How to Memorize Cocktail Recipes – The Triple Imprint Method

Here’s a simple truth, if you want to become a bartender, you need to have some cocktail recipes memorized. It’s an unwritten agreement in which the customer assumes you know what the hell you’re doing in exchange for their money.

It’s the same agreement you have with your doctor. You don’t want to go in for heart medicine and have him prescribe Viagra just because he decided not to study his medication flash cards.

Since I released my online bartending course, TheRealBarCourse, back in 2013, and in all my years of helping green horns become bartenders, memorizing drink recipes has consistently appeared at the top of the “Oh shit” list, as in “Oh shit, what if I forget a drink recipe when the guest orders it?”

People’s biggest fear is looking like they don’t know what they’re doing behind the bar, which prevents them from taking action and going after something they will not only love, but that will make them a boatload of money, which is very sad.

As a result, I recently set to doing some research in order to help those poor scared souls by making it far easier and more effective to memorize drink recipes. I have always preached (and still do) that memorizing cocktail recipes is not as difficult as it seems. You’ll see bartending schools or online bartending courses handing out DVD’s, booklets or PDF downloads with 2,000 drink recipes.

And the worst part is that you can tell that they take pride in this massive database of drinks that nobody has ever heard of and that even more people will never order. Sifting through and learning those giant databases of drinks is as valuable as taking Latin in college. Nobody speaks latin any more, and nobody needs to learn hundreds of drink recipes, let alone thousands.

That means that nobody is going to walk into your bar and order a Eucalyptus Frostbite. And if they do, tell them, “Sure,” and then step away from the bar for 10 seconds and look it up on your phone. I’ve done it myself. No biggie.

But I digress…


As I was saying, I spent a few months researching and contemplating the best methods of memorization for the brain. I then set out to replace the existing cocktail recipe section inside TheRealBarCourse to make it the most powerful and effective cocktail recipe guide of any bartending school or online course.

In doing so, I created the Triple Imprint Method, an amazing three-part strategy that imprints the recipes on your mind so you can recall them easier and quicker than ever before (if you don’t like reading, you can scroll down and watch the Triple Imprint video below)

The Triple Imprint Method involves these three programming methods:

  • Auditory
  • Visual
  • Visualization

The first two are done simultaneously during a one-on-one video session with me, in which I go over each of the 101 Most Popular Cocktails Ordered Today, as well as the 21 Shots You MUST Know, including the glass, the mixing method, the garnish, the ingredients and portion sizes, as well as any variations of the drink that might be made differently in different bars.

As you listen (auditory) to me give you the lesson, you are watching (visual) as I describe the drink, and there is also a picture of the drink on the screen, as well as the written information. This is basically a 1 hour 20 minute video lesson with me as I describe each one, as well as any variations to the drink and an occasional history lesson when applicable.

For the third method (visualization), I have you relax and close your eyes as we once again go through the most popular cocktails and shots, but with me prompting you with the glass, mixing method, garnish, etc., giving you a chance to come up with the answer yourself. I then describe making the drink so you can picture it, all the way through handing it to the guest.

This powerful technique seems simplistic, but I have already received dozens of emails from my students telling me how much they love this section of the course now

In addition, inside the course we still have the study sheets you can print out, as well as a brand new online flash card site you can use to study from any computer, phone or tablet. From the computer you just login to the site (yes, it’s free) or you can download the app to your phone or tablet and literally study ANYWHERE.

The point to all this? I take helping my students very seriously, and you, as an aspiring future bartender, don’t need to stress about memorizing cocktail recipes anymore. This is the Holy Grail of cocktail memorization.

If becoming a bartender is something you’ve been thinking about for awhile but you have no experience and you’re just unsure where to start, you’re welcome to check out TheRealBarCourse details to see if bartending expertise is something you want to aspire to.

In addition, if you want to learn more and watch the video on the Triple Imprint Method, you can check it out below.

Thanks for being here. See you next time.