Bartending Techniques

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 of oil.


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.

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

Drink Too Thin: 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 of ice.

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.

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 the glass. It might fall into your drink and make it salty or sugary.


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.

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.

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 (the 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.

Tip: If you don't have a bar spoon, use a cherry to make your layers.

Frosting and Chilling Glasses

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.

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 set for a minute and dump the ice and water.


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.

Tip: If you don't have a muddler, use the handle of a big plastic spoon.

Opening 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).

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

Opening 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.

Serving Wine to a Guest: When you open the bottle, present the cork to your guest and pour a little 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).

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

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.

Free Pouring

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

Learning 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.

Be Aware: There are many kinds of speed pourers. Every speed pourer pours different amounts of liquor. You are going to have to modify your count according to the speed pourer that you are using.


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).

Using a Standard Shaker: 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.


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.


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.