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So you think you're a bartender now?

When I'm making cocktails at events I'm often asked where else I bartend. The answer is "nowhere."

When I'm talking to my bartender friends and mention making cocktails, they all say some version of, "Wait what? You're bartending now?" The answer is "sorta."

In the last two or three years I've been making thousands of drinks each year, but pretty much all of them are served at events and conferences. I design, prepare, and serve cocktails, usually with an educational component or display. Themes have ranged from "Hey, shrubs!" to "Frozen Dinosaur Incubator Laboratory." A fair portion of my income now comes from this activity. 

So yes, I make drinks for a living. But no, I've never had to serve drinks while taking money from customers. I'm slow enough at just cranking out partially-batched drinks in sufficient time (while providing excellent customer service and education though), but let's not kid ourselves.

I bartend, but I'm not really a bartender. Dancing around your living room doesn't make you a ballerina. 


Camper English bartending Google event
photo credit: Google, Inc.


p.s. If you want to hire me to bartend there is some info here.



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Sinjin Eberle


So, I went through (and passed!!) the Pernod-Riccard Barsmarts Advanced program a few years ago, but have done exactly two (guest) bartending shifts in my life. But, I have morphed my knowledge and enthusiasm for "classic" bartending into a seminar series and some occasional formal instructional gigs for bartenders in my area (small town, western Colorado). Since I started doing that three years ago, I have worked with 3 of the 5 best restaurants in town, and have helped bring a number of young, fresh bartenders up to speed. Now, a couple of them have gone on to complete the BarSmarts program as well, and have been competing across the state and the west, and one even went to Canada for a competition. The person I have worked with the most over the past 3 years just won Bartender of the Year! Whoo Hooo!!

I constantly get the question "so where did you bartend (when I lived in Denver)" my answer is always super wishy washy and hard to understand. But, my contribution here, and my enthusiasm for the craft, continues to grow.

So, I too, am not a bartender. But I like making great cocktails, and I love passing along the knowledge I do have and inspiring young bartenders to contemplate making this a career, not simply a hold-over until they get that accounting job.

Over and Out

Paul Babiak

You are being very honest about yourself Camper.

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