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Bartending 101 Mixologist tips and tricks
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Top 20 Bartending 101 Mixologist Tips and Tricks

lemon drop cocktail bartending 101 mixologist tips
Martini made with our premium Unaged Rye Whiskey and sweet vermouth

21 Bartending 101 Mixologist Tips and Tricks from a Zen Master.

Bartending 101 or maybe Mixologist tips. Below you will find the top 20 bartender mixology tips, to use in your bar. Let’s dig right into them and get to mixing with this course.

Below you will find the top 20 bartending mixology tips and ticks every great bartender must know and learn.

Mixologist Tips and Tricks Bartending 101

Below you will find 21 of the best mixologist tips and tricks in helping you understand how to become better in Bartender with our course “Bartending 101” by Iowa Legendary Rye and Brand Ambassador, Michael Kaleikini. Former food enquirer editor in Las Vegas, NV.

1. Adding a Twist

Let us start, this bartending 101 instruction, adding a twist. When you are going to use a twist, rub the rim of the glass with the twist and then twist it and drop it over the drink to add a little bit of oil.

2. Blending

If you don’t have a commercial blender, I suggest that you use crushed ice. Crushed ice is easier to blend. Place your drink ingredients into the blender cup first. If you are using fruit for your drink, blend that first and then add the crushed ice. Start blending at a low speed and gradually increase to medium. Blend until smooth.

Useful Mixologist Tips: To keep the texture of your drink for a longer period of time, use a chilled glass.

3. Drink Too Thin

One of bartending 101 staples of mixology is if you see a big hole in your drink when you are blending it. That means that your drink is too thin and you need to add a little bit of ice.

4. Drink Too Thick

If your drink is not moving when you are blending it, that means that your drink is too thick and you need to add more juice.
Perfect Blend: If your drink is moving and you see a little hole in your drink while blending it, that means that your drink is ready.

5. Coating the Rim of a Glass

Coating with Salt: Place kosher salt on a plate. Moist the outside of the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Dip the outside edge of the glass into the salt.

Coating with Sugar: Use the same technique as with the salt but use an orange wedge or a lemon wedge if you are making a lemon drop.
Be Careful: Be very careful not to put salt or sugar inside of the glass. It might fall into your drink and make it salty or sugary.

6. Flaming

I don’t recommend it. It is dangerous. You might burn yourself or the person that is drinking the flaming drink. If a customer burns trying to drink a flaming drink, he/she might sue the place.
Caution: When flaming, make sure you have baking soda and a wet towel in case of an accident.
To get alcohol to flame successfully, heat it in a saucepan over medium heat. Warm it until you see bubbles beginning to form on the edge of the saucepan. Use a long match to ignite the liquor and then pour it into a drink.

7. Flaming Brandy:

  • First, heat the brandy snifter.
  • Then, pour warmed brandy into the snifter and ignite.

Tip: You may preheat liquor in the microwave for about 12 seconds.

8. Floating and Layering

Floating is when you add a layer of liquor or liqueur on top of a drink.
Layering is when you add many liquors or liqueurs one on top of the other without mixing them. To make layered drinks, you have to pour the heaviest (highest density) liquors or liqueurs first, then slowly pour the lighter ones on top. Use the back of a bar spoon when layering.
You may use a Specific Gravity Chart to view the density of liqueurs and liquors.

Useful Mixologist Tips: If you don’t have a bar spoon, use cherry to make your layers.

Frosting and Chilling Glasses

10. Frosting a Glass: 

To frost, a glass, just put it in the freezer for about an hour. If you want it really frosted, dip the glass in water (shake off any excess water) and put it in the freezer for about an hour. Always handle the glass by its stem or bottom.

11. Chilling a Glass: 

The best way to chill a glass is by putting it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have time, you can put ice in your glass and fill it with water. Let it sit for a minute and dump the ice and water.

12. Muddling

To muddle means to mash, to jumble, to mix or to crush ingredients. To muddle ingredients, you need a cocktail muddler (wooden rod). Place the ingredients into a glass and muddle them (push down and twist) to release their juices.

Useful Mixologist Tips: If you don’t have a muddler, use the handle of a big plastic spoon.

13. How to Open a Champagne Bottle

Remove the wire and the foil around the champagne bottle. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle pointing away from people or valuable objects. Hold the cork with one hand and the bottle with the other. Twist the bottle to remove the cork (do not twist the cork).

Useful Mixologist Tips: If you are afraid that the cork is going to shoot, place a bar towel over the cork when you are opening the bottle.

14. How to Open a Wine Bottle

  • Using a Waiter’s Corkscrew: Cut the foil around the neck with the knife of the corkscrew.
  • Remove the foil and wipe the bottle top. Insert the screw (sometimes called worm) into the cork’s center and twist clockwise until it is completely inside the cork.
  • Place the lever of the corkscrew on the lip of the bottle. Holding the bottleneck firmly, slowly pull the handle of the corkscrew straight up until the cork is removed.

15. Serving Wine to a Guest: 

When you open the bottle, present the cork to your guest and pour a little bit of wine into his/her glass. The guest will smell the cork and taste the wine. If it is to his/her satisfaction, fill the glass with wine (don’t fill the wine glass all the way).

Here is a Tip: Always have a bar towel with you to wipe the bottleneck after serving and in case of an accident.

16. Carrying a Wine Glass: 

Always carry a wine glass by its stem. If you carry it by the bowl of the wine glass, you will change the temperature of the wine.

17. Pouring (Free Pouring)

Free pouring is not a hard thing to do. You need to practice in order to master this technique.

How to Free Pour 

The first thing you should do is to get an empty 1-liter bottle and a speed pourer. Fill the empty bottle with water (don’t fill it all the way) and put the pourer. Then grab the bottle by the neck, lift it and flip it upside down to start pouring into a 1 oz jigger (do this at the sink). When pouring into the jigger, count until the jigger is full. Pour out the water and continue this process. Always count at the same speed.

Getting More Practice: 

Now that you know your count for 1 oz. You need to practice but without a jigger. Get 5 empty glasses and place next to each other forming a row. Try to pour 1 oz into each glass without stopping. Start pouring into the first glass, then you move to the next one until to get to the last one. Now, measure the water of each glass to make sure that you poured 1 oz into each glass.

Pouring Different Quantities:

 Now, you need to learn how to pour different quantities. You already know how to pour 1 oz. To pour 2 oz, all you need to do is to double your 1 oz count. If you want to pour other measurements, just modify your count to achieve the measurement desired.

Pour Counts:

How to Free Pour
How Do You Count When Pouring Alcohol?
The generally accepted free pouring technique and bartending counting method is to use a 4 count and have each number equal half an ounce poured.

But counting to four doesn’t make it the right amount. Counting to four at the right speed is what you’re after. And the key to doing that is practice. Grab a bottle (the size of a fifth of alcohol), fill it with water, add a pour spout, and get your 1-2-3-4 cadence down to equal .5 ounces per count.

Useful Mixologist Tips: A great way to practice is by using wine glasses with pour lines. Pick a few up and you’ll know exactly what ounces you’re hitting during your counting.

How Many Counts Is a 1 Oz Pour?

A 1-ounce pour is 2 counts using a pour spout. A good way to get there is by using “one, one-thousand” as a counting device. So you’ll free pour count “one, one-thousand, two, one-thousand,” and then stop.

How Long of a Pour is an Ounce?

Given the above, an ounce pour is 2 counts. That’s roughly one second of pouring.

How Many Counts Is a 1.5 Oz Pour?

Using the four-count method, a 1.5-ounce pour is 3 counts using a pour spout. That means you’ll start pouring and say “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand” and stop.

How Many Counts Is a 2 Oz Pour?

A 2-ounce pour is 4 counts using a pour spout. So you’ll count “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand” and stop.

How Many Ounces Is a 4 count pour?

A 2-ounce pour is typically 4 counts. But only if you’re free pouring using a drinking spout and the free pouring technique of the 4-count.

How Many Counts Are in a Double Shot?

A double shot is 3 ounces of liquor, which is 6 counts using a free pour spout.

18. The Long Pour

A long pour refers to a bartending 101 free pour where they lift the bottle up and away from the glass and let the liquor fall farther. It doesn’t have any impact on the volume of the pour, just the simple aesthetics of the pouring process. Ever wonder why-exactly do it, then? Some bartenders integrate it into their style. It can also be a useful trick to use to appear like someone is getting a generous pour when, in fact, they’re just getting the same amount from farther away.

Useful Mixologist Tips: There are many different kinds of speed pourers. Every speed a pourer pours different amounts of liquor. You will have to modify your count according to the speed pourer that you are using.

19. Shaking:

 Using a Boston Shaker and Mixing Glass: 

  • Get the mixing glass and fill it halfway with ice. Pour your ingredients.
  • Place the Boston shaker over the mixing glass and give it a tap. Start shaking (up and down) for about 10 seconds.
  • Remove the mixing glass and strain the shaker into a chilled glass.
  • If the shaker and mixing glass get stuck, just tap the shaker on the side (make sure that the shaker is on the bottom and the mixing glass is on the top).

20. Standard Shakers

  • Fill the shaker halfway with ice.
  • Pour your ingredients and cover the shaker with the strainer and the lid.
  • Grab the shaker and place your index finger on top of the lid. Start shaking (up and down) for about 10 seconds.
  • Remove the lid and strain into a chilled glass.

21. Stirring

  • To stir a drink, use a bar spoon or a straw. Stir your drink just to mix the ingredients.
  • Don’t stir too much because the ice will dilute the liquor.
  • If you are drinking a carbonated drink, stir it gently to maintain the sparkle.

21. Straining

  • Using a Standard Shaker: A standard shaker has a strainer. After shaking your drink, take off the lid and strain it into a chilled glass.
  • Using a Boston Shaker and Mixing Glass: After shaking your drink, remove the mixing glass. Use a strainer to strain your drink.

Enjoying our courses on informative information and techniques every great bartender must know and learn.

Continue on with our next course:

Important Bartending 101 Tools for your Household

For mastering classic cocktails and learning the best ways to combine rye whiskey into them to grant them a better favor overall, bringing them to a new level of greatness try out our post on 66 rye whiskey cocktails. You will be glad you did, I guarantee it.

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