Our Approach to Training Bartenders
At Mixology Wine, our goal was to create the longest, most comprehensive bartending training in the United States.
In the Tri State area, we're very close to New York, which is the most innovative city in the world as far as drinks go, although London, San Francisco, and Tokyo are close. Bars in Philly, New Jersey, and the Lehigh Valley are very influenced by their NYC counterparts. With the economy the way it is, we wanted our students to have an overwhelming advantage in this job market. With unemployment so high, there's a lot of competition for good bartending jobs, that can pay upwards of $400.00 a shift. We wanted our graduates to be able to compete at this level, right out of school.
With the Mixology Essentials, we cover the fundamentals of bartending in extreme detail. We believe that bartenders should give as much respect, consideration, and courtesy to the customers who order a Old Fashioned, as to those that order Irish Car Bombs. Most of the training is hands on behind a real bar, with ice, soda guns etc. Learning to bartend is a lot more physical than something like accounting, it should feel like learning a sport, or learning how to type, after about 48 hours behind the bar, what used to feel awkward and strange feels second nature, and there's no substitute for putting those hours in, they're essential.
With the targeted advanced training that we do, our seminars on Wine, Beer, ServSafe, and Bar Flair, our goal was both to make our students exceptional, and to push their comfort zone a little. It's very rare in this industry to find someone that can do everything. Bartenders who know about beer, usually don't know how to make drinks. Bartenders who can flip bottles usually can't make drinks that taste very good etc. We wanted to have a program that would not only train graduates who were confident in their mastery of the different disciplines in this field, but that would push them! It's a lot of fun to get people who feel clumsy and uncoordinated to flip bottles and breathe fire, and it's a lot of fun to get people who feel clueless about wine, to where they recommend it and serve confidently.
Lastly, we wanted our students to have the experience of working in a real bar, so we developed our Bar Externship Program. We have 12 bars that are currently participating, and the students will work for one night in a bar, and they'll bring their friends, make drinks, and keep all of their tips. It looks good on their resume, and they can make back part of what they spent on classes, but we really do it for their confidence. When they work in a club, or a jazz bar, or a restaurant, and they see that it's just like the classroom, all of their anxiety goes away, and they're ready to work!