My Adventures as a Bar Man: A Week In

There’s no such thing like ‘easy money.’

I must confess, when I took the job as bar tender, I thought to myself, “making drinks seems easy enough”. It’s really not. It’s not only making the drinks that is apart of a bartender’s job description, but also things like cleaning the coffee machine, cleaning the bar sink and doing the dishes on occasion. At the end of the 4 or 8 hour shifts, you realise the money you’ve made wasn’t easy. It takes a lot of effort and motivation to keep yourself doing these things. You finally understand Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when it comes to earning money.

However, I must say, a week and a half in, I’ve learnt quite a bit. You interact with fellow bartenders and floor staff, managers and customers. You learn people skills, improve communication skills and learn how to interact with people on the spot. These life trades can be applied anywhere and are always beneficial, as for most of our lives, we come into interaction with all kinds of individuals.

Most important though, pouring drinks aren’t as simple as they may seem to a customer. There’s a lot of science that goes behind making drinks, right from a caffe latte to a Singapore Sling. There are volumes of various liquids that need to be measured. They need to then be poured based on their densities so they don’t look odd to the consumer. It’s more a skill and art form than just mindless pouring of various concoctions.

Eventually, I got what I really wanted out of it- that is, the ability to learn a new skill, which I have.

…And then you realise, the people in this profession aren’t in it for the money, but rather the art and science of mixology.


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