Cocktails and bar training at EBS London

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Last weekend I spent a few hours doing something anyone who loves cocktails needs to do. I was invited to have ‘bar’ training at the European Bartender School in London.

I had no idea how hard making proper cocktails is. Like seriously, it is not an easy art to master. I’m usually too busy balancing several gins when I’m out to actually realise what’s going on behind a bar- like there is actually a way to stop pouring without just lifting up a bottle and it’s super fancy. Who even knew?

I knew I was going to be a fan when we arrived to a tray of mojitos with ALL of the mint- the exact way mojitos should be- and got a drink in us before the schooling began. I’ve heard of cocktail courses and such things before and a friend who had been on the EBS course got me all excited with tales of learning to spin bottles and making four cocktails at a time like an alcohol wizard- and it didn’t disappoint.

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I’m used to getting a massive bucket, inviting friends to bring a bottle round each and then throwing all manner of spirits and lemonade in and consequently dancing on the kitchen table. Pretty poor cocktail form (or ideal form, let’s be honest) so EBS have done me a favour.

If you do their basic course you learn how to pour properly for starters (pouring it turns out, is not easy) and how to count out measurements like a total professional in your head. Maths and cocktails.

There’s a reason you can’t drink on the job.

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What I was really excited for though, was flaring. You know the bit where the bartender throws bottles in the air and like juggles with glasses and makes everything look like a fancy show? Well I was well up for that thinking my strange bendy arms would hold me in good stead, but basically- No. IT’S SO HARD. There are flaring world championships. This is serious business. The EBS staff are so good at making it look like a total breeze that I thought something was wrong with me until I looked around and saw people hitting themselves with bottles and chasing straws across the room. After 45 minutes of throwing and finally mastering some moves I felt like I’d been to the gym. Who even needs a treadmill when you can just flare?

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If you’re looking for something really fun to do with the girls or are seriously interested in becoming a master of mixology I would definitely recommend. It’s fun, you get to play with all sorts of alcohol, stand behind a real bar and feel like Tom Cruise, see flaring being done by a master and the staff also provided us with a few insanely good cocktails and a recipe list to take home and fail hard at everything they tried to teach us. If you do go ask for the cocktail that tastes like fizzy cola bottle sweets- I don’t know what it was but it was a dream come true.

The London school is a short walk from Bermondsey station, but they’re in 24 cities world wide including Vegas. So yeah. GO GO GO GO GO.

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