Top Drinks to Test Your Cocktail Barman

When it comes to hiring the perfect cocktail barman – or woman! – it may be tricky to think of how to see whether your tastes will match. You could ask them to make your favourite drink as a measure of how their skill matches your particular palate, but when it comes to parties and gatherings you will want to know that they have a real flare to entertain whilst also being able to make exquisite drinks. If your cocktail experts ticks all the right boxes then everyone will be complimenting your hosting for years to come.

Here are four top drinks to really put your barman to the test:

  • Old Fashioned

This most classic of drinks is surprisingly difficult to master to perfection. While nearly everyone will know how to make one, much like the French testing their chefs with the making of an omelette, the test of a real bartender is to see whether they can make a classic properly with skill, knowledge and passion. When it comes to an Old Fashioned you will want to look out for the use of soda water or ginger ale; this is a sign of a cocktail bartender that perhaps hasn’t questioned the way in which they were taught to make the drink and lacks the passion to create truly spectacular drinks for your guests.

  • Martini

Similarly the Martini is another great test as it is one of the most simple of drinks, made from just two ingredients – gin and vermouth – and will also show whether the bartender exudes the passion necessary to mix this drink to perfection. While it is easy to make, it is equally easy to get wrong; if they have the experience and drive for the job they will have worked out the perfect balance and can create a show-stopping drink you will not be able to put down.

  • Manhattan

Finally, the Manhattan. This drink is a great test of not just the bartender themselves, but the liquors that they use. If they have chosen the correct vermouth – not too sweet – and have a nice rye whiskey then they know what they are doing behind the bar, all topped off with that most perfect of Maraschino cherries of course.

While these drinks are all great tests of a skilled and passionate bartender, it is also important to consider their attitude, background and style when it comes to hiring. You will want to make sure they are experienced in serving drinks to a large party of people, unlikely to get flustered or stressed behind the bar and can put on a performance when making each drink as that is the essence of cocktails – an entertaining performance.

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