Tools & Resources

These are my favourite tools & resources for learning & mastering the craft of tending bar. Check back often for updates!

Before digging into these awesome resources, an important disclosure:

Some of these links are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission. These commissions come at no extra cost to you. It just means I might have a little extra beer money at the end of the week ;-). So if you do choose to make a purchase using these links, I’d really appreciate it!

Online Courses

It's no secret that I love online courses. In my opinion, they're the most useful platform out there today for learning (and remembering) any material in-depth. The biggest benefits, you're able to take these programs at your own pace and learn from the comfort of your own home!

So here's a list of my favourite online bartending courses:

BarSmarts Wired - Bar Smarts

BarSmarts Wired is an introductory bartenders program covering the theoretical, historical, and technical aspects of bartending. You'll learn how to taste like a pro, the history & theory of cocktails, spirits, & liqueurs, and a little bit about providing great customer service.

This is an industry leading program, it's taught by some of the most renowned names in bartending, it's affordable, and it comes highly recommended by A LOT of great bartenders. All-in-all, it's the perfect starters guide for new bartenders.

The Mixology Certification Program - A Bar Above

A Bar Above designed this advanced mixology program to pick up where BarSmarts Wired left off. If you've been bartending for a while and you feel like you've mastered the basics, this should be your next challenge. It will literally teach you how to build/invent balanced cocktails from scratch.

What's more is that they've been kind enough to give Crafty Bartending readers a special discount that will get you $25 off the course! So if you want to take this course, send me an email and I'll send you through the discount code ;-).

From No Job to Bartending Brilliance! - Crafty Bartending

Yes, that's right! We're currently in the process of building an ultimate bartending course for new & aspiring bartenders and it's going to cover absolutely EVERYTHING. You're going to learn, step-by-step, exactly what you need to do to break into the industry and master the basics so that bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and cafes will be lining up to hire you!

With an emphasis on getting the job, practicality, community, and learning alongside working behind the bar, this course is going to be a game changer. And whilst it's currently not ready, you can register you're interest now to receive an awesome introductory discount!

Register your Interest!

Bar Tools & Equipment

Where would we be without our bar tools & equipment?? We certainly wouldn't be making all of the wonderful concoctions around today.

I believe in buying quality products so all of the products listed here are among the best you'll find online. But that means they're slightly more expensive. So if you'd like, you can search for items online or in your local specialty hospitality store. But personally, I'd recommend going for quality tools right off the bat because you're going to be using these for a very long time.

And besides, in most cases & countries, you'll get your money back because they're tax deductible ;-).

Professional Craft Bar Set

If you don't have any of your own bar tools, a craft bar set is the perfect place to start because you'll get all of the tools you need with one simple purchase. This set is ideal for beginners and experts alike and the equipment is high quality.

Here's what is included in the set:

  • Steel Boston Shaker Set
  • BarSpoon
  • Muddler
  • All three Strainers (Hawthorne, Julep, and Fine)
  • Japanese Style Jigger (multiple measurements on the inside)
  • 6 Steel Cocktail Picks for Garnishing
Wine Knife/Waiter's Friend

Every bartender, waiter, and hospitality professional should have a wine knife on them whenever they're at work. It's a sign of professionalism and they're incredibly useful, not just for opening wine bottles or the occasional beer, but you'll find many creative uses for the little knife attached at the end.

You can shop around here because most wine knife's are of decent quality. Just make sure you get one with 2 levers/hinges... It will make opening stiff bottles of wine a lot easier.

Bar Blade

Ahh, the infamous bar blade. You'll commonly see bartenders swinging and throwing these around their fingers whenever they're bored. They're fun to play with and by far the best tool for opening bottles of beer.

Like the wine knife, feel free to shop around here. It's hard to find a bad quality bar blade and this tool can get very personal with bartenders. In other words, in terms of price, color, and shape, you've got options here!

Job Hunting Resources

We talk a lot about how to become a bartender here. It's one of the hardest parts about this industry (i.e. landing your first job) and that's why we cover it so extensively. So here are some resources you can use to make the entire process easier.

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Bartender - Crafty Bartending

Image of the Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Bartender ebookI know, a bit of a shameless plug here! But in my opinion, this is the most valuable resource on the internet for people who are looking to break into the industry and become a bartender.

It's a complete guide to becoming a bartender and covers absolutely everything, from learning how to write your resume to nailing the interview.

If you're new to the industry and struggling to land a job, START HERE! You can also download this entire guide as a FREE pdf ebook here.

All Bartenders Website

The traditional way for looking for bartending work online isn't very effective. Your resume and application gets lost in a sea of noise making it difficult to stand out. All Bartender's are trying to change this and they've developed an amazing website for bartenders who are looking for work. And if you're a venue/manager, you can look for employees too.

My favourite aspect of this website is that they're advertising jobs from all over the world. That means if you want to travel as a bartender, you could potentially land a job before you even move abroad!

Although they're still relatively new, they're only going to get bigger. So sign up, create a profile, and start browsing the different job opportunities.

Social Media Bartender Exchanges

Bartender exchanges are still relatively new, but they're getting bigger and better. Basically, they're social media groups (mainly on Facebook) for bartenders focusing on different geographical areas (primarily cities) where local bars will advertise job openings. They've become a very effective way for bartenders to quickly search for and find work in these areas.

Currently, these groups aren't everywhere and in particular, they're lacking in the US (if you're a US bartender in a big city, you should seriously consider starting one of these!). But for Australia, the UK, Ireland, and parts of Asia, these groups are already well established.

Simply search 'bartender' and your 'city' in the Facebook search tab, navigate to the group section, and you'll find out if there's one in your area.

Books we Love

Reading books is one of the best and most affordable ways you can teach yourself about the technical, historical, & theoretical aspects of bartending. Here's an article I wrote covering my top 10 recommendations: 10 Books Every Bartender Should Read.

But if you're looking for a more laser focused list to start, here's my top 3.

My Top Three:

The Joy of Mixology - Gary Regan

Book: The Joy of MixologyIf you’re new to bartending, 'The Joy of Mixology' is the first book I’d recommend you read. It’s an (almost) complete bartender’s guide and it will give a solid foundation for everything else that’s to come.

It covers the history of cocktails, bartending etiquette, techniques, tools, an ingenious system for categorizing (and memorizing) cocktails, and with over 300 cocktail recipes you can play around with, this book is sure to keep you busy for a while!

The Bar Book - Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Book: The Bar BookThere are mountains of books that have covered cocktail recipes and their ingredients, but ‘The Bar Book’ was the first of its kind to extensively cover bartending techniques.

That's why this is the second book I recommend every bartender to read. It details the principle bartending techniques you'll be using every day, how you do them, and why you use them. This book could very well become your bible.

Setting the Table - Danny Meyer

Book: Setting the TableDanny's book ‘Setting the Table’ was a complete game changer when it came out. At its core, this is a book about people skills and being hospitable. And when it comes down to it, that's what bartending is all about.

That's why this is the third book I recommend every bartender to read. It will teach you how to effectively work with people, how to make guests feel special, and how to ensure they keep coming back for more!

Blogs we Love

Here's an article I wrote compiling a list of my favourite blogs, websites, and editorials in the beverage & hospitality industry: 25 Bartending Blogs You Should be Reading

But among all of them, these are my favourites:

  • A Bar Above by Chris & Julia Tunstall - Probably my favourite blog out there in this industry. Although their primary focus is on mixology, they talk about everything. From starting out in the industry to successfully managing a bar, A Bar Above has everyone covered.
  • Tales of the Cocktail - Not just an awesome blog covering every aspect of bartending, (seriously, it's amazing), Tales is a bartending community that hosts events throughout the year.
  • Bevspot blog - If you want to progress into management or become a better manager in general, you'll learn a lot from these guys..
  • Be a Better Bartender by Joel Mitchell - As the name suggests, Joel's aim is to teach bartenders how to be better. He's built up a great resource here.
  • Bartending Blueprint by Jason Shurtz - Jason's focus is on beginners and he's got some great blog posts on the subject. But his youtube channel is where it's at. You can check it out at BartendingPro here.
  • Bartender HQ by David Sangwell - David's focus falls somewhere in between the beginning and advanced aspects of bartending. He gets into the mixology side of things as well. His podcast is also great to listen to whenever you get some free time.
  • r/bartenders - If you're looking for a community of bartenders, this subreddit is awesome. Everyone in the industry should be a part of it.

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