Alcohol enthusiasts like you and I have thought about bartending at some point or another, whether it's for the money, the evening/nighttime work hours and super fun work environment, meeting new people constantly, or just levelling up with the insane swag points that being behind a bar add. Except, being a bartender requires so much more skill, knowledge and practice than you think, because a good bartender always makes it look so easy.
Well, your bartender-dreams can now be fulfilled. BartenderOne recently started their bartending school at 2021 St. Denis, expanding out from Ontario, and their staff has got your back with all of their drink experience. Most importantly, they keep it FUN. I checked out their one week accelerated course, but they keep their classes flexible with a few alternative options for one/two week or weekend courses as well.
The courses are all taught at BarB1 during the daytime, and what's awesome about that is that you get to learn in an actual bar environment and not some bullshit simulated experience, like some classroom in a community center. Ain't nobody got time for that. You learn in a bar, so that you're prepared to work in one.
The owners Tony Galdes and Jonathan Homier teach the courses, keeping theory balanced with anecdotes about their real-life experiences, showing students how to make perfect cocktails/shooters--and always breaking to let students try out what they learned to make. It really helps solidify what you learn when you can practice it immediately, who would've thought.
But what really stayed with me is how much attention they paid to the smallest details of presentation and serving--things that make a huge difference to the customer's overall experience. The course emphasized the logic behind a bar's organized chaos: if you know exactly why the alcohol bottles are placed in a certain order, or why you serve a cocktail in a lowball glass and not a cocktail glass, you're much less likely to fuck up when you're actually serving.
To change things up, this course featured a Master Class by Simon Lesperance, a local molecular mixologist who's pretty much the top authority on the subject. So, molecular mixology's all the rage globally right now, because who doesn't want complex chemistry+cocktails to interact for crazy drink deliciousness all up in your mouth and brain? Even though Lesperance's molecular techniques were kind of ambitious for a n00b like me, and most of his jargon kind of flew over my head, it was really sick to watch him work over his bubbling cauldrons and try the mouthgasm that was the end result drink.
The course also takes a day to teach students some flair bartending, and you've really got to swap your butterfingers for some spidey skills to master this part and wow onlooking customers. Flashiness behind the bar will get you everywhere, and if you're casually juggling bottles as you make a martini, that biddy you're serving is probably going to tip you hard--and you're probably going to get that added perk that comes with being a swaggy bartender: starry-eyed customers that slip you their digits in awe. Because fuck, who knows what else those hands could do.
The last part of the course puts students in an actual bartending situation, where they practice taking orders from customers, making their drinks, and charging them--the whole sha-bang. Here, their skill/speed/charisma is evaluated, and their certification granted (or not, if they do an awful job). This bit is really important because if you're trying to get a job in a crazy swamped bar, all that really counts is your experience. Employers usually just don't give a shit about theoretical training, it's all about whether or not you can actually prove yourself in a real bartending situation.
I'm going to come right out and say it: if you want to learn how to be a real bartender with skills more legit than just pouring beers and rum&cokes, do yourself a favour and check out BartenderOne.