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Want to learn a secret? We're exposing three bartending myths on making great mixed drinks. Perfecting your serve is a key bartender skill that impresses customers, and keeps bar service consistent. Read on and discover how you can master this skill and the three misconceptions about the perfect serve and mixed drinks.


We all want to be good at what we do, right? At the bar, getting a drink just right is the secret to making your customers want to come back for more. Perfect serves are what it's all about. Making a perfect drink every time drives bar sales, creates profit and keeps your customers happy.

Most of your customers don't understand the effort needed to make perfect mixed drinks. This is your opportunity to show them. Making skillful drinks and smashing customer expectations shows off your craft and experience.

The bar industry is full of myths and misconceptions - discover how to break the myths around ice, drink build and pouring.


Is less ice better?

Nope! This is a common misconception and thanks to physics, using more ice:

Using more ice in cocktails means it cools as you're making it. This consistency in temperature ensures a predictable flavor, taste and texture each time the drink is mixed.

More ice slows down dilution too. The large surface area of ice cubes or crushed ice keeps it frozen for longer.

Using lots of ice in drinks looks better too. Customers love to watch a beautiful drink being made. The theater of mixing the drink looks impressive, and professional, over a lot of ice.

Check out these top ice tips.


Most bartenders think adding spirits to the drink first, before the ice allows the drink to cool faster. While this technique helps control dilution when making multiple drinks, this is a common myth. Instead, if you add ice to a glass before other ingredients it can

This tip keeps temperature consistent between cocktail ingredients used in the drink. Adding ice first allows the glass to chill and reduces the fluctuation between temperatures of the liquids used in the recipe. Want a very chilled glass? Fill it with ice and store it in the fridge or freezer to 'frost'.

For anyone watching, there’s a visual appeal to pouring spirits over ice. The liquid cascading over cubes looks better than dropping loose ice into a pool of liquid.

Adding the ice first reduces spills and allows for accurate measurement, making your serves consistent and your clean-up faster!


It’s tough not to. Especially after watching Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail’ but free pouring is never a good thing and doesn’t belong in a bar. It causes:

Some bartenders talk about “feeling out the drink.” This doesn’t compare to the precision of using jiggers or other tools. There is more spectacle to free pouring, but would you want your hairdresser not using a comb because it had ‘more theatre to it’?

Free pouring can be dangerous for overserving guests and keeping tabs on how much customers have consumed in a sitting. This inaccuracy, coupled with lesser-tasting drinks, is unsafe and lessens guests’ experience in your professional care.

It is therefore important to ensure you are using the correct measuring apparatus to pour your drinks responsibly. For example:

Pour spouts

Pour spouts are used to control the pouring of drinks. Pourers should be stored in a safe place and put on to your most commonly used bottles at the beginning of service.


Jiggers are used to pour accurate amounts of spirit. The maximum legal amount of each measure varies around the world so best to check with your manager as to your local limit.

Rinse all your jiggers between serves to ensure liquids don’t mix. Jiggers should be stored together on a drainage tray on the bar top.

How to pour the perfect serve

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