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The drink guide every bartender should have

Article by Fred Newtz

Being a good bartender is easy, being an educated bartender takes hours of practice and parrot learning. Being able to make a drink a customer will ask for no matter how strange the drink may be is what will separate you from the rest of the crowd. With so many drinks on the market how does one go about learning and more importantly trying to remember so many drinks what to a sane individual would all be the same. Begin with a pen and paper!

There’s a reason why bartenders are considered to be such high risk personal to cover by insurance companies, because we are! The truth is we are not sane people; we are an individual who thrive under pressure and that’s why every drink is unique. Ask a barman to recommend a drink and a 45minuite conversation will ensue about strength, texture, color and even the bitterness of the respective drink being scrutinized.

With all these recipes that you can learn none will be as effective as creating your own. Entering the night life with intent to build a career from it will only further advance your career if you create your own drinks. An example of this is in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Jager bombs are common drink through out the world. Being Jagermeister in a shot glass placed in a tumbler glass. The tumbler glass is then filled to the rim of the tot glass with a fizzy energy drink. A bartender created the budget bomb. The budget bomb follows the same principle but instead of Jagermeister they use cheap brandy. He also replaced the energy drink with a local beer.

There is however a standard, one that most barmen should know or at lest have a list in case they don’t remember.

Alabama Slammer

30ml Amaretto

30ml Southern comfort

1 dash lemon juice


Mix the Amaretto and southern comfort in a mixing jar filled with ice. Pour in a chilled cocktail glass. Add dash of lemon juice to the cocktail glass, stir and serve.

American Beauty

1 Table spoon of orange juice.

1 table spoon of grenadine

15ml Vermouth (Dry)

15ml Brandy

1 splash crème de Menthe (White)

1 dash port


Pour all ingredients in mixing jar with ice and shake. Pour contents into a cocktail glass and add the dash of port at the end.

Bahama Mama

1 dash Amaretto

1 dash Grenadine

60ml Pineapple juice

60ml Rum

2ml Sugar syrup

1 slice of pineapple

1 quarter apple


Mix fruit first and blend according to texture desired. Then add all contents to the blender and mix accordingly. Pour drink over crushed ice and serve with cherry garnish.

Bloody Mary

30ml vodka

1 dash Tabasco sauce

1 dash lemon juice

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

120ml Tomato juice

Salt and Pepper (Depends on customer)


Pour all the contents into a glass filled with ice. Then stir contents and add tomato juice. Stir again properly. Add salt and pepper as to customer’s discretion.

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