It's uncertain how long hospitality venues will be closed for and it can be difficult to stay engaged and connected with the industry, especially if you’re relatively new in hospo. Fortunately, the magic world of internet has an abundance of resources available and this time in isolation can be an opportunity to learn more about the industry and bartending.
Whether you’re a hospo worker looking to up your skills, a hobbyist trying to master the art of bartending or, like me, just enjoy the occasional cocktail or two, we’ve compiled a list of various free resources helping you to become a star bartender from home.
Unless you’re happy to just learn about cocktails and not actually make them (and taste them!), you will need a few tools and at the very minimum a shaker. Plenty of stores sell them online and in different price ranges. Check out niche bar suppliers as barGEEK and Barware or general retail as Catch of the Day and Myer.
There are a number of online platforms providing extensive hospitality training or just basic cocktail training and many of them are currently offering free subscriptions.
Skillshare is an online learning community with educational videos in literally everything, bartending included. They are currently offering 2 months free and under search words bartending and mixology you will find around 140 videos, ranging from 10 mins to 1+ hour.
Ananas Academy is an Australian online training platform for the hospitality industry, created by industry experts. The platform was created by Sven Almenning, one of the masterminds behind a few of Australia’s best bars (Eau-de-Vie, Mjølner and Boilermaker House), so expect to get some premium knowledge on spirits, wines, cocktails and more.
The platform is available for venues and workers and is free to use for workers!
Typsy is another Australian platform providing online resources specifically for the hospitality industry. Under the category beverage, you will find bartending for beginners, short ‘how-to’ videos for different classic cocktails, videos on how to pick the right ice for drinks and more. Apply code COVID19 at checkout to get a free subscription until 30 September.
It comes as no surprise that you’ll find a lot of resources on social media. Use YouTube for instructions, Instagram for inspo and TikTok for short videos.
Search ‘cocktails’ or ‘bartending’ on YouTube and you’ll find A LOT of videos, some great ones and some maybe not so great. It can take a while to navigate through all of the content, but a good start is to check out the following accounts:
Besides all of the accounts filled with IG-worthy photos of cocktails that are pretty to look at but not so easy to replicate at home, there are plenty of accounts actually teaching you how to make cocktails. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below and if nothing else, they will inspire you to get started!
The videos on TikTok are short and a bit more interactive and if you search ‘cocktails’ or ‘bartender’ you’ll find everything from pro-videos to bartender’s at-home-videos and parody clips.
Once you’ve got the hang of the basics of bartending, there are literally thousands of recipes out there and everyone from hospo publications Australian Bartender and Bar & Clubs to Dan Murphy’s and Coles have resources available. If you’re really dedicated, one of the world’s most influential cocktail bars Death & Co (NYC, Denver and LA) has published a book named Modern Classic Cocktails, including taste charts, recipes and industry secrets.
Learning how to make cocktails is not only fun (albeit a bit messy..) but will come in handy to impress your date, friends or family post-isolation! Oh and the taste testing isn't too bad either.