Sunday, January 30, 2011

Raleigh Bartending School - Day One (Threat of Snowpacolypse)

Weather is a funny thing here in NC, they say that "if you don't like it wait around and it will change."  The week we started at RBS we were waiting to be hit by what was being predicted to be a major storm.  In the end it resulted in lots of icy roads and some small actual accumulation.  When the storm would arrive kept being pushed back and what was supposed to start at 9am didn't arrive until 6pm that evening.  Still there was enough chaos created that it would effect the schedule for the week.

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Class starts Monday morning as expected, there are some small troubles on the road, but there always are in Raleigh, and we are all there more or less on time and ready to go.  There are three members of our 'class'; myself, a slightly older guy who we will call Clyde and a slightly younger lady we will call Julia.  The first lesson is a very simple one, read the first twenty or so pages of the book.  It is basic stuff, the rules of and how to open the and close the classroom, which will be turned into actually setting up and tearing down a real bar, the order of liquor in your well, and an example of setting up a back-bar and bar station.

From there we rolled right into class with bar terms and techniques, how to count a pour, and differences in glassware. 

With the incoming inclement weather it is decided that we will do a double lesson that first day in case we have to miss class the following day. 

So its freezing outside and the threat of snow is heavy, what should we start with.  How about tropical drinks?  The kind of thing that gets a boat-load of garnish and usually involves at least six ingredients.  Also the kind of drink where any 2 are only as different as what you top it with.  Welcome to bartending school.  So we start slinging ice and mixing bottles and shaking glasses.

After an hour or two of working on the tropicals  we move on to the next thing.  Drinks using cream.  The cream we are taught to use is the standard 'half and half' that people like in their coffee.  After a couple examples we are again left on our own to practice with our recipe lists.

Both the tropicals and cream drinks involve some mnemonics and acronyms for the ingredients.  Due to the double lessons day one ends a little later than expected.  We are given 21 recipes to take home and start memorizing.

Thats all for now,

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