The Drinking Class: Industry Legends Create Harvard of Bartending Schools
Half the art of becoming a bartender is lying your way through the door. I got my first bartending job after the owner of a restaurant I waited tables at asked if I had bartended. The previous bartender had just quit. Without hesitation, I nodded yes.
She looked me up and down and before she asked another question I grabbed the shaker and told her I would whip something up. It was rum and fruit juice. Lots of both ingredients but especially more of the former. By the time she finished her dubious rum punch, I had the job.
So it goes without saying that I had little or no respect for the suckers at bartending school who take classes on blue drinks, pink drinks and how to flip bottles. What a bunch of idiots. That was until my present bar manager informed me she had attended bartending school and she's one of my favorite bar gals. (She hid that part during the interview.) I decided to revise my policy: only some bartending students are suckers.
Now I take it all back. Doug Frost, who is a phenomenal booze educator (both a Master Sommelier and Master of Wine) told me he is starting a bartending school with Dale Degroff and just about anyone who is anyone in the cocktail trade.
It's called the Beverage Alcohol Resource or B.A.R. It will be headquartered in New York and there are two-day, four-day and twelve-week courses. The courses are pretty pricey but I can imagine they'll be worth it. If for nothing more than spending time with living legends.
Can you imagine Dale Degroff as the dean of your school? Keggers will definitely be a little more sophisticated. Jello shooters will have to be made from a recipe in a 1911 cocktail guide using Cognac. Check it out.