6th of February – The International Bartender Day
Why it’s a good idea to become a bartender?
A good bartender not only can make fancy drinks with an umbrella, but can also suggest the right drink fitting a meal and the guest’s mood. A perfect bartender, besides the traits above, can also talk about any topic, and sometimes simply be silent together with their client. Because a bartender is not just the guy who makes drinks, it is also someone who likes people and knows about them!
Nearly every movie has some bar scene, because that’s how life is, with drinking to both successes and failures something that is stronger than coffee. We usually celebrate successes among friends, because it’s so nice to celebrate a promotion, engagement or child’s birth. It is common for the cult phrase to be uttered: „A round for everyone on me!” But smaller or bigger failures often have to be suffered alone. When depressed, we go to a bar, order one drink and then another. By the third one, a good bartender should start a talk. And that way they become our confidant. All it takes is for them to simply listen and let us pour our heart out, because a bartender is kind of like confessor and a psychologist at once.
Why is it a good idea to become a bartender?
It is one of those professions where starting doesn’t require you to graduate any schools or finish any courses. Making impressive cocktails is something one can learn. That’s why the future employer during the recruitment phase mostly pays attention to the personality and predispositions. What matters at this job is being able to easily communicate, elasticity, patience and good spirit. A bartender is kind of a showcase of a business, which is why there’s also emphasis on appearance.
When working as a bartender, you certainly don’t have to worry about routine and boredom. Besides the regular customers you know like the back of your hand, every day you have a chance to meet now people, make new relationships and connections. One certain upside is good wages. A bartender, besides the basic salary, can also make just as much out of the tips. As the www.wynagrodzenia.pl website shows, in January 2018 the full monthly salary (median) on this position was 2 542 PLN gross. Every second bartender got a salary of 2 118 PLN to 3 306 PLN. 25% of the lowest paid bartenders made below 2 118 PLN gross. The wages of above 3 306 PLN gross could be expected by 25% of bartenders. It is the best to be a bartender in Warsaw, Sopot or Nowy Sacz.
Besides the upsides, like in every profession, there are also the downsides. Among them are certainly: 8-12 hour work day – mostly in the upright position. Even when there are no guests, a bartender should not be sitting, in their free time they have to keep the bar clean and orderly or check the amount of alcohol regularly. It can also happen that the bartender is exposed to unpleasant situations or discussion with intoxicated individuals, in such case they have to decided and collected in order to react accordingly, which is ending the conflict instead of adding grease to the fire.
How to become a bartender?
Although working behind a bar is mostly chosen by young men who see the job as temporary, like until they graduate, many of them start to like being a professional bartender. Specialized bartender trainings and courses are run in Poland by, among others, the Polish Bartenders Association (PBA). It’s a non-government organization founded and run by bartenders for bartenders, the main purpose of which is to raise qualifications and creativity of bartenders and promote the highest working standards at this profession. During such courses one can learn the working culture and proper guest service, learn the secrets of making the most popular drinks, the rules of composing cocktails (mixology) and serving particular alcohol in the right glass, as well as the art of garnish and presentation.
Bartender magic, or the Molecular Mixology
After the basic bartender course it is a good idea to check out the Molecular Mixology. This is definitely a higher level of advancement, which covers learning about the methods and techniques used in the molecular gastronomy and their use at the bartender job.
Contrary to a popular belief, making drinks using the methods of molecular mixology is not magic, but pure science, which consists of influencing the flavor or aroma of different ingredients of a cocktail using things like liquid nitrogen or specialist mechanical devices (i.e. homogenizer or vacuum packers). This is where strict knowledge of physical and chemical processes used when preparing drinks is needed. The courses covered by this topic are also offered by the Polish Bartenders Association (PBA).
Meet the bartender of the Academy - Kamil Sakowski
Behind the bar of the Academy stands Kamil Sakowski, who has been working in the Warsaw gastronomy for ten years now. As he says, at first he didn’t want to be a bartender, but by accident he had to cover for his friend, that’s when he got into it and decided to get involved in this profession for longer. To the question: why is it a good idea to become a bartender? He has a short answer: „To communicate with people and be able to creatively make new drinks and cocktails”. Just for us, he revealed a recipe for his own drink called „Memory of the summer”, which is easy to make at home.
Memory of the summer
40 ml of vodka
20 ml of lemon juice
20 ml of mango syrup
10 ml of sugar syrup
Mix all the ingredients, pour into a glass full of ice, decorate with mint.
When drinking it, it is recommended to sit down in a comfy chair and close eyes. Going back to the memory of the last vacation, sea noises, lazy wind and temperature above 25 degrees Celsius, it is guaranteed.
We wish all the bartender, especially Kamil, all the best on their holiday!