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Book Review: Bartending Basics by John C. Burton

John C. Burton runs the Santa Rosa Bartending School and is an avid collector of local and Californian bar tools and vintage cocktail books. 

His latest book, Bartending Basics: Everything You Need to Know to be a Working Bartender is a manual for new bartenders. The book contains 100 pages of recipes and about 150 pages of instruction and definitions.


It is most defnitely not a book for home mixologists, but for people with a first bar job. It has lots of infomation on bar set-up and practical matters such as changing out kegs, washing glasses in different kind of bar sinks, using an automated glass washer, and cutting twists and wedges. There are chapters on responsible service and liability, job responsibilities/cleaning/inventory duties for day/night bartenders and cocktail servers, and computing pour cost. Further chapters are focussed on product knowledge of all categories of drinks - beer, wine, and spirits. It could also be a reference or refresher book on product knowledge and a recipe reference for standard bars. 

It's a good book for a very specific audience. 


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Interesting that he also wrote a similar book 21 years ago (available used on Amazon for $4 shipped) -- I wonder how much he had to change in that time period...

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