One of the greatest fears that most people have when they are starting out bartending is either not knowing, or forgetting a drink recipe that someone orders. Here’s the good news, no body really cares. In fact, unless you work at a “craft house”, or destination/resort type establishment with an extensive drink recipe list, most places you’ll be working at will have a pretty limited range of the types of cocktails that will be ordered. And if you are a bartender working at such a place, you’ll have been well trained by them.
So the likelihood that you’ll actually encounter a situation where you forget a drink recipe while you’re bartending is pretty low. Don’t forget that part, because it’s a big key in getting the confidence up enough to take the training wheels of and go knock on some doors. But I digress…
The next thing to help alleviate stress around this situation is that it’s ok. And in fact, forgetting or not knowing a recipe or how to make a certain cocktail is a good thing! That’s because it gives us an opportunity to grow our knowledge base and skill set as working bartenders.
In the end, those rare instances where I haven’t known a recipe, all you have to do is ask them. Ask your customer whats in the drink? How they like it prepared? And if they can’t tell you those things, well then they probably shouldn’t expect someone else to know it either. There are simply too many strange rabbit holes of obscure cocktail recipes for us (bartenders) to possibly know them all.