As a bartender, you’re either a subject of envy among your friends for your flexible, evening schedule, know-how in mixing cool drinks, and interesting anecdotes you usually acquire from your bar patrons. Or not. Bartenders often get bad raps for their “supposed” hedonistic lifestyle. But contrary to popular belief, they’re just like any ordinary person who just happened to elect bartending as their calling. We debunk the top three myths about the bartenders and their job:
Bartenders know everything, even the cocktail recipe you make with mom. What you see on the 80s film Cocktail (the one with Tom Cruise) isn’t true. Bartenders like to keep it exciting for their “audience” but not all of them know how to circus-flip a bottle, nor are they encyclopedias of cocktails. “I can make most of the classics from memory,” says an NY mixologist, who owns a personal blog called Apothecary Mixtape “…But I am not a computer.”
Bartending can never be a career. Like Freddy of The Truth about Bartending, many successful bartenders would disagree. Bartending is no different from other jobs—it’s either you fall in love with it, or you don’t and move on to another profession. But for many, bartending is a beloved, honorable career. For Freddy, the income he gets from bartending has enabled him to raise a family, send his kids to school, go on vacation, and buy assets. Bartending is also a good source of secondary.
Bartenders are not accountable for you. In some way, yes, you could say that bartenders may be responsible for you—when it comes to the amount of alcohol you drink—but you are responsible for yourself. “If I know your name, I care about you, but ultimately you’re responsible for your own actions,” says Ryan Osterback in his article published on Metro Active. “If you’re drunk and need a cab, the bartender will get you one, but don’t expect me to pay for it or give the cabbie directions. Once you’re out the door, you’re on your own.” Indeed, while bartenders are responsible for preventing and alcohol-related mishaps, it doesn’t mean that they have to look after you the whole time. Obtaining alcohol training is one way of knowing where your duty starts and ends as a bartender.