Hook Me Up, Mr. Bartender


The following discussion is an exchange I had with a guest years ago as a bartender. I have revived this conversation for anyone who is still not quite sure how capitalism or the transaction of money works in bars, as well as for anyone who likes the band Nickelback, as I assume you have some sort of learning disability.

In order to fully understand the situation, we must have a set of ground rules. Here is a reminder of what bars are not: Bars are not yard sales. Bars are not auctions where you can raise up a little numbered sign on a stick to bid for drinks. Bars are not J.C. Penny’s or Target that have year-end clearance sales. Despite what the dishonest bartenders of the world might lead you to believe, drinks are non-negotiable, at least not in places that are trying to earn a profit.

I want you to fully understand the situation because I know I can sound like a dick sometimes, but if you had any idea how tiresome it is to have people ask to be hooked up or to make their drink strong, you’d sympathize with my sarcastic exchange.

This particular conversation involved a 22-year old cool guy with the tan, dark skin of a lacquered coffee table. Apparently his goal was to show off his negotiating skills to the two girls he walked in with, and I’ll readily admit that I don’t think I did my part in helping him get laid that night, but when you walk out of the house wearing a V-neck t-shirt with the V dipping low enough to reveal your man cleavage and a fedora on your head like Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys used to wear, I’m sorry to say you’ve wandered into your own quicksand. A merciless, douche-swallowing, no-sex-for-you quicksand.


Cool Guy:  What’s up, Boss? Do you have any specials tonight?

Me:  You bet, the sea bass is excellent.

Cool Guy:  No, to drink.

Me:  Sure, how about a Blackberry Caipirinha with fresh blackberries, muddled limes and Leblon Cachaca.

Cool Guy:  How much is that?

Me:  Ten bucks.

Cool Guy:  No, I wanted a special, dog.

Me:  How can you possibly get more special than a Blackberry Caipirinha?

Cool Guy:  By not selling them for ten bucks.  I’m asking if you have any deals.  I’m a really good tipper. Can you hook me up?

Me:  Well, disregarding the fact that you left me fifty cents for the three Jack and Cokes you ordered the last time you were here, I would be delighted to “hook you up” based on fabricated promises of future and possibly gargantuan tips you may or may not leave on the bar in the form of nickels and dimes.

Cool Guy:  What are you talking about?  That wasn’t me.  I used to bartend, bro.

Me:  You did?  Why didn’t you say so in the first place? You must know the secret handshake, then. If you know the secret bartender handshake I can give you free drinks all night.

Cool Guy:  Very funny.  Come on, you gotta have something.  Two for one on beers maybe?

Me:  Ohhhhh, I get it.  You believe you’ve stumbled upon a yard sale, where you can bargain for used items, like old books and shabby knick-knacks.

Cool Guy:  (Laughing) Exactly.  Help me out, brotha.

Me:  Well, there’s this half of a Coors Light left in the bottle that this guy didn’t drink.  You can have the rest of it for $2.

Cool Guy:  Ha, ha (sarcastic).  You’re hilarious.

Me:  Fine, $1.75, but that’s as low as I go.

Cool Guy:  You don’t have to be a dick head. I just thought we could help each other out, you know?

Me: Absolutely! I love helping people. What can I help you with?

Cool Guy:  (Rolling eyes) I’ll have a Jack and Coke, but make the Coke light, if you know what I mean.

Me:  Got it.  One Jack and Diet Coke coming up.

Cool Guy:  No, not light like that.  I mean make it strong.

Me:  Gotcha, you want to order a double. That’ll be $14.

Cool Guy:  NO! I mean, make it strong but I don’t want to pay for a double. Jesus!

Me:  Pardon my ignorance.  NOW I understand.  You want me to steal liquor from the owners of this place and move it at a cheaper price so that you can save some money and I can risk losing my job and sacrifice my integrity.

Cool Guy:  Give me a break.  Bartenders do it all the time.

Me:  I see.  So you’re suggesting that I should become a conformist?

Cool Guy:  A what?

Me:  Have you ever heard of Hitler’s army?

Cool Guy:  I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.  I’m just sayin’, you know how it works.  You hook me up, I hook you up.

Me:  That sounds like quite a visionary system you’ve invented, and despite the life-changing possibilities that your fifty cents could provide for me and my family, for the time being I’m going to have to regretfully decline restructuring the fixed price arrangements that have been established here.

Cool Guy:  Forget it.  We’ll go to another bar.

Me:  Lucky them.

Cool Guy: Unbelievable!

Me: (To the back of his head as he walks out): Come back next weekend for our Marin Luther King extravaganza.  Buy 3 Jack & Cokes and get fifty cents off a Blackberry Caipirinha.

Cool Guy:  Blow me!

How I Make $150 Per Hour As Bar Inventory Auditor

*(At the end of this article, grab a FREE copy of my latest book, The Bar Auditor’s Handbook: The Undergound Playbook for Earning $150/Hr. as a Bar Inventory Auditorwhich shares the exact blueprint system I used to build my 6-figure auditing business)

I have no idea who you are, how happy you are with your current career right now or how you got here, but what I do know is that in the summer of 2010, I was at the end of my rope.

I’m talking curled-up-in-the-corner-sucking-my-thumb end of the rope.

After spending two decades working in bars for tips and managing uninspired employees, I took a look around and suddenly realized—as many hospitality workers do—that the path I was headed down was aimed directly at dead-end brick wall with very few options that would help me avoid the endless late nights and relying on 18% gratuity to pay for my retirement.

Be honest:

  • Almost nobody wants to work in a bar/restaurant forever.
  • Almost everybody has to work weekends or late nights.
  • Who wants to be told they can’t ask for weekends off because it’s too busy?

I don’t mean to be overdramatic here, but in 2010 I had a 7 and 5-year-old in school and my wife was a school teacher at the time, which meant as soon as they got home, I was off to run the bar at night. I never saw them. My kids were growing up fatherless and my quality of life was in a downward spiral.

At one point, I literally went into breakdown mode. I’m talking on the verge of divorce. I’m not going to go into the full story of how one hot August afternoon in 2010 I chucked a stenograph machine right through my sliding glass door which caused a large chunk of glass to be lodged in my forehead. Just know that after attempting a handful of other careers and business start-up ideas, the reality of being pigeon-holed in a late-night career hit me hard. I had a family now and as we all know, as lifers, once you go into the bar and restaurant industry, it’s not that easy to get out.

Finally, in the summer of 2010, just after I hurled the stenograph machine through the glass and just before I was ready to shove an ice pick in my eye socket, my wife, still looking for a solution to finding me a new career, came across a company called Bevinco that helped bar owners make more profits by providing inventory auditing services.

Bevinco (now called Sculpture Hospitality, a horribly confusing name that must have been decided upon during the latter stages of a beer pong tournament) was a franchise that trained its franchisees to become bar inventory auditors and help bars save money by using their software to count and weigh bottles and kegs to find out how much the bar was losing in profits because of bartender over-pours and theft.

Shortly thereafter, my wife and I found a 2nd company doing the same thing called Barmetrix, and as soon as I understood what they were doing to help bars, I told my wife, “I can do that. I can weigh bottles and count shit. I can TOTALLY do that.”

So I clicked around their websites and eventually discovered that they could teach me to be a bar inventory auditor for the bargain price of $50,000 – $60,000!

$60,000!!? Who has $60,000 lying around to invest? Doctors? Bankers? Certainly not bar managers.

So instead, I spent the next 18 months working my ass off, experimenting with remedial inventory software. I practiced taking hundreds of inventories before turning my attention to finding clients who needed my services until I finally started gaining some traction. Once I did, my momentum was unstoppable.

I went from bar to bar, simply having conversations with dozens of bar owners/managers, discussing their pain points and asking them questions.

As a result, my portfolio of accounts grew rapidly, from dive bars to sports bars to lounges and clubs, all the way to corporate giants like P.F. Chang’s and Outback Steakhouse. With the blueprint system I had developed, I was landing clients like crazy.

My income soared. There were literally thousands of bars that needed help, and I had yet to come across one bar that had met someone like me.

There was absolutely ZERO competition.

Thus, Bar Patrol was officially born and it was thriving.

In 2012, I partnered with my brother-in-law, borrowed A LOT of money and had Bar Patrol App built by a brilliant development team. I now had my own cutting-edge app and online software that was bringing faster and more accurate results than ever to my clients.

18 months after my August 2010 meltdown, I was maintaining 8 – 10 full service clients at all times and because I had become so efficient, I was earning about $150 per hour and $8,000 – $10,000 per month.

The money flowing into my life was beyond my wildest dreams. Entrepreneurship was good!

Subsequently, I started vacationing with the family and I was able to go to barbecues at friends’ houses on the weekends because I wasn’t in a bar working until 2:00 a.m.

And the pride I felt about my career was (and still is) absolutely surreal.

I don’t say any of this to brag. Quite the contrary. After spending years of gloom looking for another career, the gratitude I feel is beyond description. For once in my life, I finally felt successful.

What’s the point to all this?

The point is, if you’ve been in the industry for years and feel like you’re stuck, just like I was, as well as thousands of others who make a decent living in this industry but suddenly realize one day that the future is quickly becoming the present, and if they don’t do something quickly to change their present, their future will be working in a bar when they’re 60, serving white zinfandel to a bunch of old ladies playing bridge in a hotel bar lobby.

Where are you in your life right now? Where are you headed? Do you have the freedom to do the things you want?

I imagine you and I are very similar, the only difference being that my pain become so great that I HAD to do something to change my life, so I spent 18 months crawling through the mud and shit to figure this business out on my own.

To sum all of this up plainly: I teach people to be me…without the crawling through shit part of course. You simply get the benefits of learning from my experiences.

If you are like me—and countless others—who feel that restless pain I’m talking about, and you have always despised the idea of working in an office, sitting at a cubicle clacking away on a keyboard…

…then you might want to find out a little more and see if becoming a bar inventory auditor is the path for you too.

If so, I’m offering my latest book: The Bar Auditor’s Handbook: The Underground Playbook for Earning for$150/Hr. as a Bar Inventory Auditor for FREE to those who find this page.

In it I provide the EXACT blueprint system I used to build a 6-figure bar auditor career.

So, if you feel like following me down the rabbit hole to see if this is the right career path for you, and you want to make more money working fewer hours and no weekends.


This is the 8-step business plan I used to build a 6-figure business within just a few months.

Or, if you just stopped by for a casual read while sipping a Lynchburg Lemonade on the front porch, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to do in your life. I really do. Just don’t choose mediocrity or you too might chuck something large and heavy through your sliding glass door one day.

Cheers, until next time,


All About Bourbon


Wondering how bourbon is made or a little about its history? I got a crash course here that will have you sipping bourbon by the end of the hour. Have any questions, shoot me a message and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I am sober.

How to go From Barback to Bartender in 5.2 Seconds

become a bartender

Ok, maybe not 5.2 seconds, but fast stuff is so cool I just couldn’t help myself.

As you may or may not be aware, the entire purpose of my bartender online course, TheRealBarCourse, is to get you well-trained and then get you a bartending job as quickly as possible, but if you’re a barback or are looking to get hired as a barback, there are highly effective ways to accelerate your path to becoming a bartender quickly.

Because the truth is, if you are looking to become a bartender and you have no experience, getting hired as a barback is one path you can’t go wrong with, for a few reasons:

1) You get your foot in the door

2) You get free training on how to become a bartender (if you pay attention)

3) You still make decent money (the average barback walks with $100+ in tips on the weekends)

4) If you play your cards right, you can move up the ranks from barback to bartender rather quickly and make even more money

At TheRealBarCourse we teach people with absolutely no experience how to practice skills, memorize drinks and lay out a plan to become a bartender all within 21 days, but you could just as easily become a barback first because it puts you on a sure path to bartenderism (I know that’s not a word, but it’s fun to say and it’s my blog, so zip it).


First off, congratulations! I know that technically barbacks are considered below bartenders on the bar and nightclub food chain, but the real truth is, they are the heart and soul of many bars throughout the world.

Like under-appreciated school secretaries, barbacks are the oil that makes the machine run smoothly. We as bartenders can barely function without them at times. But, unlike secretaries who will never get their credential and become teachers, you as a barback can move up the ranks quickly and become a bartender, which means you become cooler and richer and gain higher status than when you were a barback.

Second, if becoming a bartender is truly important to you, taking your job as a barback seriously needs to go to the top of your priority list (right above “Buy giant burrito for lunch”).

Back in 2007, I had a barback working for me named Carlos who was the Tasmanian Devil of barbacks. He would whirl in and out of the bar so fast it made me dizzy. I couldn’t believe he never broke things or buzz-sawed through the bar like the real Tasmanian Devil on Bugs Bunny.

Carlos has ruined me for all other barbacks because I now measure and compare them to Carlos, which is bad for them because when I think of the perfect barback, I think of Carlos, and the only thing that would ever prevent me as a manager from promoting someone that awesome to bartender would be that I would lose a great barback, but in reality, bartenders who used to be barbacks are usually amazing because they know everything that needs to be done, both on the bartending side and the barback side. Super valuable.

What I’m trying to say is: Be like Carlos. Put your ego in your pocket, be a humble servant and be the type of employee and person that nobody can stop talking about.

How do you do that? It’s a simple formula that has worked for centuries among many industries and professions, so pay close attention.


1. Work Your Ass Off. 

Hmmm…hard work. What an interesting concept. I think my great-grandfather did something like that a few generations ago. You should try it too. Most of the young whipper-snappers of today’s generation have forgotten how to do that, which means not only will you be noticed, you will stand out like a star in an empty galaxy.

2. Anticipate

Probably my favorite characteristic that Carlos possessed was his ability to anticipate what I needed before I even asked for it. I would pour the last of a Jack Daniels bottle and as I was taking the pour spout off, Carlos would hand me a new opened bottle of JD so all I had to do was put the pour spout in. He filled our fruit trays, filled our juices, got us ice, took out bus tubs, cleared plates and even took orders from guests. He was EVERYWHERE. If you do this for your bartenders, they will LOVE you, and so will the manager who decides who becomes a bartender next.

3. Ask Questions

The big advantage of being a barback is that you are working in the classroom. This is waaaaaay better than any bartending school. It’s REAL. All you have to do is make sure you’re asking questions from the people who know what they’re doing. Ask the bartenders, ask the manager. Ask how they make certain drinks, how they pour them, should you shake or stir. Ask to be their Jedi-in-training. Just make sure to ask competent bartenders or you are going to end up with a lot of sloppy bad habits.

4. Let it be Known You Want to Bartend

All this learning and working hard will do you no good if you don’t be completely up front about your desire to be the next bartender. Don’t be cocky or demanding or give an ultimatum (at least not yet). Simply let it be known that your purpose for working there is to learn so you can become a bartender as quickly as possible. If you don’t share this knowledge, how would the manager ever know? If they don’t know, then you’ll continue to be a secretary for the rest of your life.

Best of luck on your path the bartenderism!

If you’re ready to jump all in and become a bartender right now, CLICK HERE.

Cheers, until next time,

The RB

All About Vodka

In this video I’m going to share with you all the essential facts and details of where vodka comes from, how vodka is made and some other fun facts you don’t want to miss.


Cheers, until next time,

The RB

9 Long Island Iced Teas You Should Know How to Make

Ahhhh, the Long Island Iced Tea.

As long as people have enjoyed vomiting in the bushes outside their neighborhood watering hole, they’ve enjoyed sucking down Long Island Iced Teas.

Just ordering a Long Island sort of defines your night right from the start and makes a declaration to everyone around you: I’m going to go from zero to humiliating just as quickly as I can.

Now, if you think people get excited by the Long Island, wait until you offer them a spin-off of the original and watch them jump around like a chimpanzee who got stung by a bee. I’ve been serving these variations for years, and if you want to be loved as a bartender, learn to diversify your Long Islands and watch them clutch at their drink excitedly like a child clutches an Otter Pop on a hot summer day.

But first, what kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t educate you on the beginnings of the Long Island and where it came from?


As with practically every cocktail with some time under its belt, the Long Island comes with debatable and uncertain beginnings. At first glance it appears as if it might have been inspired by the fruitcake: just throw anything you have in your cupboards into a container, mix it up and then ask yourself why in the hell you would ever ingest such a thing.

The original (and most believable) story comes from a small community called Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee where it is declared that the Long Island was created in the 1920’s by an “Old Man Bishop” during the prohibition. Apparently, Bishop decided that combining vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila and rum with a little maple syrup was somehow a good idea.

For the purposes of creating a timeline here, in the 1960’s, Betty Crocker came out with a cook book that mentions the Long Island Iced Tea, though she gives no credit to Old Man Bishop.

Which brings us to the fraud, Bob Butt, who claims he invented the Long Island when he entered a cocktail contest so he could include triple sec as one of the ingredients.

And I only use the word fraud here because Butt is claiming to have invented something that was already invented. He even says so on his website:

The world famous Long Island Iced Tea was first invented in 1972 by me, Robert Butt, while I was tending bar at the infamous Oak Beach Inn. I participated in a cocktail creating contest. Triple Sec had to be included, and the bottles started flying. My concoction was an immediate hit and quickly became the house drink at the Oak Beach Inn. By the mid-1970s, every bar on Long Island was serving up this innocent-looking cocktail, and by the 1980s it was known the world over.”

Before Bob comes kicking down my door for calling him a fraud, I will say this: while claiming you invented a drink, when all you did was replace maple syrup with Coke, makes you a fraud, Bob Butt is most likely responsible for the modern day success of the Long Island. But as you’ll notice if you visit his website, nowhere will he mention anything about Betty Crocker’s mention of the Long Island a whole decade before he “invented it”.

What’s up with that, Bob?

With that said, let’s move on to the many variations of the Long Island, which I invented by the way. Because I said so. On my blog.

Before we start, let me remind you of this: before you pour a Long Island, only 2 oz. of booze is needed. Please don’t refer to online drink recipe websites that say to use 1 once of each liquor for a total of 4 – 5 oz. These people are idiots and they also don’t have to deal with your guests in your bar.

There, you’ve been warned.


TRADITIONAL LONG ISLAND (the modern version)

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

Splash of sweet & sour

Splash of Coke

*Some still include the tequila, some don’t



1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

Splash of sweet and sour

Splash of cranberry



1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. blue curacao

Splash of sweet & sour

Splash of Sprite

*Some put in triple sec AND blue curacao which is unnecessary since blue curacao is just blue triple sec



*My favorite “go-to” recipe. Also good if you shake it up as a shot

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. Chambord

Splash of sweet and sour

Splash of Sprite



1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. Midori

Splash of sweet and sour

Splash of Sprite


TEXAS TEA (for those who think 5 liquors just isn’t quite enough)

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. tequila

1/2 oz. of whiskey

Splash of sweet and sour

Splash of Coke



1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. peach schnapps

Splash of sweet and sour

Splash of cranberry


SEX WITH SATAN (what a great name!)

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. sloe gin

1/2 oz. cherry brandy

Splash of sweet and sour



1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. amaretto

Splash of sweet and sour

Splash of Coke


That’ll do it folks. Now go out there and make people sick. Just kidding. Serve responsibly please.

Cheers, until next time,

The RB


7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Bartending School

The #1 question I have been asked throughout my career by people who want to become a bartender and who are considering signing up for TheRealBarcourse is: “Should I go to bartending school?”

Followed by the second most asked question: “How do I choose the right one?”

Just to make things clear, I am not anti-bartending school as long as you can find one that does it right. Problem is, I have yet to find many that qualify. In fact, I have yet to find one that does it right from beginning to end, which is why I created TheRealBarCourse. If you want more details, CLICK HERE.

However, each little squirrel must find his/her own way, so when you’re out there researching, here are 7 things you should consider when choosing the right bartending school or course for you.


We all know this is the first question on everyone’s mind, so let’s get right to it. As with anything you purchase, you should consider if what you’re buying is worth the cost, and with bartending schools and courses, I wouldn’t look at anything that’s more than $250. They aren’t any better than anything else out there. With that said, I am highly amused by the people who drop $150 on a pair of basketball shoes or $400 on a new car stereo without blinking an eye, but when an opportunity arises to invest in themselves to make their lives better, they tremble at the thought of spending a few hundred dollars even when it will lead them to a $60,000 – $70,000 per year job. Stop thinking and living a small life. Consider the cost, but focus on the quality.


Although I listed the cost question first, it’s only because I know it’s first on everyone’s mind, but this is where you’re inner Sherlock Holmes should don his magnifying glass and start investigating. And I know all of you are blinded by the skills part of it. How to pour, how to shake, how to stir, etc, etc, but this is simple shit, believe me. Not that you don’t have to learn it, but it’s the easiest part to teach. You need to find out what they teach beyond the basic skills and drink memorizing techniques, such as: do they help with cover letter and resume creation (very important), do they help with interview tips and what the interview questions will be (even more important), and do they provide a plan for you to go out and land the job (MOST important). Many schools and courses promise “job placement assistance” but what in the hell does that mean exactly? You need to find out details about what that entails and then decide if they have an EXTENSIVE program to help you get a job.


These are two very different. Brick and mortar bartending schools are often more expensive because they have to rent the building and pay bartenders to teach you how to make drinks. The advantage is that they do usually have a simulated bar where you can practice. This is very cool, but also a bit overrated. There is no difference practicing pouring at a kitchen counter than there is pouring at a bar. Online courses, on the other hand, allow you to move at your own pace. Finish in three days or take 30 days. The flexibility is a big advantage, not to mention no traveling to the school every day. The main difference is that you have to discipline yourself to practice because there is no instructor. But again, what matters most is the course CONTENT, not the venue.


NO! NO NO NO NO NO! This is a mirage that bartending schools use to tempt you into signing up for their course. I’ve stated it several times and I will state it again. Bartending licenses and certificates are WORTHLESS. The only bartending license that holds value are the alcohol awareness classes that are required by some states for safety and liability reasons. These actually do hold value, but bartending school licenses hold no merit. Do not base your decision on this.


I will continue to educate aspiring bartenders on this fact: you do not need to memorize 500 drink recipes. It’s kind of cool that you get a CD-Rom of 2,000 drink recipes, but you’ll never use it. Once you start bartending you’ll find that you make the same 50 drinks and shots over and over.I have about 250 memorized and it’s about 150 more than I need. Memorize the most popular ones and memorize new ones as you go and you’ll do great.


This is probably the most overlooked factor when considering bartending schools. Not just the bartenders instructing you, but who is the master behind the plan? When you pay for a course, you want it to be run by not only a competent and experienced bar industry person, but a competent and experienced bar owner or manager who knows what in the hell he/she is talking about when it comes to hiring bartenders. Sometimes this isn’t always easy to determine, but make sure to ask questions when you call about how they plan on helping you actually land the job after they teach you how to pour liquid into a glass and put styrofoam limes on as a garnish.



And as a follow-up questions? Do they make you pay for them? And for how much? If you are going to take an online course, you should be able to take the knowledge you are learning and put it to practice. These actions are necessary for you to achieve your goal. If they don’t offer bar tools or there’s a big cost involved, I’d think twice about it. They aren’t really providing you with great instruction if they aren’t asking you to practice what they are preaching.

If you have any other questions or want to know more about TheRealBarCourse, CLICK HERE.

Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the very best of luck.


The RB