fermin cho’c from the belize institute of mixology

Bartending 101 – Knowledge is Everything

So far so good for the first day of the Introduction to Bartending 101 course from the Belize Institute of Mixology, only one minor hiccup yesterday. Which is pretty good considering at 4:00 am we got a total downpour and I lay in bed enjoying the rain and asking Chac (Maya rain god) to please make that was “our one and done” for the day. Our hiccup was a projector that worked the night before when Luis checked it decided not to work the morning of the course. Thankfully Kama Lounge came to the rescue with a working one and a makeshift AV team including Cindy and I managed to figure out how to get the image out of reverse mode. In the 45 minutes, we learned a lot. Mr. Fermin Cho’c is a thorough teacher and very personable. He asked the students lots of questions, checked regularly that everyone was understanding and did demonstrations as he was teaching. Fermin talked about the importance considering the bar set up from every aspect of the business from customer service to sales to set up, to the art of mixing drinks. Bartending is a serious profession and if you are good you will make a lot of money and earn the potential to work almost anywhere in the world. Patience and professionalism are important at all times, remember you are not just slinging drinks, you are creating the experience for the customer. Bartending is more than just a job and it is not for everyone. Professionalism – you are representing the place you work as well as yourself so it is important to “ABC” – Always Be Classy at work. Personality and Friendliness – A good bartender is always personable and polite. Honesty – Is still and always will be the best policy. It is also a great way to get glowing recommendations and a solid reputation. Punctuality – Being on time is important to keeping work a well-running machine. Good personal appearance and cleanliness – Caring about your appearance shows and will take you farther in the bartending world. Teamwork and Communication – To do a good job as a bartender, it is important to communicate well and be a team player at work. Personal Control – Maintaining dignity and keeping calm in stressful situations is important, so is not ‘losing control’ drinking. Personal Development – Always keep learning and growing in your job, this will increase your good reputation and your tips. The message was clear, be proud of the bar in which you work not only when you are there but also when you are off duty. In addition to all the positive things, there was a good list of what not to do such as never argue with a customer, gossip or talk about a customer’s last visit unless they bring it up. Day 1 of the 5-day mixology course was very thorough and Fermin made learning fun. He embodies all the qualities of a 5 star Jedi bartender 🙂 I will leave you with Cindy’s take coming from the perspective of already being a well-known bartender and a few pictures of the course, our lunch at Palapa Bar and a flair demonstration. I initially thought that this was a fun idea fun idea to do but probably a moot point seeing as I’ve been bartending for quite a few years. However, since getting pregnant in 2012 I haven’t worked behind a bar at all and then got to thinking that this course was a really good idea, not just for personal improvement but also as I have an involvement with 3 different establishments that could probably do with a little tweaking too! So far so good, really worth it from all standpoints. Fermin is a fountain of knowledge and loves to share. Apparently, by the end of the course, I will be throwing bottles all over the bar! A favorite phrase so far: if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.

I will leave you with a slideshow of the day’s events. [slideshow_deploy id=’31347’]

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