Bartending School

The beginning of quarantine feels like a year ago, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s because in no time at all, that statement will be fact. When this first began, we were told it’ll only be two weeks. Then two months. Now there’s no proposed dates or phases of reopening and the phrase “new normal” is being tossed around with alarming fluidity. I don’t know about you, but this is not any kind of normal I plan on adapting to full-time.

At the start, the extra time and forced work from home (for those of us fortunate enough to be able) felt like a strange gift. No 5 AM alarms. No hour-long LA commute. Extra time to read, watch tv, spend on your hobbies and interests that had long been neglected. Over the span of a few months, however, the initial luster wore off. I began to truly miss life before. Namely: the outside world and all it’s joys like eating out, dancing, and maybe most of all, drinking in bars.

I missed cocktails. My skills were nowhere near those of the bartenders where I live in LA. I quickly tired of cheap bottles of wine and homemade vodka tonics. So, I did what any good and bored person does: I took to Amazon and ordered some ice trays, a shaker, some cocktail-specific glasses. Ready to roll up my sleeves and toss martini shakers in the air, I watched some YouTube videos in preparation for my new skills. After a few failed attempts, I still couldn’t get it quite right. This became something I grew to miss deeply: a well-crafted cocktail.

It was frustrating to me that I could not seem to make my own. How hard could it be?

Evidently: it’s not as easy as it looks.

This first misadventure unknowingly opened the door to something new and exciting. With the growing demand for all aspects of life to transfer online, I looked up some online courses for bartending. While this seems like a task only teachable in person, surely, there had to be something.

That’s when I found the University of Bartending.

The initial class taught me the basic ins and outs of becoming a bartender. Not only did I learn how to mix cocktails, I learned the proper equipment I needed, the best types of liquor and additives to use, the proper glasses for each drink, and tricks for designing my own unique cocktails from scratch. Quarantini, anyone?

The best part of this course is that it allows you to go at your own pace. With all the free time on my hands, I was able to get through it smoothly…well, sometimes not so smooth depending on how many drinks I taste-tested for the particular lesson. With lifetime access to the content, I was able to go back and rewatch any videos I felt I needed additional viewings on until I mastered the topic.

My virtual happy hours with friends and coworkers just leveled up.

They’re pretty envious and ask where I get my fancy cocktails when they see me sipping on the screen. Maybe when this is all over, I can be a bartender for real. In the interim, I’m a one woman-bartender for a one-woman patron: me.

When the class was over, I had the option to enroll in the management masterclass, which goes on to teach you all about running the business aspect of a bar. I might be so inclined, depending on how much longer I’m virtually bartending in quarantine, and how good I get. Who knows? When this is all over, I very well could be the one serving you a drink.

Written by: Steffanie Moyers