Working behind the bar

By Rich Helmin


Making drinks behind the bar is a great thing to learn, especially for young adults who are looking to earn some extra cash.

Working the bar may seem tough considering that you have to memorize what goes in each drink, but it’s not as hard as people make it out to be.

Depending on the bar that you work at, whether it being a restaurant, club or banquet hall, you will have certain drinks to make. Not all bars make every single drink, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to know all of the drinks.

Knowing what goes in each drink may seem hard at first because it has to be a quick process, but usually the ingredient of the drink is in its title. Sometimes customers might give you a weird drink name that you get stumped on. If this happens, don’t fret! The customers won’t mind telling you what is in the drink and this is helpful for when someone asks for that drink again.

After you have gotten the drinks packed down, the next step is learning to ID people. Knowing how to ID people is probably the most crucial piece when bar tending. Businesses take this very seriously because if someone is served under aged, the business may lose their liquor license. According to, bar tenders have to check the ID on anyone who looks under the age of 30. Don’t be scared to ID a customer because your job is on the line—especially if you serve alcohol to a minor. Is it worth losing your job over a drink? Usually people take showing their ID to you as a compliment because it makes them feel young. Sometimes if you ask the older people to show you their ID, they might throw a few bucks in the tip jar.

Making tips bar tending is great way to earn some side cash. Usually at a club or a banquet hall, people usually tip fairly decent. Getting good tips is also based on how your personality is. If you are having a great time and are showing your great mood to the customer, they will probably leave you a good tip, but if you are in a bad mood and not showing too much energy or not making their drink the way they want it, then don’t expect much out of them. It’s all about the personality and energy level you bring. At the end of the night, the bar tenders that worked the same party usually split their tips up evenly with one another.

Bar tending is a great experience for young adults. If you are looking to earn some extra side cash and you are 21, look into bar tending. It’s also fun because you will most likely be in an upbeat environment.