Elements of Bartending: How to Become the Rockstar

Elements of Bartending: How to Become the Rockstar

In a presentation on Mindful Bartending by industry luminaries Aisha Sharpe and Dushan Zaric, they identified three elements of the complete Bartender: The Mixologist, The Sage, and The Rockstar.  This article is about the Rockstar.

What is a “Rockstar?”

What is it about her?  Is it what she’s wearing?  Is it his smile?  Is because he suggested the perfect rooftop bar?  Is it the way she noticed and remembered you even though you’ve only been to this bar once before?

The truth is that being a rockstar is all of these things, but at the core of the rockstar is the feeling of possibility.  Being around them feels…Different somehow.  Like you’re a little bit friendlier, a little bit more popular, a little bit more attractive.  While all rockstars have an energy about them, a way of drawing the eye and standing out, it is this embodiment of possiblity that enables the best rockstars to make the other people around them feel like rockstars just by their presence.  Their magic and charisma aren’t contemptuously withheld, but generously offered as part of their sacred service to their guests.

Here are 5 ways to embody the element of the Rockstar:

  1. Think Energetically- If the essence of the sage is somatic awareness and the essence of the Mixologist is applied knowledge, the essence of the Rockstar is Social Energy.  It’s the energy, the little spark that comes from connecting with people, through music, drinks, or conversation that makes Rockstars irresistible.
  2. Dress to Express Yourself- See our article on Fashion for Bartenders.
  3. Be a Connector- Most people have a handful of close friends, a few co-workers they like, and maybe a couple buddies at the gym.  They go out, talk to people, make facebook friends with dates and acquaintances, and that’s where it ends.  Some people are different.  Some people are connectors.  You’ll know a connector because she instantly wants to tell you about someone, or something that she thinks you’d like.  A connector makes friends and notices everyone, and is genuinely happy when he can get the right people together.  The key in being a connector is to approach people and situations with honesty and from a place of deep giving, instead of being worried about how many friends you have or what you know.
  4. Cultivate Sangha- Sangha, is a term that means something like a communal goodwill, it’s a sort of “Cheers” effect where everybody feels acknowledged and valued.  Rockstar bartenders do this by using their authority in the right ways.  Because their position involves tremendous social power, bartenders who treat people they don’t know like old friends, and accept them, start conversations that involve the whole bar, turn strangers into friends.
  5. Become a repository of practical knowledge- The best bars for a romantic date, where to get a great cheap haircut, that bizarre thing that happened on the news.  Start noticing these types of things, because you’ll be surprised by how often they come up in conversation.  Also note that the practical knowledge required by a sports bar is different from the sort required by a blues club.

Being a Rockstar is not enough, the fearless potential of the rockstar must be tempered with the calm presence of the Sage and the practical confidence of the Mixologist.