How did you become a bartender?

24th October 2013
How did you become a bartender?

This week we focus on Naomi, one of our very appreciated instructors, to find out more about how she got into bartending and what the bartending profession is about for her. Below, you’ll find the answers we got when we learned how she became a bartender.

How did you get into bartending?
Honestly, I needed some extra cash! When I turned 18 I moved to Central London, it was nearly Christmas, so I applied as bar support in a small cocktail bar. It was tough at first, but easy to fall in love with! Then as soon as I had some basic knowledge I moved up, and started bartending.

How did you get involved with EBS?
I had already heard of EBS through word of mouth. After doing some research I visited the Barcelona destination and applied for work. I was then invited for the Instructors Convention, after successfully completing I was sent to Sweden, to have further training at the Stockholm destination. Once my training had finished, I moved back to Barcelona to start my first season!

10551721_813081262069551_5434291744113525357_oFriday tasting session at EBS Kos

How would you describe your style of bartending/what is your specialty?
Nearly every bar I have worked in has emphasized speed of service, so that has always been my main focus. Now EBS has taught me how to put more organization into what I do. Apart from that you have to have a wicked smile when you shake your cocktails.

What’s good music to be bartending to?
As long as its got a heavy beat, i’ll dance to it. I think it’s great when bartenders are dancing behind the bar, you make a better work flow.

In the International Bartender course, colored water is used for some of the classes; can you explain a little more about that?
Actually, using colored water during practice sessions is an essential part of our course. We like to say that mixing with alcohol teaches you “how to make drinks”, but practicing with colored water “makes perfect”. And perfection is what mixology is all about. The difference is that colored water allows for many repetitions, until you consistently can create a mix of perfect quantities. Regular alcohol won’t allow you to do that.

But we do use a large variety of alcohol for examinations and workshops, no worries! I consider our colored water an essential learning tool of EBS though…

What is your stand-out experience as a bartender so far?
Festivals! “24 hour, full power, no shower!” You get to meet so many people, it can get crazy and stressful, but at the end of it all, its a great show.

insane festival

Where have you travelled since you’ve become a bartender?
With EBS in just 8 months I have been to London, Stockholm, Barcelona and I’m going to Bad Gastien in a few weeks for ski season!

In what sense has bartending changed who you are?
You learn not to sweat the small stuff. You learn to order all your drinks at once.

What is the best aspect of bartending?
There will always be something new to learn in this profession. The whole industry is ever changing; look at the industry from prohibition to now, it won’t ever stop. People drink for so many different reasons; because of this, there is never a dull moment. Each night is a different story…

What is the worst aspect of bartending?
Here’s a Tom Cruise quote “….days get shorter and shorter, nights longer and longer, before you know it, your life is one long night with a few comatose daylight hours”. Now that I’m teaching I don’t have to worry about that!

What does your family think of your profession?
I know that they wish I would be closer to home more often! I think they appreciate how much I have put into my work and they support me to keep at it and keep moving up. My mum has even asked me to buy her a mini bar, she loves it!

What is currently you favourite cocktail and why?
Manhattan, with a bit too much cherry juice. I like it sweet and strong.

What country has the best bars for bartenders to work in?
I can’t answer this, there are so many places I haven’t been! I’d like to see what it’s like to work in a bar that the otherside is a swimming pool or the ocean in Hawaii or something. Ask me again in a few years…

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Kirsty is the Content Writer at EBS. In her free time, she likes sipping on Espresso Martinis, watching videos of funny dogs, and exploring the city. Originally from Scotland, she has spent many summers working and living in different European cities.