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Tips to Look Like a Bartending Pro!

Straight from getting your MAST certification, you might still feel a little wet behind the ears in the world of bartending. Here's a few tips on how you can look like a pro from the start:

Keep a smile on your face

No matter how busy it gets, or how many customers are trying to get your attention, you can only serve one person at a time. Keep smiling, and try to crack a few jokes. Remember that people are there to have a good time, so they'll be appreciative of you keeping things light.

Learn how to rim a drink properly

You want the salt or sugar to be on the outside of the rim; nobody wants it falling into the drink. For a bit of dash, take a slice of lemon or lime and slick it around the edge, then tilt the glass and rotate it around in the sugar or salt.

Let other bartenders know where you are

Always, always let other bartenders know when you are behind them, especially if they're known for trying fancy tricks with bottles. See how everyone else is doing it, but just saying 'behind you' or tapping them on the shoulder ought to do it. Equally, try to be aware of who is coming and going behind you, too.

Don't cry over spilt milk!

You will spill something, and probably break something too. This happens, so just apologise, tidy up and carry on. It's not the end of your career. You might be the butt of a few jokes for the rest of the night, but don't take it personally.

Head to to get your bartending certification and enter into the fast-paced world of bartending.

AACEA Launches Free Alcohol Server Certification Contest

Are you looking to get your alcohol server permit, or Class-12 certification in Washington? Lucky You! Get your bartender certification free – on us! Just tell us why you want to become a bartender, and we'll give one lucky bartender a full ride scholarship to our online alcohol certification class for free!

To enter, comment on our Facebook Page, or tweet @lenriggs on twitter, and use the hashtag #freealcoholservertraining.

For example, you could say “@lenriggs - I want to become a bartender because I make excellent flaming Dr. Peppers! #freealcoholservertraining” and you’re entered to win. It’s that easy!

The contest will be open until April 25 and if you win, you will experience free mandatory alcohol server training courtesy of Len Riggs and Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association. You can post on both FB and Twitter for 2 contest entries. You also get one entry for sharing our contest with YOUR friends on Twitter and one entry for sharing our contest on Facebook. That’s 4 chances to win – total!

If you need Washington alcohol server training, AACEA provides online alcohol server training courses that you can take from the comfort of your own home. Imagine getting your bartender certification in your pajamas, and heading to work later that day. It's that easy. Find out more at

Thanks to Contest Hound for helping us spread the word!

Tips to Become a Better Bartender

There are a lot of things you can do to become a bartending pro - for example, you'll need to obtain your Washington alcohol server permit. But besides that, we have a few tips for the beginner to help you become a pro!

Keep your bar well stocked. You can't make a drink if you don't have all the ingredients, and it's very likely that you won't have much time to walk away from the bar to grab a back-stocked bottle.

Don't have an item/drink/liquor in stock? If you say you're out of something, it could sound like your bar manager is disorganized, or didn't properly order stock for your bar. If you say you're "sold out" of something, it must be a popular item.

Keep your bar tidy. Cleaning up the tools you've used to make a drink is part of making the drink, so get in the habit of rinsing out your shaker/strainer/blender when you're done using it so you don't have to do it prior to making the next drink.

When you've got a list of drinks to make, pick up that bottle only once! Line up your glasses on the bar, ice the ones that need to be cold, and pour all the vodka you'll need for this set of orders so that you don't have to keep going back to get that bottle. It's more efficient to make multiple drinks at a time in this method than pouring drinks one at a time.

Don't over-fill your glasses. Many certified bartenders know that you need to allow around a quarter-inch of room at the top of a glass to avoid spills and messes. If you leave a little bit of room at the top of the glass, your guests won't have to sip off the top to be able to take their drink from the bar to their table.

Keep your head up, your eyes open, your ears open and be alert as much as possible. You'll need to be aware of everything that happens around you. Watch out for drinks that may need refills, suspicious activity, or guests who need their ID checked.

Use both hands. The best bartenders have learned to be somewhat ambidextrous.

Many bartenders can walk behind any bar and be a great bartender regardless of the venue. Often, it's just a matter of learning the way the register works, and where everything is. Learning these tips and tricks are a way to become a better bartender.

Alcohol servers learn tips like these and more at our online alcohol classes. If you need your Class 12 permit in Washington, take one of our Washington alcohol certification classes. Visit for more information.

What Glass Should I Use for Different Beers?

We reported a while back that bar glass shapes confuse even the most adept bartenders from time to time. The right glass can definitely enhance the drink you're serving - for example, red wine glasses are built for maximum surface area, letting the wine "breathe".

So how well do you know YOUR beer bar glasses?

Beers are generally served in the standard pint glasses you see at every bar. However, besides the standard pint glass, you may encounter:

Pints: Come in 2 shapes - regular pints and pub pints. They're beer glasses with slightly tapered walls, and a pub pint has a ridge around the top. Pint glasses come in two sizes: Imperial 20 ounce glasses or US 16 ounce pints.

pub pint glass

Pilsner Glasses: A long, narrow glass with walls that taper towards the base. Used to consolidate volatiles and support delicate heads of pilsners and other lagers. These may be tall (imperial pint size) or short (weisen glasses). They may also feature a short stem and be "footed".

pilsner glass

Seidel or Stein: German-style mugs, often 1/2 liter volume, with handles and thick walls that maintain a cool temperature. An earthenware, ceramic, or metal version is called a stein.

seidel or stein

Goblet, Schooner or Chalice: Wide-mouthed, bowl-like, stemmed glass, generally used for serving abbey-style ales. Like tulip glasses, they are often etched to stimulate carbonation. These are also considered schooner glasses - which are often confused with the shorter pilsner or weisen glasses.

schooner chalice goblet

Tulip glass: These are much the same shape as the above schooner or goblet - bulbous with a smaller mouth and short stem, that support large heads of artisanal Belgian ales, or any beer you might "swirl". These glasses have etching on the bottom of the inside of the glass, that help stimulate carbonation which allows the beer to keep its head.


AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit

AACEA is an Approved Alcohol Certification Program in Washington and Oregon!

If you're a server looking to get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate in Washington or Oregon, look no further than AACEA. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Washington State Liquor Control Board both require a "server permit" for anybody who is employed by a licensee - a business with a permit to serve alcohol (Restaurants, Bars, Restaurants, Deli's, Wineries, etc.) - and who participates in any way in mixing, sale or service of alcohol for consumption at that business. In short, anybody who may/does/will handle alcohol is required to have a servers permit and complete alcohol server training. AACEA provides daily OLCC and WSLCB-approved classes in the Portland/Metro area and Northwest Oregon, the Seattle area, and online!

You can complete online alcohol training from the comfort of your own home or come to one of our popular classes. At the end of our classes you will have your temporary permit in-hand, whether it's a new or renewal permit. If you're looking for your Washington State alcohol server's permit, check out our online training. The course can be completed from home in only 3 hours, and you can be at work in the service industry that day! America's Alcohol Certified Education Association is dedicated to promoting responsible alcohol sales and service through our course pack. Find out more today at

A Primer on Underage Drinking

A recent report on Medscape News Today notes that teen drinking is down in 2011 - in fact, underage drinking has fallen to its lowest point in 3 years. This is good news for law enforcement and those in the alcohol industry who have been vigilant in attempting to crack down on underage drinking.

Selling alcohol to minors can result in criminal charges, fines and most likely the loss of your job. For alcohol, it is your legal responsibility to make sure the person is 21 or older. If you intentionally help someone under 21 obtain or attempt to obtain alcohol, it's considered "aiding and abetting." This means you cannot help an underage person buy alcohol, you cannot buy for alcohol for them or give them any alcohol.

washington acceptable id

Reducing the number of underage drinkers can be as easy as knowing what to look for on a customer's ID. At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we provide alcohol server training that teaches prospective bartenders and servers how to quickly identify proper identification as well as spotting intoxicated customers, and knowing just how much alcohol is in a beverage.

With the widespread use of fake IDs, it can be difficult to make sure you're serving to an of-age customer. There are a few guidelines for spotting fake IDs though:

  1. Compare the person in the picture to the one who is presenting it. Often, this is the biggest clue.
  2. Feel the ID for cuts in the birthdate and/or picture area. They can be subtle.
  3. Compare the identification document to the ID checking guide.
  4. Look for different types of ink on the ID, color contrasts, smudges and misprints.
  5. Overall, trust your instincts. Servers have the right to refuse sale to anyone for any reason.
Together we can help stop underage drinking and promote responsible alcohol sales and service. If you're looking to get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate, choose online alcohol classes that you can take from the comfort of your own home with AACEA. Sign up for one of our convenient classes at!

There's still a chance to win $500 through the AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives!

We're giving everybody an extension, and a second chance to win $500!

Are you working in the Hospitality industry and currently enrolled or enrolling in college? Tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

To enter: Like the AACEA Facebook page and read the complete contest rules (find them here). Submit an essay, poem, song, or other piece of creative writing explaining what it means to you as a hospitality worker, to be the first line of defense in keeping drunk drivers off our roads. Send your submissions via email to

Need an example? Here's a Sample Entry From Len Riggs, founder of AACEA:

"When I first became certified by the WSLCB I can remember reading the approval letter and thinking "Now what?" I started out with a shoe string budget, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I had one goal in mind and that was to become the number one provider in Washington. When I mentioned that goal I was met with a lot of skepticism.

"As I began my quest I found myself digging deeper into the culture of alcohol service and could see where I could make a difference by teaching those in my class with more than just enough information to pass the test and get their permit.

"When I teach a class or when I train a trainer for AACEA / LRAST, I do my best to get the fact across that they (the student) can make a difference and save lives. Many times I have been contacted by past students who either went through a class that I taught, or through one of our trainers to thank us for teaching us what we taught."

Find out more about AACEA at:

Louisiana Bar Card and Washington State MAST permit. Arizona Title 4 Basic Training Online AZ DLLC Alcohol Server Approved Certification Course California Responsible Beverage Service RBS TIPS Certificate Program On Off Premises ABC Florida Vendor State Compliant Montana Ohio Seller For Sellers Servers Bartenders and Managers Get your TABC Certification for selling serving alcohol in Texas Your official can be printed online upon completion Utah Mobile Friendly valid Bartender School on off premise server training permit classes by Len Riggs

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