There are many different ways to prepare alcoholic drinks. If you’re new to bartending, you’ll want to learn the lingo that your customers might be using. Most cocktails are usually either ordered frozen or on the rocks. Beer is served cold and wine and shots are served chilled or at room temperature. These are a few different methods that are commonly used to prepare drinks.

Shaking: Shake cocktails when they include fruit juices, egg, cream liquors, dairy, sour mix, simple syrup or any other thick mixers. Making a good cocktail usually requires a cocktail shaker. This is a good tool that allows you to mix all of the ingredients and chill them simultaneously. The object is to almost freeze the drink while allowing all of the ingredients to mix together. In most cases, this is done by filling the shaker about halfway full of ice (crushed ice tends to block the strainer so cubed works better). While holding one hand on the top of the shaker and one on the base, give it a short, sharp, snappy shake. You don’t want to rock your drink to sleep.

Straining: Straining the drink can be done after shaking to keep the ice from pouring into the glass along with the mixed drink. The ice is used purely to cool the liquid and nothing else. Although some drinks are served with ice, you don’t want to water down the beverage. The strainer prevents the ice from diluting the finished product. Remember not use crushed ice due to the fact that small, crushed pieces may block the strainer.

Blending: An electric blender is needed for certain drinks that are served frozen or require ingredients that are not easily broken down, such as fruit. Blending is an appropriate way of combining ingredients creating a smooth, ready to serve mixture. Certain recipes will call for ice to be put into the blender, in which case you would want to use an appropriate amount of crushed ice.

Building: This is a method where the ingredients are poured directly into the glass in which the drink will be served. When building, you usually want to add the ingredients one at a time, preferably in the order they are given in the recipe. Usually, the drink is left with the ingredients floated on top of each other, but in some cases, a swizzle stick is added in case the customer would like to stir it into a mixture.

Learning good mixing techniques will help you demonstrate your skills to potential employers, as well as give your customers the best drinks possible. Bartending can be a fun and rewarding career if you’re willing to put in the effort to learn good mixing skills. The first step to becoming a bartender is to get your TABC license. This will give you the certification that you need to serve alcoholic beverages in Texas. TABC Online Certification is available. Once you’re certified, you can go after that bartending career that you’ve been dreaming of.

About the Author: David Perkins is a marketing associate of American Seller Server, a leading online resource for your TABC online course, TABC license, and TABC online certification.  For more information, please visit

 Bartending techniques for mixing drinks. You can get your Texas TABC online certification at TABC online.