A Guide to Mixing Drinks

Article by Jim Slate

This article will not be a repository of exotic drink recipes; those exist in abundance across the web. Instead it is a guide to understanding the form and mentality one must take when preparing mixed beverages for guests and patrons.

The first thing you should consider when preparing drinks is hygiene. You are concocting with your hands a beverage which will eventually go into a person’s body. As such, maintaining impeccable hygiene is of the highest importance. You don’t want to get dirt or other debris in their glass while preparing the brew.

Before you start you should at the very least wash your hands with warm water and soap. Then dry them down thoroughly. As you work, be aware of where your hands go. Always wash them after doing unsavory acts like taking out the trash, or cleaning up refuse. Also be aware that your hands may get stick from fruit juices and other sugary mixes.

You also have to be careful about other bodily fluids. If you’re sick, it’s important not to attend to mixing drinks, as you can easily spread germs to your friends or customers. If you have to sneeze, avert your head and cover your mouth. You should do the same with coughing. Afterwards make sure tow ash your hands thoroughly.

When preparing beverages speed is of the essence. Nobody wants to wait around all day while you figure out the right proportions to concoct the brew. Instead you should focus on learning and memorizing the most popular drinks. If someone orders a beverage you aren’t familiar with, it is acceptable to ask them what’s in it, or to look the drink up in a guide book. However at that point you should make an effort to memorize the drink so that next time you will be better prepared.

One of the keys to being a good bartender is multitasking. You should always be involved in several actions at the same time. You have two hands; it is completely possible for each one to be doing at least one, and often multiple separate tasks. This allows you to set up several drinks at once, while also keeping the bar area clean, and ensuring that everyone has coasters, napkins, and anything else they might need.

Finally, you should try and be personable throughout the entire experience. Drinks are social by nature, and should be enjoyed with a smile and a friendly word. Try and make everyone feel included, and just be generally friendly throughout the experience.

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