Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Dec 14 2003 - Intro to Bartending Class (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Amy Pickwick
Participants:Amy Pickwick, Mark Zawodny, Jared Dant, Jason Craver, Joanne Milne, stephen pheiffer, Adam Miller, Colin Babb, Katie Stofer, Patrick Campion, Dana Kuan, Cassie Thomas

Write Up:
Waking up Sunday morning to the snow certainly threw our plans for a loop - getting to and from the metro stations in sneakers through the slush, proved to be chilly. But, we still had the few brave souls that ventured out for this unbelievable session!

The Professional Bartending School of Arlington, Virginia, taught us so much about mixing drinks and put on a spectacular show for us. Our instructor, Moe, has appeared on TV (Jenny Jones) with his juggling acts and currently works at Polly Esthers in DC.

Sitting at a real bar as we learned, there were 4 sets of brand liquors/liqueurs in front of a long mirror, and 9 speed rack/preparation areas behind the bar, and 30 stools along the front of the bar. All of the products we mixed with were colored water, and the garnishes were Styrofoam (celery, limes, lemons, cherries, etc) or Legos (oranges).

We learned about the different types of serving glasses, bar tools, how to chill as opposed to ice a glass, how to free pour, about presentation, allowing the customer to watch how much alcohol they get, proper shake method to not get anyone wet, about the speed rack, and brand liquors. We also learned the proper pour order for each category of drinks, and sometimes for specific drinks.

We went over several drinks in each of the following categories: Highball, Sour Mix, Rocks (Liquor/Liqueur), Martinis & Manhattans, and Shooters.

After the first two lessons, we each took 15 minute turns (in 2 groups) behind the bar to serve up our drinks to our 'real' customers (each other) while Moe watched and helped the students. (Also, we took quick turns at the end of the session again and practiced the last few lessons).

Towards the end, several people asked how to make their more favorite concoctions. In addition, we all 'ah'ed and oh'ed' as we watched both the making and the pouring of the 'stop light' shooter. The grand finale was Moe putting on a show for us juggling bar mixing equipment (even with the drink in the shaker)!

For those of you that wanted to know what you need in a basic "home" bar setup - you need the speed rack items (Vodka, Scotch, Gin, Whiskey, Rum, Brandy, Tequila, and Vermouth <---for the home bar, it's not essential to have both Sweet and Dry Vermouth, and Grenadine). In addition, you'll want to have Peach Schnapps, Green Melon Liquor, Triple Sec, Amaretto, and the mixers. You'll then be able to handle a great majority of drinks.

The PBS offered all students $150 off, if they order a 40-hour class by the end of the week or $100 off by the end of the month. Don't forget about the referral program for after that time period! Remember, you can order the class now, pay for it now, and take it later. Their schedule is very accommodating; see their web site for details. Let me know if you are interested, because I know some people really interested in going now, and you can try and form a small group and go together.

As if they hadn't already given us enough for our budget (free) session, we all got early holiday gifts too! The PBS presented us all with a 175 page book called "Simply Shooters" with over 1,250 recipes for coast to coast shooters!

After the session was over, many of us, walked through the freezing wind and cold rain to go to Whitlow's on Wilson for drinks and food. That was a much needed treat for our bellies.

If you missed this session, look for possible future sessions - I think they are excited to have us back!

Thanks to the PBS and especially instructor Moe for a magnificent show and much knowledge!

--Amy Pickwick

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