World Bartender Day (also known as International Bartender Day or Bartender Appreciation Day) is when the bartending community (and those of us who just love a good cocktail) come together to celebrate the good and the great bartending achievements of the last year.

To celebrate, bars usually put on special events and offerings on the date for their customers. Here's everything you need to know about the best day of the year for bartenders and mixologists!

When is World Bartender Day?

World Bartender Day is celebrated on February 24 every year, to the joy of bartenders all around the globe!

History of World Bartender Day

bartender bottle working flair

Bartending is one of the world's oldest professions, with its roots going all the way back to ancient times, in Greece and Rome. During this time, bartenders were more so innkeepers, far from the modern-day bartender. You'd have definitely struggle to get a Martini back then!

Fast forward hundreds of years and the arrival of pubs and taverns exploded within the societies of the Middle Ages. This was a further development on the concept of a bartender, however still quite far away from the finished product.

It was only until the 19th century that the first sign of the modern-day bartender was born. A man called Jerry Thomas sparked this evolution and is arguably the father of modern bartending after publishing his world-famous bartender book, The Bartender's Guide 1862. Still used today, the book introduced cocktails and drinks techniques into society's conscious. Since then, bartending has gone through tumultuous times, like the Prohibition Era, which has shaped how we know it today.

So, where does World Bartender Day come into this? It's believed that this day started in 2018 down under in Australia and New Zealand. In an attempt to bring bartenders from both countries closer together, a competition called 'The Perfect Blend' started and celebrated the bartending culture of Aussies and Kiwis. This snowballed into an international phenomenon, with the official birth of World Bartender Day!

World Bartender Day timeline

  • 700-509 B.C. – The first concept of bartenders is created in Ancient Greece and Rome. Other areas of the world, like Asia, also had similar concepts within their societies.

  • 500-1500 – Pubs and taverns are widespread in societies, which saw the idea of a 'bartender' develop on from ancient times.

  • 1862 – Jerry Thomas' famous bartending book – Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide 1862. The first bartending book that was ever published and still used today.

  • 1922 – The prohibition of producing and selling alcohol in the US was introduced, creating underground bars called speakeasies and illegal booze manufacturing aka bootlegging. This law was finally repealed in 1933.  

  • 2018 – World Bartender Day is officially founded.

How to celebrate World Bartender Day

friends smile bar bartender

Celebrating World Bartender Day is pretty simple. Head to a bar and get merry with a few friends and the bartenders! This is what it's all about. However, bartenders deserve a little more tender love and care. Here are some great ways to help celebrate the day..

1. Leave a generous tip

Bartenders may rely on tips to get them through until the next month's salary payment and not every customer will tip them. By leaving them a nice tip, you'll be showing your respect for their profession. 

2. Spread the word

It's a tough world out their for any hospitality business, but especially for the bars! Just think of how many there are even in  a small town! Put a smile on your bartender's face by showing how much you love their bar. Upload an Instagram story, Facebook post or retweet the bar on Twitter. Free advertising is a company's dream, so they'll appreciate this so much!

3. Show some appreciation

Customers can be so rude sometimes; blanking the bartender and not saying 'please' or 'thank you' is more common than you'd think! Show appreciation to the great job your bartender is doing by being polite to them. Strike up a conversation, or even offer to buy them a drink! Little crumbs of kindness go a long way with people. And, as your grandma used to say 'manners cost nothing'.

In terms of events, World Bartender Day 2021 saw bartenders and bars get inventive, in spite of the COVID-19 restrictions. Determined to have a celebration, some bars experimented and mixed drinks with crazy flavour combinations. Whilst others simply arranged bartending competitions (socially distanced) in front of excited spectators, testing their bartenders' ability!

FAQs: World Bartender Day

bartender smiling sailor jerry pour

What is World Bartender Day?

World Bartender Day honours the bartending world and is celebrated annually. People usually head to a local bar and celebrate with their favorite bartender for the night. Customers are served drinks unique to the day, usually not served again until next year's celebration.

How do you celebrate World Bartender Day?

There isn't a bigger day for bartenders than World Bartender Day. Aficionados come from all over to celebrate this annual tradition. There are common ways to celebrate the Day like leaving a good tip, spreading the word about the bar and appreciating the bartender.

Bartender's aren't just robots who mix drinks and then serve them up!

When is National Bartender Day?

National Bartender Day is celebrated on the first Friday of December each year in the US, and is only really a phenomenon inside the States.

World Bartender Day is a much bigger and more widely celebrated event. However, it's always good to give some recognition to bartenders, so the more the merrier, we say!

Who is the most famous bartender is the world?

This is a tricky question... Historically, the most famous bartender in the world is Jerry Thomas, who we've previously mentioned. He was the pioneer of bartending as we know it today, and you could say he was also the first ever bartender (officially). It was his groundwork that laid the foundations for bartending culture today.

However, there are so many other bartenders to choose from. Here are some honourable mentions: Dale DeGroff, William Schmidt, Ernest Gantt and Ada Coleman. These days, Instagram is the place to go to find world-famous bartenders with millions of followers and admirers watching them flair a rum bottle and create new and unique cocktail concoctions.

How do you become a bartender?

This is a difficult question to answer quickly. It's takes a mixture of experience, hard work, learning from the best and bartender training. Being able to get a bartender certification can gives prospective bartenders a leg-up so it is worth serious consideration. Combine this with some bar experience serving drinks and you'll be on your way to becoming a bartender in no time!

Find out exactly how to become a bartender, with our top tips from bartending experts.

If you want to serve drinks on World Bartender Day as a fully qualified bartender, attend one of our many well-respected bartending schools and get your career started!