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Bartending Basics: Easy Bartending Tips and Tricks For Everyone

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a bartending career or you simply want to find a new party trick for entertaining guests in your home, collecting basic bartending knowledge and gaining skills in mixology can help you craft the perfect cocktail. 

But bartending isn’t just about mixing up a fancy drink - it’s about creating a memorable experience! Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about starting your journey in bartending basics. 

Can I Bartend with No Experience?

If you’re looking for a bartending job, you may need to have some experience in the foodservice industry. However, some bars and restaurants may hire you without bartending experience if you have a sparkling personality, great communication skills, and consider yourself a quick learner.

Of course, you can bartend at home with no experience - this is where you can learn to perfect your drink handling skills and pick up basic bartending knowledge that turns you into the life of the party. You can teach yourself how to bartend by watching tutorials, attending tastings and seminars, reading up on bar books, and practicing pouring at your own bar. 

Bartending Tips and Tricks: What Bartending Techniques Do I Need To Know

Before you can craft your signature cocktail, there are a few things you should know. Get to know these tips, tricks, and basics of mixology to increase your chances of success behind the bar: 

1. Get to Know Your Liquors (And What You Can Make With Them)

The following base distilled spirits are essential in any bar setup. Make sure you have these on hand before you dive into a recipe book and get started in cocktail creation:

  • Vodka - Make a Bloody Mary, Screw Driver, Cosmopolitan, Martini, and Moscow Mule.
  • Gin - Make a Gin Fizz, Gin and Tonic, and Tom Collins
  • Tequila - Make a Margarita, Paloma, and Tequila Sunrise 
  • Whiskey - Make a Whiskey Sour, Pickleback, Mint Julep, Irish Coffee, and a Hot Toddy
  • Rum - Make a Daiquiri, Pina Colada, Mai Tai, and Dark and Stormy 
  • Brandy - Make a Sidecar, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Milk Punch

2. Grab Your Bar Tools

Stock your bar with the following essentials so you’re equipped to make all of the traditional cocktails:

  • Shaker
  • Bar spoon
  • Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Muddler
  • Cocktail mixing glass
  • Cocktail serving glasses
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Recipe books
  • A bottle each of all traditional liquors

If you don’t have a home bar, we recommend investing in a bar cart and stocking it with all of these necessities. Over time, as you perfect your skills and gain more basic bartending knowledge, you can add to your collection. 

Bartender making a cocktail at home bar

3. Understand the Basic Bartending Techniques 

You can’t just pour your cocktail ingredients into a cup and call it a day. Here are the typical bartending techniques for mixing the perfect drink:

  • Shaken. Cocktails that are made of juices are generally shaken to ensure the flavoring is evenly distributed among the ingredients. 
  • Stirred. Drinks made primarily of liquor should be stirred - the final presentation of a stirred drink is meant to be transparent.  
  • Strained. When using a shaker, the ice breaks down throughout the process and will dilute faster over time if poured directly into the drinking glass. Straining the liquid into a glass with fresh ice prevents this from happening. 
  • Topped off. When a recipe directs you to top off a drink, it’s to add volume to the cocktail.
  • Blended. Blending any of your favorite cocktail ingredients with ice makes the perfect summer sensation. 
  • Bartending Basics: Simplify The Process with Flighty Premium Mixers  

    Even with the basics of bartending and mixology in your back pocket, it’s always fun to have a simplified technique for crafting a delicious cocktail. For the nights you don’t feel like bringing out the fancy bar tools, consider our Prickly Pear Sour mixer! All you have to do is add your favorite spirit to the fill line of the bottle and shake. Then, you can drink it directly from the bottle or pour over ice in your favorite coupe glass.


    Creating your own delicious prickly pear sour cocktail has never been easier. Get Prickly Pear Sour and try our otherpremium mixers today.