The basic course for all bartender apprentices. Focused on history, theory and practice!
Learn the A-B-C of the B-A-R! This introduction course allows you to familiarize yourself with the different elements found behind the wood, and thanks to which mixologists of renown do their thing, night after night. Tools, equipment, glassware, ice… How does a POS system work? How does one take inventory?
Bar teams are often compared to a ship’s crew, and the roles, and functions, of each crucial member will be here detailed. Barbacks, Bartenders, head bartenders, managers, owners : who does what? What sets apart a bartender form an exceptional one? How can you drive yourself to achieve excellence? At the end of the day, what used to be hidden behind the bars of today’s best establishments will hold no secrets from you anymore!
At the end of the day, the training ends with a final lesson; how to pour a beer and, of course, the art of tasting.
Ale, IPA, Stout : the time has come to learn more about the different types of beer, the process that makes them unique, and also wines.
Fermented or distilled? We will demonstrate how distillation works. In other words : what the heck are spirits? To fully understand this fascinating process, we will discuss the history, as well as different techniques involved in the production of vodka.
This will be thirsty work! As happy hour hits, we will learn how to concoct one of the great cocktails of our era : the martini! Shaken or stirred? Sorry, Mr.Bond, for training purposes, it’ll be stirred.
All good cocktails share a common ingredient; a great story! Where does the term « cocktail » come from? What is a speakeasy? In what city was the Daiquiri created? What was Frank Sinatra’s favourite libation? What about Humphrey Bogart? Or Janis Joplin? From the origin of cocktails to the classic Polynesian drinks, with a few stops in the prohibition era, and back to modern mixology, this class is bursting at the seems with legend and lore, stories as succulent as the cocktails that wetted them.
Snoop’s sippin’ on gin and juice, laid back, and we will follow suit since the time has come to learn about the craft and history of this fascinating spirit. Then it’s back to your shakers, we’ll be fixing up a « Sour ». Yum!
There’s a lot more to cocktails than spirits, and juice : syrups, bitters, aromatic cordials and such, make it possible for us to create delicious liquid gems. The quality of the selected ingredients, as well as the brands you choose, are paramount factors in crafting the optimal cocktail. As you might expect, mixologists have developed numerous techniques in order to obtain irreproachable products, but also how to store these marvels, as well as using them behind the bar.
What sets rum, cachaça, and agricole rum apart? We will demystify this question in the second half of this class. As we appreciate a tasting, we will invent a Tiki style drink, using a syrup of your own design.
A true classic never dies, and these timeless recipes have proven their worth. Any bartender worth his or her salt should know these tipples like the back of his or her hand. The Manhattan, Mint Julep, Southside, Margarita; now that’s mixology! On this, the fifth day of your training journey, we will study the greats, their history, and how to mix them in accord with true « Bon Vivant » philosophy.
Whisky or Whiskey? Scotch or Rye? Let us end on a high note, once again, by tasting a few drams of Uisce Beatha. We will also play with the notion of built-in drinks, right in the hearth of the glass.
A memorable cocktail needs balance. Achieving balance between flavours, by understanding proper dosing of acidity or sweetness is a critical notion to master. All the while, we will aim to understand that a true cocktail never hides it’s base spirit, on the contrary it makes it shine! Time to whip up unique, and original drinks, using tried and tested recipes from some of the great cocktail competitions in the world. How do you showcase a cocktail, and bind it to a fascinating story? What’s in a name? The masters will soon unveil their secrets!
As promised, we will discuss agave spirits, and all the wonders therein. We will compare a few tequilas, mezcals, rasilla, as well as concoct the perfect margarita! Salud!
As you will discover in your journey through the cocktail world, glasses can be both a source of joy…as well as endless frustration! On the one hand, the choice is nigh infinite; their hand-blown beauty is breathtaking, their history; a burning gem. But, as we head towards our nightcap, the costs associated to good glassware can be jaw dropping! How can you define your best options, where should you look for the best, and most extravagant of vessels?
Ice is ice, right? Heck no! You might be surprised to know that a lot of bars have valued employees whose sole job is to prepare the finest ice for the finest drinks. This capital ingredient is not to be taken lightly, nor should garnishes for that matter. Often the finishing touches to a thoroughly thought through recipe, ice and garnishes also give you a bit of freedom in dressing up, flavouring, and perfecting your cocktail creation.
By now, you must be on to us : we like to end the training session in style. On the menu of this seventh course, we will explore the rich and fascinating world of liqueurs, vermouth, and bitter Italian amari. As well as participate in the tasting, you will have the opportunity to prepare a unique cocktail, of your own invention.
At this point and time in your training, you might as well call yourself a pro! That’s why we feel it’s time to walk into the entrepreneur’s shoes, and demystify the role of your future employer. Managing inventory, purchases, employees; fixing schedules, keeping up with price listings, and calculating profit margins… Do you have what it takes to operate your own bar?
This is also the time to ask all the questions that are keeping you up at night, in the midst of the looming examination!
Let us finish in style, with a sampling of carefully distilled fruit brandies, or « eaux de vies ». We shall take pleasure in toasting a cocktail you will have dreamed up, and raise a glass to your hard work, and training! Cheers!