Bartenders play an important social role and must adjust to many scenarios. They deal with many types of patrons: people hanging out with friends, people on dates, people relaxing after work, and people who sometimes get a little too unruly in bars. Bartenders have to build strong relationships with their patrons, and sometimes become a therapist of sorts for them. They rely on tips for much of their wages, making it even more important that they have good relationships with their clientele. On top of this social role, bartenders must remember the names of many drinks, what goes in them and how much, and the type of glass the drink is served in. They must also prepare them very quickly.
Bartending goes back to ancient times. Roman, Greek, and Asian societies had public drinking houses that were social gathering places. Prior to the fifteenth century, bartenders were usually alehouse owners or female innkeepers that made their own liquor. Later, taverns became important places for professionals and writers, and bartenders had a high social status. Bartending then made its way across the ocean to the New World.
Today, bartenders not only make drinks and lend their ears to patrons, but many try to entertain patrons by “flair” bartending as well. Some bartenders have elaborate pouring or bottle tossing tricks that they enthrall audiences with. Flair bartending contests are held around the world.
Celebrate the day by paying a visit to the bar that has your favorite bartender. Make sure to thank them for serving you, and wish them a happy World Bartender Day. Since tips make up a large portion of a bartender’s wages, make sure to tip your bartender a little extra today. There are many other ways the day could be celebrated:
- attend or make plans to attend a flair bartending competition
- enroll in bartender school so you can become a bartender yourself
- learn about some notable bartenders
- make yourself an official International Bartenders Association drink, or order one at a bar