Some would say it takes years, even an entire lifetime, to truly become a master bartender. We’re more inclined to think that, with the right amount of dedication and proper resources, your dream of becoming a skilled mixologist can turn into a reality sooner than you think. Supercall has dozens of tutorials that will teach you how to become a pro cocktailian, from basics like how to stir a cocktail to fun tricks like how to sabre a bottle of Champagne. But if you’re short on time or patience, YouTube is a gold mine for quick, helpful video tutorials. Here are 10 handy YouTube videos that’ll teach you some of the trickier bartending techniques in no time.
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Cutting Fruit for Cocktail Garnishes
Slicing citrus for cocktail garnishes takes some thought—you can’t just cut into a fruit without a plan and expect to create a perfect citrus wheel. This tutorial from MonkeySee teaches you the many different ways you can cut limes, lemons and oranges, depending on what affect you’re looking to achieve. He also touches on the best way to cut fruits to serve with beer, like an orange for a wheat beer or lime for a Corona.
How to Create a Foamy Top With Egg Whites (Dry Shaking)
The frothy pillow of foam atop your Gin Fizz is created by emulsifying egg whites, using a method called dry shaking. In this video by BetterBookTV, Jim Meehan—master bartender and founder of New York’s iconic Please Don’t Tell—shows you how to create this foamy layer for cocktails like the Pisco Sour. He’ll explain why you shouldn’t shake with ice (hint: it involves dilution), and how long it takes to create proper foam.
How to Layer a Cocktail
Layering a cocktail creates a fun, crowd-pleasing visual effect, especially when the technique is used to make colorful shooters. Liqueur brand Bols demonstrates how to layer ingredients in a shot glass using the twisted shaft of a bar spoon and a very careful pouring technique. The bartender also explains why to consider the weight of each liqueur before layering them.
How to Flame an Orange Peel
When bartenders create bursts of flames around a cocktail, it may seem like a magic trick to the layman’s eye. In reality, it’s simply a chemical reaction between the oils of an orange peel and fire. Bartender Adam Seymour shows viewers how to pull off this trick in a video by DrinkSkool. He also provides special directions on how to avoid hurting yourself and surrounding drinkers—or unintentionally burning your drink and changing its flavor.
How to Make Clear Ice
While clear ice doesn’t change the flavor of a cocktail, it looks swanky and shows that you care about the presentation of your drinks. Cocktail Chemistry—a channel that also teaches advanced techniques like creating spherical, smoking ice bombs—shows how to make clear ice at home using a cooler to create a solid block.
Hidetsugu Ueno Demonstrates the Hard Shake
The hard shake is an advanced cocktail shaking method, created and commonly used by the Japanese, which many claim is the superior way of mixing a cocktail (we’re not fully sold, but it’s definitely impressive, nonetheless). Hard shaking master Hidetsugu Ueno shows us how to perfect the technique in this video for Class Magazine. Spoiler alert: It’s all in the wrist.
How to Tap a Keg: The Basics
There’s nothing more embarrassing than not knowing how to tap a keg for your own party, which could result in nothing but foam or worse—a beer shower for you and your guests. If you want to master the essential party skill, this comprehensive tutorial from Consumers Beverages will teach you how to operate a keg and achieve perfectly tapped beer. They’ll also dispel a common myth about the pump that people love to use so much.
How to Cut Pineapple
Behold the mighty pineapple: king fruit for all tiki cocktails with a crown to prove it—and an intimidating skin that’s puzzled novice chefs and cocktailians since the dawn of time. How the heck do you break down a pineapple? How can you tell if it’s ripe or rotten? This tutorial from AllRecipes will teach you how to do all that and more, so you’ll have pineapple wedges ready for garnish and perfect chunks of fruit for juicing.
How to Make Ice Balls
There’s no problem if you want to make spherical ice but don’t have a mold. Rich Hunt of Jamie Oliver Drinks will show you a fun hack for creating an ice ball using water balloons. The video demonstrates how to fill them up, hang them in your freezer, and enjoy perfectly round ice baubles for fancy lowballs.
Top 3 Flair Bartending Tips
Flair bartending takes a ton of practice, and the Howcast channel boasts a large playlist that breaks down all of the major tricks of the trade. If flair bartending interests you, we recommend watching the entire playlist. But this video provides a basic introduction to the skill, so you can see if it’s right for you to pursue a dream of becoming Tom Cruise in Cocktail.