10 Best Online Bartending Schools & Mixology Courses for Beginners

How to become a professional bartender

Bartending can lead to an amazing career & lifestyle. This leads many people looking into online bartending schools and courses to help them land their first bartending job. I don’t blame them!

Bartending is great and there’s “never a dull moment“. You never know what you’ll encounter at work next – the complete opposite of an office job…

If you like the idea of mixing drinks and socializing for a living, you’ve come to the right place.

But as with all skills & careers, education is essential. If you really want to excel at the job, taking online bartending school and online mixology courses can better prepare you for the skills you’ll need to succeed.

You can make real money with bartending. The average bartender salary is around $20,000 per year + tips – some bartenders bring in $100k/year! You can also work a regular job during the day and do bartending at night. You can pile up some cash doing this when you count in the tips.

If you are an aspiring bartender, there are some essential skills you need to know before you begin your career. You need to understand how to properly mix drinks, how to deal with customers and the psychology of working behind a bar.

To help you prepare for a fun and lucrative bartending career, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 online bartending schools and online mixology courses. Take a look at all of these and then decide which option would be the best for your future bartending career!

Not everyone can afford to study abroad. These are economical options that will you fine-tune your craft.

1. Bar Smarts

Bar Smarts Online Bartending Course IMage

The BarStarts course for beginning bartenders features the basic methods of mixing drinks and establishes the foundation and essentials that all bartenders should know for bartender service. They have a course called “Spirits and Wine Knowledge for Beginners” to start which includes the following concepts:

  • Basic Production Techniques
  • Introduction to Spirits and Liqueurs
  • Essential Concepts for Proper Service
  • Fundamentals of Bartending

Their other main course is called “Comprehensive Bartenders Spirits Training” which includes the following courses:

  • How to Taste Like a Pro
  • In-depth Drink Production
  • History of Spirits and Liqueurs
  • Comprehensive Cocktail Compedium
  • Service Management Techniques

There are tests along the way to check for the level of knowledge and applied skill that students are learning. If they successfully complete all assessments and events, they will be awarded a bartender’s certification. Many great bartenders have been produced from this bartending school. Some bar owners state that they would not hire their bartenders unless they are certified by this school.

2. A Bar Above Mixology Certification

A Bar Above Mixology Certification Course Photo

This school is more advanced than the BarSmarts course, but it applies many of the same skills that you learned in BarStarts and BarSmarts. The owner and founder, Chris Tunstall, created this course to take bartender students to the next (more advanced level) and to share his love of mixing great drinks with others.

He considers mixing drinks and cocktails a true art form and enjoys figuring out new combinations of drink components such as bitter and sweet elements to mix up original drinks of his own.

This is an exciting opportunity for aspiring bartenders who want to take their skills to the next level. The program features high-quality HD videos, interactive quizzes, and lifetime access so you can come back anytime to learn more tips from Chris.

If you want to be the best, this is a great second course to take after the successful completion of the BarSmarts certification program.

3. TIPS Certification

TIPS Bartending License Course Image

TIPS is a bartender licensing program that teaches you how to become an ethical, excellent bartender to keep customers happy and problems to a minimum. With any alcohol-related job such as bartending where you are serving customers directly, you sometimes run into issues that are difficult to deal with. Intoxicated guests can become agitated, moody, or even violent if they have had too much to drink.

How do you know when people are reaching their limit? This course dives into the specifics of how to detect behaviors that may indicate the beginnings of intoxication so that you can look out for your customers as well as your other guests.

TIPS stands for “Training for Intervention Procedures.” The National Restaurant Association awarded TIPS with the Intercontinental Hotel’s Group Award for responsible bartending.

TIPS is a needed certification for the practice of bartending due to the number of negative incidents including car accidents that happen due to becoming too intoxicated in bars and restaurants. Successful completion of this course allows you to illustrate your knowledge of being a responsible bartender.

Depending on the state you live in, you might NEED to take this course as it also acts as your bartending license.

4. Mix World-Class Cocktails- Secrets of a Champion Mixologist

Mix World Class Cocktails Mixology Course Image

This course combines the key concepts of successful bartending with a number of excellent tips and tricks to becoming a professional drink mixer. Produced on the Udemy platform, this course features the mixology mastery of Paul Martin who holds the world record for speed mixing, as well as being the best at many of the expert bartending skills you need for success.

Martin has trained over 30,000 of the world’s best bartenders over the past 25 years and has perfected the skills of bartending.

This online cocktail course covers classic cocktails, modern cocktail mixing, and garnishments that add flair to your drinks. Paul shows you the tools of the trade as well as how to master your craft to be the best.

5. Bartending Mastery- Cocktail & Bartending Masterclass

Bartender Mastery Course Image

This course is a great overall course that features the talents of bartender, Michael Miller. He has been all over the world bartending and learned in Barcelona. But he stresses that going abroad to get your bartending license is quite expensive.

Instead, he offers his own bartending course called the “Barmastery Course” that shows you how to master all of the skills that you will need to become a successful bartender.

One of the aspects of this course that makes it worthwhile is the issue of customer service. Customer service in the bartending industry is different than other industries in many ways. Miller discusses how the way you present your cocktails and presence is important in order to build a clientele who will return. Becoming a great bartender depends on your presentation, social adaptability, and ordering knowledge. This means you will have to have a good “show,” be able to understand how people have different needs and to order what your customers will purchase.

Body language and eye contact are addressed, as well as how your personal grooming is important to your customers in this industry. Learn how to create a great connection with customers that will pay off big for you.

6. Bartending 101: Seven Simple and Delicious Drinks

This is one of the best free bartending courses available because it shows you how to great 7 of the best drinks with style and flair. Michael Rego hosts this Udemy course that teaches you how to easily create these drinks using some simple steps.

The videos make it clear to see what he is doing and they are in HD quality on the site. Through this free course, you will also be learning to blend and shake like a pro and creating some unique and creative drink blends that you never thought possible as a beginner.

7. Bartender Barista Training

If you want to become a guru of bartending, this is the course to focus on. It is not recommended for beginners, but once you get your bearings on the basics, you may want to explore this course to further your skills.

This course addresses how to make exotic cocktails and barista-prepared coffees, as well as many different unique tropical drinks that customers love. Reminiscent of a simulation game that you might find online, this course builds on levels that you can achieve before moving onto the next one.

You’ll learn many important skills as you build your portfolio of drink mixing ability and even have the skills necessary to start your own cafe! You’ll become a professional bartender with coffee mixing skills as well.

The course starts you out with the tools and equipment you need then moves onto style and presentation techniques, pouring and mixing skills, and much more. Build your skill base while having fun learning from the pros.

This course is very comprehensive and covers a plethora of topics that affect bartenders and baristas everywhere. If you have any goals of going to Australia to work, this would be an excellent start!

8. Branding for Bartenders

If you already know the ropes of being a bartender but you want to improve your skills while building your brand, here is a course for you to take.

They make the point that, while the labor statistics show the average bartender makes around $20,000 per year, most bartenders make closer to $30,000 and a few even pull in $100K per year. This course delves into the branding process and how you can make yourself more in demand to be able to ask for higher salaries and tips.

Branding involves a number of aspects including blogging, video ads, social media, and much more. This course will show you how to streamline your web presence as well as to get the word out in your town or geographical area, as well.

9. Harvard Bartending Course: Become a Master Mixologist

Did you know that besides Business and Law, Harvard is also known for their Ivy League Bartending course? Yep, it’s true! This course is hosted by Ben Stoller and he gives you insider tips and tricks you need to help you succeed in the industry.

This course brings in over two decades of professional bartending. Stoller has taught this course for over 10 years to aspiring bartenders. His philosophy is that it should be fun and exciting and he shows you how to create any drink by only knowing the color and the taste of a drink.

He will show you how to pour and mix the most popular drinks, as well as a number of more creative new drinks as well. He shows how to make The Black Russian, which is a combination of Kahlua, a coffee-flavored liquer and Russian Vodka.

When you see him in action, you will find him a true chemist who knows how to mix and match various types of liqueur and combine colors to make drinks exciting and delicious.

This course covers the basic bartending techniques that the Harvard historic class created in 1963 to educate the future bartending generation! It is taught at Harvard University’s campus, believe it or not! It’s not just a frat party. They take it very seriously there!

10. Bartend Like a Mad Man

Bartend Like a Madman Online Bartending Course

This final online mixology course is a fun course that’s hosted by Katrina Rodzon. She is a professional bartender with 10 years of experience and you could definitely pick up some of the new tips about modern cocktails here.

She goes over the techniques involved in mixing 4 popular modern cocktails and she shows you how to “mix and match” different liquors and colors to create original drinks that your clientele will love.

This is a good casual course that is taught from the instructor’s home. She has a creatively different approach to bartending that we can all pick something up from.

Summary/Conclusion

If you have a goal of becoming a great bartender, these courses will help you to get started. We tried to include a range of bartending & mixology courses that we think will help you learn new skills regardless of your level. Just bare in mind that these courses should be used as a complement to real-life training and experience.

You’ll learn the most from actually working behind a bar, not sitting in front of a screen.

Bartending is an art and it requires a serious approach to technique with a bit of creativity and fun. That said, knowledge is essential and you should be able to pick up some great tips, get your bartender certification and more by taking some of these online courses.

Check them out, let me know what you think and if there’s any I’ve missed that you think should on this list, add it to the comments section below!

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