. Practice moves to Holland where a spirit called Jenever is produced and becomes popular. Production moves to English coastal cities including London, Plymouth and Bristol in the 17th Century after Mercenaries return from fighting in the Dutch ’30 year war’ where they are given Jenever before going into battle (Dutch Courage). Popularity soars when the Dutch Prince ‘William of Orange’ comes to the throne in 1688. Style changes to a uniquely English product and popularity grows. London and Plymouth Style Gins remain today.

2.2) Vodka

Predominately Russia / Poland distilled from grain, some produced from potato.

Whilst Rye grain is generally agreed to produce the best Vodka, Wheat and Potato is also used (there are some very good potato Vodkas - do not dismiss) It is the starch content of these products that is fermented and then distilled into Vodka. Due to its clear appearance, many Vodkas are filtered to ensure absolute clarity.

A clear history is hard to pin down, especially with both Russia and Poland claiming the honours for being the first to produce Vodka. There is evidence that strong alcohol was first introduced to the region through freezing wine to extract the alcohol, but this was used for medicinal purposes like the roots of many spirits around the world. Distillation was introduced to both countries by foreigners and as the techniques and knowledge improved so did the products.


2.3) Rum

2.4) Whisk(e)y




Countries and islands around the equator

Molasses is a dark, bittersweet and very thick liquid. It is obtained as a by-product of refining sugar cane into sugar. The molasses is thinned with water then fermented and distilled into rum. Some are bottled as white rum, others are aged into golden and dark rums.

Scotland & Fermented and distilled surrounding grain, cask ageing. Isles, Ireland, then North America, Canada and more recently Japan

As with many spirits, roots are hard to firmly place. However, the introduction of sugar cane to the islands of the Caribbean and through most equatorial countries by the early explorers saw the production of rum and all its different styles explode. The unfortunate consequence of this was the fuelling of the slave trade. Africans were captured on the Western Coast of Africa and sailed out to the new world where they were exchanged for sugar cane, which was in turn traded for Rum which could be brought back to Europe to sell at massive profit.

There are few details about the birth of Whisky, but it is known that it was the Ancient Celts who first distilled the grains they grew and all varieties stemmed from this. The spelling of Whisky, without the ‘e’ is used for Scotch and Canadian Whisky, whilst the ‘e’ is included in Irish and American Whiskey. The word ‘Whisky’ comes from the Celtic word ‘Uisge’ – from ‘Uisge Beatha’ meaning ‘Water of Life’.

2.4a) Single Malt

Malted Barley

Scotland, Surrounding Isles. Ireland, more recently Japan

The only style of Whisky to be produced from one individual grain. Barley is soaked to the point of germination, at which point it is dried out then ground into Malt. This is then added to water, fermented and distilled before going into barrel to be aged.

2.4b) Blended or Grain Whisky

Mixed Grains

Scotland, Surrounding Isles. Ireland, more recently Japan

Also known as ‘Grain Whisky’, it is produced from a blend of different grains. The more expensive of which also have a malt content. Can be of excellent quality but do not have the kudos of a ‘Single Malt’.

2.4c) Vatted

Single Malt Whisky

Scotland, Surrounding Isles. Ireland, more recently Japan

A whisky that is not made, but is instead blended together in a process called ‘Marrying’. Different single malts from different distilleries are combined to produce a new product.

2.4d) Bourbon

51% Corn + USA other grains (Kentucky)

Made from a minimum of 51% Corn, and a blend of other grains. The resulting distillate must be aged for a minimum of 2 years (to be a Kentucky Straight Bourbon) in new American white oak barrels that are first flame charred on the inside.

One of the early barrels of Whisky was stored in a barrel with the name of the Bourbon region (in Kentucky) on it. The Whisky inside proved to be very good, and so people would ask for ‘that Whisky from Bourbon’, and so the name stuck. Kentucky is the home of Bourbon, but can be produced across the US.



2.4e) Tennessee

51% Corn + Tennessee, other grains USA

Like Bourbon it is made from a minimum of 51% Corn, and a blend of other grains. The resulting distillate must be aged for a minimum of 2 years in new American white oak barrels that are first flame charred on the inside. It differs from Bourbon through the ‘Lincoln County Process’, which is to filter through ‘Maple Wood Charcoal’ before it goes into barrel.

2.4f) Rye

51% Rye + North other grains America, Canada

In North America there is legislation ensuring a minimum of 51% Rye grain is used and that it is aged for a minimum of two years like Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskeys. There is no such legislation in Canada; therefore the amount of Rye actually used in a Canadian Whisky can be minimal.

2.5) Brandy


Europe, Pressed fruit is fermented and Chile / Peru, distilled. Some varieties are bottled worldwide clear and un-aged, others are aged .

Like Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey takes its name from where it originates from – the most famous being Jack Daniels.

Distilling fruit has been around for nearly as long as distilling itself, but has split into a number of different styles. (See below). The word comes from the Dutch word ‘Brandewijn’ meaning burnt wine. This is due to the process of distilling wine to remove water for preservation. The intent was to re-hydrate before consumption, however, the distilling process and storing in barrel changed the wine into something quite different – brandy.

2.5a) Fruit – (e.g. France and Eau de Vie grapes, worldwide raspberries, plums, pears)

Fruit is pressed, fermented and distilled into a spirit. It is NOT a fruit liqueur, flavoured with fruit; it is made ‘from’ the fruit. It is usually left un-aged and therefore ‘clear’.

2.5b) Cognac / Amagnac

Aged grape ‘eau de vie’

Cognac and Armagnac regions of France

The two most famous and prestigious brandies in the world. Wines produced from grapes grown in each of the regions are distilled into grape eau de vie then aged in oak barrel. There are other brandies (made from grapes which are then cask aged) from other regions of France, Europe and most grape growing regions around the world. But these are not Cognacs or Armagnacs.

2.5c) Calvados Applejack Cider Brandy

Aged apple ‘eau de vie’

Normandy, France, USA and the UK.

Essentially, cider is distilled into an apple ‘eau de vie’ which is then barrel aged.

2.5d) Pisco

Grape ‘eau de vie’

Chile, Peru

A grape ‘eau de vie’ is distilled from wines produced from the Muscadet grape, grown in the Andes mountains of Chile and Peru. Both countries lay claim to the product, although most is produced and drunk in Chile. Some are aged in earthenware jars.

2.5e) Marc Grappa Bagaceira

Grape pomace

France, Italy, Portugal and most grape growing regions

The leftovers from when grapes are pressed for wine production, also known as ‘Pomace’ are fermented and distilled into a clear and dry spirit.


2.6a) Mezcal




The centre of the Agave plant (nearest relative is a lilly – nothing to do with Cacti!!) is roasted, pressed and the juices fermented and distilled into Mezcal. Some are bottled ‘Blanco’ (White) – unaged and clear, others are cask aged – ‘Joven’ (Gold)

Myth says that a bolt of lightning struck an Agave plant, instantly fermenting its juices; it was drunk by the natives who enjoyed its affects and saw it as a gift from the gods. History tells us that the natives were producing a poor quality wine called ‘Vino Mezcal’ from the Agave plant when the Spanish colonised in the 16th century. They brought with them the technology of distillation and refined their ‘Vino Mezcal’ into a spirit that we know today as Mezcal.

2.6b) Tequila

Blue Agave

Tequila region, Jalisco, Mexico

Must only be produced from the Blue Agave within the designated region. Tequila is simply a regional variety of Mezcal, therefore the basic principles of production are the same, as too are the words to describe the style – 100% Agave – Made only from Agave distillate, and is the Best. Mixto - a spirit can be called Tequila or Mezcal as long as it has 51% or more Agave distillate, allowing cheaper alcohol to be added to increase volumes, but usually at the expense of quality. If a Tequila or Mezcal is 100% Agave, it will be clearly stated on the bottle. Blanco / White – Clear un-aged Tequila or Mezcal. Reposado – A true gold Tequila or Mezcal, it has been rested in barrel for between 2 and 12 months, and will have a pale, straw colour to it. Anejo – Aged Tequila or Mezcal and again a true ‘gold’ spirit. Rested for more than 12 months. Darker in colour than a ‘Reposado’, and takes on more flavour from the barrel. Second-hand Bourbon barrels are widely used for ageing. Extra Añejo - Tequila or Mezca barrel aged for more than three years. Un-stated Joven / Gold – Caramel is added to colour and give ‘appearance’ of an aged spirit, without ageing!! Therefore, if you see a golden bottle of Tequila or Mezcal that does not say either ‘Reposado’ or ‘Anejo’ on it, then you know that it has not been aged in barrel, and has been simply coloured. This is not a process used on good quality spirits.


2.7) Cachaça


Pressed sugar cane


For best results, sugar cane is cut and pressed on the same day. The juices from the cane are then fermented and distilled into Cachaça. Cachaça is usually double distilled at a relatively low temperature, straight to bottling strength without the need for reduction. Legislation dictates that Cachaça should be bottled between 38% and 54% ABV. Some are aged whilst others are left white. There is massive variety with Cachaça as there are over a thousand producers in Brazil, producing more than five thousand different Cachaças. The ageing process is complicated as well. With some producers using Oak, whilst others use native hard woods such as ‘Freijo’ or ‘Balsam’. It is also not unusual for a Cachaça to be aged in more than one barrel and in more than one type of wood. There are also some of the largest barrels in the world used to age Cachaça, which impart very little change of colour or flavour. Whilst other producers use more traditional sized barrels. Therefore, with all these variables, research needs to be on a ‘brand by brand’ and ‘product by product’ basis.

When the Portuguese colonised Brazil in the 16th Century, they brought with them sugar cane and African slaves. This is the reason for Brazil’s cultural melting pot. There are stories that slaves working in the sugar cane fields collected the juices form the cane and left them to ferment so that they had alcohol to take away from the misery of slavery. Others say that it was the plantation owners who, without any vineyards, had to find other ways to get alcohol, and longed for the ‘Bagaceira’ of home. Whatever the real truth, a combination of these two elements came together at some point and Cachaça was born, and is now one of the most consumed spirits in the world. It is not a ‘Rum’ of any kind, it is what it is – Cachaça. No more and no less.

2.8) Liqueurs and Bitters

Spirit, fruit / herbs / spices etc., sugar


Wine & Spirit Worldwide

Fortified Wines


A blend of spirit and fruit or other flavouring ingredient, liqueurs have the addition of sugar. Some are made with a neutral spirit so as the flavour of the fruit or other ingredient is the dominate flavour, while others combine spirits that have a character of their own, such as Gin or Brandy so that there is a combination of the flavours being added and the existing flavours of the spirit.

(predominantly European)

Wine fortified with spirit, often brandy. Originally designed to preserve the wine.

The word ‘liqueur’ comes from the Latin ‘liquifacere’ – meaning to dissolve. Liqueurs and bitters have their roots in medicine as ‘Herbal Remedies’, whether combining the medicinal properties of alcohol with other herbal remedies or adding pleasant flavours to simply make the alcohol itself more palatable.

Sherry - fortified after the fermentation process has turned most of the sugar into alcohol therefore able to produce a drier product. Originates from Jerez in Spain. Port - made from grapes grown from the Douro Valley, Portugal. The wine is fortified before fermentation is completed therefore producing a sweeter and heavier product. Vermouth - Wine fortified by spirit but also infused with herbs and spices. Dry, sweet and medium styles available.


Common Liqueurs

Dominant Flavour

Amaretto Almond Frangelico Hazelnut Curacao (all)


Cointreau Orange


Grand Marnier

Orange / Cognac

Triple Sec


Sloe Gin

Sloe Berries / Gin


Black Raspberry / Honey

St. Germain


Curanta y tres



Vanilla / Orange / Brandy

Crème de Mure


Crème de Cassis


Crème de Fraise


Crème de Framboise


Crème de Peche


Sambucca / Ouzo / Pernod



Honey / Scotch / Herbs

Southern Comfort

Orange / Peach / American Whisky

Kahlua / Tousaint


Mozart Dark

Dark chocolate

Crème de Cacao



Irish Whiskey / Cream



Outcome 6 – Display Knowledge of Beer, Wine and Spirits Service Section Sub- Section 1 1.1 1.2 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4

Section Description

Pg. No.

Spirits Serving Spirits Spirit and Mixer Combinations

88 88

Beer Draught Beer Bottled Beer Legal Requirements Quality Control

89 90 91 91

Wine Opening and Serving Wine Opening and Serving Champagne Fortified Wines Legal Requirements

92 93 94 94


1. Spirits 1.1) Serving Spirits The service of different spirits is a mixture of etiquette, tradition and the guests’ personal preference. There is no one rule that covers the service of all spirits and liqueurs. In many cases it can be left up to the guest to specify how they would like their spirits or liqueurs served, however, there must also be a clear understanding of how a spirit may be best or traditionally served.

On the Rocks / Frappe Almost any spirit can be served on the rocks, if requested, and would be served in an ‘Old Fashioned’ or ‘Rocks’ glass. If the amount of ice is not specified, use a full glass of ice to control the rate of dilution. Some drinkers want dilution from ice rather than adding water, and therefore may specify just one or two ice cubes for this purpose. A ‘frappe’ is an older term used for ‘crushed ice’ and is traditionally used for the service of liqueurs such as ‘Cointreau’ for example. If a twist is requested along with the spirit, use a large slice of peel and follow the steps in outcome 2, sub section 2.9 ‘Stretching’. Common examples are. Vodka, Bourbon, Liqueurs.

Neat or Straight Up Any spirit or liqueur can be requested neat, this simply means served with ‘no’ ice. If a spirit is requested ‘straight up’ then it is shaken or stirred with ice first, then served with no additional ice in a chilled glass. The glass here will depend on the spirit and how it is to be drunk. Usually you would expect to use an ‘Old Fashioned’ or ‘Rocks’ glass for this service, with two exceptions.


Firstly Brandy, if served neat, will be served in a ‘brandy balloon’ or ‘snifter’. This glass is only used for brandy when served neat, if a mixer is added then revert back to an ‘old fashioned’ or ‘rocks’ glass. Secondly, if a spirit is to be shot – common examples are tequila and sambucca – then a shot glass can be used. Individual bars will have their own policies, so ensure that you are clear about what is expected.

With Water Water, commonly used to bring out the flavour of Scotch, can be added or served in a jug to accompany the spirit. The amount of water needed will depend on the guest, therefore ask the guest how much water they require, or simply serve the water in a jug with the spirit. The glass here would be an ‘old fashioned’ or ‘rocks’ glass.

1.2) Spirit and Mixer Combinations There are many examples such as the ‘Gin and Tonic’, where the quality of a product can be improved whilst at the same time making the construction process a little simpler and faster, by simply squeezing in a complementary garnish. Bellow is a list of spirits, mixers and their traditional complementary garnish. Spirit Mixer Any Tonic Any Grapefruit juice Any Cranberry Any Pomegranate Any Ginger Ale / Beer Any Coke

Garnish Lime Lime Lime Lime Lime Lemon

(except whisky)

Rum Coke Lime Any Lemonade Lemon Any Orange Orange

Lemons and oranges are normally finely sliced which cannot therefore be squeezed, although some bars will operate with both wedges of lemon as well as slices, to allow them to be squeezed.

Remember that simply adding a slice of lemon or orange does not constitute a liquid ingredient.

2. Beer 2.1) Draught Beer

Some classic Spirit / Mixer combinations also have alternate names by which they are known: Vodka and Cranberry with Lime: Cape Codder Large measure of rum and Coke with Lime: Cuba Libre Vodka and Grapefruit: Greyhound Whisky and Ginger ale with Lemon twist: Horse’s Neck Vodka and Orange: Screwdriver The quality of your mixer is also important, but will ultimately depend on where you work. Many mixers come in small bottles with a bottle cap that is simply removed with a bottle opener or bar blade. Many bars also have ‘soda guns’. These are simple devices to use that express chilled soda at the touch of a button from a flexible hose, straight into the glass. There are different buttons for different ‘post mix’ flavours, where the soda water is mixed with a syrup as it enters the glass – Coke, Pepsi, lemonade etc…Each bar will vary and you will be shown which if any products are on the ‘gun’, and which button to press.

Although a simple task, draught beer must be presented to the guest with as much care as any other product. Start pouring the beer into the glass with it held at a 45 degree angle to run the beer down the inside of the glass to ensure that the beer does not foam up. Once the glass is a quarter full, bring it slowly into the upright position to finish pouring. Draught beer should have a frothy head on top of it to help release the flavours; however by law, it must not constitute any more than 5% of the rest of the measured sale of beer. If the glass you are using is measured to a ‘line’ rather than to the top of the glass, this allows for more room for a more generous head. Draught beer can be time consuming and although simple, can slow up service. Therefore, many bars implement a method of starting the beer as mentioned, then simply putting the beer down onto the drip-tray and leaving it to pour on its own.


This way, whilst the beer is pouring into the glass, other drinks can be prepared. It is essential that the beer is not left to overflow, and that the pour is stopped whilst there is still a window of an inch or two from the top of the glass. This way, the top of the beer is freshly poured when the rest of the order is ready, ensuring a nice frothy head looking ‘freshly poured’.

Stocking up of all products served directly from the fridge must be done at the end of each night to ensure that the products are cold enough for the following service. If products are re-stocked at any stage during service, it is essential that these products are placed at the back of the fridge, so that they are given enough time to chill before being served.

If there is excessive head protruding from the top of the glass, a clean metal spatula should be used to cut the top off, leaving a neat flat finish in line with the top of the glass, and any spillage or drips down the glass wiped up.

Offer a glass with the beer, if this offer is taken up then the glass must firstly be chilled. Therefore, offer the glass when the order is first placed so that the glass can be chilled whilst the beer is taken from the fridge and payment handled. Use ice and soda water to chill the glass down, removing all before handing the glass to the guest with the beer. Some bars will have glasses in a fridge or freezer for this service, and some bars will have particular glasses for each or a group of beers. If there are no particular glasses for bottled beer service, use a chilled highball.

Removing Bottle Caps This technique should be used on any bottled item that requires being opened bar a ‘bar blade’ or ‘bottle opener’. It allows many items to be opened at great speed with control, and stops the cap from spilling onto the bar top or floor.

2.2) Bottled Beer Serving bottled beer is simple, but again it must be done with due care and attention. Firstly, ensure that the bottle is sufficiently cold. This will depend on two things; the efficiency of the bottle fridge and secondly, how and when the bottle fridge was stocked.


2.3) Legal Requirements There are legal requirements that you must be aware of when it comes to the service of beer.



Firstly, as already mentioned, when serving draught beer it must have no more than 5% head (of the measured serving) it must also be served in a Government or ‘CE’ stamped glass. Some glasses may have lines on them, but no stamp; therefore it is only legal to use a glass with the Government (crown) or ‘CE’ stamp on it. Some glasses will only have a stamp on them, therefore the glass should be filled to the brim, and others will have a stamp and a line below the top of the glass. In this case, the glass must be filled to at least the top of the line, with more room in the glass for a larger head.



Bottled beers are an already stated serving, therefore if a glass is required for a bottled beer, this glass does not need to be crowned or stamped, it only needs to be appropriate for the beer being sold.

2.4) Quality Control



1. ‘Bottle Opener & Bar Blade’ 2. The blade is held in the palm of the hand. 3. The blade is brought to the top of the bottle so that its bottom inside edge hooks under the near edge of the cap. 4. The wrist is rotated up catching the underside near edge of the cap. 5. The wrist continues upwards prising the cap off the bottle into the hand. 6. The cap is left in the hand ready for disposal.

There are a number of simple checks to make to ensure the quality of beer. • Temperature (may depend on style of beer) • Cloudiness (again, this may depend on style) • Excess head when pouring draught beers To effectively ensure the quality of the product a bartender must know the styles and optimum serving conditions for the different beers served from the bar.


3. Wine

1. The ‘Waiters friend’ or ‘‘T’ Bar’

3.1) Opening and Serving Wine Opening and serving wine can be stressful, and many bar and floor staff do not like opening and serving wine in front of guests. However, it is a basic core skill that simply requires a good technique and a little practice. If a bottle of wine is being purchased, the label of the bottle should be presented to the guest first for the guest to examine, and to ensure that this is the correct wine ordered, before it is opened.








2. The thumb is wrapped around the top of the bottle so that the knife can be held tightly in place during cutting. The blade is also angled down towards the ridge of glass on the bottle top, this will give a clean cut and stop the knife from wavering up and down the foil. 3. The tip of the ‘cork screw’ must be positioned in the centre of the cork to ensure that the cork is not ripped apart. Control the ‘cork screw’ with your fingers and ensure that the tip goes firmly into the centre of the cork… 4. Then begin to confidently screw down into the cork. 5. With the screw firmly in the cork, fold out and position the metal lever arm onto the edge of the bottle top. Use a thumb or fingers to stop this from slipping off by holding the bottle around the top of the neck, and begin to lever the cork out by lifting the other end of the bar with your other hand. 6. Lift the lever straight up slowly until the cork is either completely free, or until it will only take a gentle pull straight up to remove the cork. Now check the bottom of the cork to ensure that there is no brown discolouration and that the cork does not smell of mushrooms. This is a sure sign that the wine is corked. (a reaction between the wine, air and cork that turns the wine bad). You must also be sure that no fragments of cork have been dropped into the bottle of wine during opening. If so, the bottle should not be served to the guest and a new bottle opened immediately. This is NOT a ‘Corked’ bottle of wine, as we have described before, this may simply be down to an old or dry cork, or simply clumsy opening. Retain the cork if the guest is buying the bottle, so that the guest can also examine the cork if necessary.

When pouring wine, hold the bottom or lower Âź of the bottle, and have the label pointed towards the guest.

3.2) Opening and Serving Champagne As with wine service, this can often be rather nervewracking, especially if the bottle is from the more expensive end of the list. However, with practice and a good technique, there is nothing to fear. 1. Firstly the outer foil must be neatly and carefully removed. 2. The wire cage is untwisted and also removed.

Pour slowly and carefully but with confidence. When enough has been poured, slow the rate of pour then give the bottle a Âź turn inwardly to catch any drips then lift the bottle away. If the guest has purchased the whole bottle, ask if they would like you to pour and offer a taste to the guest who ordered. If they wish to taste before the bottle is poured, pour only an inch of wine into the bottom of the glass then stop until the guest has displayed satisfaction with the product. Now, continue pouring with ladies first.

3. From now on, the cork must be covered at all times to ensure that it does not fire off unexpectedly; which could be a danger to those close-by as well as an embarrassing loss of Champagne.







Ensure that each guest is poured the same amount, and never fill the glass more than half full. As the glasses are drunk, you may offer to top guest’s glasses up. If it is a bottle of white wine ensure that there is a wine bucket for the guests to keep the bottle in. Each bar will have its own service style and etiquette; ensure that you are clear about how your employer wishes you to handle wine service.


4. The bottle is held at an angle to allow the gas to escape from the bottle without forcing the liquid out.

The cork is held firmly and the bottle is rotated – not the cork – to ensure that the cork is not snapped off in the bottle. As the cork eases out of the neck of the bottle, hold it back to ensure that it does not rush out. As the cork gets near to the end it must be held back with more and more force.

5. As the cork begins to emerge from the bottle neck, allow the gas to escape from the bottle by allowing the top edge of the cork to leave the bottle first (as can be seen in the photo). The escaping gas should make a gentle hissing sound…not a pop. 6. To serve, the bottle is held with fingers under the bottle and the thumb in the indent (punt) at the base of the bottle, with the label pointed towards the guest.

Pour slowly and carefully but with confidence and only pour a little in each glass to start; as the Champagne will fizz and foam up the inside of the glass, you do not want this to foam over the top of the glass. Slow the rate of pour then give the bottle a ¼ turn inwardly to catch any drips then lift the bottle away. Now repeat the process, topping up all the glasses.

3.3) Fortified Wine Fortified wines are wines that are ‘fortified’ with a spirit and include the diverse categories of Sherry, Port and Vermouth, all of which are very different is style, production and taste. All fortified wines are served as a double measure, as standard. They are served in a small stemmed glass such as the one shown here, unless otherwise requested.


Although in Britain Sherry was served in a glass called a Schooner, thankfully this practice has now all but died out. It is an inappropriate shaped glass that did Sherry no justice. The tiny glass is served full with no room for the sherry to move and develop or concentrate its aroma. Although neither Port nor Sherry are served over ice, Vermouth may be served on the rocks in an ‘old fashioned’ or ‘rocks’ glass or in a ‘highball’ glass over ice with a slice of fruit and / or a dash of soda or lemonade.

3.4) Legal Requirements Wine must be served in 125ml, 175ml or multiples thereof. (see below) These measurements must be measured using either a Government (Crown) or ‘CE’ stamped glass or jigger. As with a bottle of beer, if a guest is buying a bottle of wine, it does not need to be served in Government or ‘CE’ stamped glassware as the volume being purchased is stated on the bottle itself.



Outcome 7 – Prepare Bar and Deliver Service Section Sub- Section Description Section 1 Housekeeping 1.1 Preparation 1.2 Bar Organisation 1.3 Safe Working 1.4 Health and Safety in the Workplace 1.5 Teamwork 2 Basic Service Skills 2.1 Greeting 2.2 Reading Guests 2.3 Simple Service 3 Advanced Service Skills 3.1 Drinks Finding 3.2 Multi Tasking 3.3 Multi Ordering 3.4 Handling Complaints 3.5 YOU and Your Bar

Pg. No.

98 99 100 101 101

102 102 104

105 106 108 108 110


1. Housekeeping 1.1) Preparation Preparation is as important as anything else behind a professional bar. It can be laborious and extensive, but it must never be underestimated how important it is and how much it is relied upon during service. Each bar will have its own specific ‘prep list’ to be attended to on a daily basis – from fresh fruit, juice and ice to glassware, bar equipment and even the float – which will depend, in part, on the ingredients used in the bars selection of recipes.

• It is important that ALL fresh ingredients are tasted each morning, not just the ones needed at the time. This way the whole team can be sure that every fresh ingredient on the bar is safe to use when needed. • When preparing a fresh ingredient, always ensure that the container it is stored in has a label on it denoting when it was prepared. Then use good ‘stock rotation’ and ensure that older items are used first, minimising wastage.

Common Cuts Knife Skills – Always use a sharp serrated knife to avoid using too much pressure which can cause a slip and injury.

However, there are some basic prep items universal to almost every bar, which we can look at here, as well as an ethos shared by all professional bars.

Quality Control • Any fresh ingredients must be checked, on a daily basis. Juices and purees must be tasted to ensure quality and freshness. Any fruits, whole or cut, must be checked for quality – texture, discolouration, over ripeness, or dehydration – and anything falling below the mark must be thrown away. • A good ‘rule of thumb’ for any fresh ingredient is to think as yourself being the guest – ‘would you want that ingredient in you drink?’ Any juices or purees that have an even slight ‘fizz’ on the tongue when tasted must be thrown away and the bottle or container thoroughly cleaned out before being re-filled. • Never marry juices or purees together (cross contamination), and always empty and clean any container used to hold fresh ingredients before it is re-filled. This is because any ingredient that is off, or going off, will then turn a fresh ingredient off too, wasting ingredients and increasing prep levels.


The side of the blade is pressed against the fingernails, fingers pointing downwards onto what is being held. The thumb is pulled in, out of the cutting line of the knife. This way the knife can never be drawn across and cut fingers or thumbs.

Wedges – Top and tail (trim off the very top and very bottom of the fruit) then cut in half lengthways, then cut each half lengthways again into wedges 3-4 per half depending on size of lime or lemon.

Slices – Cut off the top of the fruit to expose the flesh. Place on end then cut lengthways down the centre of the fruit, cutting the fruit into two equal halves. Lay each half down on the cut side and begin cutting thin slices (2-3mm).

1.2) Bar Organisation Correct organisation of a bar is essential to enable fast and efficient service. Each bar will be organised specifically to deal with the style and type of products served, as well as the individual shape and size of the bar. However, all good professional bars should be broken down into individual stations. Each station must be as ‘self contained’ as possible, reducing to a minimum the number of times bartenders have to cross behind each other to access equipment or products. This way, each bartender is only responsible for the guests at their station and not for the whole bar. This promotes better levels of awareness and ensures that guests are served in a controlled and fair manner.


When working always ensure that the organisation of the bar is maintained as poor organisation will affect speed and potentially the quality of products being produced. When stepping onto a bar, always check its organisation before starting shift. You are a ‘professional’; hence you must be pro-active about improving all aspects of the bar. Therefore, if there is a problem with the bars organisation which you think needs to be addressed for the benefit of the whole team, discuss this with the appropriate authority and then take action, do not just work around problems.

Opening / Handover / Closing – Check Lists Each bar will have a checklist of jobs to be completed on each of these occasions to ensure that the bar is prepared for service in terms of organisation, prep and cleanliness. The importance of completing these checklists thoroughly cannot be over emphasised. On a professional bar there are many different types of glassware and equipment to be maintained and organised as well as ingredients that must be prepared and quality controlled. Any part of the list that is not adhered to simply causes problems for you later on or passes the problem onto others, putting the whole team under greater pressure.

1.3) Safe Working It is your duty to work in a manner that is safe for both your colleagues and guests alike. Much of this comes down to common sense, but there are a number of points that are particularly relevant to a professional cocktail bar. • Whenever you pass behind someone on the bar, ensure that you: 1. Tap them on the back 2. Tell them ‘behind you’


This is to ensure that the staff member you are passing behind knows that you are there and can take care not to accidentally strike you with a bottle or shaker, and can be cautious if they are using a knife or other potentially dangerous piece of equipment. • If glass is broken anywhere near the ‘ice-well’, the ice must be disposed of immediately and the ‘ice-well’ washed out thoroughly before fresh ice is fetched to re-fill. If for any reason the ice cannot be removed immediately, then a red syrup or cordial such as blackcurrant or ‘grenadine’ should be used to spoil the ice and make it clear that it must not be used by anyone else. • Don’t forget how far glass can travel when it breaks. Therefore, do not take any chances. If you think that there is the slightest possibility then change the ice. Remember that there is absolutely no point looking in the ‘ice-well’ to see if there is glass in it, you will never see small glass fragments amongst ice. • Never fill a glass by dragging it through the ice in the ice well. This is grossly negligent as glass may chip off into the ice without you knowing, contaminating the ice. • Breakages, or a spillage that may cause a slip or trip hazard must be tidied up immediately, and never leave anything on the floor that could be a trip hazard for yourself or your colleagues. • You must show due diligence in every action you take behind the bar to ensure that the bar is as safe a working environment as possible for all those around you.

1.4) Health and Safety in the Workplace Both the Employer and Employee have responsibilities to ensure a safe working environment. These are simple and common sense: • The Employer must have a written ‘Health and Safety Policy’ • The Employer must provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. • The Employee must not act in a way that may put themselves or others at risk. • The Employee must report anything that may endanger themselves or others.

1.5) Teamwork It is clear from the last four subsections that working as a professional bartender is as much about being part of a team as it is working as an individual. Being a professional means that you can be trusted to work autonomously, however, no one bartender can run a bar, and you will rely heavily on your other bartenders as much as they will rely on you. For example, when you prep ingredients for the bar, it is not for you alone, but for the whole bar. When you break down the bar at the end of the night, you must leave the bar as you would want to find it so that the bartender who follows you does not have to complete your work before they can start with their own work for the day. A weak link cannot be tolerated as it is unfair on the rest of the team and can hinder operations dramatically. Therefore, no matter what your status is within a team, it is essential that you have the same attitude towards your share of these sometimes mundane duties as you have towards the more exciting aspects such as looking after guests and making drinks. A good team lifts each member when under pressure, so that each service can be completed successfully. The friendships formed in good teams can last a lifetime.


2. Basic Service Skills 2.1) Greeting How a bartender interacts with guests is an essential part of service and must happen on more than one level. A bartender is often the guest’s first impression of the premises and will set the tone for the rest of the guest’s visit: Verbal – Greeting (with many number of variances) Physical – Eye contact Smile Body Language Bevarage Napkin The physical aspects are many, some of which are self explanatory. Whilst the verbal greeting is but one gesture, the way it can be delivered is highly variable. Eye contact must be made with guests when they are greeted. It shows respect for the guest and it is a clear signal that the guest has the bartender’s full attention. A Smile is an obvious display of warmth towards a guest, and takes little effort. However, it is essential and must not be forgotten, no matter how work is going, how busy or under pressure the situation is, or even what is happening at home. Remember, the guest has come in to relax and leave the real world behind for a short time. Body Language incorporates the last two points, but also includes the whole body image. A bartender is 1. smart 2. clean 3. well presented


but also holds themselves with .. 1. a positive body language 2. shoulders back and 3. standing tall This shows confidence and control, both of which are essential when working behind a professional cocktail bar. The guest will need to feel confident in the skill, knowledge and ability of their bartender for them to want to spend their money on a cocktail, or to listen to recommendations or advice. A Bev. Nap., or ‘beverage napkin’ may seem insignificant, however it has a significant role in greeting a guest at the bar and setting the standard for the rest of the guests’ visit. It has a number of virtues: • It is a clear and visible greeting and acknowledgement of the guest, no matter how loud or busy the bar may be. • It shows extra ‘attention to detail’. • It shows off the drink, (like a mount and frame shows off a painting) when it is placed on the bar top. • It will help to collect condensation off the glass or small spillages, and therefore help keep the bar top clean, dry and tidy. • They are used in ‘muti-ordering’ techniques.

2.2) Reading Guests The way guests are interacted with, both verbally and physically, is vitally important, and there must be subtle differences in the way different guests are treated. This does not mean to say that one guest receives better service or more attention than any other, simply that the needs and expectations of different guests will vary, and the way in which one guest perceives good service may be different from another.

Keys to reading a guest accurately: Age Sex How dressed Attitude Occasion

In the second scenario, the language is more casual, chatty and friendly, ‘hey guys, how are you this evening, what are you drinking?’

How a guest is greeted verbally will differ slightly depending on what time of day it is, such as ‘Good evening’, or ‘Good afternoon’, as it will also vary depending on the points outlined above.

How the guest’s respond to this initial interaction will give more signals as to how to deal with the situation, and first impressions may change. The professionals may actually be out celebrating and respond to interaction, whereas the young couple of friends may actually be more reserved and simply require efficient service.

Below are some very obvious examples where all these points are combined to give an overall picture of the guests being dealt with, and how interaction with them may vary.

A bartender must react to the changing moods and demands of their guests. Guest’s attitudes will change as they drink and relax and a good bartender must tune into the subtle changes in atmosphere.

• 40year old male, dressed in a business suit, with a formal manner, talking about business with another colleague also dressed in a suit on a lunchtime meeting.

This way the appropriate level of service is offered to each guest, as well as ensuring that opportunities to sell are taken full advantage of.

Here are professionals on a business meeting or lunchtime drink, at this point the guest is clearly in a formal manner and therefore wishes to be dealt with quickly, efficiently and with the minimum of fuss as his focus is clearly on the colleague and the topic of conversation.

The establishment itself will also dictate the style of service to some degree. But no matter where the bar, guests must be dealt with in a polite, professional and efficient manner, however the ‘student union bar’ will set a more relaxed tone than a ‘private members club’ in West London.

Compare that to…

• A young couple or friends out for an evening drink, dressed casually. Here is a less formal scenario where more attention can be paid and suggestive selling techniques used. In the first example the greeting used will be more formal, for example - ‘good afternoon gentlemen, what can I get you?’


2.3) Simple Service There are key points to service that must take place no matter what the establishment is, and no matter who is being served. These are the steps taken to serve a guest in the simplest of scenarios i.e. – one guest, one drink ordered. As the guest approaches the bar: • Stand up straight, shoulders back. • Make eye contact. • Smile. • Place a beverage napkin. on the bar top ready. • Verbally greet the guest in an appropriate manner as they reach the bar and ask what they would like. • Once the guest has asked for the product of their choice enquire if they would like – ‘anything else?’ • With a negative response to this question, fetch or construct the order in as fast and efficient a manner as possible and present the product onto the beverage napkin in front of the guest, and clearly state how much payment is required. • Enter the payment into the till accurately and return any change to the guest with a clear ‘thank you’. For good reason, a bartender must always work efficiently and with a sense of urgency, even when there is only one drink to make and there is only one guest: Correct mindset – if the level of business increases (levels of business tend to come in waves) Preparing for success – If the level of business does not increase, it allows more time to prep, clean and keep overall control of the bar.


3. Advanced Service Skills 3.1) Drinks Finding Professional bartenders work with classic cocktails and products as well as being at the forefront of developing and evolving new recipes and working with latest and re-discovered products. For this reason it is vital that bartenders actively sell and suggest products to their guests and where appropriate help them with their choices.

With the right questions, a professional bartender will, in most cases, be able to find the right product for a guest better than the guest can find for themselves. Opportunities to lead the conversation with a guest must be taken to make them feel welcome and well attended to. A guest should not be left in awkward silence whilst they look through a menu or scan the back bar, unless they make it clear that they wish to be left alone. If a guest doesn’t know on arrival what they want to drink, there is a clear opportunity to sell and suggest products to them that not only suit their tastes, but that are also unique to the establishment. Some guests are too embarrassed to ask for help, so hesitation, indecision or long pauses are often indicators that help is required. Once it is clear that the guest requires help in choosing, it must firstly be determined what category of drinks the guest is interested in.

‘Would you like beer, wine, spirits or…cocktails?’ When offering a list like this, guests will remember most clearly the first and especially the last items on the list. Therefore sales can be manipulated by what

is mentioned first and last, giving the most emphasis to the ‘Cocktails’. Having established what sort of drink the guest requires, further details are needed to pinpoint the right product. This must be done for any group of products, but is most useful when sifting through an extensive list of cocktails, as the guest may not be familiar with many of the ingredients and cannot therefore visualise what will suit their particular tastes. To find the right cocktail for a guest, two or three specific questions must be used to collate the appropriate information to make the correct choice for them.

Firstly – ‘What spirits do you like?’ This focuses the search significantly, as the correct base spirit is vital in finding the right drink. Sometimes the response to this question is too open, and therefore the same question can be re-phrased to:

‘What spirit are you drinking tonight’ or ‘What ‘Spirit & mixer’ combinations do you like – Gin & Tonic, Rum & Coke etc…’ Secondly – ‘What style of drink do you like? Citrus, fruity, dry, stiff/ strong or something else?’ Something else leaves the guest the option to describe coffee, chocolate, creamy or another specific flavour. The response to this question, in many cases, will give sufficient information to find the right drink for the guest. As a bartender’s knowledge increases, so does the number of potentially appropriate drinks that could be made. Secondly and more importantly, the guest’s answers may be appropriate for a number of drinks that have other dominant flavours as well as the base spirit.


For example, both a ‘Rum Collins’ and a ‘Mojito’ are long, citrus, rum based cocktails; however, if the guest does not like mint, then the Mojito is not a good choice. Therefore, a third and final question is, at times, essential in making the correct final choice for a guest.

For example, when it comes to processing orders efficiently, the first step must be to understand the whole order the customer wishes to place. This is why great emphasis is placed on asking the guest…

This question will vary depending on circumstance.

‘anything else?’

For example – ‘Would you prefer a long drink or a short drink?’ ‘Do you like mint?’ ‘Raspberry or Blueberry?’ ‘Do you like Ginger?’

…after each and every drink is ordered.

The correct drink can now be made for the guest, but if you have any doubts, ask further questions. The guest must not be asked to confirm the bartender’s choice as this increases confusion and wastes time.

Most guests will order one drink at a time, thinking that this is helpful because they are not used to being served by a professional. However, some drinks take longer to produce than others and therefore it is essential to receive the whole order at once so that drinks can be made simultaneously and in the most efficient order.

However, if the guest shows an interest, they can be talked through the ingredients and processes being used and why.

Clearly, the most efficient order to work in is to start with drinks that take the longest time to produce, making drinks that take the shortest time last. The idea here is to create the order of drinks in as little time as possible and to have them all ready at the same time.

Once the drink is presented, the bartender must ‘check back’ that the guest is happy with the drink chosen for them.

How a drink is made is a good indication as to how long it takes to make. Therefore the style of drink dictates the order in which it should be made.

At this point it is useful to tell the guest what the drink is called, so that it may be re-ordered at another occasion.

1. Draught*

3.2) Multi-Tasking


It is essentially little more than common sense; however, obvious opportunities to save time are not always clear until pointed out.

2. Muddled 3. Blended 4. Shaken

On from the basic level of service dealt with in ‘section 2’, a bartender must be able to deal with more complex orders and with greater levels of business.

5. Stirred

Multi-tasking, is as it sounds, the ability to deal with more than one action at a time and is an essential tool for dealing with increased levels of business, and working as efficiently as possible.

8. Draught*

6. Bottled 7. Built *top up just before serving

This is not a rule to be followed rigidly, more a guide to aid smooth and efficient production of an order. The key to real speed and efficiency is not to tackle drinks individually, but instead to ‘multi-task’ and produce all the drinks at the same time.

3. Add ingredients to blender, turn on then leave to prepare the next drink. When finished, turn off blender and leave drink in jug until the rest of the order is ready. It can then be pulsed before being poured into the correct glass.

‘Draught’ products are dealt with both first and last. This is a good example of where the list helps us to work efficiently, whilst at the same time ‘multi-tasking’ must be used to save time. Draught beer takes time to pour but it is a simple product to prepare and can be started and left to pour, whilst other drinks are constructed.

4. Add ingredients to ‘Boston’ glass ready for shaking.

To stand and do nothing whist waiting for a glass to fill is a waste of time, so instead the most is made of this time; this is the ethos of ‘multi-tasking’. This can be applied to more complex drinks too, and to do this, there are a number of key points to consider.

Stirred cocktails need attention and must be started and finished in one process as the length of time the ingredients are in contact with the ice is vital, and the ingredients are in contact with the ice from the start.

1. Perfect recipe knowledge

Bottled products can be fetched from the back bar or fridge at any time during the construction of the order. The key is to move efficiently, so that if you have to get a product from the back bar, then get all the products from that area in one visit.

2. Good orientation, preparation and organisation behind the bar 3. Working tidily and methodically These points speak for themselves, now we need to look in more detail at how we would handle an order in an efficient manner using ‘multi-tasking’. When an order is taken, all required glassware is placed on the bar top. This way, all drinks can begin to be prepared at once, and any glasses that need to be chilled prior to drinks being added can be filled with ice to do so, including glasses for bottled beers. Having the glasses in front acts as a reminder of what drinks need to be made when dealing with more complex orders. Using the list as a guide – 1. Start pouring any draught products; these can then be left to pour whilst you continue with the rest of the order, then turn off when ¾ full.

Any of these actions can take place and then be left, without spoiling the product. This way, these products can be taken to a point where they will be quick to finish and the whole order can now be produced as one.

Built products are made last as they are produced on the bar top in front of the guest. This gives an opportunity to talk to the guest, tell them the total amount owed for the round, or greet another guest; this is why it is left until the end of the order. Now all drinks can be finished off, draught beer topped up, cocktails shaken and strained and muddled drinks finished with spirits and crushed ice. Like working on the ‘pass’ in a kitchen, all the work in constructing the drinks has been done and the whole order can now be finished, garnished and presented together as one without having to move. This time spent working at the bar finishing drinks off with their garnishes etc…is vitally important to use efficiently.

2. Add fruit and sugars to glass and muddle.


A bartender must, at all times, work with an awareness of what is happening on the other side of the bar. This is only achieved by a bartender who works with his/her head up and eyes on their guests as much as possible, and is the only way to maintain good control of a station. (i.e. guest satisfaction, the order guests should be served in, selling and drinks finding) While drinks are made for one guest, other guests at the bar must be interacted with at the same time. No matter how complex an order is, there is always time to greet a new arrival at the bar. For example, as one order is being finished off on the bar top the next order can be taken. Therefore, when payment is received for the previous order, the new order can be entered into the till at this time, and / or products needed for the new order can be collected from the back bar or fridges.

Acknowledging a guest quickly is vitally important when it comes to guest satisfaction, and will stop a guest from becoming agitated as they wait at the bar. A guest must never feel ignored at the bar. Further more, if there is an issue that is delaying service (such as waiting for more ice, the glass washer has broken down etc…), it is vital that this information is conveyed to the waiting guests. Informed guests are far more understanding than those who are simply left to wait.

3.3) Multi-Ordering This takes the concepts from above on a stage. Instead of taking an order, then only taking another order once the first order is ready to be completed, more than one order is taken at a time and completed as one order. It is a simple concept; however, it is essential to know when such a technique is appropriate. 1. As with ‘multi-tasking’, a bartender needs to have perfect specs knowledge, confidence in their abilities, excellent organisation of the bar and complete awareness of the situation.


2. This technique is built up to by only taking very small multiple orders. For example, should a guest request only one or two drinks, then another order can be taken at the same time. If the situation is over complicated by taking orders that are too big it can slow service down and cause confusion. To be a practical and efficient technique a bartender needs: • ‘Second nature’ skill levels • A well organised and prepared bar • Thorough product and recipe knowledge Only then can ‘multi-taking’ and ‘mulit-ordering’ techniques be used to increase productivity and efficiency levels.

3.4) Handling Complaints Professional bartenders ( i.e.… taking care to produce and serve the best quality products, serving them in the best possible manner, taking time to taste and check products before they reach the guest and giving attentive and professional service) should have very few occasions where a customer complaint must be dealt with. However, when it does occur, it is essential that it is done so quickly, efficiently and with the least amount of fuss. Essentially, there are two types of complaint – Genuine, and sadly…a guest who is trying to either get something for free or get some attention. The keys to handling a complaint effectively are speed, efficiency, politeness and control of the situation. The longer the issue is dragged out for the more agitated the incident will become for both the bartender and the guest, and the more difficult it will be to reach a satisfactory outcome.

The procedure can be broken down into these simple steps. 1. Listening clearly to the exact complaint. 2. Looking at the drink in question. 3. Tasting the drink (using a straw as a pipette) for first hand information about what the guest is unhappy about. 4. Throwing the drink away. 5. Verbally explain what the issue is or is not with the drink, display knowledge. 6. Re-making the drink for the guest free of charge. 7. Noting lost stock in ‘wastage book’.

4. The drink is discarded down the sink, not adjusted.

The bartender need not apologise for the quality of the drink, if after investigation, it is clear that the drink is of the correct high standard. The only apology to make is that ‘I am sorry you feel that way’

Discarding the drink seems extreme, but it is vital in retaining control over the situation as it instantly removes the point of disagreement. It also says a number of other things.

Details 1. Listening to the complaint carefully helps determine what and if there is a problem with the drink. Is it a simple and specific complaint such as the wrong mixer has been added, or that the soda is flat etc…or is it a non-specific complaint?


The customer’s satisfaction is more important than a little bit of stock.


The Bartender has the confidence and authority to deal with this situation.


The Bartender will not accept a drink that a guest is not happy with and therefore it is not worth tampering with to try and make acceptable.


The Bartender is in control of the situation.

2. Looking at the drink, if there is obvious contamination such as a fruit fly in the drink, or the wrong drink has been presented to the guest – vodka & cranberry instead of vodka & tonic for example, clearly this is a valid complaint and apologies must be made and a new drink presented immediately.

5. The bartender is now in control of the situation; having listened to the complaint, looked at the drink, tasted the drink and now having removed it from the equation.

Has most of the drink been drunk, giving no option but to politely explain that (except in scenarios of contamination such as previously mentioned) they have waited too long to make a complaint.

If the complaint was genuine, for example a Gin & Tonic has been presented when it should have been Vodka & Tonic, it is correct for an apology to be made for the confusion and the guest presented with a new drink.

Complaints where more than 1/3 of the drink has already been drunk cannot be dealt with by simply discarding the drink and having a fresh drink made for them. Should this explanation not satisfy the guest, then a member of management should be called upon to deal with the guest.

However, if the drink was to standard, this must be explained to the guest whilst a new drink is produced for them and again, no apology is made for the drink.

A bartender, where possible, must display good knowledge of the product at the same time as dealing with the issue.

3. If the complaint cannot be determined visually and the guest has only drunk a small amount of their drink, the investigation is continued by tasting the guests drink, using a straw as a pipette.


It must be explained by the bartender that, although their complaint is not upheld, it is important that they are happy with their product as pride is taken in the drinks served from the bar. A new drink is then made free of charge.

6. Present the new drink to the guest and ensure that they taste it before leaving the bar so that they can confirm the drink is satisfactory.

Be aware that sometimes a guest drinking a brand they are not familiar with can cause confusion.

Therefore the bartender may ask ‘what brand do you normally drink?’ and be able to use good product knowledge to explain why the guest might believe there to be a problem where there is not.

7. Make a note in the wastage book of any stock that has been lost through this process. This procedure should take no longer than a couple of minutes. It is the; speed and confidence displayed by the bartender that will stop this situation from getting out of hand, as long as this is combined with politeness and not arrogance. Remember a guest is either highly dissatisfied, or drunk or both and will not simply be fobbed off and lose face in front of friends or other guests, they will continue with their complaint until something is done, the bartender must not let a situation descend into a one on one confrontation. Handled correctly a guest with a complaint can be turned into a valued and loyal guest. The bartender will be watched by all the guests at the bar to see how the situation is handled. It is essential therefore that the bartender retains the confidence of the guests at the bar so that credibility is not damaged.


Therefore, following the procedure outlined here, it is possible for both the bartender and the guest to retain ‘face’ whilst also feeling satisfied by the outcome of the situation.

3.5) YOU and Your Bar Do not forget why you have decided to work as a bartender and what your bar needs from you. Your skills as a bartender are vital but after that, YOU as a person have been employed for your character and personality. The most fabulous drinks in the world served by a miserable and impolite bartender does not make for a pleasant experience, just as much as a cheeky smile and good wit will not make up for poor quality products and sloppy bartending, it must be a merging of both of these aspects. Ensure that you continue to expand your knowledge and that you have complete confidence with all the products and recipes on your bar. Knowledge breeds confidence, and this confidence will allow you to relax and allow your personality to come through. Remember that an organised, efficient and knowledgeable bartender must also be a host, ensuring that all aspects of the guests visit to the bar are attended to. This includes the guest environment: • Lighting • Sound and music • Temperature • Ventilation (air quality) • Cleanliness • Front of house organisation (tables, seating, bar top) Come to work in a positive attitude, make the most of your time and enjoy yourself. This attitude will help those around you and spread through the rest of the team and even out to your guests. Never forget that, hard as this industry can be, we are very lucky to have this profession. We live in the memories of guests where we have given them nights they will remember forever – impromptu gatherings, birthdays, anniversaries and the rest – we meet and talk to people that we would never get the chance to in our everyday lives, and we make friendships and connections that can last forever – so come to work with a smile and enjoy what you do.



Outcome 8 – Display Knowledge of Responsible Serving of Alcohol Section Sub-Section

Section Description


Responsible Serving of Alcohol


Describe Current Legislation in Respect of Serving Alcohol



Identify the Key Issues in Current Legislation Related to those Serving Alcohol



Identify Different Strengths of Alcoholic Drinks by ‘Alcohol by Volume’ (ABV)



Describe the Effect that Alcohol has on the Human Body



Identify the Characteristics of a Customer under 115 the Influence of Alcohol


Identify Sensible Drinking Limits for Both Males and Females


Identify Good Practice in Avoiding Conflict Situations

Pg. No.




1. Responsible Service of Alcohol Serving alcohol responsibly is not only a legal requirement, but is simply good business and provides a safer and more pleasant environment to work in.

1.1) Describe Current Legislation in Respect of Serving Alcohol The current licensing act has four main objectives: • The Prevention of Crime and Disorder • Public Safety • The Prevention of Public Nuisance • The Protection of Children from harm Which cover the four licensable activities; ‘The sale of Alcohol by retail’ ‘The supply of alcohol on club premises’ As well as; ‘The provision of regulated entertainment’ ‘The provision of late night refreshment’

1.2) Identify the Key Issues in Current Legislation Related to those Serving Alcohol It is an offence to; • Serve alcohol to someone who is already drunk • Serve alcohol to someone who is under the legal age to purchase alcohol • Serve alcohol to someone outside of the licensing hours • Sell alcohol by non-legal measures • Sell alcohol without being authorised to do so by the DPS or a Personal License holder with the authority to do so • Miss-sell products to guests

Action taken to prevent contravention of legislation; • Refusing to serve further alcohol to a guest who is already drunk. Offer soft alternative. • Ask for Photo ID (Passport, Photo Drivers License or Recognised Photo ID) from anyone who you suspect may be under the legal drinking age. (Some bars will ask for ID from all drinkers who appear to be under the age of 21, to ensure greater efficiency). • Awareness of the premises’ licensing restrictions and accurate awareness of the time. • Be aware of the legal measures for the correct service of different alcoholic beverages. Ensure that the measures used are the same as those stated in the ‘Premises License Summary’ (25ml / 35ml), and that the ‘Weights and Measures’ sign and ‘Premises License Summary’ are both on display in the bar. Ensure that the premises has the correct equipment to serve legally stated measures.


• Ensure that permission to serve alcohol on the premises has been signed. • Ensure that the guest is buying what they have requested. Bottled products contain the original product as stated on the bottle, at the full and correct strength. Not passing off one product as another – Pepsi for Coke

1.3) Identify Different Strengths of Alcoholic Drinks by ‘Alcohol by Volume’ (ABV) The Alcohol content of a drink is described by ABV Alcohol by Volume: • Is expressed as a percentage (%) • This percentage describes the amount of alcohol contained within the volume of the entire drink. • Therefore, if a 1Litre bottle of spirit has an ABV of 40%, this means that 40% of that drink is alcohol, which, in this example, would equate to 400ml of Alcohol.

1.4) Describe the Effect that Alcohol has on the Human Body Alcohol has many effects on the human body, some mild, such as increased confidence and others more severe, such as memory loss or nausea. The amount of alcohol consumed will depend how acutely the body reacts to alcohol, as well as the potential damage caused through long term abuse.

Short term

Vision Dexterity and co-ordination Nausea Emotional state Memory loss

Long Term

Addiction Liver, heart and blood pressure problems Skin quality Weight gain Reduced fertility

1.5) Identify the Characteristics of a Customer under the Influence of Alcohol Loud Over Confident or Aggressive Dilated pupils Lack of co-ordination Nausea Un-consciousness

1.6) Identify Sensible Drinking Limits for Both Males and Females 1 unit = 8g or 10ml of alcohol (e.g. 1 unit = ½ pint of beer at 3.6% ABV or 25ml of spirit at 40% ABV) Safe limits for men = no more than 3-4 units per day or no more than 21 units per week Safe limits for women = no more than 2-3 units per day or no more than 14 units per week.

1.7) Identify Good Practice in Avoiding Conflict Situations • Avoid cheap promotions • Pre-empt - Not serving those already too drunk – offer soft alternative. • Good communication before situation escalates – What behaviour is not acceptable in the premises as well as what is legally unacceptable. • Use of security and management


Has been in the industry for over sixteen years and has worked with local, national and global clients as a consultant for more than ten years under his company name, ‘Bar Experts’; over the years, training hundreds of bartenders, setting up new enterprises, and turning bars and restaurants around, as well as writing bespoke recipes that can be found all over the world.

Š City College Plymouth 2009

Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge


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