What’s On Your Summer Reading List? Best Books for Bartenders

We’re well in to summer, and hope everyone is enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Have you had the chance to do some summer reading yet? Whether you’re planning a beachy vacation getaway or just some downtime at home, the relaxed summer months are a great time to curl up with a good book. Instead of the usual bestsellers, why not pick up one of the many great books out there for bartenders and other hospitality professionals? Whether you’re looking for a good book to explain the basics, insight into the industry from bar gurus, or just a light and fun fiction novel set with a bar as the backdrop, there’s something out there for everyone. Here are some suggestions from TAM® of Nevada to help get you started:

  • The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft by Gary Regan – A must-read guide to bartending and mixology by a fantastic author. Gary Regan’s book is a classic for any bar professional and will give insight and tips on not only how to memorize drink recipes, but begin creating your own. With insight into cocktail history, advice on bar etiquette and insights into his own experiences in the industry, this is a fun and entertaining read. If you’re impressed with this book, you should also pick up Regan’s newest follow-up book, The Annual Manual for Bartenders – 2011.
  • The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails by Tony Abou-Ganim – A guide to cocktails and creative and fresh bartending techniques from Las Vegas resident and bartender extraordinaire Tony Abou-Ganim. This book is a great read for novices and professionals alike. The Modern Mixologist is another great account of the industry from one of the most well-known bartenders in America. What better way to learn your craft than with the insights of a great professional?

Looking for even more suggestions on good reads for bar professionals? Check out Jack Robertiello’s suggestions in his article, “Books for Bartenders,” for Nightclub & Bar. What are you reading this summer?


Books for Bartenders – Nightclub & Bar

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada


Tending Bar… With a Little Flair!

Flair bartenderLearn a new bartending skill and stand out from the pack.

There are a lot of things that go into a great bartender: a winning personality, an attention to detail, and a dedication to public safety, and the legal and moral issues of serving alcoholic beverages. Think you might be right for the job? To get a leg up on the competition, being able to entertain patrons with flair bartending techniques can be the cherry on top. And the best part? A flair bartender can do pretty well for themselves, especially if they can entertain while serving. A flair bartender will draw in more customers, making more money for the bar, and themselves.

Flair bartenders are known for using bar tools and liquor bottles as props to entertain while they are mixing drinks. It can be quite a sight to see someone juggling liquor bottles, mixing drinks behind their backs, carefully setting fire to mixed drinks, and more. Las Vegas is home to some of the best flair bartenders in the country, and boasts several bars and clubs that showcase their talents. If you’re considering a career as a flair bartender, Las Vegas is the place to be. Make sure to check out Vegas.com’s article, “Behind the Scenes: Flair Bartending in Vegas,” for a video interview with Rock & Rita’s flair bartender Anthony Pullen.

So you’re ready to become a flair bartender? TAM® of Nevada has some tips on how you can get started:

  1. Get educated on bartending techniques. Flair bartending requires a solid working knowledge of bartending skills, plus lots of practice, practice, practice! Before you start juggling liquor bottles, it’s important to learn how to mix drinks, and build up your bartending know-how of tips and techniques. It won’t matter how well you can entertain if you don’t know how to make a martini. Consider attending a bartending school if you haven’t already, there are several reputable establishments in Southern Nevada. Some of these locations also offer flair training, so be sure to ask for details of what their programs offer when you’re checking credentials. You can also get lots of practical education tending a bar and learning the ropes from other traditional, and flair bartenders.
  2. Obtain your TAM® Card. All hospitality professionals in Southern Nevada are required to obtain their alcohol education card prior to working at a location where they’ll be selling and serving alcoholic beverages. The Techniques of Alcohol Management® will give you the skills and knowledge you need to serve responsibly.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Every day at work you’ll have the chance to handle bottles and shakers, so practice spinning shakers in your hand and doing simple tricks when you have some downtime. Starting with the basics and working your way up to more difficult tricks, you’ll begin to feel comfortable with your props and impress your guests at the same time. You can also watch plenty of flair training videos online for tips and tricks to learning basic flair bartending moves. A great resource is TAM of Nevada’s YouTube channel; we’re always adding our favorite flair bartending videos and tutorials. Another tip? Try practicing at home with plastic bottles until you get the hang of things – you will inevitably drop some bottles, and nothing will put a damper on your day faster than a mess of shattered glass to clean up.

Flair bartending is not a skill one will learn easily or overnight, but it can be done! For more information on flair bartending news, training and industry information, and a place to network with other bar professionals, you can always check out the Flair Bartenders’ Association.

Our most important advice of all of all? Remember to have fun! What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to start a career as a flair bartender?


© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Visit TAM® of Nevada on YouTube

Here at TAM® of Nevada, we try to stay on top of what’s happening in the hospitality and beverage service industry, and also all of the great things happening in Las Vegas. You can read more about how we stay connected with industry professionals and alcohol education students by reading our blog, “Want to Stay Up-to-Date on Alcohol Awareness? Join Us Socially!

Have you visited TAM® of Nevada’s YouTube channel yet? We often hear from our peers that they not only learned a lot from their alcohol awareness training, they enjoy the additional tips, tricks, news and videos we share socially. Just starting out as a bartender or server in Las Vegas? Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something new is by watching others. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel to see some of our favorite videos from several sources showcasing tutorials on how to make popular alcoholic drinks, bartending tips and tricks, nightlife industry news and more. Want a sneak preview? Check out this quick video from Imbibe Magazine showing the differences in shaking vs. stirring cocktails. You can watch this video and many others by visiting our YouTube channel here.

How do you like to stay connected to companies and brands important to you? What type of content would you like to see from TAM® of Nevada in the future?


© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada