These days, there are so many different bartending blogs & websites that cover the hospitality industry. It’s great for the industry and anyone who wants to be a part of it. But with so much information out there, it can be difficult to sort through the good from the bad.
So I’ve decided to make it easier for you and compile a list my favorite blogs & websites that I think will help you become a better bartender. From the latest in industry news & culture to beautiful cocktails, to the deadly specific details on the different types of liquor, you’ll find the answers to all of your bartending questions (and more) throughout these websites.
Let’s get to it.
1) A Bar Above
Founded by the wonderful couple Chris & Julia Tunstall, A Bar Above is easily one of the best resources out there for bartenders. Whilst their primary focus is on cocktails & mixology for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike, there’s something for everyone here. From learning how to break into the industry to becoming a barback, to eventually managing/running your own bar, A Bar Above has got you covered.
Tales of the Cocktail isn’t just an amazing blog (seriously, it’s awesome…), it’s a community of bartenders & cocktail enthusiasts that was founded way back in 2002. They’re so well-known that they host a number of industry events that have become hugely popular within the American bartending scene. Throughout their blog, they write about bartending, industry news & culture, and cocktails & products in general.
Favorite Post: The Bartenders Guide to Taking Care of Your Feet, Part One
The VinePair team is a group of people obsessed with experiences centered around drinking (could this be the best place on earth to work?!). One of their goals is to remove the elitism often associated with the beverage industry (wine in particular) by writing articles on these topics that can be easily understood by anyone. And I think they do a pretty good job of it. Their articles are always fun & interesting to read and they cover a lot about bartending too.
Favorite Post: I Went to Bartending School & Here’s What Happened
Stir & Strain isn’t a bartending blog. It’s a beautiful cocktail blog written by home enthusiast Elana, and it’s still one of the best cocktail blogs in the industry. To prove it, she’s been a finalist for Saveur’s 2014, 2015 AND 2016 best cocktail blog award. Needless to say, Elana knows what’s she’s doing and her experimentations with various ingredients are endless! So despite her being a “home enthusiast”, every bartender passionate about cocktails will learn something here.
Favorite Post: An Amaro Hot Chocolate for Every Taste
5) Bev Spot
Although the Bev Spot blog does a great job covering industry news in general, they really shine when it comes to writing about effectively managing bars. Out of all the websites on this list, this is the one I’d recommend most to managers. Their articles are inspiring, educational, and most importantly, they provide actionable advice you can implement today.
Favorite Post: 5 Essential “Soft Skills” for Great Bar Managers
Punch is a James Beard Award-winning online magazine that writes about wine, spirits, beer, and cocktails. And often about bartending too. Stories are at the core of the PUNCH vision which makes them one of the most enjoyable websites to read on this list. Whenever I stumble onto their website, I usually leave an hour later wondering where the time has gone and genuinely amazed at how interesting the drinks world is.
Favorite Post: The Art of the Free Pour
Whilst r/bartenders isn’t a blog (it’s a forum on Reddit), it has some of the most useful & accurate accounts of what working as a bartender is actually like. If you’re a bartender (or you want to be one) and you haven’t already joined this amazing community, you should. Not only will you learn a lot about bartending, but you’ll gain access to an army of bartenders ready to help you and answer all of your questions.
Author of ‘The Bar Book,’ Jeffrey Morgenthaler is one of the most influential bartenders/bar managers/owners in the industry. And you could argue that his blog, jeffreymorgenthaler.com, is where it all began. He’s one of the best bartending bloggers based purely on the quality of his content. And if bartenders worldwide were to vote for their favorite blog on this list, I’m pretty sure Jeffrey would come out on top. For those of us looking to learn more about bartending, mixology, and the industry in general, from a man who’s done/seen it all, look no further.
Favorite Post: Bartender Story Problems
Imbibe Magazine has been described as the ultimate guide to drinks culture and since launching back in 2005, they’ve received numerous awards and accolades for their work. You’ll learn a lot about drinks from their magazine. But in my opinion, what really makes these guys stand out are their interviews with the masters’ of their craft (i.e. brewers, bartenders, distillers, authors, sommeliers, etc). And their guides to drinking in different destinations.
Favorite Post: Jim Meehan on Cocktail Trends for the Next Decade
10) Art of Drink
Founded by Darcy O’Neil, Art of Drink covers the world of bartending, cocktails, and the industry in general from a bartender’s perspective. In other words, from Darcy’s perspective and he’s always got great advice for both beginners and seasoned experts alike. His articles give you a no BS look at our industry in general and not only are they entertaining to read, they’re practical and useful as well.
Favorite Article: My First Shift as a Bartender
11) The Drink Blog
What I love about the Drink Blog’s founders, Morgan and Alice, is how fun they are. They’re serious about cocktails but they don’t take themselves too seriously which makes them very easy & enjoyable to read. Throughout their blog, they’ll guide you through various cocktails they’re experimenting with, change up the recipe, and then explain why they’re changing it. Anyone passionate about cocktails (and even those with a slight interest) will appreciate what these guys do.
Favorite Post: The Grasshopper
When it comes to spirits, cocktails, bartending, and lifestyle, Liquor.com is the king in these arenas. On top of their day-to-day content where they cover everything mentioned above, hundreds of bartenders from all over the world contribute to their archives with recipes & stories, they’ve made throughout their careers. If you’re a bartender or cocktail enthusiast with an interesting story or recipe, you should seriously consider contributing too!
Imbibe.com is a digital magazine dedicated to UK on-trade drink professionals. In other words, it’s a magazine dedicated towards bartenders and all of our other fellow industry professionals. To put the imbibe philosophy in a nutshell, they’re not just reporting on what’s happening across the trade, they’re helping drive an agenda for excellence. In my book, that’s what this industry needs and these guys are doing a bloody good job of it. They’re one of the only websites that examine real issues and then present their articles in a clear, succinct, and easy to understand way. If you’re a UK bartender and you haven’t already checked these guys out, make sure you do it today!
Favorite Post: Have Industry Awards Gone too Far?
14) Difford’s Guide
Difford’s Guide’s aim is to provide discerning drinkers with factual & impartial information on what to drink and where to drink it, along with their opinion on what’s good, bad, or just indifferent. And over the years, they’ve built it into an insane resource… I mean encyclopedic insane. The amount of in-depth research and information that goes into their articles is crazy. So if you want to learn about anything related to the beverage industry in-depth, I recommend you start here.
Favorite Post: Tequila
15) Nightclub & Bar
For over 30 years, Nightclub & Bar have been working closely with beverage decision makers and helping them grow. Unlike most of the other websites on this list, Nightclub & Bar is heavily focused on the management, business, and ownership side of the industry. And as such, their content is really useful for anyone who finds themselves in these positions.
Favorite Post: Marketing on a Budget
16) Wine Folly
Tom… You said you were going to talk about bartending blogs, not wine blogs. Well, I’m sorry. I like wine and I think learning about wine is an important part of being a great bartender too. Among all the websites out there teaching wine, Wine Folly is my favorite. All of their articles & Infographics are easy to understand and well-presented, they’re great at writing and they’re even better and at designing.
Favorite Post: Common Types of Wine (the top varieties)
17) Beervana Blog
I know, I know… I’m supposed to be talking about bartending blogs right? Well, knowing about beer is important too. And where better to learn about beer than from the author of ‘The Beer Bible’, Jeff Alworth. From brewing to culture, to the business side of beer, Jeff’s blog covers it all. Like Difford’s Guide, these articles are really in-depth, except it’s all about beer!
Favorite Post: What Makes a Good Pilsner
18) Chilled Magazine
Chilled Magazine has been set up as a ‘chilled’ part of the web for readers to relax and read about the beverage industry. With a focus on cocktails, bartending, culture, celebrities, and the latest in industry news, it achieves exactly that. Their articles are easy & fun to read, and they’re a great place to catch up with some of the more entertaining aspects of our industry.
Favorite Post: If You Bill it, They Will Come
As the name suggests, ‘The Alcohol Professor’ is a website dedicated to teaching you about alcohol. They write about spirits, beer, wine, and cocktails, but they’ll also mix it up with articles and videos on books, bartending, bars, and travel. This is another one of those in-depth resources you’ll find hard to get away from.
Favorite Post: Last Call!
Gastronomer Lifestyle. Gastronomer Lifestyle is fast becoming a top place for recommendations of some of the best bars in Asia. The site also provides cocktail recipes, spirit reviews and Christopher Menning, their Managing Director, hosts a drinks podcast named ‘On the Back Bar’ where he interviews industry leaders and experts across the globe.
Favorite Post: Bartender Podcast: Millie Tang
The essential site for the discriminate drinker, Drinkhacker tastes and rates an enormous amount of spirits, wine, & beer. So if you’re ever been looking for specific tasting notes on any products that fall into these categories (read: everything), you should check out Drinkhacker first. On a side note, I’ve got a lot of respect for the founder Christopher Null. He’s made it a strict rule to NOT accept cash payments or other financial considerations in return for coverage. That means that you know you’re getting honest, unbiased reviews when you come to this site.
22) Cocktails & Bars
Founded by Corinne Mossatti, Cocktails & Bars is a website dedicated to cocktail culture, bars, and spirits. Similar to other websites on this list, Cocktails & Bars targets the discerning drinker (bartenders included) and features the best bars reviews, industry experts, spirits reviews, and cocktail recipes. I personally love her ‘best bar’ reviews because she features bars from all over the world, especially Australia. So it means I’ve always got something to do on my days off ;-).
Favorite Post: Martinis & Tinctures: The Barber Shop’s Martini Project
Jason Shurtz, the founder of Bartending Blueprint, dishes out some of the best advice in the industry for new & aspiring bartenders. He’s even built an entire course around it. And whilst his website and blog is great, his YouTube channel ‘BartendingPro’, is where he really shines. For anyone trying to break into the industry or just simply trying to learn the basics, BartendingPro is a must watch.
Favorite Post: Stay Calm Working Busy Shifts
As the name suggests, Be a Better Bartender is all about teaching you how to become the best bartender possible. Founder Joel Mitchell writes articles on anything that he thinks will help you get better. More specifically, you’ll find articles on bartending training, product knowledge, hangover cures, and interesting facts you might not have heard of.
Favorite Post: 7 Amazing Facts About Alcohol That You Don’t Know
25) Bartender HQ
I’ve been following David from BartenderHQ for a while now, and the breadth of his content is pretty impressive. He talks about mixology, menu design, product knowledge, bar consulting, cocktail recipes, flair bartending, and more. He also hosts one of the best podcasts in the industry that gives listeners a great overview of what it’s actually like to work behind the bar.
Favorite Post: Starsky & Hutch Cocktail Menu Design – A Case Study
26) Drinking Cup
Drinking Cup is a not-for-profit website designed to share information and inspiration on the industry and subject of drink. Founded by Ben Leggett, barman, brand consultant, ambassador, trainer, and self-proclaimed drinks geek, he knows how to use his experiences to craft an entertaining story. Among all of the website and blogs mentioned throughout this list, this is my favorite when it comes to learning about the history of anything related to alcohol.
Favorite Post: The Story of Rum – Part 1
27) All Bartenders
All Bartenders is another fantastic resource for new & aspiring bartenders. Some of the questions they ask and then answer throughout their blog posts seem ‘obvious’ to experts but are extremely important for beginners to learn and understand. That’s one of the main reasons why I recommend them so highly. They’ve also got a fantastic job board that’s becoming more and more useful every single day.
Favorite Post: Dealing with Over-Friendly Customers at a Bar
Cocktail Enthusiast is an exploration of cocktails, spirits, mixology and drinking culture, and provides discerning readers with cocktail recipes, liquor reviews, and drinking news. This isn’t a blog targeting bartenders per se, but they cover a lot of ground in the areas of cocktail and spirits, that they’ve become a very useful resource for bartenders passionate about mixology as well.
Favorite Post: Q&A with Booze Traveler Jack Maxwell
Similarly to Cocktail Enthusiast, Intoxicology isn’t a blog targeting bartenders per se. But it’s an excellent blog that covers the industry from a drinker’s perspective with in-depth liquor reviews, solid cocktail recipes, holiday recommendations, informative ‘how-to’ guides, and the occasional infographic (the world needs more of these!). And with an expert taster on their side, we can all learn something from these guys. I also love Alex’s story of how he got started in the industry. It’s inspiring and somewhat similar to my own except I went down the bartending route and he explored the retail side of things.
Favorite Post: 6 Ways Drinking Makes you Healthier (Infographic)
I know, a shameless plug here, but we HAD to do it! As I’m sure many of you know, Crafty Bartending’s aim is to become the ULTIMATE resource for new & aspiring bartenders. And we also want to inspire bartenders to make the most of their careers by traveling the world, developing essential skills, and becoming better people in general. Join us as we embark upon this journey and I promise you won’t regret it :-).