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First understand the difference between bartending and mixology. Bartending is what you'll do in at least 90% of bars and restaurants. It is the time tested skill and knowledge of knowing and making all the classic and popular cocktails. In a separate category is "craft" bartending, a.k.a. "mixology", which comes after you've developed the skills of basic and classic bartending. Craft cocktails are wonderful! And if that's the direction you want to go eventually we strongly encourage it! However, knowing a few upscale cocktails, making your own bitters and using obscure liquors isn't going to land you most bartending jobs. Nor will it develop the confidence you'll gain from actually practicing the recipes, skills, technique and fundamentals that you learn at Portland Drink Lab Academy.
There is only one way to quickly learn technique and muscle memory and that is to simulate it through practice and repetition. Simulation is a great educator, as thought so by some of these professions:
None of these professions would ever practice on real specimens until they've learned the fundamentals of their craft through simulation. That is why we, like every major bartending school across the nation, use carefully crafted colored water in real bottles. At our school, you are going to be making 75-100 cocktails a day! At that rate, it would be cost prohibitive and wasteful to use real alcohol. If the school you're thinking about attending is using real alcohol, I guarantee you that you're not learning the basic fundamentals of bartending and you're definitely not getting any practice. Artificial alcohol is extremely useful and replicates the cocktails very well. We do use real alcohol to demonstrate layering shots/shooters and lighting it on fire for special coffee drinks.
Not only do we guarantee that you will learn, but you will have fun doing it!
Our bartending school is committed to transforming you into a successful bartender. With an impressive combination of a training facility that creates a real life bar environment with experienced and knowledgeable instruction, our academy is the right choice to help you find your way into a fun and extremely rewarding career.
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2407 SW 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201