Hello men, my name is Giddy to you fine sirs.

I have been reading the site on and off for about a month and decided to join the forum.
The last few years of my life have been less than perfect and I am now working hard towards being the best I can be. I had a 5 year long relationship end recently and found myself broke, (relatively) unqualified and full of excuses.

I was an engineer for a few years and than I tried going to class. I failed once and then failed a resit. Initially I was going through a rather deep depression and then the second time around I simply didn't try hard enough. This wont happen again.

Just last week I moved to the other end of the country as I wasn't happy where I was.
Today I had a telephone interview for a job and have been asked to attend a trial shift.

This job could very well be a turning point for me as I am being offered a salary and regular hours. Something i have no had for some time. There is one caveat. I have to prepare cocktails. While i have made the odd Mojito... I'm certainly not experienced at this and the job will be in a 5 star venue.

The next week will consist almost entirely of me practicing and memorizing different drinks. Any tips would be gladly appreciated either as far as turning ones life around, preparing cocktails or making a good impression.

I have started working on the "30 days to be a better man" series of articles and am finding it very inspiring.

Peace & respect.

Giddy.

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At this point in time, I might focus most of my energy on memorizing cocktails. Putting the wrong liquor or flavor in someone's drink at a place like that probably wouldn't go over well more than once or twice.

The cocktail Bible: Playboy Bartender's guide

There are dozens of variations of each drink.  In addition to learning the classics, get a copy of their drink specialty menu and find the BASIC recipe's for those drinks, learn the basics.  The establishment will have house recipes and house pours.  If push comes to shove, ask what their recipe is and build the drink from there, because that's how you'll make it anyway.

For instance, a basic Margarita has three ingredients; 1oz tequila, .5oz triple sec, sour mix, shake over ice, strain into chilled glass (rimmed or naked), w/lime wedge garnish.  Simple and easy.  But, my "Guaranteed to get you laid Margaritas" are made with 1oz each; tequila, triple sec, Everclear, lime juice, sour mix, blend with ice.

Make note of what they have on the back bar shelves.  Generally speaking, if a recipe calls for a "well" (cheap) base liquor, you'll use an upgrade ("call" [brand name] or "premium" [top shelf]) ingredient; if the recipe calls for a premium base liquor, you'll use well ingredients (unless you're upselling, don't worry about that during the interview).  Anything "Cadillac" uses call liquors, anything "Golden" uses all top shelf.

Your under bar will have your mixers if they're not on the gun.  A basic speed rack will have the well liquors (vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec [sour mix, shake, splash of coke you just made a long island], whiskey, bourbon, scotch).  Sweet vermouth has a red label, dry vermouth has a green label.

Learn to free pour.  Get a pour spout and practice with water, a four count should give you 1oz.  If you can't get that down in time, measure all your pours;  underpour and the customer will be pissed, overpour and you get fired.  Make all your drinks on the barmat on top of the bar, in full view of the customer.  For presentation, check the label, then turn the label out so the customer can see what you are pouring.  If you make anything on ice; rocks glasses get one small straw, high ball glasses get two small straws.  Straight (room temp no ice) and straight up (chilled no ice) gets no straw.

Learn to  pour a beer.  Learn to open a bottle of wine and champagne.  Good job on getting the interview.  Don't fuck it up.

This is the guy I want pouring my drinks. 

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