The Life of a Bartender: How to Have a Blast While Raking in the Dough

The Life of a Bartender in New York

Bartending isn’t your average career. It takes a special person to embrace the fun, fast-paced chaos that greets these drink makers night after night. If that sounds like you, there are a few things you should consider before trying your hand at bartending in the Big Apple. Why should you do it? What does it take to become one of the best bartenders in NYC? Where will you work? And how can you find great mixology classes in NYC? Here we go …

Why Become a Bartender?

People jump behind the counter for any number of reasons. Some enjoy the nightlife. Some have a passion for fine whiskey and craft beer. Others simply need to pay the rent. Whatever the motivation, there’s something for everyone in this fast-paced career—excitement, fun, sociability, hard work, good tips, and plenty of alcohol (although you probably won’t be able to drink it on the job).

There are a few tried-and-true ways to determine whether you have the passion to mix drinks for a living. If you spend at least part of your time at every club watching wide-eyed as the bartender works her magic; if you obsess over the fine details of mixology; if you’re always sipping and critiquing the drink in your hand instead of gulping it down, then this career might be for you. If you simply like to throw back a few drinks and get wasted, you’re probably better off on the paying side of the bar.

What Does It Take to Be an Awesome Bartender?

If passion were all it took, at least half the customers at any given bar would be pouring and blending. Alas, it’s not all fun, games, and drinks. The truth is that bartending also takes knowledge, skill, and good old-fashioned hard work. Bartending can be demanding. It’s a business, and one that is highly regulated.

First, you’ll need to bring a desire to serve and a great attitude. Bartending is, after all, a service job. Your main task, no matter where you work, is to keep the customer happy. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know your drinks as well. Finally, you’ll have to worry about safety, your own and your customer’s.

In other words, show up to work as if you’re ready to party the night away, and you might as well start looking for a new career now. That being said, it’s really not hard to have a blast while serving up awesome drinks to happy patrons.

Where Do Bartenders Work?

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Skilled bartenders find work in all sorts of places, from the seediest dives to the most upscale hangouts, restaurants, and resorts. In other words, anywhere drinks are served. Each establishment tends to have its own bartending philosophy.

Some focus on churning out drinks as fast as possible; others provide a more laid-back, luxurious atmosphere. Some employers simply want a bartender who knows their stuff. Others, more interested in creating a great neighborhood bar experience, prefer to hire staff with a friendly attitude and an easy demeanor.

How to Become a Bartender in New York

Bartending in New York is an unforgettable experience. It’s a great gig, as far as gigs go. Unfortunately, it can be a tough field to break in to. There are typically more aspiring bartenders in the city than there are openings.

Since they aren’t exactly handing out bartending jobs in New York City, you’ll have to work hard to land one. That means going to a respected NYC bartending school like ABC Training Center.

Located in the Bronx, ABC’s curriculum includes 40 hours of bartending classes in NYC, real training experience at a local bar, and job placement assistance. If you think bartending might be your thing and you’re looking for a leg up, then ABC Training Center’s NYC bartending school is the perfect place to start.