Bar Trick # 1

Olive in Brandy Snifter.

Ingredients: 1 olive and 1 brandy snifter.

Objective: Put olive in brandy snifter.

Situation: You can not touch the olive with your body (hands, mouth, etc.). You can not scoop the olive with the snifter. You can not roll olive off of bar into snifter.

Solution: With the olive on the bar. Place the brandy snifter over the olive so that the open end of the snifter is surrounding the olive. Slowly rotate the brandy snifter around the olive. The olive will roll around the inside walls of the snifter (centrifugal force). Once the olive is spinning around the middle of the snifter, flip the snifter upright and place on the bar. Collect your winnings!

Hints: Practice this bar trick before placing any bets. The olive has a tendency to come out of snifter when flipping upright. After a little practice, you will be a pro. Submitted by Brick

Bar Trick # 2

Embarrass your Friends.

Ingredients: 1 bar napkin, and 1 pen/pencil.

Objective: Embarrass your friends and others.

Situation: On a bar napkin write down the following:

Ask your friends to continue reading out laud until they understand.
Continue to find new victims.

Added Bonus: Old victims will laugh at new victims.

Bar Trick # 3

The Race!

Ingredients: 3 shots of ______, and 3 pints of beer.

Objective: Get a free round of drinks.

Situation: Tell your victim that you will drink your 3 pints of beer faster then they can drink their three small shots of ______.

Player’s rules: You can not touch the other player’s glass or shot.

Solution: Start drinking your beer. Your victim will take their first shot. As soon as you finish drinking your first beer, place your empty pint over your victim’s third shot. Take your time and enjoy your free drinks. Your victim can not touch your glass, see above rule. You Win!

Bar Trick # 4

The old “Two quarters trick?”

Ingredients: 2 quarters, and one victim.

Objective: To get a free drink.

Situation: On the bar place two quarters heads up. Ask your victim, “What do you see.” The usual answer is, “Two heads!” or “Two quarters.” Slowly start nodding your head in agreement and with your palm up point to the two quarters and say, “I see two pennies, hey, if I’m wrong will you buy me a drink.” Pressure
them for a reply, most people will say, “Sure.” At this point say “I’m wrong.”
Enjoy your free drink.

Added Bonus: When drink is empty, find a new victim.

Bar Trick # 5

The Fifty cent drink.

Ingredients: 1 Victim with a fresh drink, 1 cocktail napkin, 2 quarters.

Objective: To get a cheap drink.

Situation: Taking victims drink and remove any straws or umbrellas. Cover
victims drink with the cocktail napkin. Tell your victim, “I bet you fifty cents that
without touching the glass or the napkin or any straws etc., I can drink that entire
Push the two quarters towards the victim while betting, point to the glass and the
napkin. Continue to say, “I won’t touch anything!”
Bring up the point about possibly putting a straw through the napkin and say
again, “I won’t touch anything!”
Solution: When they give up, slowly take off the napkin and enjoy the drink as
you push the fifty cents to the victim. Be sure to tell the victim they won and give
them their fifty cents. The $4.00 drink just cost you fifty cents! Enjoy your cheap
Bar Trick # 6 Salt & Pepper
Ingredients: 1 victim, 1 salt packet, 1 pepper packet, and 1 small plastic comb.
Objective: To get a free drink.
Situation: Make a small hill of salt on the bar, about the size of a quarter. Then
sprinkle a small amount of pepper on top of the salt. Bet your victim one drink
that they can not get the pepper off, without disturbing the salt.
Solution: Take your plastic comb and comb your hair a few times. Then hold the
comb over the salt & pepper. The static electricity will suck the pepper off the
Note: This trick will only work when the humidity levels are low.
Bar Trick # 7 Sugar Cubes
Ingredients: 1 victim, 2 sugar cubes, 1 lighter, and 1 ash tray.
Objective: To get a free drink.
Situation: Hand someone a sugar cube and a lighter. Bet them a drink that they
can not light the sugar cube on fire. They will try to light it on fire by putting the
flame under it. They will get the cube to smoke, char and smolder but it will not
catch on fire.
Solution: Rub your sugar cube in an ashtray to get some ashes on it. Hold the
flame to the sugar cube, it should light right up.

Note: Practice this a few times before you start placing bets.
Bar Trick # 8 Ice Cubes
Ingredients: 1 victim, 2 ice cubes, some salt, and 2 pieces of human hair (about 6
to 8 inches long).
Objective: To get a free drink.
Situation: Bet someone they can not pick up an ice cube with one piece of human
hair. The average person will try to twist and tie the hair around the ice cube.
Others will try to just lift it up. However, they will not be able to get the ice cube
off the bar.
Solution: Place the ice cube on the bar, take a strand of human hair and place it
across the top of the ice cube. Then, take a little salt and sprinkle it on top of the
hair and ice cube. The salt will cause the ice cube to re-freeze around the hair. In
a few seconds you will be able to gently lift the ice cube off of the bar.
Note: Practice this a few times before you start placing bets.
Bar Trick # 9 The Switch
Ingredients: 2 identical shot glasses, 1 non-porous piece of paper (playing card,
over-sized match book, etc.), water, and your choice of alcohol (bourbon, scotch,
Objective: Challenge your friends.
Situation: Fill one shot glass with water and the other with, lets say, bourbon.
The challenge is to get the bourbon in the glass that has the water and the water
in the glass that has the bourbon without using any other containers including
your mouth (or anyone else’s mouth).
Solution: Place the non-porous piece of paper (playing card) on-top of the shot of
water. Turn the card and water shot upside down carefully. The paper will stay
attached to the shot on its own accord.
Now, place the water shot glass and card on the shot of bourbon. Slowly and
carefully pull the paper out just far enough to make a very small opening between
the two glasses. Water, being heavier than alcohol will flow to the bourbon glass
and displace the bourbon into the water glass. You have just made the switch.
If you are truly skilled at this bar trick, you will be able to replace the paper
between the two shot glasses and remove the bourbon and put it back on the bar.

Note: Make sure the opening between the glasses is very small. A large opening
will cause the water and alcohol to mix.
Bar Trick # 10 Smoke on the water
Ingredients: 1 glass, a matchbook, six quarters, and an ashtray with water.
Objective: Get a free drink.
Situation: Bet your friends one drink that you can get the water out of the
ashtray using only the ingredients mentioned and without moving or tilting the
Solution: Make sure ashtray is filled with at most a quarter inch of water. Stack
the quarters in the center of the ashtray so the top two quarters are above the
water. Place four unlit matches on top of the quarters. Light the matches and
immediately cover the flame and quarters with the glass. The water will be
drawn into the glass. Collect your bets.
Bar Trick # 11 The Wish in a Bottle
Ingredients: 1 newly emptied bottle of Grand Marnier, a matchbook, a cork, a
straw, and a sword cocktail pick.
Objective: To play with fire while making a wish.
Situation: Get your friends to make a wish. Tell them if the sword sticks in the
ceiling then their wish will come true.
Solution: Take a newly emptied Grand Marnier bottle and put a cork in it. Place
the bottle under hot water for about 10 minutes. While the bottle is heating, take
a straw and bend it in half. Take you sword pick and stick it through the fold in
the straw. The straw should be folded back over the handle of the sword pick.
When the bottle is ready, carefully remove the cork so the heated gas in the bottle
does not escape. Quickly put the straw and the sword in the bottle with the tip of
the sword pick pointing out the opening of the bottle. Make a wish and drop a
match in the bottle.
Warning: There will be a large flame and the straw and the sword pick will be
forced out the bottle. KEEP your face and others away from the opening.
If the straw sticks in the ceiling then your wish comes true. If the straw does not
stick, tell someone to buy you a drink for your troubles. If you do not get a flame,
you have to buy everyone else drinks.
Bar Trick # 12 Blow the Bottle
Ingredients: 1 empty beer bottle, and a small piece of napkin.
Objective: Get a free drink.
Situation: Hold an empty beer bottle horizontally. (Make sure inside of neck is
dry.) Tear off a small piece of napkin, wad it up into a small ball. Place the
napkin wad just inside the lip of the bottle. Hold the bottle in front of someone’s
face, and bet them a drink that they can not blow the napkin into the bottle.
Solution: Bernoulli principle states that moving air has lower pressure than still
air. Therefore, when your friend blows, the still air in the bottle will push the
napkin out of the bottle, right back at the face of the blower.
Note: The harder they blow, the faster the napkin will come out. If you get a
really gullible person, you can have them try again for a chance at another drink.
You should be able to milk them for at least 3 or 4.
A truly great bartender also has some pretty funny jokes to share.
Warning: some of these jokes may be rude, crude, raunchy, and controversial.
Now, THAT’S what makes a great bartender!


Creating cocktails can be straight forward or artistic depending on the person, their tastes and how far they want to take it. Often the first lesson of Bartending School teaches the basic skills from shaking to pouring over a spoon.

Bartenders AnonymousShaking is the method by which you use a cocktail shaker to mix
ingredients together and chill them simultaneously. The object is to almost freeze the drink while breaking down and combining the

Normally, this is done with ice cubes added to the shaker about ¾ of the way to the top. Then pour in the ingredients, hold the shaker in both hands with one hand on top and one hand supporting the base.
Give the shaker a short, sharp, snappy shake. DO NOT rock your cocktail to sleep. When water has begun to condense on the surface of the shaker, the cocktail is chilled and ready to be strained.

Bartenders AnonymousMost cocktail shakers are sold with a build-in strainer or hawthorn
strainer. When a drink calls for straining, ensure you’ve used ice cubes, as crushed ice tends to clog the strainer of a standard shaker. If a drink is required shaken with crushed ice (i.e. Shirley Temple), it is to be served unstrained.

Bartenders AnonymousYou can stir cocktails effectively with a metal or glass rod in a mixing glass. If you use ice, use them to prevent dilution and strain the contents into a glass when the surface of the mixing glass begins to collect condensation.

Bartenders AnonymousTo extract the most flavor from certain fresh ingredients such as fruit or mint garnishes, you should crush the ingredient with the muddler on the back end of your bar spoon, or with a pestle.

An electric blender is often needed for recipes containing fruit or other ingredients that do not break down by shaking. Blending is a great way to combine these ingredients with others creating a smooth, ready to serve mixture.

Some recipes call for ice to be placed in the blender in which case you
would use a suitable amount of crushed ice to produce a smooth, pleasant tasting drink.

When building a cocktail, the ingredients are poured into the glass in
which the cocktail will be served. Usually, the ingredients are floated on top of each other, but occasionally, a swizzle stick is put in the glass, allowing the ingredients to be mixed.

Bartenders AnonymousTo layer or float an ingredient such as cream liquor on top of another, use the rounded, back part of a spoon and rest it against the inside of a glass. Slowly pour the liquor down the spoon and into the glass. The ingredient should run down the inside of the glass and remains separated from the ingredient below it.

Bartenders AnonymousFlaming is the method by which a cocktail or liquor is set alight, normally to enhance the flavor of a drink. It should only be attempted with caution, and for the above reason only, not to simply look cool.

Some liquor will ignite quite easily if their proof is high. Heating a small amount of the liquor in a spoon will cause the alcohol to collect at the top, which can then be easily lit. You can then pour this over the prepared ingredients.

Don’t add alcohol to ignited drinks and don’t leave them unattended.
Light them where they pose no danger to anybody else, and ensure no objects can possibly come into contact with any flames from the drink. Always extinguish a flaming drink before consuming it.
There’s nothing more depressing than a “frou frou” drink that has no
decoration to it.


bartenders anonymousDecoration of a drink will normally consist of one or two fruit, herb, or
cherry garnishes that either complement the flavor of the drink, contrast with the color, or both. It is important that you avoid overpowering the drink.

When garnishing with fruit, be careful with the size. If it is too thin, it’s flimsy and uneventful. A too-thick slice can unbalance the look and even flavor of the cocktail.

Citrus Twists
To make a citrus twist, cut a thin slice of the fruit crosswise and simply twist to serve on the side of a glass or in it.

Citrus Peel Spirals
To make a spiral of citrus peel, use a parer or vegetable peeler to cut away the skin, working in a circular motion. Take care not to cut into the bitter pith.

Citrus Peel Knots
Use strips of peel and carefully tie each strip into a knot. Drop into the drink for a nice garnish.

Cocktail Sticks
These extremely useful wooden cocktail sticks are needed for spearing through pieces of fruit and cherries. These are not re-usable. Plastic cocktail sticks, however, are re-usable provided they are washed and boiled.

Bartenders AnonymousMargaritas and other mixed drinks often call for the rim of the glass to be coated with salt, sugar, or some other ingredient. This is known as frosting or rimming. The easiest way to do this is to rub the rim of the glass with a slice of citrus fruit and then dip the very edge of the rim into a small bowl filled with the sugar or salt.

Maraschino Cherries
You should always have a plentiful supply of red maraschino cherries to decorate your cocktails with. These are the most widely used of decorations, as well as being available in multiple colors and flavors.

Olives or Onions
Martinis are often garnished with olives or cocktail onions. Simply skewer one or two with a toothpick and drop into the drink.

Straws are essential and go well with many cocktails.
These, of course, should never be re-used.

Hygiene And Safety

Here a few guidelines to remember regarding hygiene and safety in a bar whether it be at home or at work. While most of these suggestions might be common sense, they bear notation I mention this for the safety of you, your guests and/or your customers!

Always be tidy, clean, and diplomatic. Always rinse or wash bar
equipment like cocktail shakers and strainers after every use – even between drinks.

Always wash and dry your hands frequently – especially after contact with citrus fruit and juices. This helps prevents scaling of the hands and infection from dermatitis. Take good care of your hands – especially your fingernails as these are always in view. Keep nails short. If you use nail polish, use neutral colors so the focus is on you and your creations instead of your fingernails.

In general, it is frowned upon to smoke or drink while working behind a bar. Many people view it as unsanitary. In some places, it is also illegal. When uncorking champagne, try to prevent the pop of the cork. While this is usually associated with champagne, it can be a dangerous practice if the cork should become errant.

When using a soda siphon, handle it by the plastic or metal part only.
This is the most sanitary way to approach pouring a soda.

Never fill a glass to the brim. This encourages spilling and makes the
entire bar unsanitary and messy.