How is the Classroom Set Up?
The set up of our classrooms at Mixology Wine is designed to simulate a bar environment. There are two things that are key, when it comes to how a bar is set up:
- Speed, and Efficiency- A Bar is set up to let the Mixologist work as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. When you’ve learned the system, it will be as intuitive as typing on a keyboard, because everything is laid out to maximize productivity.
- The Integrity of the Host/Guest relationship- The best bartenders see themselves as hosts, and their customers as guests. Bars are designed to help this relationship, specifically by making sure the guest is comfortable, and to ensure that the Mixologist doesn’t have to turn around very much, maximizing the contact with the guest.
Our classroom bars are set up along the same guidelines of bars since the late 1800s:
The Well- The well is a rack near the sinks where the lowest quality spirits the bar carries are stored. The idea is, because they’re cheap, they don’t need to be on display. These alcohols don’t have to be the cheapest available, they are the cheapest alcohols your bar chooses to use.
The Speed Rack- The Speed Rack is the line of juices and sodas that the bartender will be accessing constantly. In Europe, or in more upscale bars, the soda from the bottles will be used.
The Soda Gun- For many bars, the soda gun is used primarily for juices and sodas. Here is a rough guide to what the letters on the soda gun mean, but make sure to experiment with your bar because these are not standardized:
S = soda water
C = cola
W = water
L = sprite or 7 up (L stands for lemon-lime soda)
Q or T = tonic water (Q stands for quinine of which is in tonic water)
D = diet cola.
Front Bar- A good front bar is about four feet high, and it’s where customers sit and order drinks. It should be fitted with stools sized to its height, and the stools should have a foot rest for comfort, and be spaced about two feet apart. Foot rails are also ideal, 6-8 inches off the floor. It should be about two feet wide, so the bartender can reach across for service. Every bar station should have a waste drop.
Bar Rail- The bar rail is the 3 ½ inch section on top of the bar where drinks are made. It’s right in front of the customer, but far enough away that they won’t be tempted to grab any of the ingredients.
Bar Mat – A bar mat is a long thin rubber mat that drinks are prepared on. It’s also called a spill mat. It’s designed to catch liquids while making drinks on the bar rail.
Sinks- There are typically three sinks
1. Wash Sink- Hot Soapy Water and Brushes.
2. Rinse Sink- Hot Clear Water
3. Sanitize Sink- Cool Sanitizer Water
Service Bar-This is a designated area of the bar, usually a 3×6 foot section which has been sectioned off, to be used by the wait staff to order and pick up drinks.
Back Bar- The bar behind the bartender. It displays the more expensive “call brands” and the glassware. The layout differs from bar to bar, but things are typically grouped with clear spirits together (gins, vodkas), dark spirits together (whiskeys and brandies), with variable spirits (rums, tequilas) in the middle. Liqueurs are together as well, and the higher something is, the more it costs. The lower back bar typically has refrigeration (often small wheeled fridges) for easy access by the bartender.
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